Atmos speakers inside soffit? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-09-2019, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Atmos speakers inside soffit?

I’m wanting to put a soffit inside a new media room. The room is only 12’ from back wall to screen so I’m thinking I will need to put the back Atmos speakers inside the rear soffit. Are there any issues I should be aware of in doing this?


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post #2 of 19 Old 10-09-2019, 07:56 PM
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Just get the angles right, I've seen a handful of projects with Atmos in soffits.
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-09-2019, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Just get the angles right, I've seen a handful of projects with Atmos in soffits.


This may sound stupid, but how can you determine the angle of the speaker from the seat when the speaker is in the ceiling? Is there a tool for that? Just guess/ballpark it? 90 degrees is obvious, but how do you get more exact with it?


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post #4 of 19 Old 10-09-2019, 10:13 PM
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Atmos speakers inside soffit?

When watched from above, 0 degrees is in front of you, 90 degrees is to your side and 180 degrees is behind you. When watched from the side, 90 degrees is above you. If you look at the Dolby placement guides (for 7.1.4 that’s https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/sp...tup-guide.html, see the site for other configurations) you can find the recommended angles.

It’s easiest to measure the angles on a drawing, then determining the position based on your drawing. The tool to use is a protractor (triangle).

Last edited by ijansch; 10-09-2019 at 10:17 PM.
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-09-2019, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tidwelr1 View Post
This may sound stupid, but how can you determine the angle of the speaker from the seat when the speaker is in the ceiling? Is there a tool for that? Just guess/ballpark it? 90 degrees is obvious, but how do you get more exact with it?


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The short answer is trigonometry.

If your ceiling is 9 feet (108 inches) and your head is 42" from the floor, then your head is 108 minus 42, or 66 inches from the ceiling.

If you pick a point on the ceiling 66" behind the spot that's directly above you and another that is 66" in front, you have found the positions where your ATMOS speakers are 45° from your MLP (in that plane).

It would probably be easier to draw it out but I think you probably get it.

Edit: That's how you get the 45° and 135° angles in the "Side view of a 7.1.4 setup" in the link from the previous poster above.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-09-2019, 10:48 PM
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Atmos speakers inside soffit?

Also you don’t need mm accuracy here since your head will move, and people don’t have their ears in the same position anyway. What I am trying to do in my build is mark the 30-55 area when my seat is upright, also mark the area from a reclined position. As long as I keep the speaker where both areas overlap, I am within the recommended angles in both situations.


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post #7 of 19 Old 10-10-2019, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotShorty View Post
The short answer is trigonometry.

If your ceiling is 9 feet (108 inches) and your head is 42" from the floor, then your head is 108 minus 42, or 66 inches from the ceiling.

If you pick a point on the ceiling 66" behind the spot that's directly above you and another that is 66" in front, you have found the positions where your ATMOS speakers are 45° from your MLP (in that plane).

It would probably be easier to draw it out but I think you probably get it.

Edit: That's how you get the 45° and 135° angles in the "Side view of a 7.1.4 setup" in the link from the previous poster above.


I’m not going to have 5 feet behind me. It’s a small room. Also, the Dolby guideljnes indicate the Atmos speakers shouldn’t be directly in front and back of you. They should be off to the side of the MLP but within 45 degrees. How far over to the left and right is what I’m trying to determine? How do you determine that?


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post #8 of 19 Old 10-10-2019, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Atmos speakers inside soffit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ijansch View Post
When watched from above, 0 degrees is in front of you, 90 degrees is to your side and 180 degrees is behind you. When watched from the side, 90 degrees is above you. If you look at the Dolby placement guides (for 7.1.4 that’s https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/sp...tup-guide.html, see the site for other configurations) you can find the recommended angles.

It’s easiest to measure the angles on a drawing, then determining the position based on your drawing. The tool to use is a protractor (triangle).


Thanks. That does help. So you just want to be off to the side dome but not too much that would put the speakers within 45 degrees.


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post #9 of 19 Old 10-10-2019, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Are people finding that the Dolby surround upmixer makes good use of the Atmos speakers when you’re just using a regular blueray disc?


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post #10 of 19 Old 10-10-2019, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tidwelr1 View Post
I’m not going to have 5 feet behind me. It’s a small room. Also, the Dolby guideljnes indicate the Atmos speakers shouldn’t be directly in front and back of you. They should be off to the side of the MLP but within 45 degrees. How far over to the left and right is what I’m trying to determine? How do you determine that?


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As far as I know, the atmos speakers should align with your front Left and Right speakers, so if your front speakers are 8 feet apart, your atmos speakers should be 8 feet apart in line with your fronts.
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-10-2019, 07:27 AM
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In a larger room the speakers should be roughly in line half way between the center and the left/right speakers as per the cinema specs to give good separation from the side surrounds that typically are mounted on wall above ear level.

For smaller rooms with surrounds near ear level, general guidance on the width spacing between Atmos speakers is 0.5-0.7 of the room width (presuming this is less than your L/R width), but with a minimum width being 0.8x distance from ears to ceiling (equal to approx 45 degree “stereo” separation for the top middle position).
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post #12 of 19 Old 10-10-2019, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m0j0 View Post
As far as I know, the atmos speakers should align with your front Left and Right speakers, so if your front speakers are 8 feet apart, your atmos speakers should be 8 feet apart in line with your fronts.


. Yeah I see that now in the guidelines provided by Dolby.


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post #13 of 19 Old 10-10-2019, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Just get the angles right, I've seen a handful of projects with Atmos in soffits.


Am I right that it would be best to put pink fluffy in the soffit if I put the Atmos speakers in the soffit? Do you normally put it in there anyways without speakers?


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post #14 of 19 Old 10-10-2019, 12:33 PM
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Any cavity in a theater space benefits from some added absorption to dampen resonances, Commercial speakers include internal dampening for a reason. You don't want the internal echos to overwhelm the pure source of the speaker itself. If you used sealed back speakers for Atmos you solve the echo coloration problem but the sound energy in the room can still excite resonances in any cavity structure. Just like Thanksgiving always better with stuffing.
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-10-2019, 01:01 PM
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-10-2019, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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That’s the direction I’m leaning. Thanks for the feedback.


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post #17 of 19 Old 10-11-2019, 07:33 AM
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I had to build mine into the soffit due to the room shape. Went with speakers with aimable tweeter to help with the sound separation. It's not ideal as it's closer to side surrounds than I'd like, but still effective. In movies with good Atmos tracks, you can definitely hear the separation.

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post #18 of 19 Old 10-12-2019, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Moebius View Post
I had to build mine into the soffit due to the room shape. Went with speakers with aimable tweeter to help with the sound separation. It's not ideal as it's closer to side surrounds than I'd like, but still effective. In movies with good Atmos tracks, you can definitely hear the separation.


Sounds like you put them in the soffit on the sides of the room. Is that right?


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post #19 of 19 Old 10-14-2019, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by tidwelr1 View Post
Sounds like you put them in the soffit on the sides of the room. Is that right?


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Kind of. In my case, it's a barn shaped bonus room, 14' floor 6' flat across ceiling. So I built a soffit around the junction of the slope to the flat ceiling. So the speakers are in from the sides by a few feet. I used speakers with aimable tweeters to allow me to aim them a little more towards the center seating as well.

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