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"



@kota1 So I discovered something that I thought I knew but didn't know for sure. In  acoustics and photography and many other arts there is something called the rule of thirds, well I panned (actually I entered the info) to have the front speakers ⅓ of the way back and ⅓ of the way in, when I did that it felt like I moved into the stage a bit. It was interesting that when these numbers were exact and my head was right in the sweet spot the effect was very strong. I'm not sure panning in the traditional sense would have achieved the same effect. The only other satisfying speaker position was full blown stereo 100% left and right which felt more natural.

It is an odd thing to set up music this way, I was a musician and a monitor mixer for bands when you are in the listening position and you are facing the band looking at speakers you are engulfed in it but facing the wrong way, even with side fills as a musician is used to it feels wrong.


To me the only way to fix this is to not have the surround channels symmetric.

My room treatments are not symmetric, worked fantastic for me. See "Anthony Grimmani's acoustic recipe.

say you have a signal from 225 degrees on your left behind you. You can’t perceive a phantom center channel between them but that is how Atmos works

My room has a setup less than ideal for back surround speakers so I chose a specific speaker that uses a Harman proprietary technology (HST) to deal with it. It makes it seem like the entire back wall is a speaker in my room:

What do you think?

I can't say what will work for you. What worked for me was following the Dolby specs for speaker setup, measuring, treating my room, using a calibrated mic and upgraded audyssey for DSP, measuring, tweaking and listening, until it met or exceeded what I wanted (both objectively and subjectively). Now I just got that tip about top middle speaker placement from the Trinnov guide so I will tweak. 


In  acoustics and photography and many other arts there is something called the rule of thirds, 

I prefer Fibonacci ratios

 I was a musician and a monitor mixer for bands

Talk about a sweet spot. Some of my favorite tracks are sound board mixes from concerts you can get at and


So I just spen 2 hours redoing my “room perfect” DSP. I played Elton John’s “Sorry seems to be…” it sounded awful in Atmos and much bigger wider deeper in stereo. Is it possible my room sounds better without DSP I don’t even know if I can turn it off or maybe not movies sound great, why did the same song have such a poor showing in Atmos.

Hemispherical speaker are a great idea just like PZM microphones they don’t “see” the plain they are mounted to, makes a lot of sense.

The curve seems ok in real life speakers and microphones sound bad next to a big reflection is simply because of phasing, midrange (1K) usually gets the most noticeable damage this happens if a singer is standing to close to a music stand in the studio it makes a big difference when you lower or remove the stand, if that fails you put a fuzzy blanket over it. That curve is only a single frequency sine wave, music doesn’t look like that, in fact the curves we see on ARK and DSPs like that are just a representation of an averaging algorithm, sound doesn’t look like that only tones do, sound looks like pressure waves. I tried to use a chemical to show sound once, I was working to much, I should pursue it again now, I think I will.

@kota1 i forgot to mention fib. Numbers are cool, I’m curious how you can set them up without something like Protools, do you have something that lets you pan the signal between the speakers? How do you use the fib numbers?