The concept of sonic atmosphere has become the focus of an increasing amount of attention in both academic and public forums, but scholars have developed diverging and overlapping definitions of the concept which threatens to inhibit our progress in understanding atmospheric phenomena. This paper draws on recent developments in the field of New Aesthetics and New Phenomenology. In particular, the research work highlights the role a sonic atmosphere has as a backdrop of the acoustic environment and the soundscape, and explores the relationships existing among these concepts. This provides us with a reference framework for studying movement through and between sonic atmospheres and to understand the possible relationships unfolding between an individual' s mood and the affective tonality and affordances of a sonic space. A case study exemplifies the application of the proposed conceptual framework in the field of urban design.