Posted Tue Jun 5, 2018 at 09:25 AM PDT by Steven Cohen
With so many awesome home theater gear options out there, figuring out exactly which model to buy, or what features you need, can be daunting. Thankfully, High-Def Digest has you covered. Welcome to Home Theater 101 where we'll be explaining emerging technologies while also recommending the very best possible A/V gadgets n' gear you can buy at your particular budget level.
Dolby Atmos & DTS:X have taken the surround sound experience to the next level, allowing users to add overhead audio to their home theater setups. And in order to achieve this, customers now have a variety of speaker types to choose from, including in-ceiling speakers that can be installed above the listening position; speakers with integrated up-firing drivers that can bounce sound off of a ceiling to simulate audio from above; and add-on modules with up-firing drivers that can be placed on top of existing speakers.
With all these options in mind, we're going to list a few great Dolby Atmos speaker solutions for every price point. Likewise, all of these products should work with DTS:X audio as well. From inexpensive add-on modules to premium floor-standing models, these are our picks for the year's best Dolby Atmos speakers. So, without further ado, here are HDD's
Note: All listed prices reflect current Amazon or other retailer discounts at press time and do not include taxes or shipping.
Pioneer SP-T22A-LR Add-on Speaker Modules ($99 per pair) - A budget-friendly add-on speaker option, these Atmos modules from Pioneer are designed to sit on top of a user's existing speakers, adding an up-firing driver for height effects. Though they are compatible with any flat top speaker from any brand, the modules are specifically geared toward use with Pioneer's SP-BS22-LR compact speaker or SP-FS52 floorstanding speakers. The add-ons feature a concentric driver including a 4" woofer and 1/2" tweeter. Full review here!
Sony SSCSE Dolby Atmos Enabled Speakers ($198 per pair) - Sony's new 2018 Dolby Atmos modules are currently one of the most affordable options on the market. Equipped with a compact, angled design and up-firing drivers, the SS-CSE Dolby Atmos enabled speakers are capable of reflecting sound off of a user's ceiling in order to simulate overhead audio effects in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks. In addition, the units feature an MDF cabinet, 10cm full range speaker system, a Mica Reinforced Cellular cone, a Maximum Input Power of 100W per channel, and a frequency range of 70Hz-32000Hz. Though the SS-CSE speakers have been designed with Sony's CS Series models in mind, the modules can be placed on top of any existing floor-standing or bookshelf speakers. Likewise, customers can also opt to mount the speakers to a wall for Dolby Atmos or surround sound use.
Polk Audio V60 In-Ceiling Speakers ($239 per pair) - For users looking for an inexpensive in-ceiling solution, the V60 speakers offer solid performance without breaking the bank. Designed with Dolby Atmos use in mind, these speakers feature a swivel mount high-performance ¾" aimable silk dome tweeter and 6 ½" Dynamic Balance polypropylene cones. Likewise, the V60 uses Polk's patented Rotating Cam System to ensure secure, vibration-free installation.
ELAC Debut 2.0 A4.2 Dolby Atmos Modules ($250 per pair) - ELAC's second generation Atmos modules are designed to sit on top of existing speakers to add up-firing drivers for simulated overhead audio. Features 1 x 0.5-inch polymer dome tweeter, 1 x 4-inch woven aramid-fiber cone woofer. The Crossover frequency is rated for 5,000 Hz and the frequency response is rated for 180 to 20,000 Hz.
Klipsch R-41SA Dolby Atmos Speaker Module ($399 per pair) - Designed to sit on top of existing floorstanding/bookshelf speakers, adding Dolby Atmos audio capabilities. The module's upfiring driver bounces sound off of the ceiling in order to simulate overhead audio. Likewise, the units can also be used as surround speakers. Features a 4" spun-copper IMG woofer, 1" Aluminum LTS tweeter mated to a 90x90 square Tractrix Horn, and 100 Watt Power Handling.
SVS Prime Elevation Speakers ($399 per pair) - Acting as a more installation friendly alternative to an actual in-ceiling speaker, these Elevation Speakers from SVS are designed to serve as a versatile Dolby Atmos or DTS:X height solution with flexible placement options. Likewise, the unit can also be used as a center, front, LCR, side surround and/or rear surround speaker when ideal placement in a room isn't possible. The speaker features a 1" Tweeter and 4.5" Woofer. Full review here!
Klipsch RP-500SA Dolby Atmos Speaker Modules ($399 per pair) - With up to 300W peak power (75W continuous), 5-1/4" cerametallic woofers, and 1" Titanium LTS vented tweeters with hybrid Tractrix Horns, these new Reference Premiere modules offer more robust up-firing performance compared to some of the budget models listed above. Likewise, they also offer a switchable crossover for optimized performance either as a Dolby Atmos Elevation speaker or a wall mounted side or rear surround speaker.
KEF Q50a Dolby Atmos Module ($500 per pair) - This two-way closed box speaker is designed to sit atop a user's existing speaker, firing sound upward to bounce effects off the ceiling to simulate overhead audio for Dolby Atmos mixes. Likewise, the device uses KEF's newest Uni-Q driver array, placing the tweeter in the acoustic center of the midrange and bass cone for a more detailed, accurate sound. In addition, this updated version of the Q Series Uni-Q driver features a damped tweeter loading tube, improved lower treble performance, and a new low-distortion inductor on the crossover.
Klipsch CDT-5800-C II In-Ceiling Speaker ($700 per pair) - While up-firing drivers are a solid solution for customers who don't want the hassle of in-ceiling installation, the best overhead effects will still come from actual overhead speakers -- and these high-performance models from Klipsch are a great option. The speakers feature a 1" Titanium Tweeter and an 8" Pivoting Cerametallic Woofer. And they work particularly well with a full Klipsch Reference Premiere Series speaker setup.
Pioneer Elite SP-EBS73-LR Bookshelf Speakers ($749 per pair) - For those hoping to avoid the need for an extra Atmos module or in-ceiling solution, these bookshelf speakers from Pioneer actually include an integrated up-firing driver for Atmos audio. Suitable to serve as a user's front or surround speakers, the units feature a 4" Concentric Aluminum Mid-Range with 1" Tweeter and a 5 ¼" Aluminum Woofer, along with an extra 4" Concentric Aluminum Mid-Range with 1" Soft Dome Tweeter mounted on top to simulate overhead sound effects. Designed to be used as part of a full Pioneer Elite Dolby Atmos system along with the Pioneer Elite SP-EFS73 Dolby-Atmos Floorstanders, Pioneer Elite SP-EC73 Center Channel, and Pioneer Elite SW-E10 300-Watt Powered Subwoofer.
Pioneer Elite SP-EFS73 Floorstanding Speakers ($996 per pair) - These premium floorstanding speakers from Pioneer feature a 4" Concentric Aluminum Mid-Range with 1" Tweeter and 3 5¼" Aluminum Woofers, along with an additional integrated 4" Concentric Aluminum Mid-Range driver with 1" Soft Dome Tweeter mounted on top to simulate overhead sound effects, saving customers the need to buy an extra module or in-ceiling solution. Designed to be used as part of a full Pioneer Elite Dolby Atmos system along with the Pioneer Elite SP-EBS73-LR Bookshelf Speakers, Pioneer Elite SP-EC73 Center Channel, and Pioneer Elite SW-E10 300-Watt Powered Subwoofer.
Klipsch R-625FA Dolby Atmos Floorstanding Speaker ($1,198 per pair) - The R-625FA is a full-fledged floorstanding speaker model with traditional drivers and an integrated elevation channel for upfiring sound. The speaker features dual 6.5" spun-copper IMG woofers, a 1" Aluminum LTS tweeter mated to a 90x90 square Tractrix Horn, and 400W Power Handling.
KEF R8a Dolby Atmos Module ($1,400 per pair) - This premium module is designed to sit atop a user's existing speaker, firing sound upward to bounce effects off the ceiling to simulate overhead audio for Dolby Atmos mixes. Likewise, the device can be mounted to the wall for use as a surround speaker. The module features a 130mm (5.25 in.) Uni-Q array with a 25mm (1 in.) tweeter.
Klipsch RP-8060FA Floorstanding Speakers ($1,798 per pair) - One of the most robust Dolby Atmos speaker solutions on this list, the RP-8060FA features a 1" Titanium LTS Vented Tweeter with Hybrid Tractrix Horn, 8" Spun Copper Cerametallic Woofers, an integrated Height Channel with 6.5" Spun Copper Cerametallic Woofer, and Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Tractrix port.
So, there you have it. Those are current top choices for the best Dolby Atmos speakers on the market. What do you think about our selection? Do you have any other Atmos speaker suggestions? Let us know in the forums!
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