Atmos side walls height speakers: pointed at MLP's ear or above the head?


Novice Member
I have a 5.1.4 setup with the height speakers (svs prime satellites) at the top of the side walls (roughly at the 8, 10, 2, and 4 o'clock positions) pointed at the MLP. I have two questions:

1. Should they be toed-in and pointed at the MLP's ears, or should they be pointed several inches above the MLP's head/ears.

2. Should they be pointed at the MLP head or several inches in front/behind the MLP?

(Reasoning for question 1)
The reason I ask is because the recommended atmos setup uses in-ceiling speakers whereas my speakers are already at the top of the wall and can't go higher. Because of this, I was thinking in order to mimic the standard in-ceiling setup as much as possible, I should point all 4 height speakers above my head instead of at my ears to simulate a more overhead environment.

(Reasoning for question 2)
Since the standard setup has the MLP in the center of a square and a speaker is in each corner, the sound will appear like it's in front/behind the listener and more diffused, as opposed to a discrete direction. I'm thinking I should have the two forward speakers be aimed 6 inches in front of me while the rear height speakers to be pointed 6 inches behind my head so the speakers appear like they are in front/behind me like in the in-ceiling recommendation, as opposed to pointed at my ears and the sound will directionally appear like it's simply coming from my left or right side.

The atmos white paper doesn't mention side wall height speakers. Only SVS talked about it, but they didn't give any specifics on angles, distance, etc. Please let me know if I'm over thinking this, or if this is not how sound direction works.


Distinguished Member
I think all of your questions are valid, but the answer is going to depend a lot on the acoustics within your room and on your personal preference. So, I suggest just try out some different variations and see what sounds best to you.

I actually prefer the sound from my rears and upfiring speakers to be more dispersed than aimed at my head. I think it has more of an atmospheric effect that way. Plus, it makes the sound a bit more equal across the different seats.

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