Can You Use Any Ceiling Speaker for Atmos?

When you set up your new home theater, you want to make sure that you pick the right items to make it perfect. And the speakers you choose will be an important feature to consider.

If you want to watch movies and shows that work with Dolby Atmos, it is also important to pick out speakers, including ceiling speakers, that are compatible with this feature.

You can use most ceiling speakers for Atmos. While some of the older models may not have the capability to play this surround sound application, if you are designing your home theater, most of the speaker options, including those for the ceiling, will come equipped to work with Dolby Atmos.

Also, check out my article: Can I Use Bookshelf Speakers for Atmos?

Ceiling Speaker for Atmos

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In this article, we will take a look at which speakers work well with atmos, some of the reasons that Atmos is such a great feature to have and use in your home theater, and some of the things you should look for when choosing a ceiling speaker that is compatible with Atmos.

Do All Speakers Work With Atmos?

The first question we need to ask is whether or not all speakers work Dolby Atmos. There are quite a few speakers that can handle this surround sound capability. This gives you many options when you are choosing a ceiling speaker, and you want to use it with Atmos.

However, you need to check whether the speaker works with Atmos or not before purchasing. This is true no matter which type of speaker you add to your system. Most speakers designed in the past few years are compatible with Atmos, but not all.

If you have an older speaker or plan to save money by purchasing used, then this feature may not be found on the speaker. Any ceiling speaker that is compatible with this feature will give you the Dolby Atmos experience.

Why Should I Choose a Speaker That Works With Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is an amazing surround sound option in many modern movies and shows. This one is based on the object-based audio format, which means that it works to attach the sound directly to the objects that are on the screen, instead of to specific channels or speakers.

The benefit of this one is that Atmos helps you to be right in the action. The sound is delivered from each angle, including above, below, and to all sides, as long as you have the right number of speakers to do this.

The Benefits

There are a number of benefits for using this surround sound feature, including:

  • Plenty of content: While there are still limitations, the library of shows and movies that include Dolby Atmos surround sound is growing.
  • Affordable equipment: You can find models out there that cost thousands of dollars. But it isn’t necessary to choose something that expensive. Many receivers and speakers can be quite affordable.
  • Amazing sound: Remember how great a movie sounds in the theater? Dolby Atmos helps to bring that same experience into your home.

Even with these benefits, keep in mind that the content available for Dolby Atmos is still pretty limited. It is also likely that you will need to go through some kind of upgrade on your current system to make this feature work.

And while most modern speakers and television sets work with Atmos already, not all do, and it is possible you may need to get an upgrade to make this work in your home theater.

For more information, read my article “Do I Need a Dolby Atmos TV to Get Dolby Atmos?

What Should I Look for in a Ceiling Speaker?

Look for in a Ceiling Speaker

When shopping around for a ceiling speaker, there are a few things that you should consider to help you make the best decision. These include:

  • The depth: This lets you know how much space the speaker will take up behind the plaster of your wall or ceiling. The slimmer options will cost more but take up less space while the thicker options take up more space and cost less.
  • Type of speaker: There are many places you can use the ceiling speaker. Consider what room, whether it will be used inside or outside, and any other factors before purchasing.
  • The size: When shopping around, you will notice that most speaker options are either 6.5 inches or 8 inches. This will talk about how big the cone is rather than the size of the speaker. The 8-inch will give better sound because of its size, but the smaller option can do a great job as well.
  • The shape: Most speakers are round or square. Round is the most common, but you can go with whatever one fits your decor or you like better. Both will give the same sound quality.

The Best Ceiling Speakers for Dolby Atmos

If you are in the market for new ceiling speakers for your system, it is definitely worth your time to pick some that work well with Dolby Atmos. This will give you the best surround sound experience no matter what you show or movie you want to watch. Some of the best speakers to enjoy Dolby Atmos on include:

1. Yamaha NS-IW280CWH In-Ceiling Speaker System

Check Price on Amazon Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5" 3-Way In-Ceiling Speaker System (White, Pair)

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Everything about these speakers is designed to do well with Atmos. The cone in the woofers is stiff while also being lightweight, ensuring that you will get the most detail and accuracy out of your speakers. The input capability maxes out at 100 watts, allowing for amazing bass that other speakers like.

The tweeters are also impressive, providing a good swivel design that provides all the dispersion you need. There is a grill made out of aluminum with a protective cover to give the best sound. You can also tilt the woofer around as much as you want to aim the direction of the sound based on your room.

2. Polk Audio RC80i Round Speakers

Polk Audio RC80i 2-way Premium In-Ceiling 8" Round Speakers, Set of 2 Perfect for Damp and Humid Indoor/Outdoor Placement - Bath, Kitchen, Covered Porches (White, Paintable Grille)

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If you need a speaker that can handle a beating and is used often, then this option from Polk is a great option. They are designed to work in many different conditions, especially those that are humid and damp, and the seal drivers are rubber. This provides the best response possible while keeping all moisture out of the system.

Add to this that the hardware is rust-resistant, and the composite driver basket will help to keep everything in alignment, so it works well. The cone is designed to get all the lows of sound no matter what you are watching. The tweeter can move around to suit your needs. No matter where you need to place this speaker, you will find it can stick around and last a long time.

3. AmazonBasics In-Ceiling In-Wall Mounted Speakers

AmazonBasics 8" Round In-Ceiling In-Wall Mounted Speakers, Set of 2

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This actually comes in a set of two with simple installation, so you get the best sound in any part of the room. There isn’t anything that you won’t love about these speakers. They allow for you to easily install them anywhere you would like, they have a 4kHz crossover when you need it most, and they are rated to work at 20 – 100W of power for all your needs.

When you need an affordable speaker that is simple to work with and can give you all the great sound you desire with your home system, then this is the right choice for you.


Many modern speakers work well with Dolby Atmos and can give you the amazing sound you are looking for. Some older speakers will lack this compatibility, though, so it is important to look before purchasing to see if you can expect Atmos or not.

With the right ceiling speaker, you can sit down and enjoy the best surround sound with your favorite movies and shows in your own home theater.

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