Can Bookshelf Speakers Be Used as Atmos Speakers?

Can your bookshelf speakers be used to for Atmos speakers? You can set up Atmos in two ways. Even with existing speakers, it is still possible for you to use your current setup with Atmos. Despite this, it is still a very flawed approach for a few reasons.

Is it possible for bookshelf speakers to be used as Atmos speakers? The answer is yes. Once you have it set up, you can get the best sound quality possible. This tutorial will show you step by step how to set it up so you can be able to enjoy playing music using Dolby Atmos surround sound.

There is no greater feeling in the world than walking into a room that is filled with high quality sound. All coming from bookshelf speakers. Sound quality is important because you as an audiophile would want nothing more than to hear every little bit of detail coming out of those speakers.

You can use bookshelf speakers to listen to music, sound from movies or TV shows you’re watching. Or playing video games on your favorite console. Let’s dive right in and take a look now at this detailed tutorial so you can get Atmos quality sound in your own home.

What You Need for This Tutorial

what you need for this tutorial
Image by Tomislav Jakupec from Pixabay

This tutorial will require the following:

  • Bookshelf speakers (Front and center speaker)
  • Subwoofer
  • Atmos-enabled modules

Step by Step Instructions on How to Set Up Bookshelf Speakers for Atmos

Now that you have everything you need for the tutorial, it’s time to get set up and ready to go. Let’s dive right in and show you step-by-step how to set up your Bookshelf Speakers for Atmos:

1. Set up the in-ceiling speakers

The first step is setting up your ceiling speakers. To do this, you’ll want to make sure you’re installing these in an area of your home will you’ll be mainly listening to your audio of choice. If you want to get the full on Atmos experience, it is highly recommended that you set up a second set of speakers on the ceiling.

You’ll want to place these behind the area where you’ll be sitting down. Keep in mind that this can be added to your current setup.

2. Add additional Atmos modules

The next thing you can do is set up speaker modules that are Atmos-enabled. These will have drivers that are angled and up-firing. You can place these on the top of your existing speakers.

For best results, you can place one of these modules on the right speaker or left speaker. Alternatively, you can also place them on the main speaker located in front of the viewing area. What kind of Atmos will you have for your speakers?

There are two different kinds of Atmos: ‘Real Deal’ and Virtual Atmos. The Real deal consists of ceiling speakers with the sound coming from the ceiling itself. These will have a rotating woofer along with a tweeter that swivels.

This will give you plenty of sound dispersion that you can control while providing you with plenty of coverage. Virtual Atmos on the other hand are forward-firing speakers that have extra drivers located at the top. This is designed to help sound bounce off the ceiling and down to your listening position.

Virtual Atmos speakers may replace your current front left and right speakers. In fact, many Atmos home theater systems will have the Virtual Atmos because it provides itself a better option compared to systems with in-ceiling speakers.

If you are looking for something cost-effective, you can find a version of virtual Atmos that is less expensive. You can use this while keeping your current speaker setup. Even if you won’t be able to afford some of the speakers with Virtual Atmos, not all hope is lost.

3. Angling your bookshelf speakers upward

angling your bookshelf speakers upward
Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash

One thing you can also do is position the bookshelf speakers to where they can be pointed upward. This will allow the sound to fire upward. Place these speakers on top of the front speakers and angle them upwards.

The goal here is to get them to tilt at a right angle. This can be a challenge for the newbie setting things up. You can still find the best results based on the correct angle you set it to.

One of the things to keep in mind is the ceiling height, the coverage area, and the distance between the speakers and the listening position. This can be a great solution if you wish to forego the idea of replacing your front speakers or even adding on modules as described in step 2.

You can also save yourself the time that would otherwise would be spent on cutting holes and installing add on speakers or wall mounts. It’s possible to add speakers to get the best sound quality you can. But you need to make sure you have it set up properly or you won’t get it.


Did you enjoy this tutorial? If you followed this step-by-step, you should be able to get excellent quality sound using your favorite speakers. You’ll have the closest thing to a surround system experience with this setup.

Imagine having bookshelf speakers provide you with excellent quality sound without a complicated setup. No need to cut holes or purchase expensive equipment. You can experience the Dolby Atmos sound quality right in your own home.

With the right setup, your bookshelf speakers will become part of an even greater surround sound system that will up the movie and TV show viewing experience like nothing else. If you enjoyed this tutorial, we’d love to hear from you.

Feel free to leave a comment below discussing how you set up your speakers. We also would love to hear about the sound quality on your end. Your results may vary, but it never hurts to make adjustments to look for that perfect sound.

Good luck and let us know what you think.

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