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Tips for Installing a Dolby Atmos Surround Sound System

Home Theater System Essentials

Tips for Installing a Dolby Atmos Surround Sound System

Ensuring a successful home theater system installation involves three main things: a quality video display, stellar sound system, and the right environment to enjoy your entertainment in. In this blog, we’ll focus on everything you can do to optimize the audio in your Boston, Massachusetts home. Creating the right environment for your sound to perform well involves finding the right speakers, placing them correctly, and making sure the room has the right acoustic treatments. Keep reading to learn more.

SEE ALSO: Experience the Best Surround Sound System: Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos Layouts

The first step is figuring out where to place your speakers. You can check the Dolby Atmos website for a detailed overview of the most common layouts, but regardless of the one you choose, always follow these rules:

  •  Make sure that all speakers are equidistant to the viewer to ensure even sound performance. If you purchase a home theater system from us, we’ll measure out the room to install and angle your speakers the right way to accomplish this.
  • The subwoofer adds more bass to your sound system. Never place it in the corner of the room. Best practice is to have it between your center speaker and your left or right front speakers.
  • Don’t place speakers along the wall since this will affect your room acoustics. The Tailor-Made Audio Video team recommends installing speakers in the walls so you can save space and enjoy your sound to the fullest. If for some reason you aren’t able to install speakers inside the walls, you can always place them on stands and position them a few feet behind and in front of the couch or chairs.

Audio Equipment

Once you have a plan for the layout, it's time to pick out your speakers and receiver. It’s best to pick one manufacturer instead of different speakers from various companies because they need to have the same power output and volume settings to avoid uneven sound. Since a Dolby Atmos system is all about moving sound around the room, you're also going to need a speaker or two that can be placed overhead the audience. There's two ways to accomplish this: in-ceiling speakers or upward-firing speakers.

Your receiver needs to be compatible with Dolby Atmos systems and content so that it can translate your soundtrack into sound objects. This is what enables the audio to move around the room instead of staying within a particular channel. You also need to make sure that your receiver can hook up to the speaker layout you've chosen—whether it’s 5.1.4, 7.1, 9.1.6 or any other number of speakers you have.

Room Acoustics

There are also a few things you can do to optimize your room's acoustics. The first step is placing all of your seating in the center of the room. The closer your chair or couch is to the wall, the more likely sound will be muffled or distorted. You also want to pad the room with acoustic panels, carpets and other softer furnishings to prevent reverberation—also known as echoes or vibrations. The most common things to do is installing drapes and carpets. If you find you have a lot of trouble spots—hard surfaces that make the sound bounce off immediately after leaving your speaker—you can install acoustic panels that absorb the sound. These are typically placed between the audience and the front speakers.

We hope this guide was informative for you. If you have any questions or would like to get started installing a new home theater system—or even upgrading your existing equipment to Dolby Atmos—fill out this online form.