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Community Manager
Posts: 1,121
Registered: ‎06-20-2016

Speaker types and brands for a big space

Hey everyone!

 

To all those who know a little bit about audio and audio setup, a series of questions was brought forth to me, and I figured I would present it to the forum to get some of your insights. This inquiry was about setting up a sound system in a large space.

 

 

Do you guys have any thoughts on what brands of speakers would be great for a large, commercial space? In this particular case, it would be a 12,000 sq ft restaurant. So the space would be furnished, possibly crowded with high foot traffic, and a lot of ambient noise. 

 

 

What types of speakers do you think would work best? It's not like this place is a night club, but they expect to throw big parties at this location as well as operating like a typical restaurant.

 

 

What are some main considerations to keep in mind when doing this type of setup?

 

 

Leave your opinions and comments below! Thanks!

 

 

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Legendary Oracle
Legendary Oracle
Posts: 1,833
Registered: ‎09-20-2010

Re: Speaker types and brands for a big space

One piece of advice for the restaurant..... consider getting a sound level meter.

  • I like the sound to be evenly distributed around the room.  I refuse to sit next to a loud speaker.
  • are customers eating alone?  Not likely.... customers want to have conversations.... there are some places I don't go because it's too difficult to have a conversation
  • use the sound meter to assess sound levels at various points around the room
Legendary Oracle
Posts: 937
Registered: ‎11-16-2012

Re: Speaker types and brands for a big space



Do you guys have any thoughts on what brands of speakers would be great for a large, commercial space? In this particular case, it would be a 12,000 sq ft restaurant. So the space would be furnished, possibly crowded with high foot traffic, and a lot of ambient noise. 

 

 

What types of speakers do you think would work best? It's not like this place is a night club, but they expect to throw big parties at this location as well as operating like a typical restaurant.

 

 

What are some main considerations to keep in mind when doing this type of setup?

 



- Although there are several brands to choose from, I'd be more concerned about the end result. Are we looking to keep a low budget, or better sound quality?

- 12,000sq. ft. is a very large space, how high is the ceiling ?

- Is the ceiling a dropped cielng with tiles?

- For type of speakers, it would depend on the the above answers

- Considerations to keep in mind, relate to comment made by @xl. Most restaurents have speakers mounted in the clieling, This design puts the sound above the listener, making it difficult to carry a conversation, combined with ambiant noise of dishes and cutlary clinging away. Especially with smaller speakers, that seem to hiss at the listener.

- I've had a situation in one case where the cieling was cement, so in cieling speakers were out of the question, and on-wall speakers would have protruded, taking away from a clean look, along with cabeling. I decided to use a combination of stereo/in-cieling (type) speakers, such as the Polk Audio VS6 . I mounted these in- wall and placed them at a height just below the table height. This provided a musical floor that was below the conversation, allowing for people to hear each other even in quiet conversation, and also below the ambiant dishes noise etc.., When possible I also tried to make use of reflective surfaces across from the table, such as glass, mirrors, to reflect high frequencies, like treble, which provide imaging detail and separation.

I augmented these speakers with a hidden subwoofer which was adjustable and able to be easily turned off.

Overall the sound quality was very good, walking into the restaurant and hearing the music and not being able to see the speakers was an added benefit, no complaints from those clients who sat at a table, that had a speaker below it.

I used a good quality low powered amplifier ( 35w/ch) to drive the 8 stereo speakers, which I connected via a switcher, to allow independant speakers to be turned off, the subwoofer I used, was a 10" with built in amplifier 150w.

 

In the particular situation of such a large venue, and depending on the architecture, I might suggest that a combination of "Pendant " type (hanging) speakers in combination with on-wall and or in-cieling may be required.

Of course, the best way to find out, is with a preliminary "free site survey" from the Geek Squad, through the Best Buy for Business Division, which will provide you with a written quote and equipment recommendation.