Atmos speaker placement

greg90

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I’m trying to find a guide for speaker placement for a 5.2.4 atmos set up. I’ve seen multiple things on YouTube. Some say use the Dolby guide some say no. Then there are a couple websites that will generate a diagram for you. Really don’t want to make holes in the wrong spot for my speakers
 

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It's really hard to say. I'm usually one to go by the guidelines, and I do for my bed layer, but I went with what I wanted to do with my room for height channels. I have 5.2.4 as well, and I have front wall heights and rear wall heights. After living with this for about a year, I'm going to move my front channels out onto the ceiling to get them closer to the Dolby spec, but for the rears, due to the fact that I don't have rear surrounds, I really like that the rear heights extend the sound field behind me to the back wall and I'm going to leave those two where they are.

As long as your system is configured and calibrated correctly, I am a firm believer that there's wiggle room in the spec, but if you're cutting holes, I'd stick pretty close to the spec to avoid cutting twice. It's my opinion that the proper angle/distance forward and back is more important to stick to spec than the width of the channels, but again, you might want to cheat a little further back than the spec if you have the space, just to extend your room a bit. My front two height channels are getting lost with the LCRs at times, which is why I'm going to move them back into the 45º forward from MLP range.
 

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For what StormAudio labels as my TOP speakers, with four speakers, I placed the front top just ever so slightly in front of (almost in line with) my front row (Main Listening Position) and the rear top along the second row, with left and right being aligned with the front speakers (front to back). I'm about to add two more speakers for a six-speaker overhead. The front two will be just above my front speakers, and the middle will align with my MLP and rear where they are now. I believe this is typical, but as Travis mentioned, I also think there is some wiggle room.
 

greg90

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Okay that’s more reassuring. I’ll have a LCR, 4 height (ceiling) speakers, and I don’t know if I go with main surrounds off to the side of MLP or rears. I’m in a 22x15 room and will have 7-8 feet behind my seating (a couch). Have you guys tried the tool from audioadvice or cinema-tools.com?
 

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I have not tried any tools, but I would think they would be fairly accurate, or they would be reviewed badly all over the AV forums.
 

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Okay that’s more reassuring. I’ll have a LCR, 4 height (ceiling) speakers, and I don’t know if I go with main surrounds off to the side of MLP or rears. I’m in a 22x15 room and will have 7-8 feet behind my seating (a couch). Have you guys tried the tool from audioadvice or cinema-tools.com?

Side surrounds and rear surrounds are not interchangeable. If you're doing 5.x.x, there are no rear surrounds, and your channel 4 & 5 surrounds should be on the sides, just behind the MLP. Without speakers in that position, there is no 'rear surround' and the processor will not be able to seamlessly integrate.

Your room sounds relatively similar in shape and seating position to my room, where I mentioned using rear wall mounted height channels helped extend the sound field further back.

IMG_1676.JPG


IMG_1679.jpeg


IMG_1689.jpeg
 

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This seems to make a lot of sense to me…. ‍
 

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Okay that’s more reassuring. I’ll have a LCR, 4 height (ceiling) speakers, and I don’t know if I go with main surrounds off to the side of MLP or rears. I’m in a 22x15 room and will have 7-8 feet behind my seating (a couch). Have you guys tried the tool from audioadvice or cinema-tools.com?
Hey Greg,

I have 8 Atmos channels installed in my room... and have spent time moving speaker positions around for a couple of reviews. Generally speaking (and these are my words, based on my experience... your mileage may vary!!), your Atmos experience is going to be driven by your ability to make sound more apparent...

The higher your ceilings, the better. If you have ceilings that are over 9 feet, you can totally get away with down-firing in-ceiling speakers. But, if you have lower speakers, it really helps to have the ability to aim your tweeters in the general direction of the center seating position (or, if you have a wide seating area, more or less toward the middle three seats).

Here's a diagram of potential positions for Atmos channels:

Screenshot 2024-04-20 at 10.32.12 AM.png


I've tried set ups using just one of these positions... and all four... and I've heard many demo set-ups using different variations of these positions. For my money, with ceilings at 8.5 feet, this is going to give you the most revealing and impactful Atmos effect if you're mounting 4 speakers:

Screenshot 2024-04-20 at 10.33.57 AM.png


Note, the over seat speakers are slightly forward, not directly overhead. I found that helps to reveal the sound better with the 8.5' ceiling height. Arrows show general aiming of tweeters.
 

greg90

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Side surrounds and rear surrounds are not interchangeable. If you're doing 5.x.x, there are no rear surrounds, and your channel 4 & 5 surrounds should be on the sides, just behind the MLP. Without speakers in that position, there is no 'rear surround' and the processor will not be able to seamlessly integrate.

Your room sounds relatively similar in shape and seating position to my room, where I mentioned using rear wall mounted height channels helped extend the sound field further back.

View attachment 70099

View attachment 70100

View attachment 70101
Okay thank you. I wasn’t sure if that was a personal preference on which to use. I like your set up. It’s very similar in dimension to mine and having an open hallway as well. In that black layer in front of your diffusers going towards your screen is that all sound deadening or acoustic paneling?
 

greg90

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This seems to make a lot of sense to me…. ‍
Yep I need to go back through a few of his videos. I think he’s the guy that got me going down this rabbit hole
 

greg90

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Hey Greg,

I have 8 Atmos channels installed in my room... and have spent time moving speaker positions around for a couple of reviews. Generally speaking (and these are my words, based on my experience... your mileage may vary!!), your Atmos experience is going to be driven by your ability to make sound more apparent...

The higher your ceilings, the better. If you have ceilings that are over 9 feet, you can totally get away with down-firing in-ceiling speakers. But, if you have lower speakers, it really helps to have the ability to aim your tweeters in the general direction of the center seating position (or, if you have a wide seating area, more or less toward the middle three seats).

Here's a diagram of potential positions for Atmos channels:

View attachment 70115

I've tried set ups using just one of these positions... and all four... and I've heard many demo set-ups using different variations of these positions. For my money, with ceilings at 8.5 feet, this is going to give you the most revealing and impactful Atmos effect if you're mounting 4 speakers:

View attachment 70116

Note, the over seat speakers are slightly forward, not directly overhead. I found that helps to reveal the sound better with the 8.5' ceiling height. Arrows show general aiming of tweeters.
My ceilings are 8’ but I do have the ability to adjust the tweeter. Is there a laser tool that will aim and show your angles for adjustment? Thanks for the diagrams.
 

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There might be… honestly, for the top front speakers, I guesstimated angle based on the Dolby recommendations of about 45 degrees.

1713629327236.png


For my room, tho, having the speakers in those 4 positions gives the best overall audible effect… and I tried a bunch of different configurations. I’d only put Atmos channels behind the head if you’re running six speakers in three positions. MO, of course

I’m curious to see what you end up doing!
 

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Okay thank you. I wasn’t sure if that was a personal preference on which to use. I like your set up. It’s very similar in dimension to mine and having an open hallway as well. In that black layer in front of your diffusers going towards your screen is that all sound deadening or acoustic paneling?
The black layer is sold as acoustic absorption, and it does offer a little bit in a very limited frequency range, but I used them primarily as an alternative to black paint. They’re great as light absorption and easy to install/remove.

Eliminate Home Theater Light Pollution in minutes WITHOUT PAINT

 

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In my 20.4'L x 14'W x 11'H room and 5.1.4 Atmos setup I followed the Dolby 45 degree best practice recommendations for the overhead speakers pretty much to the letter for the front overheads. However the rear Atmos channels ended up above and both slightly inboard and rearward of my bed surround speakers due to a combination of factors- 1) The MLP is only 5.5' off the rear wall. 2) The heavy duty K&M ceiling mounts for my ATC SCM 12i height speakers only tilt to 45 degrees in the vertical axis. 3) My relatively high 11' ceiling. Atmos and DTS-X immersive audio performance with this arrangement works spectacularly none-the-less.

IMG_1702.JPG
IMG_0854.JPG
IMG_0858.JPG
IMG_0844.JPG
 
Last edited:

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In my 20.4'L x 14'W x 11'H room and 5.1.4 Atmos setup I followed the Dolby 45 degree best practice recommendations for the overhead speakers pretty much to the letter for the front overheads. However the rear Atmos channels ended up above and slightly inboard of my bed surround speakers due to a combination of factors- 1) The MLP is only 5.5' off the rear wall. 2) The heavy duty K&M ceiling mounts for my ATC SCM 12i height speakers only tilt to 45 degrees in the vertical axis. 3) My relatively high 11' ceiling. Atmos and DTS-X immersive audio performance with this arrangement works spectacularly none-the-less.

I’m totally envious of your high ceilings…!!
 

greg90

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There might be… honestly, for the top front speakers, I guesstimated angle based on the Dolby recommendations of about 45 degrees.

View attachment 70143

For my room, tho, having the speakers in those 4 positions gives the best overall audible effect… and I tried a bunch of different configurations. I’d only put Atmos channels behind the head if you’re running six speakers in three positions. MO, of course

I’m curious to see what you end up doing!
Will keep everyone posted somewhere on this forum. Theater room work starts next week!
 

greg90

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The black layer is sold as acoustic absorption, and it does offer a little bit in a very limited frequency range, but I used them primarily as an alternative to black paint. They’re great as light absorption and easy to install/remove.

Eliminate Home Theater Light Pollution in minutes WITHOUT PAINT

Thanks for the link!
 

greg90

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In my 20.4'L x 14'W x 11'H room and 5.1.4 Atmos setup I followed the Dolby 45 degree best practice recommendations for the overhead speakers pretty much to the letter for the front overheads. However the rear Atmos channels ended up above and both slightly inboard and rearward of my bed surround speakers due to a combination of factors- 1) The MLP is only 5.5' off the rear wall. 2) The heavy duty K&M ceiling mounts for my ATC SCM 12i height speakers only tilt to 45 degrees in the vertical axis. 3) My relatively high 11' ceiling. Atmos and DTS-X immersive audio performance with this arrangement works spectacularly none-the-less.

View attachment 70161 View attachment 70159 View attachment 70162 View attachment 70160
When kids are out of the house I want a setup as loaded as yours! Very nice
 

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The black layer is sold as acoustic absorption, and it does offer a little bit in a very limited frequency range, but I used them primarily as an alternative to black paint. They’re great as light absorption and easy to install/remove.

Eliminate Home Theater Light Pollution in minutes WITHOUT PAINT

Hey Travis... thinking about adding some of these to my ceiling to cover up some areas I don't particularly care for. The description states it is 100% polyester fiber. You've worked with this material and I assume you can answer my questions if you don't mind.

1. Do you think three black cabinet screws on each of the 4ft sides would be sufficient to hold it up?
2. Is it soft enough to have no resonance against the ceiling?
 

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NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
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NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
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NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
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NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
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SVS SB2000 x2
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SeymourAV Proscenium 124” diagonal 2.40:1
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They still have those?
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Rega Planar 6, Rega Exact2 cart, Rega Aria Mk3 Phono Stage, Jolida JD202BRC, Rega RS-5 Speakers (2-channel system)
Hey Travis... thinking about adding some of these to my ceiling to cover up some areas I don't particularly care for. The description states it is 100% polyester fiber. You've worked with this material and I assume you can answer my questions if you don't mind.

1. Do you think three black cabinet screws on each of the 4ft sides would be sufficient to hold it up?
2. Is it soft enough to have no resonance against the ceiling?

I think 3 screws per side would be plenty, and I don't think resonance would be any concern at all.
 

Sonnie

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AVA Cinema
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I think 3 screws per side would be plenty, and I don't think resonance would be any concern at all.
Thanks... thought of another question... is it hard enough to drill a hole thru it?
 

Travis Ballstadt

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NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Center Channel Speaker
NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
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NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
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NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
Rear Height Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
Subwoofers
SVS SB2000 x2
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JVC DLA X790R, Lumagen Radiance Pro 4240
Screen
SeymourAV Proscenium 124” diagonal 2.40:1
Remote Control
Unfolded Circle Remote 2, powered by HomeAssistant
Streaming Equipment
PLEX Server, AppleTV4K, Bluesound Node2i
Streaming Subscriptions
AppleTV+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max
Satellite System
They still have those?
Other Equipment
Rega Planar 6, Rega Exact2 cart, Rega Aria Mk3 Phono Stage, Jolida JD202BRC, Rega RS-5 Speakers (2-channel system)
Thanks... thought of another question... is it hard enough to drill a hole thru it?
Yes, it’s fibrous enough that some will wrap around your drill bit but once the hole is there it will stay there, it won’t close back up.
 
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JTR Speakers Slant 8
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JTR Speakers Slant 8
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4 ea JTR Speakers Captivator S2's
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Infinite Baffle - 8 Acoustic Elegance IB15 drivers
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JVC DLA-NX7
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I’m trying to find a guide for speaker placement for a 5.2.4 atmos set up. I’ve seen multiple things on YouTube. Some say use the Dolby guide some say no. Then there are a couple websites that will generate a diagram for you. Really don’t want to make holes in the wrong spot for my speakers
Here is the layout with a 22' long x 15' wide x 8' high room using the Dolby Atmos Room Design Tool that I have from Dolby. I used a 9' high ceiling because Dolby assumes you are using speakers that can be pointed to the listening position. This set the tweeter at 8'. If the speakers are in-ceiling that can't be aimed directly, then you need to reduce the spacing around the listing position by making the square smaller where the overhead speakers are located.


Floorplan.png


Side Elevation.png


Speaker Positions.png
 

greg90

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Here is the layout with a 22' long x 15' wide x 8' high room using the Dolby Atmos Room Design Tool that I have from Dolby. I used a 9' high ceiling because Dolby assumes you are using speakers that can be pointed to the listening position. This set the tweeter at 8'. If the speakers are in-ceiling that can't be aimed directly, then you need to reduce the spacing around the listing position by making the square smaller where the overhead speakers are located.


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Thank you! That’s awesome I really appreciate it
 
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