Whats special about ATMOS upfiring speakers? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-06-2019, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Whats special about ATMOS upfiring speakers?

Im getting a 9.2 receiver and thinking of adding a couple of upfiring speakers to my 7.1 speaker setup by adding them on top of the right and left floor standing speakers.
Whats special about the ATMOS upfiring speakers I see online?

I was thinking as a baby step to initially use some bookshelf speakers I already have and attach those to the top of the existing floor mount speakers to try things out. Since my ceiling is sloped I could install with a bracket to adjust the angle. Any tips?.
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-06-2019, 04:47 PM
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Reflection speakers are no replacement for actually put speakers where atmos intended and the "bouncing house" reflection speakers, as Audioholics call them, will only work in certain rooms with certain ceilings.

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post #3 of 21 Old 04-06-2019, 04:54 PM
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There’s nothing special about reflection speakers. They are a sad replacement for actual in ceiling Atmos speakers.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-06-2019, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prsman View Post
Im getting a 9.2 receiver and thinking of adding a couple of upfiring speakers to my 7.1 speaker setup by adding them on top of the right and left floor standing speakers.
Whats special about the ATMOS upfiring speakers I see online?

I was thinking as a baby step to initially use some bookshelf speakers I already have and attach those to the top of the existing floor mount speakers to try things out. Since my ceiling is sloped I could install with a bracket to adjust the angle. Any tips?.
I have the Pioneer SP-T22A-LR Dolby Atmos Add-on speakers. Check:
https://hdgear.highdefdigest.com/36377/pioneerspt22alrdolbyatmosaddonspeakers.html

Last edited by Transistorious; 04-06-2019 at 06:26 PM.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-06-2019, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prsman View Post
Im getting a 9.2 receiver and thinking of adding a couple of upfiring speakers to my 7.1 speaker setup by adding them on top of the right and left floor standing speakers.
Whats special about the ATMOS upfiring speakers I see online?

I was thinking as a baby step to initially use some bookshelf speakers I already have and attach those to the top of the existing floor mount speakers to try things out. Since my ceiling is sloped I could install with a bracket to adjust the angle. Any tips?.
Save your money. Mount your existing speakers high on the front wall where they'll be more effective and just aim them down at the MLP. Voila! you have atmos speakers. You will need to get some wall mounts though.
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-06-2019, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prsman View Post
Whats special about the ATMOS upfiring speakers I see online?
Their crossover network contains HRTF processing (see pic below of the head related transfer function) that gives the impression of sound coming from above.



Quote:
I was thinking as a baby step to initially use some bookshelf speakers I already have and attach those to the top of the existing floor mount speakers to try things out. Since my ceiling is sloped I could install with a bracket to adjust the angle. Any tips?.
One tip: don't waste your time. Upfiring speakers don't work well with sloped ceilings because the bounce is unpredictable.
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-06-2019, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
One tip: don't waste your time. Upfiring speakers don't work well with sloped ceilings because the bounce is unpredictable.
I have used Dolby Enabled speakers a time or two with really good success, but I agree with Sanjay regarding angled ceilings.

In the room below, there is a lack of precise location for objects overhead, but the sense of immersion is gooooood.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/86-ul...ker-atmos.html
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-06-2019, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pase22 View Post
Save your money. Mount your existing speakers high on the front wall where they'll be more effective and just aim them down at the MLP. Voila! you have atmos speakers. You will need to get some wall mounts though.
Thats a very good compromise for my room. I can prototype or experiment before actually placing them. Thanks for the tip!
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-07-2019, 06:58 AM
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Don't even consider it with your sloped ceiling.

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post #10 of 21 Old 04-07-2019, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
There’s nothing special about reflection speakers. They are a sad replacement for actual in ceiling Atmos speakers.
I will respectfully disagree. I do have an ideal situation for using them, and they work quite well. I have to use Atmos-enabled speakers with my flat, low (7'4"/2.25m) ceiling and have KEF R50's sitting on top of 42" tall KEF R500's. As my main listening positions are both 12' (3.6m) from the speakers, the triangulation is good and they do project a good image. My 5.1.2 setup is not as good as a true home cinema setup with overhead speakers but there is nothing sad about it.
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-07-2019, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appelz View Post
I have used Dolby Enabled speakers a time or two with really good success...
Likewise, had similar success whenever I've helped friends install upfiring modules. But it took time and effort using a SPL meter and shims to make sure we were taking maximum advantage of the first reflection points on the ceiling.
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post #12 of 21 Old 04-07-2019, 11:16 PM
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post #13 of 21 Old 04-08-2019, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-08-2019, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
I will respectfully disagree. I do have an ideal situation for using them, and they work quite well. I have to use Atmos-enabled speakers with my flat, low (7'4"/2.25m) ceiling and have KEF R50's sitting on top of 42" tall KEF R500's. As my main listening positions are both 12' (3.6m) from the speakers, the triangulation is good and they do project a good image. My 5.1.2 setup is not as good as a true home cinema setup with overhead speakers but there is nothing sad about it.
Nice set of speakers you have!
However, they (the front-3) are too close to each other.
I would personally spread them out.
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post #15 of 21 Old 04-08-2019, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tinhvo View Post

Nice set of speakers you have!
However, they (the front-3) are too close to each other.
I would personally spread them out.
Thank you! The R500's are near KEF's minimum recommended distance from each other, about 6-1/2 feet. Unfortunately, I can't move them any further apart than they are because they'd interfere with two active doors on each side of that wall. If I turn it all 90 degrees clockwise, I'd have no place for the surrounds as it opens up into our dining room.

There are compromises with almost any home theater setup... That's what I have to deal with.

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post #16 of 21 Old 04-08-2019, 01:16 PM
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I personally didn't want to mess around with bounce speakers or cut holes for in-ceilings, so I just ceiling mounted 2 Dayton SAT-BK speakers and pointed them towards the MLP. It has worked out beautifully IMO.
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post #17 of 21 Old 04-08-2019, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
I will respectfully disagree. I do have an ideal situation for using them, and they work quite well. I have to use Atmos-enabled speakers with my flat, low (7'4"/2.25m) ceiling and have KEF R50's sitting on top of 42" tall KEF R500's. As my main listening positions are both 12' (3.6m) from the speakers, the triangulation is good and they do project a good image. My 5.1.2 setup is not as good as a true home cinema setup with overhead speakers but there is nothing sad about it.
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Likewise, had similar success whenever I've helped friends install upfiring modules. But it took time and effort using a SPL meter and shims to make sure we were taking maximum advantage of the first reflection points on the ceiling.
Similar positive experience here. I'm now using the Martin Logan Motion AFX Atmos modules sitting on top of my Motion 60XT's. I prefer this over my previous setup which had two B&W M1's mounted on the side walls at the ceiling, angled toward listening area. With proper placement, the sound does really appear to come from above. As previously mentioned, you need to have the right room situation for them to work. In my smaller, semi-dedicated media room with 8' ceilings, they work great.
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post #18 of 21 Old 04-12-2019, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prsman View Post
Im getting a 9.2 receiver and thinking of adding a couple of upfiring speakers to my 7.1 speaker setup by adding them on top of the right and left floor standing speakers.
Whats special about the ATMOS upfiring speakers I see online?

I was thinking as a baby step to initially use some bookshelf speakers I already have and attach those to the top of the existing floor mount speakers to try things out. Since my ceiling is sloped I could install with a bracket to adjust the angle. Any tips?.

I personally have experimented with Onkyo THX certified bookshelf speaker SKB-980 (two way with a tweeter and woofer), a Onkyo full range speaker SKF-391 (which come as a part of the HTIB model HT3500, HT3700) and a Onkyo Atmos enabled speaker SKH-410. The first two I already had. The SKH-410 I bought just for experimentation and returned it later, since I wanted to experience first hand what the hype is around "atmos enabled" speakers.


The SKF-391 and SKH-410 are both full range speakers. To me , between the two, there was not much of a difference. They both were very crisp for the mids and highs. They wouldn't sound great for lows, not having a separate woofer.


The SKB-980 was balanced on the mids and highs (meaning, the mids and highs did not "pop-out" as SKF-391 and SKH-410) and had a good response to lows as well (since it has a woofer as well). So, the overall sound was definitely much different than the other two speakers.


For the below experiements, I used a variety of tracks and played them in loop more. I played some songs with vocals too. Duration of each loop was about 5 seconds for the different tracks, so I could make out the difference in speaker output much easily. The movie scenes I used for the evaluation were Mission Impossible : Fallout (final Helicopter fight scene), Hacksaw Ridge (battle sequence), Everest (Storm scene)


Experiment 1 : Atmos Top Front High speakers
When mounted in this position, the Atmos "enabled" speaker was almost same sounding as SKF-391.

Experiment 2 : Atmos Rear High speakers
When mounted in this position, the Atmos "enabled" speaker was almost same sounding as SKF-391.


Experiment 3 : Atmos Rear Up firing speakers
When mounted in this position, the Atmos "enabled" speaker was almost same sounding as SKF-391. Both were angled same towards the ceiling. MLP was same.


Experiment 4 : Atmos Front Up firing speakers
When mounted in this position, the Atmos "enabled" speaker was almost same sounding as SKF-391. Both were angled same towards the ceiling. MLP was same.


Conclusion : In my case, I would say that Atmos "enabled" speaker performed same as or similar to the SKF-391 speaker. Both speakers were full range. Atmos effects are typically the mid to high frequency range sounds (bullets passing, plane or helicopter flying, glass pieces falling or rain failling from above head, debris falling over head etc). So, my conclusion was that as long as you have a decent full range speaker, it can be used for Atmos set up. They sounded just the same even when mounted as upfiring speakers, as long as the tilt angle and listening position were maintained consistent between. There is no reason to spend a crazy amount on "atmos enabled"speakers. It seems more like a marketing gimmick to have people spend on something they don't need or cant perceive when all the surround speakers are firing at the same time.


Experiment 5 : Two way speaker vs. Full Range speaker for Atmos effects

I then also added the SKB-980 to the mix in the Rear positions to see the difference. There was a substantial difference between the two in this case, which made sense due to full range vs. 2 way drivers. So did not spend time experiments with other locations. The THX again, had more low end sounds coming through and they didn't sound as sharp and crisp as the SKF-391 and SKH-410. The SKB-980 was outputting more balanced sounds....the bullets weren't as sharp sounding, glass shards were mellowed down and so forth.

Conclusion: I would prefer a full range speaker in this case, specifically for Atmos application.

Final Conclusion : For Atmos application, go with a good full range speaker. Does not have to be Atmos "Enabled". Don't get lured into the marketing mumbo jumbo.
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post #19 of 21 Old 12-03-2019, 09:02 AM
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Playing with the idea of having up-firing speakers placed on top my Side Surround speakers which are floor-stand towers. Ceiling is roughly 8' high in a 13' X 13' room; MLP is roughly 9 feet from center channel against back wall/window, and roughly 5 foot on each side to MLP. With that set up the up-firing speaker would be aimed from the side in rather than rear speakers which typically face forward (?). I have a ceiling fan in the room that others have suggested would negatively affect the "bounce" on any front up-firing speakers (why I'm using front height angled downwards), but with the two side surrounds the fan isn't an issue.

I drool when I read about some of the setups others have on the forum, but this is what I'm working with for the foreseeable future.

Long story short, would rear up-firing speakers placed on the side surrounds aimed towards the MLP be too short of a bounce at that distance?

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post #20 of 21 Old 12-03-2019, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldjohn View Post
Playing with the idea of having up-firing speakers placed on top my Side Surround speakers which are floor-stand towers. Ceiling is roughly 8' high in a 13' X 13' room; MLP is roughly 9 feet from center channel against back wall/window, and roughly 5 foot on each side to MLP. With that set up the up-firing speaker would be aimed from the side in rather than rear speakers which typically face forward (?). I have a ceiling fan in the room that others have suggested would negatively affect the "bounce" on any front up-firing speakers (why I'm using front height angled downwards), but with the two side surrounds the fan isn't an issue.

I drool when I read about some of the setups others have on the forum, but this is what I'm working with for the foreseeable future.

Long story short, would rear up-firing speakers placed on the side surrounds aimed towards the MLP be too short of a bounce at that distance?

Yamaha RX-V2085 (new, and reason for my question)
Klipsch RF-82II fronts
Klipsch RC-62II center
Klipsch VF-36 sides
Klipsch RS-52 front high (I know, wrong application for a WDST speaker)
SVS PB-1000 x 2 subs
that might actually be a good distance for them to work the best being only 5 feet away. All depends on the height of your sides. If you can use a laser pointer to see where they should approx hit the ceiling, then put a small mirror there and then use the laser again to see where the sound ends up after it "bounces". This should give you a good idea if they'll be too close, far or just about right. Some people have found they get a better effect having them in the back/surrounds instead of the fronts due to the distance from the front.
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post #21 of 21 Old 12-03-2019, 01:54 PM
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I've tried them and they work, but like others have said, from my personal experience I still preferred a dedicated Atmos setup.

Made my first website that I think turned out pretty good. Hopefully it's helpful to somebody. https://easyhometheater.net/
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