What is the function of FRONT HEIGHT speakers and how loud should they be? (in Atmos/X)


Novice Member
Hi all! 😊
I have just set up a 5.2.2 Atmos system in my living room with on-ceiling speakers configured as Top Middle directly above the listening positions and slightly forward.
All has been well so far!

However, I have noticed that my receiver has the option of doing Front Height/Top Middle for what would technically be a 5.2.4 configuration (I have a Denon X4500H). This configuration is not listed in the official Dolby speaker placement guides!

So just for fun and experimentation, I set up two speakers on top of my fronts. I can defs say that the overall sound from the front feels more authoritarive and huge now. It's subtle but it's there. So I guess this is here to stay.

Now I wish to tweak these height speakers so they integrate better. But I don't know:

- what is the function of these front height speakers in Atmos/X in the first place? 😂

- And how loud should front heights be? (say, in comparison to the Atmos top middles?) They seem very very quiet so I gather they're supposed to be subtle right? And must I say, I use DSU and Neural: X alot, especially for music - both upmixers are capable of sending sound to the front heights but at a very low volume. So I definitely don't want to crank them up to overpowering levels haha

Keen to hear everyone's thoughts about this! 😅😅

P.S. I noticed that there is not much discussion about actual heights (not ceilings), esp. in an Atmos setup). Hopefully the answers here will contribute to the fantastic knowledge base here 😃

P.P.S. I experimented with front heights because I couldn't place any more speakers elsewhere; my couch is against the back wall. Yes my front heights are upfiring .... for now.

Last edited:


Distinguished Member
With calibration tone they should be the same volume as others.

But if you have them running hot or cold either way that's your choice


If you are running 5.1.4 with two upfiring speakers sitting on the fronts and the second pair then the front upfiring should be configured as Dolby Enabled FDL/FDR and your second pair as TRL/TRR (although technically they are in the wrong position). For the FDL/FDR I would have them running +2dB over the calibrated level.

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