Dolby Atmos for small(ish) room- 5.1.2 or 5.1.4?

Tanay

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Hello everyone!

I am upgrading from an 8-year old Onkyo HTIB (5.1 setup), with the intention of going either 5.1.4 (preferred) or 5.1.2 (minimum) to enjoy Dolby Atmos. My room is on the smaller side (15x10 feet) and the biggest issue is that the main listening position can at most be only 1.5 feet from the back wall. To complicate matters further, I have a beam running through the end of my ceiling, which means that any "rear" height speakers can only placed about 1-1.5 feet from the back wall as well, which would make them almost directly overhead from the MLP (and not even close to the 30-55 degrees from the MLP that Dolby recommends).

I realize that this would not be an ideal position for rear height speakers, but is there any way a case can still be made for a 5.1.4 over a 5.1.2 setup? I am worried about losing out on the "forward-backward" movement of overhead sound, and regretting it later if I opt for only 2 ceiling speakers.

The other option is to consider is mounting elevation speakers on the front and rear walls, and direct them towards the MLP. I can't afford the SVS Elevation speakers, but perhaps somthing like the Polk OWM3's? Should this option be preferred over ceiling speakers in any way?

Whatever I decide is likely to be permanent.

I've attached photos of my room as well as the layout (scribbled on paper, but hopefully legible!) for reference. Distance from the MLP to the TV is about 8 feet.

Please do share your thoughts, and help a noob out :)

Thanks in anticipation!

P.S: Ignore the speaker placement for the front and surround channels. They are only kept there temporarily. Bookshelf speakers to be placed on stands soon.

- Tanay

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RajithKumar

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I feel the best will be 5.1.2 for this room configuration.
Still there are chances for 4 heights ,if u place as Front heights in wall (high enough on front wall and angled downwards to your listening position ) .Then the rear heights can be positioned on ceiling slightly backwards to the red line marked by yourself and bringing the Recliners slightly away from backwall.
 

Tanay

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I feel the best will be 5.1.2 for this room configuration.
Still there are chances for 4 heights ,if u place as Front heights in wall (high enough on front wall and angled downwards to your listening position ) .Then the rear heights can be positioned on ceiling slightly backwards to the red line marked by yourself and bringing the Recliners slightly away from backwall.
Thanks, Rajith. Would 4 angled, downward firing speakers (2 front wall + 2 rear wall) be signifcantly better or worse than 2 in-ceiling speakers?
 

RajithKumar

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Assuming good dispersion pattern of speakers, Front wall will be good but rear wall will be out of angle .
If u r planning for inceiling speakers ,get the one with tiltable tweeters to have good results.
 

Tanay

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Assuming good dispersion pattern of speakers, Front wall will be good but rear wall will be out of angle .
If u r planning for inceiling speakers ,get the one with tiltable tweeters to have good results.
Yes, I am planning to go for speakers with aimable tweeters. The question is whether I should go with 2 or 4 ceiling speakers. Even I'm skeptical of the angles with elevation speakers.
 

RajithKumar

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Yes, I am planning to go for speakers with aimable tweeters. The question is whether I should go with 2 or 4 ceiling speakers. Even I'm skeptical of the angles with elevation speakers.
Yes 4 inceiling can be planned with aimable tweeters ,only thing I feel implementation needs to be perfect ,coz u sit against back wall.
 

ankitbhargava

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I just upgraded my setup from 7.1 to 7.1.2 (added in ceiling Top Middle), I firmly believe that 5.1.2 should add sufficient value to enjoy the sound enveloping from top. Just remember that the content from height/top speakers is even less than the surrounds. The engagement of these atmos speakers is very less but when they are engaged, it delights you. Its better to use money for second subwoofer instead. You may like to consider Polk RC80i, they have adjustable Tweeters.
 

Tanay

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Hey guys.

I have decided to go with 4 on-ceiling speakers. Just don't want to miss out on the panning effects by installing just 2, and regret it later.

I'm thinking of installing 2 pairs of Polk RC60i's as 'Top Fronts' and 'Top Rears'. Since I can't drill big holes in the ceiling, I plan to get wooden panels built for each of these speakers, and install them on the ceiling. I've also been told that I should install the 'Top Fronts' and 'Top Rears' about 6 feet apart to get proper panning effects. (Thanks once again, @prateekatasniya ).
 

pkhammu2005

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U need to move ur couch another 1.5 feet ahead to perceive the top behind atmos channels to listen properly. They have to be behind ur ears for that 4 channel panning.
 

Amarendra

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Attaching a layout diagram for reference.

View attachment 51730
To be honest it’s an overkill. 2 overhead speakers would have been more than enough. At times we believe that more the speakers and more the amplification the better the sound. But that is not always true. Atmos in particular is just aimed at creating ambience rather than pin point effects (just my experience with Atmos). You may not even notice the top speakers most of the times but that is the idea of ambient sound. However if you are doing it for fun or experimenting with Atmos just go ahead with what you fancy- like you said no regrets later :)
 
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