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Well damn! I've been thinking this in circles over nothing. This whole time I could swear it was Atmos... :crying:
Thanks for the help and research. I missed what was in plain sight.

Purchasing a new home soon. Now to contemplate if its worth it to purchase a new AVR capable of Atmos for the theater room.
There's a large range in prices for 7 channel AVRs. Going to 9 channels is a lot more expensive. (Example: Denon AVR-X4300H, $800 at Amazon and elsewhere.)

Elsewhere, someone pointed out that Amazon has the Yamaha RX-V681 on sale for $300. I've never seen a better 7 channel receiver at anything near that price.

It has also been promised a Dolby Vision pass-through update, but I believe that it has not gotten it yet.

I toss out those suggestions, although it sounds like buying a new AVR probably isn't one of your top priorities at the moment, completely aside from the cost.
 

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Hi Guys,
Id figure id chime in here.
Ive been reading through this whole post and have a question about placment

I am getting a new Denon AVR X2300w. I have all Polk speakers and really want to take advantage of atmos. I have 2 old sony book shelf speakers that I was going to try and use as upfiring speakers to see if I get a good overhead effect or not.

I am sitting about 8 ft from the fronts, and my ceiling is olny 3ft above my fronts.
All this atalk about front hights has me curious. I guess my big question here is that is my cieling to low to actually benefit from Atmos at all whether it be bounce sound or front heights?

My other question is that If I do go with front heights, my Front L/R speakers are about a foot out from the front wall. Does it matter if my front heights are slightly behind them then? or will they be drowed out being behind my fronts on the wall?
 

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Hi Guys,
Id figure id chime in here.
Ive been reading through this whole post and have a question about placment

I am getting a new Denon AVR X2300w. I have all Polk speakers and really want to take advantage of atmos. I have 2 old sony book shelf speakers that I was going to try and use as upfiring speakers to see if I get a good overhead effect or not.

I am sitting about 8 ft from the fronts, and my ceiling is olny 3ft above my fronts.
All this atalk about front hights has me curious. I guess my big question here is that is my cieling to low to actually benefit from Atmos at all whether it be bounce sound or front heights?

My other question is that If I do go with front heights, my Front L/R speakers are about a foot out from the front wall. Does it matter if my front heights are slightly behind them then? or will they be drowed out being behind my fronts on the wall?
First don't worry about your heights being recessed, almost anyone with properly placed and angled Fronts is going to have recessed on-wall front heights.your distance settings takes care of this, it's what they are for.
Having only 3' from ear level layer to height level layer isn't great, but possibly not a game changer, you're the only one who would really be able to answer this question by experimenting with it.
Question, since it seems like in-ceiling are out, could you do Side Heights? While not an official location, they work fairly well and could help with the possible separation of layers issue.
 

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Hi Guys,
Id figure id chime in here.
Ive been reading through this whole post and have a question about placment

I am getting a new Denon AVR X2300w. I have all Polk speakers and really want to take advantage of atmos. I have 2 old sony book shelf speakers that I was going to try and use as upfiring speakers to see if I get a good overhead effect or not.

I am sitting about 8 ft from the fronts, and my ceiling is olny 3ft above my fronts.
All this atalk about front hights has me curious. I guess my big question here is that is my cieling to low to actually benefit from Atmos at all whether it be bounce sound or front heights?

My other question is that If I do go with front heights, my Front L/R speakers are about a foot out from the front wall. Does it matter if my front heights are slightly behind them then? or will they be drowed out being behind my fronts on the wall?
First don't worry about your heights being recessed, almost anyone with properly placed and angled Fronts is going to have recessed on-wall front heights.your distance settings takes care of this, it's what they are for.
Having only 3' from ear level layer to height level layer isn't great, but possibly not a game changer, you're the only one who would really be able to answer this question by experimenting with it.
Question, since it seems like in-ceiling are out, could you do Side Heights? While not an official location, they work fairly well and could help with the possible separation of layers issue.
Im not sure side hight would help any. My cieling is still going to be only 3 ft from ear lvl.
 

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Im not sure side hight would help any. My cieling is still going to be only 3 ft from ear lvl.
I understand that, but with Side Heights as opposed to Front Heights, you're not only moving the overhead sound into the middle of the room more, you're creating more distance from the Fronts, than only the 3' on the front wall. It's that greater distance, that will help most with the separation.
 

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I understand that, but with Side Heights as opposed to Front Heights, you're not only moving the overhead sound into the middle of the room more, you're creating more distance from the Fronts, than only the 3' on the front wall. It's that greater distance, that will help most with the separation.
Ah OK I get it. so as long as I put them as high up and to the sides as I can it might be OK. Now the wierd part about my theater rom in my basment is that the high point of my cieling then drops a foot(there is an air duct that has been finished and inside the lower part of my cieling. my sitting area is right under that(like if I lean forward sitting, I am in the higher area, but if I lean back and lounge, I am in the lower part of the ceiling). If that makes sense. Everything else sounds great with my old Sony. Im jsut worried about the front Heights so I can utilize dolby atmos/DTS X
 

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Can you please normal bookshelf speakers simply on top of the existing speakers? I know that doesn't really make it that high but I was wondering if that would have any kind of "height speaker" affect? Or will that not really do anything?
 

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Ah OK I get it. so as long as I put them as high up and to the sides as I can it might be OK. Now the wierd part about my theater rom in my basment is that the high point of my cieling then drops a foot(there is an air duct that has been finished and inside the lower part of my cieling. my sitting area is right under that(like if I lean forward sitting, I am in the higher area, but if I lean back and lounge, I am in the lower part of the ceiling). If that makes sense. Everything else sounds great with my old Sony. Im jsut worried about the front Heights so I can utilize dolby atmos/DTS X
Here's the deal between Side Heights and Front Heights, it all depends on what you can and can't do, and what you're looking for.
While Side Heights can give you a better overhead sensation, Front Heights will give you some overhead sensation, but where they really shine is giving you better representation of the sounds associated with what is happening on the screen, esp when it comes to vertical and diagonal movement.
x.x.2 with Front Heights is far superior to the old PLIIz with Front Heights, and most that have tried it consider it an upgrade from 5.1 or 7.1. Plus, in general, even in the ear level layer, Atmos soundtracks just seem to be cleaner and more defined.
 

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I think it's pretty simple: you can't hear sounds coming from Behind you....or Above you unless there is a speaker (or more likely multiple speakers) that can reproduce sounds coming from that direction.

So to reproduce Height Info from nearly ANY Direction, you would need both "Front" and "Rear" L/R Ceiling Speakers....or Klipsh style Speakers that aim a Top-Mounted Mid/Tweeter Assembly to the spot on the Ceiling where a Ceiling Mounted Speaker would have been located. In Dolby ATMOS Location descriptions, the L/R Front Height Locations are about 1/2-way between MLP and Front Wall...and L/R Rear Height Locations about 1/2-way between MLP and Rear Wall.

But if Sofa is against Rear Wall, about the best you can do is to locate "Rear" L/R Speakers to the SIDES and Height L/R Ceiling Locations would be Directly Overhead. And if you choose to implement only ONE pair of L/R Height Speakers, then it would likely be better to just do the Front L/R Pair...and miss out on (just) the Height effect when Special ATMOS effects are supposed to be coming from Above you to the Rear.

Unfortunately, most people don't want to pay for a 9-Channel [+ ] 5.4.1 (or .2 SW Outputs) ATMOS System....and even more are reluctant to buy an 11-Channel [+ SW Output(s)] 7.4.1 (or .2 SW Outputs) ATMOS System.....in which case a user needs to make a COMPROMISE....most likely to eliminate the L/R Rear Height Speakers since most of the ACTION is more likely to be up Front.
 
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Sorry, but that's not the way Atmos and object based audio works.
With object based audio, you tell the receiver your speakers locations and as long as it's a configuration that the receivers software understands, the algorithm will use multiple speakers at the same time to place the sound where it should be, anywhere within the 360° bubble around you, not just where there's a speaker.
By using a Height Speaker instead of an in-ceiling speaker, or by aiming an in-ceiling speaker at you instead of straight down, as long as those speakers are close to the specified locations, the only thing you're actually giving up is the accuracy of the sound placement, that's all.
And while 4 overheads is better than 2, the real reason for this is, that the additional speakers simply help to give you more accurate movement above you, they simply help fill the gaps, this is why commercial Atmos uses more speakers in the configuration, less or smaller gaps, more accurate sound positioning. Esp when dealing with sounds that should be placed between the ear level layer and overhead layer.
So in essence, Side Heights, simply even out the spacing between the Fronts and Rears, making all the "overhead" sound more accurate, where having Front Heights helps the accuracy of the forward overhead sounds, while lessening the accuracy of the rearward overhead sound.
Outs basically a trade off that an individual has to decide on.
 

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Actually 180-deg Hemisphere...NOT designed to reproduce sounds coming from Underneath the Floor.

Difference between DD5.1 and DD7.1 is the addition of SIDE Speakers....which helps to "fill-in" imaging information to the SIDES, which in DD5.1 is fairly poor, given the very wide Angular Separation between Front and Rear Speakers....esp. compared to Angular Separation between Center and L/R's. Same sort of argument applies to difference between 5.1.2 vs 5.1.4 and 7.1.2 vs 7.1.4, except trying to improve Height reproduction all the way from Front to Back.

Note that "Reflection" type Speakers (i.e. Klipsch) can't help but illuminate spots on the Ceiling that are on the straight line between Height Speaker and MLP. Which results in very limited L/R Height Separation....and poor reproduction of Height information to the HIGH SIDES....biased more to JUST OVERHEAD. OTOH, Ceiling Mounted Height Speakers can be pushed closer to the Side Walls, improving the ability to reproduce sounds coming from Height info coming from the SIDES.

ATMOS is an Enhanced Data Stream in addition to either the Loss-Less Dolby TrueHD "Core" [HDMI Only].....or the compressed Dolby PLUS "Core" [also supported via Optical/ARC].

The ATMOS "Object Oriented" design stipulates the DIRECTION that a particular Signal (i.e. Circling Helo) is supposed to be coming from. And it's up to the AVR (with knowledge of HOW MANY & WHERE each Speaker is Located) to adjust relative Delays, Amplitude and Phase of Speakers in order to make it happen. Unless AVR can be told everything necessary to pin down the Location [NOT just "Delay"...but ALSO Angles of Arrival], the AVR would have to make some ASSUMPTIONS wrt how they are arranged....so there may or may NOT be ability to vary away from the published Dolby ATMOS Location Guidelines for 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 7.1.2 and 7.1.4:
https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/d...2-dolby-atmos-enabled-speaker-setup-guide.pdf
https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/d...4-dolby-atmos-enabled-speaker-setup-guide.pdf
https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/d...2-dolby-atmos-enabled-speaker-setup-guide.pdf
https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/d...4-dolby-atmos-enabled-speaker-setup-guide.pdf
 

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For those with QUESTIONS about ATMOS Height Speaker Locations, I think that the fol. Diagrams from my son-in-law's brand new ONKYO TX-NR565 [DD7.1 or ATMOS 5.1.2] are VERY Instructive for a "Typical" AVR [and are much easier to understand than most other Manuals I've seen]. I have also included link to ALL ONKYO Manuals in case you want to investigate other AVR's:
http://redirect.onkyousa.com/redire...nuals&file=TX-NR656_BAS_ADV_En_160314_web.pdf [TX-NR565 Manual]
https://www.onkyousa.com/Downloads/manuals.php [All Onkyo Manuals]

There are THREE different ATMOS 7.1.2 Speaker Configurations [Height Speakers-A, -B and -C]...each with MULTIPLE Speaker Layout Designation choices in the Speaker Setup Menu.....so clearly the AVR must be TOLD what sort of SPEAKER GEOMETRY [i.e. Speaker-to-Speaker Angular Separation, etc] is used so that it can calculate the correct Amplitude, Phase and Delay when outputting signals to the array of Speakers. CALIBRATION of Speaker Delays, Amplitude and Phase vs Frequency is an important part of the Automatic Equalization Process.

The first (Height Type A) is for Speakers located in either L/R FRONT HEIGHT or L/R REAR HEIGHT Locations. Note that in the second (Height Type B), the user can locate Ceiling Speakers [aka "Top"] at either FRONT, OVERHEAD or REAR L/R Locations, designated by appropriate AVR Menu Entry. And the third (Height Type C) is for Klipsch Style Speakers [L/R Front Height OR L/R Rear Height...but NOT BOTH] that are ANGLED to REFLECT Height Sounds off the the Ceiling, where the UP Angle SHOULD be ADJUSTABLE so that the Ceiling Reflection Spot would be about 1/2-way between Height Speaker and MLP)....[although I suppose you'll get SOME sort of degraded Height Effect if it was FIXED to fire directly UPWARDS]. [FYI: I was also disappointed to see that it does NOT support a FRONT-CENTER HEIGHT plus REAR-CENTER HEIGHT configuration.]

All of these Height Configurations are LIMITED to providing Height Information for the FRONT, REAR or OVERHEAD (Ceiling Top) L/R Locations. An UPGRADE to a 5.4.1 or 7.4.1 AVR with 9 or 11 Amp Channels + SW Outputs would be needed to support BOTH L/R Front and L/R Rear Height Channels. FYI: Here are example Manuals for Onkyo 9-channel (TX-RZ920) and 11-Channel (PR-RZ5100) AVR's:
http://redirect.onkyousa.com/redire...le=SN29403079A_TX-RZ920_BAS_En_171113_web.pdf
http://redirect.onkyousa.com/redire...e=SN29402425B_PR-RZ5100_BAS_En_171113_web.pdf

Earlier, I discussed importance of TRYING to Ensure that ALL Speakers use the same Mid-Range/Tweeter Part Numbers to ensure that they faithfully MATCH Amplitude, Envelope Delay and Phase Response, esp. across the difficult Speaker Crossover Regions:
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...-than-larger-center-channel.html#post55204826
Some people talk about TIMBER MATCHED Speakers....but unless they are using SAME Part Numbers, I doubt that they are truly MATCHED....esp.when located so that MLP is at a Horizontal and/or Vertical ANGLE to the Speaker, where the Energy Response Patterns rarely MATCH unless using SAME Part Number components. You are, of course, free to use whatever Speakers you have gathered together over time....just don't expect as accurate Imaging and Even Motion Reproduction as is possible with a Truly Matched ATMOS System.

ALTERNATIVE ATMOS 7.1.2 SPEAKER LOCATIONS:
ON EACH DIAGRAM, BOTTOM LEFT HAS A LIST OF ALTERNATIVE MENU CHOICES:






 
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Alternative DD5.1 and DD7.1 Speaker Locations....and Speaker Connections (LINE UP THE NUMBERS):

Note that the DD5.1 Speakers located as the "Rear" Speakers [and might already be screwed into the wall] are actually labeled as being the "L/R SURROUND" Speakers (#4/5 in Diagram). So when adding two Speakers for DD7.1 UPGRADE, the existing Speakers in the "Rear" become the "L/R REAR" Speakers (#7/8, connected to DIFFERENT Amp Outputs)....and two new "L/R Side" Speakers are connected to "L/R SURROUND" Amp Outputs.


MOST DD7.1 SURROUND SPEAKER STYLES ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR ATMOS:


The STYLE of Speakers used for the DD7.1 "Side" Speakers varies quite a bit [many/most on the market today are DUAL-SPEAKERS], originally intended to generate Room Reverberation [more than Localized Special Effects like in ATMOS]. Since DUAL-SPEAKERS is what has been advertised for "Surround", many people are also using them for REAR Speakers....although I think that is a MISTAKE....to reproduce a Coherent Rear Effect intended to be BEHIND the listener, they NEED be Direct Radiating type aimed at MLP....otherwise it's an Incoherent mis-mash of signals arriving from many different directions.

1) Single Speaker with NO Rear Enclosure directing signals equally Out-of-Phase to Front and Rear [I think this was the FIRST Dolby/THX "standard"],

2) Two Speakers (connected so Out-Of-Phase, with one pushing while the other sucks) directing signals equally to Front and Rear,

3) Two Speakers (connected IN-Phase, so both push at the same time) directing signals equally to Front and Rear, and

4) Firing Directly toward MLP [also suitable for ATMOS].
NOTE the fol. link includes a comment that DOLBY ATMOS webside recommended to REPLACE these sorts of Dual-Speakers with a conventional Speaker....which should be no surprise to anyone.....it's essential to generating a SINGLE Coherent Sound Source that can be combined with OTHER Single Coherent Sound Sources to generate a MOVING Sound Source:
http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/surround-speaker-dipole-vs-bipole
https://www.soundandvision.com/bootcamp/25
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...kers-bipole-dipole-quadpole-omnipole-one.html

BTW: I've been generating additional DELAYED, DISPERSE "Room Reverberation" in my various Surround systems all the way back since the Mid-70's....playing back Vinyl LP's and Quad 8-Tracks. With the past 12-years using Bi-Directional "BIPOLAR" Planar-Magnetic Front Speakers:
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...iy-dipole-bipoles-out-there.html#post54514009






 
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I've got a dilemma. Already got a 7.2.4 setup in my theater. Just upgraded my old 4100 to a 4300 so I got the 7.2.4 now. Moved the 4100 to my living room. I'd like to put 5.2.2 setup in my living room but can't do ceiling speakers so I'm considering SVS elevation speakers. Killer is I have the typical rectangle room, TV on long wall, couch up against wall, surrounds are on the side walls, and I'm trying to decide if I should put the elevation speakers as rear heights or front heights. My front height location is a very easy wall to run cable up inside of as it's an hallow inside wall, whereas the rear height is an outside wall - which I've done before but it's hard. Insulation and vapor barrier make the job harder. But putting installation aside, I'm wondering what would be better, front rears or front heights? Rear's would be directly over my head above my couch - not on side walls. The SVS's are an angled speaker.
 

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I've got a dilemma. Already got a 7.2.4 setup in my theater. Just upgraded my old 4100 to a 4300 so I got the 7.2.4 now. Moved the 4100 to my living room. I'd like to put 5.2.2 setup in my living room but can't do ceiling speakers so I'm considering SVS elevation speakers. Killer is I have the typical rectangle room, TV on long wall, couch up against wall, surrounds are on the side walls, and I'm trying to decide if I should put the elevation speakers as rear heights or front heights. My front height location is a very easy wall to run cable up inside of as it's an hallow inside wall, whereas the rear height is an outside wall - which I've done before but it's hard. Insulation and vapor barrier make the job harder. But putting installation aside, I'm wondering what would be better, front rears or front heights? Rear's would be directly over my head above my couch - not on side walls. The SVS's are an angled speaker.
Congrats on the receiver upgrade! I would recommend Front Heights first before Rear Heights. Our ears pick up more sound information from the front, then from the sides, then least from the back. Your front sound stage will be noticeably larger. I'm currently running a 5.2.2 setup (with Front Heights) and love it.
 
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That totally makes sense. The only reason why I question it is throughout my upgrades in my theater with Atmos ( 5.2.2 - 5.2.4, to 7.2.4) , I've noticed that my rear ceiling speakers are just being used a lot more than my fronts in most movies. Atmos demo's are one thing, but in movies and even more so in Dolby up-mixing, the rear's are much more dominant. I wish there was a way I could try them in both places temporarily but in order to do this I have to run speakers cables from a room downstairs so it's not straight forward. Front heights would be soooo much easier to do though.
 

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That totally makes sense. The only reason why I question it is throughout my upgrades in my theater with Atmos ( 5.2.2 - 5.2.4, to 7.2.4) , I've noticed that my rear ceiling speakers are just being used a lot more than my fronts in most movies. Atmos demo's are one thing, but in movies and even more so in Dolby up-mixing, the rear's are much more dominant. I wish there was a way I could try them in both places temporarily but in order to do this I have to run speakers cables from a room downstairs so it's not straight forward. Front heights would be soooo much easier to do though.
Interesting. When you say "used a lot more than my fronts", does that mean it sounds louder (more pronounced) or that there are more affects (on average) being sent to the rears? I presume the MLP is equidistant from the Front and Rear ceiling speakers, if not that could possibly affect perception.

You could experiment with your main theater and configured it in a similar setup as your living room: IE configure it to a 5.2.2 setup and disable the Rear Heights, listen to material, then disable Front Height and enable Rear Heights, listen to material.

I know that I've seen the Dolby Atmos minimum spec configuration require Front Height speakers with Rear Heights being secondary, if your going for technical accuracy.

Let us know what you decide =)
 

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Yes my front ceilings speakers have always been less active than my rear ones. Atmos demos are fine, but movies or up-mixing DSU it's obvious the rears are more active and louder. often get up to check and see if they are on. I always wondered if it was a setup issue, or where I only had 5.2.4 and it was purposely sending more info into the rears due to no back surrounds but since having 7.2.4 they are no different. I compensate by running them higher than Audyssey suggest. Interesting the Atmos spec suggest front heights first. That might be my answer there. When I did my theater I knew from the start I was going with 4 ceiling speakers so I positioned according to spec. Whereas 5.2.4 has them in a bit of a different location from what I remember.


I think this is going to be a try it and see situation as the room will dictate this more than anything else.
 

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Having just finished several days of testing, I'd say that front heights for an ATMOS system don't work so well..unless you can maintain similar angles to the ATMOS ceiling speakers spec. This would be around 45 degrees to the front heights, and 135 to the rears relative to MLP. In my low ceiling room (7') you can do this using rear heights, but no where close using front heights. I'd also say that an ATMOS config where there is no height channel behind the MLP (like my Scenario A) doesn't' work well at all. There are 7.2.4 channels in play, 7 surround, 4 ceiling, 2 subs.

I tried two setups with height speakers. I have two ATMOS ceiling speakers just forward of the MLP. I set up the Denon AVR-x4400 with:

A. Front Height + Top Middle
B. Rear Height + Top Middle

Testing scenes from the ATMOS 2016 demo disk, scenario A really suffered with respect to 3D audio object tracking. Scenario B worked very well. For example, in one of the Mission Impossible clips, a motorbike rider is hit and rolls over the roof of a BMW. The scene is recorded from the car occupants viewpoint so in scenario B you're pretty much ducking for cover during the scene..you can hear and feel the roof buckling. The same scene in Scenario A sound far more "nebulous", diffuse...not so great. I was hoping in the front height configuration that the sound field would be better distributed in the space (10x19). It was, but at the cost of 3D imaging.

Hope that helps.
 

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Having just finished several days of testing, I'd say that front heights for an ATMOS system don't work so well..unless you can maintain similar angles to the ATMOS ceiling speakers spec. This would be around 45 degrees to the front heights, and 135 to the rears relative to MLP. In my low ceiling room (7') you can do this using rear heights, but no where close using front heights. I'd also say that an ATMOS config where there is no height channel behind the MLP (like my Scenario A) doesn't' work well at all. There are 7.2.4 channels in play, 7 surround, 4 ceiling, 2 subs.

I tried two setups with height speakers. I have two ATMOS ceiling speakers just forward of the MLP. I set up the Denon AVR-x4400 with:

A. Front Height + Top Middle
B. Rear Height + Top Middle

Testing scenes from the ATMOS 2016 demo disk, scenario A really suffered with respect to 3D audio object tracking. Scenario B worked very well. For example, in one of the Mission Impossible clips, a motorbike rider is hit and rolls over the roof of a BMW. The scene is recorded from the car occupants viewpoint so in scenario B you're pretty much ducking for cover during the scene..you can hear and feel the roof buckling. The same scene in Scenario A sound far more "nebulous", diffuse...not so great. I was hoping in the front height configuration that the sound field would be better distributed in the space (10x19). It was, but at the cost of 3D imaging.

Hope that helps.
Interesting - I have a core 5.1 setup with those speakers at ear level with an additional 6 speakers for Atmos. My 6 atmos speakers are a combination of your A and B setup as they are front heights, top rear (in ceiling slightly behind MLP), and rear heights. I find Atmos tracks to be VERY convincing with this setup. I will admit the front heights seem to be less noticeable, but they seem to perform well during scenes that use them.
 
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