Can Bookshelf Speakers Be Used As Atmos Speakers?

Bookshelf speakers

Many of you are probably wondering what are Atmos speakers and do I really need them for Dolby Atmos experience? Can I use bookshelf speakers instead?

The short answer is yes, you absolutely can use bookshelf speakers as Atmos speakers, In fact, it’s actually preferred as bookshelf speakers are less expensive than Atmos-enabled speakers and sound way better in the same price range. Some good options are SONY SS-CS5, Polk S10, Polk T15 and Polk OWM3 speakers. Polk OWM3 is our number one choice as it’s small, lightweight and can be positioned in 7 different ways, making it ideal for hanging on ceiling or walls. Polk bookshelf speakers also comes with keyhole slots in the back for simple wall mounting.

But keep in mind it also depends on your room configuration. If you have no space or possibility to hang your speakers up high, then the only way to get Atmos experience is to get specialized Atmos-enabled speakers. These speakers are made to disperse sound at an angle so sound will bounce off your ceilings and then back to the listening position. That’s what you’re paying for, angled speakers designed to lay flat and shoot the sound up in an angle. In real world testing, this does not sound better than speakers in the ceiling or wall area firing down. In fact, depending on your ceiling height and shape, Atmos speakers that point up may not work well at all. You will get a diffused sound and not be able to control where it bounces, giving you a poor sound experience.

If you can, the best way to position Atmos (and presence speakers) is up high, pointing down at your listening position. If this is the route you chose, then hanging bookshelf speakers will work perfectly fine. Bookshelf speakers are cheaper, have better specs and are more powerful in the same price range as Atmos speakers. They are perfect as surround and Atmos speakers.

You can also chose to hang Atmos speakers on your wall. Because they are naturally designed at an angle, you won’t need to use a wall mount that has a rotation feature. You can hang them flush against the wall and the speakers automatically will shoot the sound at an angle. Some Atmos speakers are designed to be used lying flat or hung on a wall. But again, you’ll pay hundreds of dollars more for this luxury.