The Dolby Atmos, DTS-X, and Auro-3D Discussion Thread

AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

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#1
Do we have an official thread discussing all matters pertaining to these 3D Surround Sound formats?

Until recently I’ve been resisting the new 3D Surround formats.

I’m not alone. I know guys like @PENG, @TLS Guy, @TechHDS, and many others haven’t made the jump either. :D

When I built my custom 22’x26’x14’ HT Room in December of 2016, the installers could have installed the 4 ceiling speakers for me - after they installed the other twelve (12) ceiling speakers throughout the house. :D

I mean what’s four more speakers, right?

Why in the world didn’t I do that and get it over with? Why resist when I know that resistance was futile? I was just being an idiot. :D

So now I had to crawl up the scorching attic atop my 14’ ceiling and use my 12’ ladder to install my 4 RBH VM-815/FB-C8 ceilings speakers (1” Aluminum Tweeter, 8” Aluminum Woofer, 88dB/2.83V/m, 50Hz-20kHz +/- 3dB). :oops:

I am such an idiot. :D

So anyway, what’s everyone thinking about this Atmos/DTSX/Auro business about 6 years later ?


1. Which ones have you experienced in both commercial and home setting?

2. Was the commercial experience better or was the home experience better?

3. Which one do you prefer?

4. Do you use Overhead Ceiling speakers or On-wall Height speakers or Add-on-Modules?

5. Do you think Four (4) Ceiling/Height/Add-on speakers are better than two (2) ?

6. What do you think is the best setup and speaker placements after seeing other systems ?

7. Do your main speakers and subs “Overpower” the Atmos speakers?

8. What are some awesome Atmos, DTS-X, or Auro-3D materials for showing off your system?





 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
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5,113 34 17
#2
I have heard a number of Atmos demos. I think Atmos really wasted the potential of object oriented sound mixes. It could have has so much more flexibility than what it does. I am very disappointed at where Dolby has taken Atmos. I am sure they don't care since they have so much marketshare, but, in my opinion, they have mostly fulfilled the most negative predictions that Gene made back when it was launched for home use. It's just a damn shame.
 
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#3
You could well be right regarding the flexibility and implementation, however this is just the first iteration. There will be subsequent versions, revisions and these will likely overcome and supersede the the current issues. They will have also the added benefit of likely driving new hardware sales. :eek:

Regarding commercial setting I have on the whole been disappointed. This is from a limited pool of a few multiplexes and differing screens. Often, much like 3D, the trailers made better use of the technology than the main feature. I think people who have seen the showcases at expositions have had a much better impression and experience.

In the home the experience has been a much better result. Not all films can be considered equal though and the use in some is much better than others. There will be a mountain of previously released older film suddenly sporting Atmos/Dts:X. These should probably considered worthless. Unless the mix is entirely redone from scratch, then throwing in a couple X or Y overhead noises will not greatly improve things.

Nice as the DSU/Neural X upmixers are, these too have limitations in turning existing material into a good Atmos/Dts:X experience. They should also be considered as equal to a re-issued disc.

Overall I think the experience would be better from an Overhead arrangement. It would work better in a .2 setup and would most likely still be superior in .4 one.

I am setup now for .4 heights and nice as front .2 was, I think the move to .4 has been noticeable. Heights can work very nicely when correctly placed. Mine are less than optimal and still giving a noticeable impact.

From a personal perspective I think I have noticed a lot more interaction in the base layers or in combination with the overheads than previously with just the 7.1. Actual overhead moments are a bit more limited and less frequent than one might think. I still cannot say for sure if having configured for Atmos/Dts:X but not having turned on the amp, or just running a 5 or 7 setup is different. It is my belief that if the speakers are not configured then the AVR/Processor simply outputs the True HD/Dts HDMA instead of Atmos/Dts:X mix.
 
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#4
As a general rule of thumb, Summer/Christmas Blockbuster will out performed other films of a more subtle nature. That is not to say the subtle is less effective than the blockbuster but it will have a tendency to make itself more noticed.

Standout overhead moments for me have been the beast stampede in the sewer, near the end of The Great Wall. Not a great film but it does have a nice soundtrack. Also Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1, the attack on 13 has the lovely scattering of explosions overhead.

A good film mix is a good film mix, Atmos/Dts:X or not. A bad mix is bad whether it is presented in Atmos/Dts:X or not. Terms of Endearment will never have a good mix even for surround. Oceans 11 (Clooney) is a very front heavy mix and would gain nothing in an upmix.

A good example of more subtle is Crimson Peak. The Dts:X track on this is noticeably improved over the origin listening of 7.1. Atomic Blonde is also good in this respect.

One I thought should have been better is Jason Bourne. I had watched this with the Front .2 and honestly thought nothing had changed. I will rewatch it with the .4 and see if it is still true. This of course highlights why I think in a .2 arrangement overheads would likely be better. Sometimes I think that certain films make more use of the rears than the fronts and two overheads in the centre would get the job done better. Tom Cruise's Mummy was equally disappointing for the same reason. I thought plane crash would have been much better as it is in Rampage.

One that greatly improved over the Cinema/Dts HDMA mix was Fast and Furious 8. That really works a great deal of the time and the cascade of cars from the parking lot is very nice.
 
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#5
The following is compared to the original playback on 7.1 and not necessarily just as judgement on the use of Atmos/Dts:X. None of these films sound bad in 7.1

Recommended
Mad Max Fury Road
A Quiet Place
Annihilation
Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle (UHD? it is only Dts HDMA in the UK bluray)
John Wick
Gravity
Oblivion

Good films so far, in no particular order (don't judge me for the choices :p.)
Fast an Furious 8
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Transformers The Last Knight
XXX Return of Xander Cage
Rampage
Ready Player One
Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
Now You See Me 2
Crimson Peak
Atomic Blonde
Sucide Squad
Wonder Woman
Pacific Rim Uprising
Hunger Games Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2
Ghost in the Shell
The Great Wall
Kong Skull Island (can't believe I forgot this)
Hacksaw Ridge (the battle is very nice)
The Hitman's Bodyguard
Batman v Superman
Tomb Raider (2018)
Legend of Tarzan
The Justice League
Warcraft

Good but not greatly improved, (I have really only listened to in .2 and will rewatch)
Jason Bourne
The Mummy
The Mechanic Ressurection
Jack Reacher Never Go Back
Pitch Perfect 3 (Dts:X was viewed with .4 now but is only a bit better)

Unknown but hopeful
Valerian

This is really only a sub section of what is available I think the total figure is thought to be around 200ish, perhaps more and growing. Atmos heavily outnumbers the Dts:X. UHD I think always have the Atmos/Dts:X or both. Blurays are bit more hit or miss in the release.

I think Dts could score big time on Bluray if instead of the usual preference for Dts HDMA which is far more prevalent than True HD. A Dts:X mix instead would go a long way to redressing the balance.

You may notice a heavy presence of DC Comics and Tom Cruise and a complete absence of Disney/Marvel/Pixar/Lucasfilms. I do not currently own any UHD discs and Disney for whatever reason, does not release Atmos/Dts:X on Bluray. However since their recent releases on Bluray and UHD sound mixes have been less than stellar that might not be a bad thing. The sooner they sort this the better. Blaming Skywalker Studios is a complete red herring as a number of the above were also done there.

YMMV, other discs are available. :)
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
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5,703 9 1
#7
I do want to try it and that's why I opted for the mid range AVR-X4400H to replace my AV8801. I am still trying to figure out the best practical way to place, mount and feed the 4 height/ceiling speakers. Regarding shadyJ's disappoinitment, Atmos is in its first generation so it will likely be upgraded or superseded (such as DTS to DTS-HD MA). When that happens, if the AVR cannot be FW updated to play the newer version, I would simply wait for the inevitable price drop for the X4600H or X4700H, so bring it on!!
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

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8,164 23 6
#8
Apologies for the multiple lengthy posts.. :rolleyes: You did ask..
I think a lot of people (on the fence) and a lot of newbies will appreciate the info you’ve shared.

The hardware is only as good as the software. So the specific movies are important.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

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#9
I do want to try it and that's why I opted for the mid range AVR-X4400H to replace my AV8801. I am still trying to figure out the best practical way to place, mount and feed the 4 height/ceiling speakers. Regarding shadyJ's disappoinitment, Atmos is in its first generation so it will likely be upgraded or superseded (such as DTS to DTS-HD MA). When that happens, if the AVR cannot be FW updated to play the newer version, I would simply wait for the inevitable price drop for the X4600H or X4700H, so bring it on!!
Yeah, looks like I beat you to the Atmos/DTS game. :D

It seems ceiling Atmos Speakers are unequivocally preferred, but I’ve heard that Height Atmos Speakers are still better than no Atmos Speakers at all.

If you decide to try, the next dilemma is whether to go with 2 or 4 Atmos Speakers. :D

Question is, what’s the determining factor for choosing 2 vs 4?

Does it depend on how Dynamic your current speakers are? If your current speakers are so dynamic, will they overpower your Atmos Speakers?

Or If your Room is 15x17 or 18x20 or if your Ceiling is 8-9’ or 10-11’ or 12-14’ ?

Taller ceilings require more speakers than shorter ceilings?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
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#10
Yeah, looks like I beat you to the Atmos/DTS game. :D

It seems ceiling Atmos Speakers are unequivocally preferred, but I’ve heard that Height Atmos Speakers are still better than no Atmos Speakers at all.

If you decide to try, the next dilemma is whether to go with 2 or 4 Atmos Speakers. :D

Question is, what’s the determining factor for choosing 2 vs 4?

Does it depend on how Dynamic your current speakers are? If your current speakers are so dynamic, will they overpower your Atmos Speakers?

Or If your Room is 15x17 or 18x20 or if your Ceiling is 8-9’ or 10-11’ or 12-14’ ?

Taller ceilings require more speakers than shorter ceilings?
My little room is short, only 8', but not too short horizontally, about 19'. I will definitely go with 4, because at the back I can place them on top of the tall book shelves and use the upfiring ones. If I place the front one as heights (ceiling for me would be too much work) I would still tell the AVR they are Atmos, I can live with telling white lies.:D
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

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8,164 23 6
#11
My little room is short, only 8', but not too short horizontally, about 19'. I will definitely go with 4, because at the back I can place them on top of the tall book shelves and use the upfiring ones. If I place the front one as heights (ceiling for me would be too much work) I would still tell the AVR they are Atmos, I can live with telling white lies.:D
Definitely have to experiment to figure out which configurations sound the best.

I haven't seen too many Atmos movies. But I have watched "Ready Player One" and it makes significant use of the Atmos speakers. Definitely an excellent demo for Atmos.

I haven't watched the entire movie of "The Great Wall". But I can tell that it also makes extensive use of the Atmos speakers. It definitely wasn't this fun the first time I saw it without Atmos speakers.
 

TechHDS

Audioholic General
Ratings
759 2 12
#12
Believe I’ll go 5.2.2, front heights, only cause I would have to move my sofa up 3 ft to have the rear surrounds done up right. That would put me about 5ft from the TV way to close! With that said, 5.1 which I’m running now still isn’t set the way I would like to. My rear speakers are off, right rear speaker is not set right it’s not where it should be. The room is weird.

Mike
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,164 23 6
#13
Believe I’ll go 5.2.2, front heights, only cause I would have to move my sofa up 3 ft to have the rear surrounds done up right. That would put me about 5ft from the TV way to close! With that said, 5.1 which I’m running now still isn’t set the way I would like to. My rear speakers are off, right rear speaker is not set right it’s not where it should be. The room is weird.

Mike
I think 5.1.2 is more than enough for most systems.

I was going to only do 5.5.2, but my mains (SX-T2/R x 5) are just too overpowering for just 2 ceiling speakers in a 22' x 26' x 14' ceiling room.

If I could put 2 x SX-T1/R's in the Ceiling as my Atmos speakers, I would only do 5.5.2. :D
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

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2,345 6 1
#14
I think 5.1.2 is more than enough for most systems.

I was going to only do 5.5.2, but my mains (SX-T2/R x 5) are just too overpowering for just 2 ceiling speakers in a 22' x 26' x 14' ceiling room.

If I could put 2 x SX-T1/R's in the Ceiling as my Atmos speakers, I would only do 5.5.2. :D
I think that would be a disservice to you and your system. You have an incredible stack of gear and IME , x.x.4 is much more immersive than .2.
Two overheads just can’t complete the bubble, or place objects behind.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

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#15
I think that would be a disservice to you and your system. You have an incredible stack of gear and IME , x.x.4 is much more immersive than .2.
Two overheads just can’t complete the bubble, or place objects behind.
It depends on the speakers and room size, doesn’t it?

It’s not just about the number of speakers, right?

Some speakers can project a much larger more expansive lifelike soundstage and image than many smaller speakers.

But I do get your point that having speakers both in Front and Behind you could produce a better soundstage and image.
 

TechHDS

Audioholic General
Ratings
759 2 12
#16
I think 5.1.2 is more than enough for most systems.

I was going to only do 5.5.2, but my mains (SX-T2/R x 5) are just too overpowering for just 2 ceiling speakers in a 22' x 26' x 14' ceiling room.

If I could put 2 x SX-T1/R's in the Ceiling as my Atmos speakers, I would only do 5.5.2. :D
You may have a point, really don’t need two Subs. I could do 5.1.4, front heights rear heights I believe I could make that work. I would have to have the rear heights firing down wouldn’t need to be very big speakers umm something alone a satellite speaker would probably work. Oh wait! I believe that’s called 9.1? Lol. Atmos and DTS-X here I come.

Mike
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

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#17
You may have a point, really don’t need two Subs. I could do 5.1.4, front heights rear heights I believe I could make that work. I would have to have the rear heights firing down wouldn’t need to be very big speakers umm something alone a satellite speaker would probably work. Oh wait! I believe that’s called 9.1? Lol. Atmos and DTS-X here I come.

Mike
Yeah, do 5.1.4. I think it will work even if the satellite speakers are firing down. You don’t need to move the seats closer to your TV.

The .4 would be the Presence Height Front and Height Rear Speakers on the Yamaha AVR.

On my system, they are the Presence Ceiling Speakers.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
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2,345 6 1
#18
It depends on the speakers and room size, doesn’t it?

It’s not just about the number of speakers, right?

Some speakers can project a much larger more expansive lifelike soundstage and image than many smaller speakers.

But I do get your point that having speakers both in Front and Behind you could produce a better soundstage and image.
Speakers and room size are always important of course. Quantity of speakers has historically been a questionable thing, but that’s always been based around channel based systems. In my own system for example, upscaling a 5.1 track via PLIIx to 7.1 does more harm than good. The performance of my 5ch configuration is much better and probably due to the speakers imaging capabilities. Still, no matter how good any speakers can image, two overheads just can’t do it as well as 4, and also consideration has to be taken to how the renderer distributes the content. With only 2 overheads, the metadata that’s sent to the rear OH speakers will be folded into the bed speakers so there is no way that even two of the “super mega bestest speakers ever” can do the same job.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

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#19
With only 2 overheads, the metadata that’s sent to the rear OH speakers will be folded into the bed speakers so there is no way that even two of the “super mega bestest speakers ever” can do the same job.
I see your point.

Do you think going from x.x.2 to x.x.4 is like going from 5.1 to 7.1 to 9.1 ?
 
D

Drunkpenguin

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
678 3
#20
I went with 4 right off the bat for one simple reason. If you go with 2 the placement is in a different part of the ceiling then going 4. So to start with 2 in-ceilings and then upgrade later to 4 either means patching holes or compromising placement.
 

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