Has Dolby Home Atmos Been a Step Forward for Home Audio?

Do you think Dolby's Home Atmos hasbeen a positive move on the whole for home audio?

  • Yes, Home Atmos has been a move in the right direction.

    Votes: 20 47.6%
  • Dolby's Home Atmos has overall been good for home audio but has some flaws.

    Votes: 18 42.9%
  • Home Atmos has become a misbegotten mess for home audio.

    Votes: 3 7.1%
  • I don't know what a Dolby Home Atmos is. Help, I am lost and scared!

    Votes: 1 2.4%

  • Total voters
    42
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
I joined just so that I could send in my thoughts. I currently have a nice 5.1 system in my multi purpose room. The room is 26' x 16' but I have my set up on the long wall which makes my space around 16' deep x 13' wide. I think Atmos would work great in my room with 4 ceiling speakers. I can only do 5.2.4 but not sure if it would be worth the funds to upgrade since I listen to two channel music 50%+ and the other times I am streaming shows like Ozark, Breaking Bad, etc.

The only reason I would be interested in upgrading is that my current avr is the Anthem MRX 510 which I can not get it to pass 4k so therefore I am watching everything in 1080p on my Samsung QLED 85" TV. I am still not sure if I want to upgrade to Atmos or just keep everything the same and purchase a really nice two channel system which I would probably get more use out of.

So in my opinion I think Atmos was designed to sell more speakers, avr's, movies, etc. Heck, my wife thinks the TV speakers are just fine and I bet she is in the majority that think that as well.

Thoughts?

For you...if you're going to do 4k, most of the AVRs will probably have the Dolby Atmos feature as well. Two birds with one stone. The real key for Atmos speakers is if you have the capability to install in ceiling speakers, without ripping out your ceiling.

If you do...and you don't mind investing into to some blu ray discs or renting them, Dolby Atmos is worth it. My movie watching has grown since I finished the system, but music is why I built it, and music still probably 70% of my usage is music.
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Samurai
For you...if you're going to do 4k, most of the AVRs will probably have the Dolby Atmos feature as well. Two birds with one stone. The real key for Atmos speakers is if you have the capability to install in ceiling speakers, without ripping out your ceiling.

If you do...and you don't mind investing into to some blu ray discs or renting them, Dolby Atmos is worth it. My movie watching has grown since I finished the system, but music is why I built it, and music still probably 70% of my usage is music.
Also he could if he doesn't want in ceilings he could just mount something like the SVS prime elevations this should have been the route I took in my theater room

Mount some small bookshelves up there and angle them perfectly the only thing you have to do is run the speaker wire through and cut a small hole to let it out

I say I should've cuz I hate any in wall speaker if I can avoid it down the road I probably will fix this but I digress

I guess I'm just bringing up the idea that you can put speak ers up there without cutting holes in the ceiling it's just a thought
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Quite honestly, I believe that Auro 3D would have better for the home market. It would have been much better way to implement immersive audio in the home simply because it would not have required ceiling speakers.
So what are you waiting for? Implement Auro3D for your system already! :D
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Also he could if he doesn't want in ceilings he could just mount something like the SVS prime elevations this should have been the route I took in my theater room

Mount some small bookshelves up there and angle them perfectly the only thing you have to do is run the speaker wire through and cut a small hole to let it out

I say I should've cuz I hate any in wall speaker if I can avoid it down the road I probably will fix this but I digress

I guess I'm just bringing up the idea that you can put speak ers up there without cutting holes in the ceiling it's just a thought
Good point...I never considered on ceiling mounted speakers because I guess I never had to but yes, that's an option.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Also he could if he doesn't want in ceilings he could just mount something like the SVS prime elevations this should have been the route I took in my theater room

Mount some small bookshelves up there and angle them perfectly the only thing you have to do is run the speaker wire through and cut a small hole to let it out

I say I should've cuz I hate any in wall speaker if I can avoid it down the road I probably will fix this but I digress

I guess I'm just bringing up the idea that you can put speak ers up there without cutting holes in the ceiling it's just a thought
Yeah, the key is to have speakers above you, not necessarily in-ceiling speakers.

The speakers could be installed high up ON the wall and pointed down.

But to some people, implementing ON WALL speakers is also bad. The speakers need to be sitting on the Floor or atop speaker stands. Period. :D
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Samurai
Good point...I never considered on ceiling mounted speakers because I guess I never had to but yes, that's an option.
Honestly I feel it's a superiour one for me I always feel any in wall ceilings or in wall will never perform as well as external speakers

Also your in ceilings have to have really good dispersion characteristics that's angled bookshelves would get around

There's an excellent YouTube channel called home theater gurus that really covers this very well one of the videos is on how in ceiling you lose so much output and performance from seat to seat even when properly put in unless they are very well designed but even then you'll still lose some

That's just me I'm the type of audioholic that doesn't want to lose ANY output! I'm a greedy AUDIOHOLIC! lol :D
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
After reading this article I was moved to register so I could reply. Speaking as an older person, some of this article sounds like an old man poo pooing the new fangled speaker technology and looking for every less than perfect point to crap all over it. There are of course valid points but I remember reading the previous articles on this site and getting the same impression.

I've heard the argument before that Atmos doesn't make that much difference. The others with this argument also seem to have top end systems. So I wonder if your systems are so amazing that the extra dimension really doesn't make a difference. I have a decent enough system based around a marantz 9+2 channel receiver. I use Focal speakers with built in modules (yes I swapped out the boomy sub). I notice you didn't mention those. Up firing is definitely more difficult to set up because of the variables but the Focals at least simplify the speaker incline.

I do agree that a separates system will never be the norm, more so with Atmos. But that's where the sound bars come in. I personally can't stand the idea of using one (Saying that, one of those bars in a bedroom is a great option). But if it brings some of the Atmos benefits to mainstream users then that can only be good news.

Overall I'm extremely happy with Atmos/DTSx not including the Disney At"mouse" discs of course. Up mixing non Atmos tracks has also been a revalation. I'm only talking about home theater. Outside of live events I'm not yet convinced that Atmos brings useful benefits for music.
Actually I think it does. I have not had a chance in the last few months to watch many movies. However I have listened to a lot of music, and the added dimension the ceiling speakers seem to give to the upmixer is a benefit. The system does now give a credible illusion of the original space.

As far as the ceiling speakers on offer though, they look to me as if there were designed by people who wandered in from car audio of yesteryear. I'm using highly unique ceiling speakers. If I was advising on ceiling speaker selection, I would strongly advise full rangers from Mark Audio. The ceiling speaker requirements are optimally met by really good full range speakers.

As an aside I treasure the past, the present and the future. However we need never to forget the past so we don't repeat mistakes. It happens you know.

So my room as well as I think being state of the art, I think, it showcases some of the best from the past preserving it good usable working condition. After a visit here you can see have much progress we have actually made and its less than you think. Convenience though is of different order altogether. I can attest to that after having to reinstall four vintage turntable systems!
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Honestly I feel it's a superiour one for me I always feel any in wall ceilings or in wall will never perform as well as external speakers

Also your in ceilings have to have really good dispersion characteristics that's angled bookshelves would get around

There's an excellent YouTube channel called home theater gurus that really covers this very well one of the videos is on how in ceiling you lose so much output and performance from seat to seat even when properly put in unless they are very well designed but even then you'll still lose some

That's just me I'm the type of audioholic that doesn't want to lose ANY output! I'm a greedy AUDIOHOLIC! lol :D
Inwall/ceiling vs a traditional speaker with a cabinet...I agree $ for $ the SQ will be better from a traditional speaker, but I've heard inwalls that sound better than cabinet speakers before. Only these inwalls were more than 3 times the price.

I'm all for the best SQ I can afford, but the atmos retail demo showed me that you reach the point of depreciating returns much quicker than you do with main speakers. They were using Paradigm in ceiling that were $700-800 ea. It didn't sound any better than my $300 for 4 Polks
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
After reading this article I was moved to register so I could reply. Speaking as an older person, some of this article sounds like an old man poo pooing the new fangled speaker technology and looking for every less than perfect point to crap all over it. There are of course valid points but I remember reading the previous articles on this site and getting the same impression.

I've heard the argument before that Atmos doesn't make that much difference. The others with this argument also seem to have top end systems. So I wonder if your systems are so amazing that the extra dimension really doesn't make a difference. I have a decent enough system based around a marantz 9+2 channel receiver. I use Focal speakers with built in modules (yes I swapped out the boomy sub). I notice you didn't mention those. Up firing is definitely more difficult to set up because of the variables but the Focals at least simplify the speaker incline.

I do agree that a separates system will never be the norm, more so with Atmos. But that's where the sound bars come in. I personally can't stand the idea of using one (Saying that, one of those bars in a bedroom is a great option). But if it brings some of the Atmos benefits to mainstream users then that can only be good news.

Overall I'm extremely happy with Atmos/DTSx not including the Disney At"mouse" discs of course. Up mixing non Atmos tracks has also been a revalation. I'm only talking about home theater. Outside of live events I'm not yet convinced that Atmos brings useful benefits for music.
The salient thing to me is whether Atmos/DSU, DTSX/NeuralX or Auro3D makes movies and music more ENJOYABLE to us.

If it's enjoyable to the people who have tried and/or implemented these systems, then it is a success.

To me, HOME Atmos/DSU/DTSX/NeuralX is 100% more "successful" than DTS-HDMA, Dolby TrueHD, ProLogic-II and DTS Neo, even though most people have "implemented" all these formats and will never implement Atmos/DTSX.

I've been to many commercial Atmos/Auro3D systems and I have been disappointed every time so I do understand if people are complaining about these commercial systems. But the HOME Atmos is different.

Atmos/DTSX are backward compatible just like DTS-HD MA and TrueHD are backward compatible. Atmos/DTSX aren't going anywhere.

Basically, the main gripe I've seen is that people don't/won't/can't install ceiling or on-wall height speakers. So they complain and give all kinds of reasons why Atmos sucks. :D
 
C

Cdx

Audioholic Intern
Basically, the main gripe I've seen is that people don't/won't/can't install ceiling or on-wall height speakers. So they complain and give all kinds of reasons why Atmos sucks. :D
The article sounded a little like that. I know it wasn't saying exactly that, but that is how it came across. I've already written about the issues your average may have with Atmos so I won't go over that again :)
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
The article sounded a little like that. I know it wasn't saying exactly that, but that is how it came across. I've already written about the issues your average may have with Atmos so I won't go over that again :)
I think Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini suck like crap.

Why? Because I can't implement them. That's why! :D
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
I think Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini suck like crap.

Why? Because I can't implement them. That's why! :D
Yeah, so do vacation homes in Italy!!!

I think something to remember too, DSU and dtsnx are awesome. It might be a detour(not derail) to mention them, but I think it’d be a failure not to. I’ve mentioned this before but, my system is in every single day, and that means if it’s wheel of fortune, judge Judy American pickers, Ozark or UHD movies, it’s on. What I love about the upmixers is that even on the most random show like a million little things, or criminal minds, there is a LOT of cool/odd sounds and music that sounds like it never could with a traditional 5/7.1 layout. Not to mention legacy tracks that were awesome in regular dtshdma. Those can really shine even brighter.

For example, right now I’m watching “Vikings” during lunch. Dtsnx treatment. Excellent.
 
C

Cdx

Audioholic Intern
Yeah, so do vacation homes in Italy!!!

I think something to remember too, DSU and dtsnx are awesome. It might be a detour(not derail) to mention them, but I think it’d be a failure not to. I’ve mentioned this before but, my system is in every single day, and that means if it’s wheel of fortune, judge Judy American pickers, Ozark or UHD movies, it’s on. What I love about the upmixers is that even on the most random show like a million little things, or criminal minds, there is a LOT of cool/odd sounds and music that sounds like it never could with a traditional 5/7.1 layout. Not to mention legacy tracks that were awesome in regular dtshdma. Those can really shine even brighter.

For example, right now I’m watching “Vikings” during lunch. Dtsnx treatment. Excellent.
DTSnx sounds great with DTS-HD, DSU works well with True-HD and DD+. Not surprising but they are not mutually exclusive.. My favourite DSTnx example is the Dark Knight Rises when Batman flies his copter out of the alley way. I was genuinely surprised to find the copter fly over my head. Many 4k streams are DD+ with everything from Star Trek Disco, to Game of Thrones sound great with DSU, but I probably use DTSnx for everything.
 
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D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Samurai
Inwall/ceiling vs a traditional speaker with a cabinet...I agree $ for $ the SQ will be better from a traditional speaker, but I've heard inwalls that sound better than cabinet speakers before. Only these inwalls were more than 3 times the price.

I'm all for the best SQ I can afford, but the atmos retail demo showed me that you reach the point of depreciating returns much quicker than you do with main speakers. They were using Paradigm in ceiling that were $700-800 ea. It didn't sound any better than my $300 for 4 Polks
Yeah that's why I'm thinking relatively low priced bookshelves down the road I get better everything for less bang for the buck

When I get base 7 towers put in my bed layer I'm really toying with reinstalling my JBL 530's up on the ceiling it'll look boss

And it would sound killer!!! :eek:
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
DTSnx sounds great with DTS-HD, DSU works well with True-HD and DD+. Not surprising but I they are mutually exclusive either.. My favourite DSTnx example is the Dark Knight Rises when Batman flies his copter out of the alley way. I was genuinely surprised to find the copter fly over my head. Many 4k streams are DD+ with everything from Star Trek Disco, to Game of Thrones sound great with DSU, but I probably use DTSnx for everything.
Hmmm seems I need to go back to the dark night. FWIW, I like dtsnx with some DD stuff too.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
DTSnx sounds great with DTS-HD, DSU works well with True-HD and DD+. Not surprising but I they are mutually exclusive either.. My favourite DSTnx example is the Dark Knight Rises when Batman flies his copter out of the alley way. I was genuinely surprised to find the copter fly over my head. Many 4k streams are DD+ with everything from Star Trek Disco, to Game of Thrones sound great with DSU, but I probably use DTSnx for everything.
I've actually mentioned that awesome Batwing scene also on AH. :D

I use NeuralX probably 99% of the time unless the movie has a good Atmos/DTSX track.

 
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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I think the problem here is that your priorities are different. The vast majority are not looking for the best audio. You think that they would notice the difference when in fact they won't. I've lost count of the number of times I've entered a home to find the TV in vivid mode. What makes you think they will understand decent audio any better?
I agree that most people don't really look for or care about the solution that has the best sound quality. However, I do think that there are those who, if they were exposed to a really good two-channel system, would much prefer that over a similarly priced surround sound system where quality has been diluted in favor of quantity. The problem is getting them exposed to that experience since surround sound is a de facto standard for sound systems nowadays.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
So in my opinion I think Atmos was designed to sell more speakers, avr's, movies, etc. Heck, my wife thinks the TV speakers are just fine and I bet she is in the majority that think that as well.
And I disagree that Atmos was designed to sell
more speakers. I don’t think that would benefit Dolby or dts in any significant way.
Let's be real. It wasn't NOT designed to sell more speakers. I'm sure that's just a natural side effect of having more channels available. I seriously doubt (which you'll agree with) that Dolby told their engineers "our speaker partners need to sell more. You guys need to create something new that will make that happen". Now, if you replace speaker partners with theaters need something to attract audiences, then that is probably more true.
Dolby made Atmos to make money- as all companies do. The question is, does their product have merit? I won't go into that here, since I have already talked about that in the article, and everyone has to decide for themselves how much merit their product has. BUT Dolby was surely betting on the licensing fees they could accrue for using their new technology. That means speakers, processors, and sound mixes all giving a cut to Dolby for that little 'Atmos' logo on their products. Now I don't know that Dolby had their bouncey house speakers in mind when they first conceived of Atmos, but their chief aim from the get-go was to get the 'Atmos' logo on every piece of professional and consumer electronic gear as possible, and they have done a very good job in that respect. With that in mind, the answer to the question of whether Atmos was made to sell more speakers has to be unequivocal yes.
 
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2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
I agree that most people don't really look for or care about the solution that has the best sound quality. However, I do think that there are those who, if they were exposed to a really good two-channel system, would much prefer that over a similarly priced surround sound system where quality has been diluted in favor of quantity. The problem is getting them exposed to that experience since surround sound is a de facto standard for sound systems nowadays.
Using my circle of friends as my sample size..which is pretty small, about one or two of every 10 would probably appreciate good 2 ch more than surround sound in terms of investing into something themselves...if they have kids, surround sound would win out most of the time.
 
C

Cdx

Audioholic Intern
I agree that most people don't really look for or care about the solution that has the best sound quality. However, I do think that there are those who, if they were exposed to a really good two-channel system, would much prefer that over a similarly priced surround sound system where quality has been diluted in favor of quantity. The problem is getting them exposed to that experience since surround sound is a de facto standard for sound systems nowadays.
Are you saying that people who are mostly interested in playing music still go for a surround system?

Anyway, I would be interested in hearing a 2 channel system that could make me change my mind about Atmos. My system is pretty much only used for movies and streaming so I can't see that happening.
 

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