Originally Posted by dlamb83
Without digging through all 1800+ pages. Has anyone determined proper speaker height for 7.2.4 atmos? I keep searching on here and read the atmos guidelines. It doesn’t say 100% definitively if surround sound speakers need to be 2ft above ear level while sitting, or can the speakers be at ear level?
I see it’s almost split on opinions as to have speakers ear level vs 2ft above. Just need some guidance as I’ll have my room done this weekend. *fingers crossed.
As with pretty much anything in this hobby, it depends.
The "official" Atmos guidelines from Dolby
All listener speakers should be at the same height, typically 3.9 feet (1.2 meters), which is ear level for the average seated listener (as defined in ITU-R BS.1116-1)... If possible, the height of the rear speakers should be the same as the height of the front speakers. If the room design makes this impractical or impossible, the rear speakers may be positioned higher than the front speakers. However, we suggest that the height of the rear speakers not be more than 1.25 times the height of the front speakers.
So first note that the reference point is NOT ear level, but rather the height of the front (LCR) speakers, which should be around ear level (but might not be). But, ideally, the lower level speakers would be in an equidistant ring around you with all speakers at ear level, with some wiggle room to place the surrounds higher if needed.
1.25x the front speaker height translates to around ~1ft above ear level and still being comfortably within the guidelines.
That said, there are real world complexities to having the surrounds all at ear level. For a single listener sitting in the middle of the room, no problem. But when you've got multiple listeners having the surrounds at ear level likely means the sound will be obstructed by people's heads. And if you've got multiple rows with the back row on a riser, "ear level" is obviously higher for some listeners than for others. And back surrounds can be obstructed by people's heads and/or seatbacks.
Then you've got the complication of distance -- in a typical domestic sized room that's used for HT, you might have some listeners positioned very close to the side / rear surround speakers, which creates potential issues with hot-spotting (e.g. a listener sitting in the far left seat who is only 2-3ft from the left side surround and 10+ feet from the right side surround will have the sound dominated by the speaker right next to him/her). So it may be necessary to elevate the speaker and aim it down across the row towards the opposite end to place the closest listener more off axis and prevent obstructions.
Nyal Mellor, a pro HT designer and acoustician, has a good blog on the topic: http://www.acousticfrontiers.com/ten...os-dts-x-auro/
Basically, you start from the "ideal" with all speakers in a ring at ear level, but then you adjust upwards to compensate for issues noted above like multiple rows, listener proximity, etc. So from a "real world" installer perspective, it's not a hard-and-fast rule of "all speakers at ear level" but rather "put the surrounds as low as you can without creating other problems".