5.1.2 - In Ceiling Surrounds and Atmos Speakers


Well-known Member
I have an open plan family room with a 5.1 setup (picture at the bottom). The surrounds are a pain as they're always getting knocked over by pesky kids and they're just in the way. Therefore, I am going to get rid of them.

This leaves two options:
  1. Do without surrounds
  2. Put some surrounds in the ceiling
I've decided to go with option 2, and I will add a couple of Atmos speakers too (high level plan below).

So, after some advice on what to get please. My current setup is:
  • Amp Denon X2400H
  • Centre Cambridge Audio Aero 5
  • L/R Cambridge Audio Minx XL
  • Sub Cambridge Audio X301
As you can probably tell, I have always been pretty happy with Cambridge Audio speakers, and the C165 seems a fairly obvious choice. The specs say they have a pivoting tweeter which would presumably be quite useful for the surrounds in particular, to point the sound in the direction of the listener.

Price wise, I can live with £120 per speaker (+hoods) but wouldn't want to pay any more. However, I have also noticed that CA products don't get mentioned a lot on these pages. I've often wondered if the perception here is that they're not decent value or if generally users here are dealing with more expensive, higher performance speakers.

Do you think the CA 165 would be a good speaker choice for my needs?
Any suggestions of better speakers for me to consider or equivalent performance lower price ones?
Do you agree that pivoting tweeters are a good option for my need, particularly the surrounds?


Well-known Member
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So adding rear surround sound which are located in the ceiling whilst adding Atmos speakers will remove some of the focusing of how Atmos works.

My suggestion for the rear speakers would be again to look at Atmos speakers, but place them on the side walls close to the ceiling. Where you have the sliding doors, I would locate one inline with the settee and mount the other speaker in the same location but on the opposite wall so both speakers have time to fire down into the room allowing you to try and create an amount of focused audio experience.

Use any of the angled speakers (which are tagged as Atmos for the side wall surrounds) and then you will be able to use traditional in-ceiling speakers

I've adjusted one of my square rooms with free standing speakers so you can see what I mean about mounting the speakers on the side walls close to the ceiling, but pointing downwards



  • 5.1.2-d10brp.jpg
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Well-known Member
Thanks for the advice @ShanePJ, I hadn't thought of using the wall above the doors. The main issue I can see with that option is the wall on the left side is set forward from the sofa. If a speaker was placed on the pillar facing the sofa it would be set forward about 90cm from the seated listener. You could reduce this to about 80cm by placing the speaker on the other wall of the pillar, turning the speaker to face the sofa, but would this be close enough?
Screenshot 2021-04-27 115300.jpg


Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you could create a bespoke wedge angling it to the same seating area, that might work. But yes you have a conundrum

debt collector

Active Member
ShanePJ, are you suggesting using Atmos angled speakers (angled upwards or down?) on the wall close to the ceiling and install the surround back speakers in the ceiling? Is that configuration designed to place the surround and Atmos speakers on different planes relative to the listener? Normally, it would be the other way around, no? the Atmos speakers are normally placed on the ceiling and the surround back speakers lower down. I'd be grateful if you could elaborate.
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