Home Cinema Speakers Systems Guide

Home Cinema Systems

Experience stunning high quality multi-channel surround sound in the comfort of your own home

Bespoke Home Cinema Systems

Creating a home cinema system with an array of passive speakers wired back to an AV receiver or home cinema amplifier is by far the best way to experience high quality multi-channel surround sound that you can really feel. Movies, TV, gaming and sports become much more immersive with the right audio setup, and ensuring that the audio specification of a system matches the visuals is paramount to the experience.

Here at Ceiling Speakers we want to help you install your perfect home cinema system. Whether it's a dedicated cinema room or a lounge which requires a discreet setup, we have great products, and the expertise to assist you in every aspect of you home entertainment systems.

Home Cinema Rooms

Home Cinema Room with in wall speakers

Maximum performance for the ultimate entertainment experience

Building a dedicated home cinema room provides the ideal environment for maximum performance, and may permit the use of speakers which would otherwise be out of place in a typical living space. Designing a room solely for movies, TV and gaming opens the door to the ultimate home entertainment experience.

From small cinema rooms featuring TV screens, to large cinema rooms with projection systems and tiered seating, we can help you design an audio system that maximises performance whatever your budget.

Discreet Home Cinema

Living Room Home Cinema with in Wall Speakers

High quality home entertainment without compromise

If you want to install a home cinema system into a living space or lounge then aesthetics may well play a crucial role in your speaker choice. Thankfully, there are a huge range of discreet in-wall and in-ceiling speakers designed specifically for home cinema which combine high quality audio with near invisible looks.

Using the right combination of speakers we can help you install a home cinema system which sounds amazing but also looks discreet. At Ceiling Speakers we believe that high quality audio doesn't have to compromise a beautiful interior.

Speaker Configurations

When it comes to surround sound speaker configurations, there are many different layouts to consider. The more speakers (or channels) you have, the more immersive and three dimensional the audio experience will become. These speaker configurations are expressed as a series of numbers as follows.


1st Number - The number of traditional surround speakers (front left, front right, centre & surround)
2nd Number
- The number of subwoofers
3rd Number - The number of Dolby Atmos speakers

5.1 is the most basic surround sound configuration and features front left, front right, front centre, and left & right surround channels. All larger systems are based around this common layout.

5.1.2 adds two overhead Dolby Atmos speakers and is probably the most popular configuration. 5.1.2 is ideal for average sized living rooms where there is only one row of seating or where the seating is against the back wall. Many streaming services now provide a Dolby Atmos audio track for movies, TV series, and even music, so with a Dolby Atmos surround sound speaker system you can enjoy a much more immersive 3D audio experience.

"Dolby Atmos has reinvented how entertainment is created and experienced, allowing creatives everywhere to place each sound exactly where they want it to go, for a more realistic and immersive audio experience... Whether you’re gaming, watching your favourite film or series, or listening to that new track on repeat, Dolby Atmos transports you into a spatial sound experience that draws you in deeper, so you hear more and feel more." - dolby.com

5.1.4 and 7.1.4 speaker configurations which feature 4 Dolby Atmos channels provide an even greater 3D audio experience. Larger rooms, or those with tiered seating or a listening position away from the back wall will benefit from the extended Dolby Atmos effects provided by 4 overhead speakers.

7.1, 7.1.2 and 7.1.4 configurations with 7 main channels feature 4 surround speakers; surround left/right and surround back left/right. In larger rooms and dedicated cinema rooms these provide a wider rear soundstage for enhanced surround effects placement, which more closely replicates movie theatre audio.

Subwoofers are a critical component in any home cinema system to enable the reproduction of the dedicated low frequency audio track. In the majority of systems, subwoofers also reinforce the bass frequencies of the other channels. This helps to create a system with a full sound which is powerful, dynamic, and one which can literally be felt! Typically an average home cinema system will use one subwoofer, but in larger spaces, or for maximum bass performance, two or more can be used to good effect (eg. 5.2.4). Subwoofers are often freestanding units, but where aesthetics or floor space require it, in-wall and in-ceiling models are available.

The following documents detail the most common surround sound speaker configurations. In many cases these layouts cannot be followed exactly due to installation restrictions, and this is typical of systems installed in living spaces. Don't worry if you can't follow these specifications exactly. Minor adjustments are acceptable and the surround sound processor will be able to compensate and calibrate the system accordingly.

For further information, please see the Dolby Website.

5.1 Surround

5.1 is the most basic surround sound configuration and consists of three front channels and two surround sound channels.

View / Download 5.1 Configuration

5.1.2 Dolby Atmos

5.1.2 is a Dolby Atmos surround sound configuration which adds two overhead Atmos channels to 5.1. This is a popular configuration for small/medium rooms.

View / Download 5.1.2 Configuration

5.1.4 Dolby Atmos

5.1.4 is a Dolby Atmos surround sound configuration which adds four Atmos channels to 5.1. This setup is best for larger rooms where the seating is forward of the rear wall.

View / Download 5.1.4 Configuration
7.1 Dolby Surround guide

7.1 Surround

7.1 is a basic surround sound configuration for larger spaces where the seating is forward of the rear wall or tiered seating is installed.

View / Download 7.1 Configuration

7.1.2 Dolby Atmos

7.1.2 is a Dolby Atmos configuration which adds two overhead Atmos channels to 7.1.

View / Download 7.1.2 Configuration

7.1.4 Dolby Atmos

7.1.4 is a comprehensive Dolby Atmos configuration which adds four overhead Atmos channels to 7.1. Excellent for large cinema rooms with tiered seating.

View / Download 7.1.4 Configuration

AV Receivers & Amplifiers

An AV amplifier is the electronic heart of every home cinema system. It provides the amplification and surround sound processing for the speakers, plus video processing and switching for multiple source devices such as satellite boxes, Blu-ray players, media streamers, and games consoles. AV amplifiers and receivers are connected to every component in a home cinema system, making them a critical component that must be selected carefully for the required specification. Although complex components, modern AV receivers feature sophisticated built-in calibration software designed to make them easy to setup.

Please note: AV amplifiers and receivers are complex pieces of equipment which feature many components. As a result they are fairly large items which need adequate installation space and ventilation. Please contact us if you require further details and recommendations regarding installation.