How to Setup Your Room for Atmos and Immersive Audio

I think this video by the Dolby Institute is targeted at professionals but the principals translate to the home. You’ll notice that they don’t use the ceiling speakers pointing straight down but bookshelves that are angled toward the MLP. The other thing you’ll notice is that all of the bed channel speakers are at the same height (that includes the center channel). At 16:00 minute in the video make sure to watch the part about room tuning, very helpful as to what DSP can and cannot do:

" I feel like money spent on this type of help (room treatments and acoustics) will be more valuable than any piece of gear you will ever buy"



I’m a believer in the potential benefits of more channels for musical listening. I’ve listened to some Apple Music in 7.1 - no height channels. I thought it was interesting to hear older recordings re-mastered in multi-channel. Some of them worked really well, others seemed to gain little from it. As for two channel mixes in Atmos - some of them work better than others. I don’t hear it as a game changing improvement for 2 channel playback but the fact that the same multi-channel recording can gracefully scale back to 2 channel playback seems like a good thing. For now I’m listening to everything in 2 channel format, matrix up-mixed to 3 speaker playback and finding it to be overall preferable. What I’d like to experiment with is mixing the left, center, and right channels of an Atmos mix back down to 2 channel, and then I’d mix them back up to 3 channel using my own matrix. I want to do this because I don’t like how most Atmos recordings treat center imaged sounds. They play the left and right channels along with the center, or sometimes not the center at all. It’s just plain stereo with a phantom center image. I prefer a strong use of the center channel. From what I can tell it’s not easy to get access to the individual digital channel streams from an Atmos recording so that you can manipulate them to your liking.

Unlike stereo Atmos is mixed so it will translate on any platform. I like the remixes they have done in Atmos like the Beatles but the mixes that are new so the artist is able to translate their intentions in the Atmos palate continue to amaze. Check out some of the dedicated channels for Spatial audio in Apple Music, particularly new album drops:

“As a stereo mixer, what keeps me awake at night is how my mixes are going to translate on someone’s headphones, in a club, on the kitchen radio or on a very nice pair of Focal home hi-fi speakers. I have one mix that has to serve all platforms. Atmos for music is actually a dynamic format so when I create an Atmos mix, it will adapt to the device that it is playing on. Play it on your Sonos Soundbar which is 5.1.2, and it will optimise to play on that device. Play it on your Sennheiser 660 headphones and you’ll get the binaural mix and so on.”


@kota1 I'm going to give up and hang my extra atoms speakers BL, BR, and the tops even though I know the sound is the boss in Atmos and the imaging works fine now but I know it's not just right. I'll have to add speaker cable and hang the top speakers. I really didn't want to make my room ugly for speakers that are only there for background work. 5.1 is really all people are asking for and if I get to excited about mixing for the rears and the tops my mix won't translate like it should back to 5.1 or stereo. My room has no parallel walls only the floor and ceiling. I love my speakers and the fact that they are so precise in the imaging department is still surprising even after months of listening.


My room has no parallel walls only the floor and ceiling.

OK, do you have any room measurements yet? How will you apply room correction to your 5.1 setup?

The reason I posted those links above is the panels are portable. With the ASC or Auralex solutions you could have any "walls" (like the Attack Wall") you want.

You talked about acoustics, the reps of these companies help you setup as part of their service.

So, can you post some measurements?