Help: kitchen set up

Elladene

Novice Member
Id like to splurge and enjoy top class kitchen audio. I have no idea what is best and I get very confused with lingo. I play a lot from itunes/bluetooth, but willing to subscribe to a service. I just bought a Ruark R7 and 2 MRx speakers but I feel that it doesnt really work together at all very well so, given the large budget, I can send back as I bought off the internet and 14 days have not yet passed. I can purchase something else. What would be a good replacement - say 3k total budget - speakers would be above kitchen cupboards. kitchen is around 6m by 6m
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Kitchens are just horrible spaces for audio. Lots of angles, lots of hard reflective surfaces, moisture, noise, and no fixed listening position. I don’t think you are going to get close to anything decent sounding, whatever your budget.
 

Elladene

Novice Member
Thanks Mushi. I guess if that’s the cAdele I’m wasting my money and should send the Ruark kit back in time for a refund.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
You may as well buy a couple of Amazon Echos and an Echo Sub and just enjoy some budget music.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
You may as well buy a couple of Amazon Echos and an Echo Sub and just enjoy some budget music.
Kitchen's are problematic, but not lost causes. Better speakers will still sound better than poor ones in them.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
A kitchen is going to need some dsp to get it sounding right in my opinion...

KEF have just announced the LS50 wireless II, and I’ve seen retailers doing the outgoing model already for £1600 - probably one of the more stylish kitchen setups without needing separate gear to feed them.
Alternatively in your budget, a Lyngdorf TDAi-1120 amp which has integrated streaming, top class room correction, and a very small stylish chassis (£2000). Then partner with any passive speaker for £1000 (new LS50 meta perhaps, not sure the exact cost but will no doubt sound great and imo LS series always look great which I suspect is a consideration for kitchen use), = budget used and probably no better way to hear audio in the kitchen.

That said, me personally I’d be inclined to look into running 4 or even 6 in ceiling speakers if it’s feasible to install.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Ceiling speakers are terrible for HiFi, especially in kitchens (trust me I have them). The sound is very localised to beneath the speakers and it fires directly at a hard reflective surface (floor). DSP is only useful if you have fixed listening positions. In a kitchen, by its very nature you are moving around a lot. The best you can really hope for, is pretty average audio
 

Elladene

Novice Member
That’s really helpful, thanks. Would speakers above cupboards (see pic) work at all? I’d be behind the counter 99% of the time. Also, do the passive LS speaker suggested need wiring to the TDAi. Also, I do have power above those cupboards if that helps.
 

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acgingersnaps

Active Member
For kichen use, where i'm assuming you want as few wires as possible, you just want a pair of decent quality smart speakers, in my opinion. Something like a pair of Sonos 5 or Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i. Will they sound as good as your main set up, no. Will they sound close enough that you won't care, yes.
I have a pair of Sonos 3 in stereo in my kitchen. They sound really good. Are they as good as my Neats in the lounge? No. But i'm still perfectly happy with the sound.
As noted above, no point spending a fortune, but that said, an element of quality is still possible.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Placing speakers up top of those cupboards is likely going to sound very strange. The sloped ceiling may act like a horn and have an impact at certain frequencies. DSP may improve that somewhat but because the sound is well above head height you are going to end up with a very strange sound field with audio appearing to come from above you and probably from all sorts of odd angles, because of reflections. Those 3 velux windows are also going to act like acoustic mirrors. Before spending a lot of money, as @acgingersnaps says, I would try something like a pair of Sonos5's up there as it will give you an idea of what the room is going to sound like with larger speakers on top of your cupboards. If you like them great, if not send them back.

My kitchen ceiling speakers sound awful for hifi listening. For parties and for background music, they are fine and they do exactly what I wanted, but I wouldnt spend more than a grand on music for an open kitchen. I would accept that there are limitations to most rooms and as good as Room Perfect is, it can only provide so much DSP in a space like that, especially with speakers on top of cupboards.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
Ceiling speakers are terrible for HiFi, especially in kitchens (trust me I have them). The sound is very localised to beneath the speakers and it fires directly at a hard reflective surface (floor). DSP is only useful if you have fixed listening positions. In a kitchen, by its very nature you are moving around a lot. The best you can really hope for, is pretty average audio
Fair enough, I’d assumed with enough speakers placed in the space it would have given a very broad coverage - wouldn’t expect it to be Hifi as such but just fairly volume consistent as you move around.
If that’s not the case then yeah terrible idea - what’s their use case then?

If the speakers are going on top perhaps you could use an Atmos type speaker so something like KEF Q50A (or R8A) but oreinted so as to have the speaker face firing down into the kitchen. Should be decent enough, as to if it’s any better than a simple speaker unit on the side....never know unless it’s tried! And if we don’t try things we’d still be in horse and cart! ;)

Personally I do have a simple side speaker (Yamaha MusicCast), it’s ok and it serves the purposes needed, also ensures the room doesn’t look like an audio shop. But I can’t help but wonder often what shape a more Hifi grade setup would be in there..! LSX, ceilings, or Atmos on cupboards is where my flight of fancy has lead my mind. If you’ve the budget why not try, if I had a spare grand I’d be on to the LSX I think.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
I agree it will have to be a suck-it-and-see approach. With a space that complicated acoustically and little room for any form of acoustic treatment I would not set my expectation bar very high.

Ceiling speakers do not radiate into a room, like hifi speakers do, they fire cones of sound down and bounce it off a generally hard floor in a kitchen and so for mid to high frequencies you end up with sweet spots near to the vertical axis of the speaker and this fades way very quickly as you move away from them.

I have a stereo pair of MA C165s flanking my kitchen table as this is where I wanted the listening spot to be when eating and it produces a 'nice' sound. Crank it up for parties and noone really cares too much anyway. Add a small sub in there and its great with a kicking bass bouncing off a ceramic tiled floor, but it certainly isn't hifi, its more like a small nightclub.

I think that is important at the outset to define what you want HFi in the kitchen for and to do. Mine is for background music when dining; for dancing in my kitchen (6m x 10m) for parties and for some general background music or TV when cooking. Mine does what I want it to. I didnt want speakers in a can (Apple HomePods et al) I wanted something more and that is what I have. All in, with my AVR, Speakers and BK Gemini II sub I spent less than £600 (But my AVR and Sub were second hand).
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Others have said it but the real kitchen is not a good location other than for radio.. the Grease will eventually go everywhere., Coating cones on speakers .In my case the kitchen gas a tiny radio, and the dinning room space around an L has the better stereo.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Yeah, I forgot about that. Speaker cloth will eventually get grease caked, particularly in the location that you are suggesting. If you dont believe us, wipe your hand over the top of kitchen wall cupboards that have been installed for a few years. It will eventually trash your speakers. So those £500/£800 Kef speakers, will probably be skip material in 5 years.
 

Cribbster

Active Member
To be honest we have had a Bose Wave in the kitchen for quite a few years now and it does pretty much exactly what we want. Mostly for DAB radio in the mornings and sport while we are cooking / eating / washing up but any serious listening will be done from the hi fi next door. I know the Bose systems generally get a panning but I was surprised at how good it sounded for the dimensions when we bought it and there was nothing else that came close at the time.
 

Onlythesound

Active Member
I’ve just ordered an Apple HomePod for our kitchen.
It’s going on a small (tall) table in a cranny ... or is it a nook - right at the far end of the diner section to avoid aforementioned grease buildup as far as possible. But personally I agree with others that kitchens are not good audio spaces.
 

Elladene

Novice Member
Thank you for all the responses folks. I loved the idea of returning my Ruark kit and getting the LS50 wireless II, albeit waiting. Or the Lyngdorf TDAi-1120 with LS speakers. (Although I was keen on CD playing as well). However, given the consensus is im fighting a losing battle with kitchen accoustics, I may as well just keep the Ruark kit and use the M7 in the kitchen (it looks nice, see pic) and the MRx's as utility speakers in other rooms. Thank you for your advice. Maybe I should look for a new house.
 

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acgingersnaps

Active Member
Thank you for all the responses folks. I loved the idea of returning my Ruark kit and getting the LS50 wireless II, albeit waiting. Or the Lyngdorf TDAi-1120 with LS speakers. (Although I was keen on CD playing as well). However, given the consensus is im fighting a losing battle with kitchen accoustics, I may as well just keep the Ruark kit and use the M7 in the kitchen (it looks nice, see pic) and the MRx's as utility speakers in other rooms. Thank you for your advice. Maybe I should look for a new house.
Looks great, and will save a fair wack of money.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I'd just like to have a kitchen that big and that nice. Bugger the music.:)

It does seem pointless spending money on Room Perfect and quality speakers. You're never going to be seated in the optimum listening position and the music will be restricted to the background most of time I suspect.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I agree with what everyone says about kitchens and sound quality, but cooking can be so boring!

I do have a kitchen system: a Quad Artera Solus and PMC Twenty5.21. Luckily for me, it's not my main system and I don't use it for critical listening.

The room's 11.5 feet x 5.5 feet and the speakers are on the worktop around 6.5 feet apart. It sounds much better than my previous set up of an Arcam Solo Mini and PMC DB1i, and miles better than my Roberts DAB radio before that!

I've listened to lots of music in my kitchen over the years, probably more than my main Hi-Fi system, and I would definitely recommend it as a back up system. I do keep the grilles on the speakers at all times and don't chop veg or pour liquid anywhere near the Quad!

I suppose spending £3k on a system for background music can be seen as pretty extravagant (the Quad was £1400, the PMC's £1600), but I've heard the improvements every time I've upgraded and I love my little system. Of course I'm missing tons of detail, but that's what the main Hi-Fi's for. It's quick, it's convenient (just bung in a CD and whack up the volume) and it expresses the joy of music close enough.:)
 
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Elladene

Novice Member
Interesting. So you listen to CD's and Bluetooth through the Quad Artera Solus i.e. I do not think it streams? I got the impression from these forums that Bluetooth was not great fidelity and was not worth investing in I was listening from iTunes purchases over Bluetooth. Ive just looked at the PNC site and done a bit of googling. Their ceiling speakers look nice. I could have one or two over my work top, where I spend a lot of time.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Interesting. So you listen to CD's and Bluetooth through the Quad Artera Solus i.e. I do not think it streams? I got the impression from these forums that Bluetooth was not great fidelity and was not worth investing in I was listening from iTunes purchases over Bluetooth. I've just looked at the PNC site and done a bit of googling. Their ceiling speakers look nice. I could have one or two over my work top, where I spend a lot of time.
No, I just use the Quad as a CD player, nothing else.

I think Bluetooth, like any wireless technology, can suffer dropouts but the sound quality itself just depends on the device/speakers being used (I could be wrong here)?

I'm glad you decided to keep your Ruark as it looks quite beautiful and is well-regarded sonically. I know nothing about ceiling speakers other than experiencing them in shops, and they always sound a bit thin to me. But if you're not expecting Hi-Fi from them, then they'll be fine.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
No, I just use the Quad as a CD player, nothing else.

I think Bluetooth, like any wireless technology, can suffer dropouts but the sound quality itself just depends on the device/speakers being used (I could be wrong here)?

I'm glad you decided to keep your Ruark as it looks quite beautiful and is well-regarded sonically. I know nothing about ceiling speakers other than experiencing them in shops, and they always sound a bit thin to me. But if you're not expecting Hi-Fi from them, then they'll be fine.
Bluetooth is an inferior wireless technology and cannot handle full hi res transmission..or even full CD quality . So in theory, if nothing else, it is worse than a standard wired link. Whether ones ears can notice the difference, even with Quad equipment is a completely different argument.
 

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