5.1 to 5.1.2 using existing in-ceiling speakers...

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PsiPhiDan

Audiophyte
Okay, so I've had a 5.1 setup for about a decade. I finally updated my equipment so I'm able to do 7.1 or 5.1.2 (which is what I'm planning on) and lossless audio via 4K BD player. Here's my question: what's the best way to do that?

My current setup is this:

Sony STR-DN1080 receiver (capable of Atmos 5.1.2)
Polk RTi A3 bookshelf speakers about 4 ft up
Polk CSi A4 center channel under TV
Polk CS60i 6" in-ceiling speakers installed DIRECTLY ABOVE my couch, spaced about 6-8' apart.

The last part is my complication, from what I'm reading about Dolby Atmos. Here are my main thoughts for the most likely option:

Keep the current in-ceiling speakers as is and use them as surrounds. Install another pair of in-ceiling speakers above my bookshelf speakers (about 8' high) to mirror the rears. Use those as the "Atmos enabled" speakers. I could potentially place them halfway between the fronts and surrounds even (in the ceiling still) for "middle heights".

Thoughts/Questions:
-Is it a problem that the surrounds are at the same height as the Atmos enabled? Or is the sound separation mostly just needed between the fronts and the Atmos ones? Does sound height separation matter between surrounds and Atmos since so little sound comes from the surrounds anyway?

-Is the separation from 4' to 8' enough?

-Do the Atmos ceiling speakers need to be more hefty and expensive than my surrounds (CS60i)? Should I go for the 8" ones?

I know in an ideal world, I'd have surrounds at ear height and use the ceiling ones as Atmos... But my wife really doesn't seem keen on these stands, which I get. This is in a family room, not a dedicated theater. But I want to do this right so that I'll actually notice a difference.

Do you all have any input on this? I'd appreciate it greatly! I like to plan, research, and talk to people before doing anything. Thanks in advance!
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
Yes. Having them on the same plane will not work. Might need a conversation with the Mrs.
The heights/tops should also be in front of the LP so reusing the existing as tops won’t quite be right either.
It’s bed time lol, so I’ll check in tomorrow. Today?
 
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PsiPhiDan

Audiophyte
Ugh..
Yes. Having them on the same plane will not work. Might need a conversation with the Mrs.
The heights/tops should also be in front of the LP so reusing the existing as tops won’t quite be right either.
It’s bed time lol, so I’ll check in tomorrow. Today?
.

Ugh... this just isn't in the cards for me. I don't think in-wall (behind) is possible and the speaker stands are not going to happen from my early conversations with my wife. Too many issues (visual, safety with kids, safety with wiring).

So you think my system would sound better with my current setup than adding front or middle heights in-ceiling?
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
Well that’s kinda hard to say indefinitely, but if you added a pair of top fronts you would get sound effects from them obviously. But the Atmo”sphere” wouldn’t be intact, and the XYZ placement of objects would be ineffective too. I guess my short answer would be that it would be better to install the TF speakers but make sure you temper your expectations(zone should anyway of course lol), since that installation will very much limit the ability to be completely immersive.
I usually say some Atmos is better than no Atmos, so there’s that. Lol
 
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PsiPhiDan

Audiophyte
Well that’s kinda hard to say indefinitely, but if you added a pair of top fronts you would get sound effects from them obviously. But the Atmo”sphere” wouldn’t be intact, and the XYZ placement of objects would be ineffective too. I guess my short answer would be that it would be better to install the TF speakers but make sure you temper your expectations(zone should anyway of course lol), since that installation will very much limit the ability to be completely immersive.
I usually say some Atmos is better than no Atmos, so there’s that. Lol
I'm starting to aim at improving my rears instead this year. Easily the weakest part of my system. $100 for the pair I think. I'm looking at the Polk FX-RT 80 as an upgrade. I feel like I'll get more improvement there and stick with 5.1.
 
P

PsiPhiDan

Audiophyte
Well that’s kinda hard to say indefinitely, but if you added a pair of top fronts you would get sound effects from them obviously. But the Atmo”sphere” wouldn’t be intact, and the XYZ placement of objects would be ineffective too. I guess my short answer would be that it would be better to install the TF speakers but make sure you temper your expectations(zone should anyway of course lol), since that installation will very much limit the ability to be completely immersive.
I usually say some Atmos is better than no Atmos, so there’s that. Lol
What do you think of Yamaha receivers with MusicCast? You can program those to receive the surround audio. The speakers are wireless and rechargeable (about $200 each). I could probably manage to put those in (high WAF) and still use my ceiling ones for Atmos then.
 

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