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"



And treatment for your HT need not be ugly. I went with Auralex because I love bamboo. All of those wooden diffusors you see in my pics are made from sustainable bamboo. It sounded better than fiberglass diffusors in my room. There are plenty of vendors to suit your taste, ASC stuff looks great and is very functional. If you get an Attack Wall the same company could treat both spaces:


here is the hot tip for the most advanced information on multi-channel speaker positioning from the world’s leader on this subject. when i was positioning my own 9.3.6 multichannel set-up, i choose the Trinnov approach instead of the Dolby Atmos approach for my ceiling after much research.

looks like the link to the pdf does not work properly. so google "Trinnov Multichannel playbook", scroll down to "Loudspeaker Position Guide -AVS Forum", then select to get the download of the PDF, then open the PDF.



Thanks @mikelavigne , I got it. I like this better than the guide Dolby puts out, more detailed. I was watching an interview of Peter Lyngdorf who felt the ideal number of speakers in a HT was less than 16, I think he felt the max he says you should do was around 12. I am very glad I saw that video because it saved me $$$ on upgrading to one of the 16 channel processors. The best resource I found for listening to MCH music was Tomlinson Holman’s research when he was working with Audyssey. They found that wide channels were more important than rear surrounds or height channels. (see page 23 in the Trinnov Guide linked below) I A/B with and without wide channels and find his research to be spot on. This link might work:



This is one of the reasons I like Tom Holman’s work. BTW, if you haven’t checked out @mikelavigne virtual system yet I think you’ll find it a great (perfect?) example of room setup:

Tomlinson Holman research on wide’s states:

1) The front half of the room is more important than the back half!
What is perhaps the most repeated mantra I heard during my visit was how the decision to add 2 rear channels when 7 channel sound offered itself as an improvement over 5 channels is according to Audyssey, a serious error. IF these extra channels are available, they should be added to the front, NOT the rear. Why? Human hearing has far better spatial acuity in the front of us than we do behind us. According to Tom Holman, we can resolve auditory spatial information to about 1 degree in angle in front of us from right to left, (Horizontal plane) and about 3 degrees in height (Vertical plane). Both of these sensitivities are far greater than what we have for sounds coming from behind us. Hence Audyssey’s preference of multiple channels in front and sides, and one required for rear channel sound.

2) Width is more important than height!
Width is crucially important in placing instruments and recreating acoustical space. Concert halls with side walls perpendicular to the stage are considered by experts on the subject to be acoustically superior spaces to fan shaped halls. One of the reasons here is the importance of the early reflections from the right and left side walls perpendicular to the stage. In the "fan shaped" concert halls, the splayed side walls did not support the same kind of early reflections and are one of the main reasons these halls are not judged as good by the experts. To quote Mr Holman, "it is known in concert hall acoustics that the first side wall reflection is the single most important reflection direction, it sets the auditory source width... Channels constrained to plus/minus 30 degrees are too narrow for that". For this reason, the DSX standards (7.1, 9.1 and 10.2) support a left wide and right wide channel at plus/minus 60 degrees to reproduce the kind of side wall reflection you would hear if you were seated in a great concert hall."


as far as number of speakers, past a certain number it’s more a room size and immersion by degrees issue. and then there is the reality that to get the best processor and the best feature set, that’s Trinnov, and their entry level is 16 channels (which can be expanded to 20 if need be).

i went from my Anthem AV60 with 7.1.4 to the Trinnov with 9.3.6 the quality difference of what i heard profound. same speakers, just a couple more of them. but night and day. the processor quality difference was game changing. and also the ability of the processor to ’re-map’ the locations of your speakers can make all the difference depending on your room challenges. i have a side window and side patio doors which effect where my 2 side speakers can be. no problem with the Trinnov, it will ’steer’ the perceived location with it’s set-up wizard.

pure magic.

so more speakers only help if the processor is up to the task of optimization.

and the Trinnov is really just a very large powerful computer, not any off the shelf chip set. and completely software based. so upgrades are downloaded and easy. little worry about the normal obsolescence as movie sound evolves.