Dolby Atmos is all about adding sound from overhead/ceiling. There are already a number of threads dedicated to ceiling speakers. For those of you unable (or simply prefer not) to install ceiling speakers, you can also use "integrated" Dolby Atmos speakers where an upwards firing module is built in to the speaker (eg. Pioneer AJ SP-EBS73 (bookshelf) and SP-EFS73 (tower)) or you can use "add-on" modules where a dedicated speaker module is either placed directly on top of your existing Front/Surround/Surround Back speakers or within 3' of said speakers either on a stand or bookshelf or other flat surface. As most will already have existing speakers, use of the "add-on" modules is likely to be more common and is further discussed below.
From the Dolby white paper:
Dolby Atmos enabled speakers produce slightly diffuse overhead audio that is quite lifelike and, in some cases, preferable to the sound that comes from ceiling speakers. If your ceiling is low or you have to mount your loudspeakers on overhead trusses or brackets, the overhead speakers will be closer to the listening position. The audio may be distracting because you’ll hear exactly which speaker is producing the sound instead of feeling immersed in an atmosphere in which sounds occur naturally overhead.
In this environment, Dolby Atmos enabled speakers may better reproduce the Dolby Atmos sound you would hear in a movie theatre,
where the overhead speakers are high in the auditorium, creating a more diffuse experience. Audio experts who have heard Dolby Atmos enabled speakers agree that the sound these produce can be preferable to the sound that ceiling speakers produce.
For the best sound, place your speakers at or slightly above the level of your ears when you’re seated. Don’t place the Dolby Atmos enabled speakers higher than half the height of your wall. Make sure the speakers are at least 3 feet (0.9 meter) away from you, ideally 5 feet (1.5 meters) or more. If you’re using add-on modules, place them either on top of your front and surround (ideally, rear surround) speakers or within 3 feet (0.9 meter) of those speakers.
Some available Atmos add-on module options which can either be placed on existing speakers or on a stand or bookshelf with open angled clearance to the ceiling/main listening position are listed below. Note that although matching speakers in the same family (ie. same main speaker and "add-on" module brand, eg. Def Tech/Def Tech) is ideal, it is not absolutely required as the AVR EQ should handle any timber mismatch:
(1) Atlantic Tech 44-DA
which covers roughly a 9"x 9" square surface area, MSRP $499 (pr
) - note that although designed to fit atop the Atlantic Tech 4400LR speakers, they can fit on any speaker (or bookshelf or stand) with enough flat surface area to support it.
(2) Def Tech A60
which covers a 6"x 13" rectangular surface area, MSRP $499 (pr
) - note that although designed to fit atop the Def Tech BP8060 speakers, they can fit on any speaker (or bookshelf or stand) with enough flat surface area to support it.
(3) Onkyo SKH-410
which covers a 5"x 6" roughly square surface area, MSRP $249 (pr
) - note that although designed to fit atop the Onkyo SKF-4800 speakers, they can fit on any speaker (or bookshelf or stand) with enough flat surface area to support it.
(4) KEF R50
which covers a 10.2" x 7.1" rectangular area, MSRP $1200 (pr
(5) Klipsch RP-140SA
which covers a 11.25" x 6" rectangular area, MSRP $499 (pr
) - in addition to being placed on top of tower or bookshelf speakers, these can also be mounted on the wall as Front/Rear heights or Surround/Surround back speakers.
(6) Pioneer SP-T22A-LR
which covers 7 1/8" x 8 1/16" roughly square area, MSRP $199 (pr
(7) Elac A4
which covers a 7.9" x 8.7" roughly square area, MSRP $230 (pr
(8) NHT Atmos Mini
which covers a 5.5" x 5" roughly square area, MSRP $200 (pr
(9) Martin Logan AFX
which covers a 6.8" x 10" area, MSRP $599 (pr
(10) TRIAD In-Room Bronze Height Module
which covers 7 9/16" x 9 1/4", MSRP $1000 (pr
(11) TRIAD In-Room Silver Height Module
which covers 8 3/4" x 9 9/16", MSRP $1500 (pr
(12) Definitive Technology A90
are designed to fit on top of the new BP90X0 series speakers, MSRP $499(pr
(13) PSB Imagine XA
are designed to fit on top of the Imagine X floorstanding and bookshelf speakers, MSRP $499 (pr
This is not an all inclusive list as more companies are designing Atmos enabled speakers now.