The Dolby Atmos Home Theater Paradox

How Many Speakers are You running in your Home Theater?

  • 5.1 or up to 5.4

    Votes: 107 46.5%
  • 6.1 or up to 6.4

    Votes: 6 2.6%
  • 7.1 or up to 7.4

    Votes: 70 30.4%
  • 9.1 or up to 9.4

    Votes: 20 8.7%
  • 11.1 or up to 11.4

    Votes: 15 6.5%
  • Two-Channel is where it's at!

    Votes: 12 5.2%

  • Total voters
    230
Auditor55

Auditor55

Senior Audioholic
It sounds like the price to install ceiling atmos speakers is prohibitive because the speakers themselves don't have to be price prohibitive. I paid $250 for 4 in ceiling speakers. My HT space has a attic space above so it was a fairly easy DIY install....the setup is 5.2.4...sounds great. I've never heard a system with front heights to know what it's like.
You don't include the cost of wiring the speakers into your ceiling? Having said that, $250 isn't bad at all. However, I just don't think its that much sound information above your head, an occasional helicopter or air plane fly over, other than that not much. At this point, not enough sound info to justify the cost and time to place speakers above your head in an Atmos system. Not to mention the lack Atmos encoded content.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
You don't include the cost of wiring the speakers into your ceiling? Having said that, $250 isn't bad at all. However, I just don't think its that much sound information above your head, an occasional helicopter or air plane fly over, other than that not much. At this point, not enough sound info to justify the cost and time to place speakers above your head in an Atmos system. Not to mention the lack Atmos encoded content.
I've got my 7.4.4 setup and it's awesome. As for how much content there is, there is quite a lot, but the upmixer that replaces the Dolby Pro Logic is pretty awesome. Adds height information to everything (which for me is TrueHD and DTS-HD) that isn't already encoded that way. It works and is nice, but it isn't groundbreaking. I think Atmos is very good, but I'll need to get my ceiling speakers in before I can really tell. My current on-ceiling speakers do a great job, but their dispersion isn't all that wide.

Currently the ceiling speakers in Atmos/DTS:X are more ambient sounds. That is where it shines. Just kind of pulls you in more in a way that you can't really tell where the sound is coming from. If your system already does this for you, then it'd be a waste to install the overhead speakers. I doubt you'd gain much from it. I did it simply because I could.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
You don't include the cost of wiring the speakers into your ceiling? Having said that, $250 isn't bad at all. However, I just don't think its that much sound information above your head, an occasional helicopter or air plane fly over, other than that not much. At this point, not enough sound info to justify the cost and time to place speakers above your head in an Atmos system. Not to mention the lack Atmos encoded content.
I can't justify the cost for you of course, but my wiring cost was the cost of the wire and my DIY labor...attic access above the HT space so it was pretty easy...the hardest part was finding cool enough temps to work in the attic.

Immersive is better, makes the movie experience a bit more realistic to the viewer in those scenes where overhead sound makes sense, I would expect titles to grow with the Dolby brand name behind it....but, truth be told, the easy access is the only reason I have atmos speakers.

I'm mostly a music guy so it's easy for me to say...I don't blame you.
 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Senior Audioholic
I can't justify the cost for you of course, but my wiring cost was the cost of the wire and my DIY labor...attic access above the HT space so it was pretty easy...the hardest part was finding cool enough temps to work in the attic.

Immersive is better, makes the movie experience a bit more realistic to the viewer in those scenes where overhead sound makes sense, I would expect titles to grow with the Dolby brand name behind it....but, truth be told, the easy access is the only reason I have atmos speakers.

I'm mostly a music guy so it's easy for me to say...I don't blame you.
I'm a music guy as well. Yes immersive audio makes for an improved audio movie watching experience, however its not, in my opinion and observation, not dramatic as some have been claiming. I think you are immersed because you really are immersed in sound, so many sound sources with speakers all around you, firing sounds at your ears.
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Not very many, if any, manufacturers have implemented the width channel capability of Atmos. I think the Denon 7002 receiver can, but I'm not 100% on that.
Many older models have the ability. It’s really a shame it’s not taken hold for home theater, the gap between the front left and right and surrounds is probably the biggest flaw with 5.1/7.1.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
You don't include the cost of wiring the speakers into your ceiling? Having said that, $250 isn't bad at all. However, I just don't think its that much sound information above your head, an occasional helicopter or air plane fly over, other than that not much. At this point, not enough sound info to justify the cost and time to place speakers above your head in an Atmos system. Not to mention the lack Atmos encoded content.
I have been watching movies on a 5.1.2 setup for the last 6 months, and I can assure you, whether it’s dts x/atmos encoded content, or unmixed using neural x/Dolby surround, there is a ton of sound information coming from overhead. Not just flyovers. Keep in mind, sounds don’t have to be directly above, could be floating mid room.

People who aren’t “audio savvy” that have watched movies with me frequently comment on how expansive the sound stage is, and that sound seems to come from everywhere. Of course, I also get remarks about direct overhead sounds, a storm, the reverb of a large hall or cave, debris crashing down from above after an explosion, etc.

Really the jump from 5.1 to 5.1.2 is like going from stereo to 5.1, and you don’t even need atmos content to reap benefits. The upmixers are very good at accurately extracting height channels.

I couldn’t go back to plain 5.1

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
I'm a music guy as well. Yes immersive audio makes for an improved audio movie watching experience, however its not, in my opinion and observation, not dramatic as some have been claiming. I think you are immersed because you really are immersed in sound, so many sound sources with speakers all around you, firing sounds at your ears.
Have you tried dsu with music?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
I'm a music guy as well. Yes immersive audio makes for an improved audio movie watching experience, however its not, in my opinion and observation, not dramatic as some have been claiming. I think you are immersed because you really are immersed in sound, so many sound sources with speakers all around you, firing sounds at your ears.
When there is a scene with a helicopter or something overhead...does it sound more realistic with an atmos coded movie and like based system? IMO it does. Like most audio, with better room acoustics, better speakers, the better the listening experience will be.

But like I was saying earlier...I went for it because it wasn't very costly to put 4 speakers in the ceiling.
 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Senior Audioholic
Have you tried dsu with music?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
No. I don't have an Atmos receiver. My observation of Atmos has been cinema Atmos and demo rooms.

I wouldn't mind trying it for music.
 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Senior Audioholic
I still don't think this format (Atmos) is getting the necessary software support to make it a mainstay. I've read where its mostly showing up on UHD Blu Rays, if that's the case, that could be a death blow.

Also, what is the realistic future of consumer DTS-X and Auro 3D?
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
I still don't think this format (Atmos) is getting the necessary software support to make it a mainstay. I've read where its mostly showing up on UHD Blu Rays, if that's the case, that could be a death blow.

Also, what is the realistic future of consumer DTS-X and Auro 3D?
DTS-X is less common, but I got Atomic Blonde and it has a DTS-X track. Auro 3D is DOA.

I probably have 60 or so Atmos movies and 1/5 of those are UHD. Maybe less.

Go look at Blu-Ray.com at the new releases. Tons of new movies are being released with Atmos tracks. Tons of previously released movies are being re-released with Atmos tracks.
 
B

bikdav

Full Audioholic
We've heard chatter in the industry that the new surround format Dolby Atmos, originally designed for Cineplexes, may be working its way into new AV receivers as soon as this fall. Are you ready to jump on the 9.1 or 11.1 surround bandwagon? Or, do you think this will be another forced technology push like 3D and UltraHD have been, from an industry desperate to promote a shiny new product or feature rather than educating the consumers on how to better set up existing technologies to maximize their home theater experience? It will be interesting to see if consumers will identify a need and benefit for adding more speakers in their existing home theaters and if they will be willing to allocate both budget and space to accommodate.


Read The Dolby Atmos Paradox

Are you planning an AV Receiver upgrade to accommodate Dolby Atmos and up to 11 channels of audio? Let us know in this thread.
Here is what I am seeing. We are almost approaching 2018 (the time of my response) and I have not heard a really good Dolby Atmos demnonstration anywhere. Virtually nothing related to surround sound has made it into the music end of things. I am not aware of any theaters in my area that have Atmos (or maybe its DTS counterpart). I am starting to wonder, is Dolby Atmos and DTS:X about to suffer the same “fatal death” that 3D video suffered? Maybe I missed something along the way, but I do not see much interest in Dolby Atmos.
 
N

Norm Lazure

Audioholic Intern
Be serious I have tried 9.1 and 7.1 etc etc I always seem to go back to 5.2. Put the money into better speakers
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Here is what I am seeing. We are almost approaching 2018 (the time of my response) and I have not heard a really good Dolby Atmos demnonstration anywhere. Virtually nothing related to surround sound has made it into the music end of things. I am not aware of any theaters in my area that have Atmos (or maybe its DTS counterpart). I am starting to wonder, is Dolby Atmos and DTS:X about to suffer the same “fatal death” that 3D video suffered? Maybe I missed something along the way, but I do not see much interest in Dolby Atmos.
Highly doubtful. Atmos is becoming a standard feature in avrs and on bluray, it’s also being incorporated into things like HTiBs and sound bars.
 
G

Gooddoc

Enthusiast
Here is what I am seeing. We are almost approaching 2018 (the time of my response) and I have not heard a really good Dolby Atmos demnonstration anywhere. Virtually nothing related to surround sound has made it into the music end of things. I am not aware of any theaters in my area that have Atmos (or maybe its DTS counterpart). I am starting to wonder, is Dolby Atmos and DTS:X about to suffer the same “fatal death” that 3D video suffered? Maybe I missed something along the way, but I do not see much interest in Dolby Atmos.
The first native studio Atmos re-mixes have been released, but most don't know about them yet. One is excellent IMO and makes me very excited at the possibilities of some of my favorite albums being remixed in Atmos. Of course, as with any format, the quality of the Atmos mixes will be variable. But when done right it has the potential to be a revolutionary step forward in studio mixes.

The disc that is excellent is R.E.M. - Automatic for the People. I was never a big R.E.M. fan, but the Atmos mix elevates the music compared to the stereo mix. It is literally the finest overall music experience I personally have in my collection, stereo or multichannel.

The INXS - Kick 30 mix is not at the same level as the R.E.M. disc, but it does have a couple of tracks that are awesome in Atmos. Many of the stereo mixes are better on this disc than the Atmos mixes IMO.

Neither of these bands are bands I would list as the music I listen to, so take what I say with that in mind. But the R.E.M. disc elevated the music enough for me to change my mind on that album, and the INXS disc didn't.

Matching speaker choices and calibration will impact Atmos music more than movies, so I'm a little concerned that their could be a wide variation in impressions of studio Atmos music mixes, and that could impact it's adoption. The early music Atmos mixes have been largely crowd noise and atmospherics in the height channels, and that can have all manner of SQ differences between systems and still sound great. But when mixing vocals into the ceiling speakers, timbre matching and calibration levels can have a big impact on the experience.
 
S

Speedn20

Audiophyte
We've heard chatter in the industry that the new surround format Dolby Atmos, originally designed for Cineplexes, may be working its way into new AV receivers as soon as this fall. Are you ready to jump on the 9.1 or 11.1 surround bandwagon? Or, do you think this will be another forced technology push like 3D and UltraHD have been, from an industry desperate to promote a shiny new product or feature rather than educating the consumers on how to better set up existing technologies to maximize their home theater experience? It will be interesting to see if consumers will identify a need and benefit for adding more speakers in their existing home theaters and if they will be willing to allocate both budget and space to accommodate.


Read The Dolby Atmos Paradox

Are you planning an AV Receiver upgrade to accommodate Dolby Atmos and up to 11 channels of audio? Let us know in this thread.
 

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Speedn20

Audiophyte
I bought Pioneer SC-LX501
Also added Xbox one S to play Atoms audio.
Enjoying the new setup!
 

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