Atmos speakers examined. Connection options for wallmounted TVS.
QI’m upgrading my home theater for Dolby Atmos and have noted that various speakers are now being specifically marketed for this purpose. For example, I’ve seen compact speakers with sloped, downward-pointing baffles that are designed to be wall-mounted near the ceiling. Are these as effective in delivering overhead effects as an in-ceiling or Atmos Enabled speaker? Also, could an Atmos Enabled speaker be mounted in the same manner near the ceiling? R. HATTON / VIA EMAIL
AThe compact speaker that you’re referring to sounds like the Prime Elevation from SVS. As you say, such speakers offer an alternative to in-ceiling speakers and Atmos Enabled modules by providing a wall-mounted option that angles down toward the listener from a position near the ceiling. According to SVS, the Prime Elevation provides a superior option to Atmos Enabled modules since it delivers fullrange output directed at the listening position. The output of Atmos Enabled speakers, in contrast, has a “shaped” frequency response that’s meant to enhance the reflection of sound off a ceiling. Furthermore, Atmos Enabled speakers rely on optimal room conditions— specifically, a room with a high, flat ceiling— for best results. While Sound & Vision hasn’t yet reviewed a system with SVS Prime Elevation speakers, the company’s 45-day in-home trial makes it a compelling option.
As for mounting an Atmos Enabled speaker in the same manner near the ceiling, that option is a no-go. Atmos Enabled speakers are specifically engineered to bounce signals off of the ceiling. (Some companies— Klipsch, for example—say their Atmos Enabled modules can also be used as surrounds.) If your ceiling’s shape— a cathedral-type, for instance— poses a problem for installing in-ceiling or Atmos Enabled speakers, I’d check out the Prime Elevation.