Angled Speakers - The Quick Fix for Creating a Dolby Atmos Home Theatre Without In-Ceiling Speakers

Angled Speakers - The Quick Fix for Creating a Dolby Atmos Home Theatre Without In-Ceiling Speakers

With the easy access to the multitude of of Dolby Atmos content available on streaming platforms, a lot of new home theatre system buyers are looking to buy Dolby Atmos compatible home theatre systems. However, home theatre enthusiasts who may have purchased their 5.1 home theatre setup years ago, now find themselves in a difficult position to be able to experience Dolby Atmos content on their setup. If you have a 5.1 home theatre system, you might not be able to place in-ceiling speakers as that would require you to do ceiling work which is a time consuming and more complicated process. However, don’t be disappointed, angled height speakers are here to save the day!


What do angled speakers do?

Angled speakers are passive speakers that come with a complete cabinet, are angled 40-45 degrees off-axis and firing downwards in relation to the seating position. These speakers are normally placed on top of your front left and right speakers (where they will work by bouncing sound to you off the ceiling) or wall mounted to deliver Atmos channel sound or Surround channel sound. Angled speakers can be used for either of the following channels, Height LR, Surround LR, Surround Back LR. Since angled speakers are full cabinet speakers, they are usually able to deliver high performance sound and incase you need to wall mount them, you can easily do so with either a screw-mount or a dedicated wall mount (this differs from brand to brand).


Who are angled speakers for?

Since angled speakers are so versatile in design, they are a great long term investment for any home theatre enthusiast. Let's say you do have a 5.1 setup and want to upgrade it to Atmos, angled speakers can get you going with minimal effort (as long as you have an Atmos compatible AVR) and should you get the opportunity in the future to add dedicated in-ceiling speakers in your home theatre room, you can still make use of the angled speaker as a side or back surround speaker (again, as long as you have a AVR compatible of handling that many channels).


Angled Speaker Options

Given their popularity, it's surprising to see that a lot of popular home theatre and HiFi speaker brands do not offer angled speakers in their product line. Brands such as Paradigm, Dynaudio, Martin Logan and Bowers & Wilkins do not have angled speaker options available yet, however, we do anticipate they are working to create their own unique versions of this speaker type in their future product offering.

If you are looking to buy an angled speaker, here are a few great options we think you can consider for now:

SVS Prime Elevation: These are truly versatile as they can be used not only as Surround speakers, but also as Ceiling speakers for Immersive Audio and last but not the least as Front Left Center & Right (LCR) Speakers! They can also be placed as Atmos module speakers on top of floorstanding speakers where the only way to ensure a semblance of immersive audio is with the support of bouncing sound waves off the ceiling from below.

They are easy to mount on either walls or ceilings, they are an extremely practical option for sites where there isn’t an opportunity for using other types of speakers. There have also been instances where end users have used these as desktop speakers!

Price to performance ratio is very high, hence they are definitely one that we recommend.

Dali Alteco C1 Up & Down Firing: Dali has yet again come out with an innovative solution in the form of the Alteco C1’s as they are uniquely placed in this segment as well as positioned in the stereo listening environment.

The switch position on the baffle ensures that one can use these to beam the sound upwards to create the immersive effect or downwards to enable imitate close position listening.

Besides this feature, the Alteco C1 offers similar features & placement options as that of the SVS Prime Elevation’s. Pricing is also almost at par, though both options are on the costlier side of the price spectrum.

Mission LX-3D MKII: Considered as the most value for money option from the others, these definitely are worth a look for budget conscious solution seekers as they are definitely capable of delivering the results. We recommend these for projects having significantly lower budgets.

KEF Q50a: Offer a unique concentric speaker drive solution, that may be better placed for certain applications, notably as height and ceiling applications. They aren’t cheap and hence might get looked over the other options available.

ELAC Debut 2.0 A4.2 /Emotiva Airmotiv A1: These are meant for placement above floorstanding speakers only, to be firing sound upwards, using the ceiling as a bouncing surface to create the illusion of immersive audio. Not versatile, but they do the job reasonably well.

Definitive Technology A90: Working on the same principles as the Elac & Emotiva offerings, these are certainly not cheap, but they do sound good and will do the business as is expected. They appeal mainly to the definitive house sound fans, who want to keep a uniform sound across the speakers installed in the given set up.

Reading next

A HiFi System With Bass Like-No-Other
Sealed Vs Ported Subwoofers

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.