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Recommendations for Upward Firing Atmos Speakers? (2 Viewers)

Colin Jacobson

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Our friend RAH convinced me to give Atmos a try with upward firing speakers. I'd prefer actual "height speakers" but my room doesn't work for those, so it's upward firing or nothing.

Recommendations on quality Atmos upward firing speakers? Ideally around $300 a pair, though I'd go higher if it'd make a true sonic difference.

Thanks!
 
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JohnRice

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The effect of upward firing speakers tends to be minimal at best, but might as well try. I'd easily recommend the ELAC Debut A4.2. A little above your budget at full price, but there are frequent sales.
 

Sam Posten

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Sam Posten

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No, as once I got them hooked up I discovered that to power those meant losing my back surround channel, and I wasn't sure I wanted to continue to use them if that was the case.

Seems I’ll advised to make a critical judgement about the effect without having done a 5 minute calibration. As I said the effect is subtle but if it’s not doing anything at all for you something is wrong.

If your choice is 7.1 versus 5.1.2 you should try both with calibration
 

Todd Erwin

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Andrew Jones, Sony and Klipsh. Whatever you can get for $100. Don’t over spend. The effect is nice (I have 2 rigs of them) but isn’t really laser focused discrete sound you can pinpoint until you go full fat 4+ downfiring
I find that I have to manually increase the volume on my upfiring speakers to get a really noticeable effect. They also work better in smaller rooms with lower ceilings.
 

Robert Crawford

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I find that I have to manually increase the volume on my upfiring speakers to get a really noticeable effect. They also work better in smaller rooms with lower ceilings.
My Klipsh's 405 works fine in my smaller room with low ceilings. My set-up is 7.2.4. I have the same result with my Klipsh's in my home office HT with a 5.1.2 set-up.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Another thought: I could get "true Atmos" - instead of upward-firing - if I just bought some shelves and placed the Atmos speakers at the top.

I never really considered this because space is tight, but I think I could get a very thin shelving unit that would allow the main speakers at the bottom and the Atmos speakers at the top.

Is there any reason I'm not thinking of that this wouldn't be a practical way to get "real Atmos"?

I can't install on walls or in the ceiling.

shelf.JPG
 

JohnRice

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Another thought: I could get "true Atmos" - instead of upward-firing - if I just bought some shelves and placed the Atmos speakers at the top.

I never really considered this because space is tight, but I think I could get a very thin shelving unit that would allow the main speakers at the bottom and the Atmos speakers at the top.

Is there any reason I'm not thinking of that this wouldn't be a practical way to get "real Atmos"?

I can't install on walls or in the ceiling.

View attachment 130976
The thing is... how is a speaker on top of a shelf the same as one overhead, in the ceiling?
 

ManW_TheUncool

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But how would you (securely) aim those speakers down from those top shelves (directly) toward the listening area though?

Seems like you would still need some way to secure them to the wall/ceiling to allow that...

Plus how stable is something like that anyway?

And as John noted, they would also come from a different direction/angle than ceiling overheads -- sound bounced off ceiling would also come from overhead... though (substantially) less focused... I suppose you could try that from nearer sidewalls (and maybe also rear wall) instead of from the likely farther front wall...

_Man_
 
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Sam Posten

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Yeah SVS has something even better if that’s what you are thinking, called Prime Elevation. But wall mount Atmos are a compromise too. The sound is supposed to be directly overhead not from off in some corner somewhere.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Anything I could do for Atmos is a compromise. I can't achieve it as Dolby intended, so the question becomes what the most effective compromise is.

And whether or not any of the compromises so compromise the system to become ineffective.

I'd like Atmos but not if the system involved doesn't really work.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Gotcha. I'd venture that the best to worst choices are, in order:
Direct in ceiling
SVS Prime Elevation https://www.svsound.com/products/prime-elevation
That weird cabinet thing you are noodling
Upfiring

I say that not having heard the elevations.

Sam

I looked up the Prime Elevation speakers - not sure how these would be used in my system to be superior.

As upward firing? On the "weird cabinet" shelves but pointed down-ish at me?
 

Rob W

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Hi Colin;

You sound like you are very much in the same position I was several years ago as I wanted to get into Atmos but had limitations to deal with. I started with a pair of up-firing speakers but hadn't researched enough to discover that they won't work with a "popcorn" ceiling and the surface must be flat and reflective. Although I own my condo I wasn't going to go the in-ceiling route . I experimented by purchasing a pair of small Cambridge Audio speakers to test as a 7.2.2 set-up. Their chief asset is they are small enough and light enough that they can be fastened to the sides of my two bookshelves using a healthy amount of velcro strips . The wires run behind the shelf and the wall so they are out of sight .Yes, they are not timbre matched to the rest of my system and yes they are quite small, but they showed me that they could be a very acceptable option for my limitations. Within another week I ordered a second pair for fronts so I now have a 7.2.4 set-up that I am extremely satisfied with . ( I have the fronts firing down from shelves at each end of my TV and audio bench as well.) I fully acknowledge this is not going to win any awards for textbook Atmos setup but like you, the word compromise is the key here.

If you haven't heard a lot of home theatre Atmos, be prepared for a lot of variations on how it's used (or not used in far too many cases). A lot of music services now offer Atmos music and if you have one you'll hear much more activity playing Atmos music than in the average Atmos soundtrack.

Hope this is helpful.
 

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Edwin-S

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I tried a pair of the upfiring type that sat on top of the speakers. I didn't notice any difference. Waste of money AFAIAC. I took them back.

The Prime Elevations may work. I was debating trying them, but it would have meant yet another run of external cable channel on my living room walls. I decided against it.

IMO, with ATMOS, it either has to be done with ceiling speakers as close to spec as possible or not at all.
 

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