Atmos Upgrade - Room Considerations

cluttrell

Standard Member
My 5.1 Surround Sound receiver is RIP and in researching a replacement I'm pondering an upgrade to Dolby Atmos.

My setup is shown in the image below.

Floor Plan.png
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Some Notes;
  • The room is both a Kids Playroom and family home cinema theatre :)
  • There is a TV in the bottom right corner. All AV appliances are here, I use a HDMI switch to switch output to the ceiling mounted projector pointed at the retractable Projector screen, behind which is a full glass double French doors
  • Speakers/Sub are Bose Acoustimass 15 (I think). Speakers connect to the Sub Unit, a Bose Proprietary cable connects to the AV Receiver
  • All Speakers are currently installed at ceiling height. Fronts and rear positions could be lowered to listener level, Centre speaker needs to stay mounted to the ceiling due to the French doors

In researching Atmos, I believe I'll need to replace the speaker/sub package due to the way the Bose system connects speakers through its sub unit. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I'd love to hear if someone has made it work!
I've also read Dolby's Atmos guides and that the current speakers should be at listener height. This would be possible for the 4 corner speakers, not for the centre.

So, I'm looking for recommendations on speaker configuration and placement please!
  1. Is Atmos going to be worth the hassle, will I really notice a difference over the 5.1 setup?
  2. Can it work ok with Fronts/Rears at ceiling height
    1. If not, will it be ok with just the centre speaker at ceiling height?
    2. Do I really need additional dedicated ceiling speakers for height, since I already have it with the ones I have?
  3. Should I move the rears inside the bay window? At ceiling hight or on the window sill behind the sofa?

I don't mind re-running cables, putting in ceiling speakers etc but I'm concerned that the effort and expense won't be worth it and that having the centre at ceiling height and the sofa on the rear bay window will compromise the benefits anyway

Thanks for reading!
 
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Lensman5d

Active Member
Value is a personal thing. If at all possible, go listen to a system in action. Then you can make the call. i don’t think a Bose system will do this, so a full overhaul is most likely.
go and listen before opening your wallet. I am in west wales if that’s any good to you ?
 

cluttrell

Standard Member
Thanks, I agree a demo would be ideal but sadly not available in my area any longer. Also I’m sure I’ll be well impressed by a demo in the perfect environment, but concerned that it’ll be far less impressive in my own room with the constraints I’ve listed. Do you have any advice or thoughts on my speaker placement questions please?
 

Damp Squid

Active Member
It is worth the hassle, however the speakers will need to be placed correctly to get the most out of it. Compromise is often needed when placing speakers, especially in a muti-purpose rooms, refer to the Dolby guidelines for best positioning.

Fronts need to be at or close to ear height and the rears slightly above ear height if possible.

If you cant place the centre either above the screen pointing down or on a stand below pointing up then try experimenting with a phantom centre, where the front left and right produce the centre image.

You don’t need to have speakers in or on the ceiling, although this gives you the best height effect. If you are going for 5.1.2 set up you could use front heights placed close to the ceiling angled down towards the seating.

Alternatively there are Dolby atmos enabled speakers that bounce sound off the ceiling. I don’t have any experience with these, so cannot comment on their effectiveness.

The surrounds have to be behind you, so in the bay window at ear height would be best. If you can move the seating forward slightly, that would also help.
 

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