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centreframe47 02-04-19 12:10 PM

Advice on selecting speakers for Atmos

Hi there,
First time poster. Planning out an upgrade to add Atmos to my existing home theater. I already have a solid 7.1 setup and a receiver that can do 7.1.2.

I'm trying to figure out what speakers to by for the ceiling channels. My fronts are Martin Logan (motion 40s and a 30 center). Running polk rti bookshelves in the back at the moment.

I was looking at the Martin Logan Helos 12, or the electromotion IC models, but I'm not finding much info on anyone using them for Atmos specifically. I'd prefer to go with the Helos to save some cash, but I want to make sure they're going to measure up.

Would love to get any advice you have!

theJman 02-05-19 07:19 AM

Re: Advice on selecting speakers for Atmos

I'm not certain there's anything special about an Atmos speaker, at least not one installed in a ceiling. It's the electronics that do the lions share of the work so you can essentially get anything that fits your needs. If you like the Martin Logan products the Helos could be a good way to go. Another good option is the RSL C34E. Those have been spoken about highly.

willis7469 02-06-19 09:49 PM

Re: Advice on selecting speakers for Atmos

Jman is pretty much right. IC atmos speakers donít have to meet any special criteria other than having wide dispersion. This is especially important with lower ceilings as narrow dispersion speakers will hot spot more. FWIW, I am a believer in 5.x.4 being more immersive than 7.x.2. When normal (side) surrounds are implemented properly, they should image very well without relying on rear surrounds and the complete bubble including the top rear speakers is much smoother and immersive. My system is 7.3.4 but only because it worked out that way. If I had only been able to do 5.3.4, I donít think Iíd feel like I was missing that much. Thatís not to say I donít love it how it is either. I would strongly consider doing 5.x.4 and repurposing the rear surrounds. Or of course going 7.x.4. But as I understand your post, that would require a new receiver.
How high are your ceilings? How much room do you have behind the LP?

I also installed the c34eís that @Jman mentioned. Love them. They image like crazy and sound excellent with my otherwise JBL/SVS system. The baffles are almost exactly the same 15į as my ceiling, and they basically are aimed straight down. FWIW they do have aimable tweeters but Iíve never those to be very effective in general.
Their CS is also first rate. Joe Rodgers spent a lot of time with me, even covering many things outside of business. Great company.

wantAvote 02-07-19 01:39 AM

Re: Advice on selecting speakers for Atmos

i am surprised there aren't pages of replies already on this question. There have been several helpful discussions in the recent past about this very topic. Here is one that may help you broaden your sights slightly.


A search of this site will present several slightly related and more specific discussions.

I'm liking the B&W in ceiling Atmos surrounds shown in the link above more than the ML Helos 12, although the tweeter in the Helos 12 is described as movable i don't see where the mid-driver is adjustable. The ML electromotion IC is fully adjustable however.

I know we all expect speakers will disappear into the sound stage and mostly good speakers do but Dolby specifically describes adjusting "in-ceiling speakers" to focus on seating position..., critical for tweeters short wavelength and therefor narrow sound projection but may be a requirement for many less transparent mid drivers as well.

Have you considered wall mount/upward firing Atmos surrounds? What were your thoughts on that?

willis7469 02-07-19 10:50 PM

Re: Advice on selecting speakers for Atmos

Donny Bahama 02-09-19 01:50 AM

I hope this won’t be considered off-topic (since I’m not going to make any specific speaker recommendations) but I’d like to throw some unconventional wisdom at you regarding speaker placement...

Not long after object-based audio was introduced, I read something from someone at Auro Technologies advocating for 9.1/2 with 4 ear-level (“layer 1”) speakers - one in each corner of the room, and 4 (“layer 2”) speakers - one directly above each of the 4 layer 1 speakers, at or near the ceiling. They said this was optimal for Auro-3D (still the best format, in my view, but with virtually no available titles in the U.S. market) but it was also fairly optimal for DTS:X (which, of course, is pretty non-rigid regarding speaker placement to begin with). AND, the article claimed, once the system was calibrated, even Atmos encoded content sounded very good with this speaker configuration.

Well, that configuration certainly makes setup a lot simpler so I decided to try it in my own home. I was VERY impressed. Auro-3D content is spectacular. Likewise DTS:X. Atmos doesn’t sound quite as good as DTS:X but it’s still pretty awesome. (And, interestingly, the number of titles in my collection with DTS:X outnumbers Atmos titles by nearly 3:1!)

I’d recommend giving it a try before you go to the trouble and expense of installing in-ceiling speakers. Once you’ve upgraded your receiver/processor, a cheap 5.1 system (e.g. from Klipsch or Polk) will allow you to set it up temporarily and audition it with a variety of source material to see how you like it. I like it enough to recommend it to clients and we’ve done a handful of well-received installs with this configuration.

NoahA67 04-29-19 02:16 AM

Re: Advice on selecting speakers for Atmos

Well, i never tried atmos speakers.
I am using seismometer speakers, which I bought from Reecoupons.com.
they are good and have great sound effects.
You can also try getting from there, I am pretty sure you will also like it a lot :)

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