Dolby Speaker Setup
Dolby Speaker Setup

Speaker setup guides

Looking to set up your new soundbar?

Check out our soundbar setup guide where you'll learn the difference between upward-firing soundbars and those with height virtualization. We also cover everything: from which cable to use to what goes where.

Looking to set up your new soundbar?

Check out our soundbar setup guide where you'll learn the difference between upward-firing soundbars and those with height virtualization. We also cover everything: from which cable to use to what goes where.

Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos home entertainment setup guide

Check out this helpful overview guide to learn how to set up and connect your devices that are enabled with Dolby.

Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos home entertainment setup guide

Check out this helpful overview guide to learn how to set up and connect your devices that are enabled with Dolby.

Popular speaker setups

2.1 Configuration setup

3.1 Configuration setup

4.1 Configuration setup

5.1 Configuration setup

7.1 Configuration setup

9.1 Configuration setup

11.1.8 Mounted / overhead speaker placement

Use this step-by-step guide to optimize your sound system enabled with Dolby Atmos.

11.1.8 Mounted / overhead speaker placement

Use this step-by-step guide to optimize your sound system enabled with Dolby Atmos.

Speaker placement, room considerations, and other tips.

Speaker setups: what the numbers mean

To describe home theater setups, audio enthusiasts use numbered designations. Here’s how to read the designation, using "5.1" and "5.1.2" as examples:

[5] The first digit refers to the number of traditional surround speakers (front, center, and surround). Both Dolby Atmos® and traditional channel-based surround systems use this designation.

[.1] The next digit refers to the number of powered subwoofers (sometimes called the low-frequency effects, or LFE, speakers) you can connect to your receiver. Both Dolby Atmos and traditional surround systems use this designation.

[.2] Only Dolby Atmos enabled systems use a third digit, which refers to the number of overhead or upward-firing speakers in a Dolby Atmos setup.

How does a Dolby Atmos setup differ from a surround sound setup?

Typical surround sound setups have either 5.1 or 7.1 channels. A 5.1 system has left, right, and center speakers in front, with left and right surround speakers. A 7.1 system adds left and right rear surround speakers. A 9.1-channel system adds front height speakers to take advantage of Dolby Pro Logic® IIz, which derives height information from the signal.

Dolby Atmos layouts add height speakers to the traditional 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound setups. Adding two height channels creates a 5.1.2 or a 7.1.2 system. Dolby Atmos systems with four height channels are designated 5.1.4 or 7.1.4.

To add overhead sound, you can use two or four speakers mounted in or on the ceiling, or use Dolby Atmos enabled speakers that fire sound upward toward the ceiling, from where it's reflected back to the listening area.

There are also simpler systems, such as sound bars, that deliver the Dolby Atmos experience.