Dolby Atmos takes surround sound to new heights - literally. First introduced to consumer electronics in 2016, Atmos adds additional surround sound channels to be reproduced above the listener. Atmos channels are displayed as the last digit in a surround sound format. As an example, a 7.1.4 format would represent 7 full channel speakers (front right, center, left; surround left and right; back surround left and right) plus 1 low frequency channel, and 4 overhead Atmos channels.
While some manufacturers offer speakers with an upward firing driver to bounce sound off the ceiling, the best performance comes from reproducing Atmos channels with in-ceiling speakers.
If you are building a home or are in the process of renovating, we recommend running speaker cable for these locations even if you are not yet certain an Atmos layout is for you. Cable is relatively inexpensive, and once you hear your neighbor's Atmos system, you'll likely be convinced to upgrade.