Dolby Atmos® FAQ

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J. PUPSTER

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New Windows 10 updates with some added Atmos functionality...

The update also enables, "Dolby Atmos for Headphones and DTS Headphone: X to be used in 24-bit mode on devices that support 24-bit audio."

 

ZooTooK

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Interesting to see Apple to include Atmos in their music platform. But looking at Dolby's web site they only refere to listening to Atmos music via headphones, laptop speakers, soundbars and Echo speaker - only. No 7.1.4 even refereed to.

Now I have not listened to any Atmos anywhere but have any of you guys tried Atmos music on headphones? I'm sure it gives some spatial illusions and virtual widening but I have a hard time thinking it can be called "immersive" or "next era of music". I fear that Dolby is overselling the product and people will get disappointed.

There seem to be some tracktion in the music production space for Atmos right now but if only very few have a 5/7.1.2/4 system at home there will never be a market to make the production effort worthwhile. There's quite a bit of extra work and needed investments & learning to produce Atmos music so in the end it must be worthwhile for the producers.
 
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EricKalet

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Interesting to see Apple to include Atmos in their music platform. But looking at Dolby's web site they only refere to listening to Atmos music via headphones, laptop speakers, soundbars and Echo speaker - only. No 7.1.4 even refereed to.

Now I have not listened to any Atmos anywhere but have any of you guys tried Atmos music on headphones? I'm sure it gives some spatial illusions and virtual widening but I have a hard time thinking it can be called "immersive" or "next era of music". I fear that Dolby is overselling the product and people will get disappointed.

There seem to be some tracktion in the music production space for Atmos right now but if only very few have a 5/7.1.2/4 system at home there will never be a market to make the production effort worthwhile. There's quite a bit of extra work and needed investments & learning to produce Atmos music so in the end it must be worthwhile for the producers.
Hopefully this mention of Apple TV on the Apple FAQ, the ATV4K will give full Atmos.


F7F79D22-3BC4-42CC-94A0-A222E250C738.jpeg
 

jonfo

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@HomerJAU one more important tidbit for the FAQ:

If your receiver or processor has Audyssey, please make sure that Audyssey Dynamic EQ is OFF !
DynEQ completely destroys the 3D localization of Atmos with changes to volume (it raises it for rears, and tops), and also the extra EQ skews the phasing relationships, collapsing the 3D imaging.
DynEQ is fine on 2ch or 5.1, but should not be used with Dolby Surround Upmixer, or when playing Atmos.

Research performed:
I have two Atmos systems (three, if I count the Smyth A16 Realizer Atmos headphone processor), one is a media room with a 5.4.2 (Elac Elevation speakers) and the other a custom HT with 4 JBL SCS8 Cinema overhead speakers in a 5.4.4 setup, and turning off DynEQ made a huge difference in the 5.4.4 HT, I mean enormous! I used to think my 3D imaging was being impacted by the fact that all 5 bed channels are 6' tall Electrostats and that their height in relation to the tops reduced precision. But no, it's the level and phase skews from DynEQ that were collapsing the bubble. and on the 5.4.2 setup, the louder rears were masking object placement in a major way, and without DynEQ, the 3D bubble was much clearer. I'm actually impressed with how good a soundstage can be achieved with just elevation speakers. Not the same as 4 coaxial 8" Cinema overheads, but still.

Bottom line: Turn OFF DynEQ for Atmos or for any content where DSU is enabled.
 

Sal1950

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DynEQ is fine on 2ch or 5.1
A small point of disagreement, DynEQ sucks on 5.1 also, raising the volume level on the rears and totally messing up the F-R balance. Audyssey developers believe it belongs as part of the EQ correction (can't remember their reasoning right now) but that's crap. Everyone that I know that has it agrees. If they'd at least put in a switch to change it in Editor that would be fine but so far they've dug in their heels on it's need. :mad:
I'd be happy with just a plain ole fletcher munson curve eq.
 

jonfo

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I'd be happy with just a plain ole fletcher munson curve eq.
That would be my wish as well. They messed up by combining the loudness comp with 'presence' adjustments.

can't remember their reasoning right now
They arrived at this presence compensation curves by inviting a bunch of professional mixers to re-mix their tracks at the various loudness levels.
So the rising levels on rears, as well as the added mid and high EQ is based on what these mixers decided to do during those tests.
Since this was pre-Immersive formats, it supposedly was beneficial, but I agree, never quite right in all cases.

And for Atmos/DTS:X it is actually harmful. I hope Denon/Marantz adds logic to automatically disable DEQ when DSU or Atmos is playing on a >5.1.2 layout.
 

popshop

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I'm looking to buy a receiver to play 7.1.4. Opinions on something good and affordable? I've been searching the net and seems there are so many listed at 7.2 but not many listed at 7.1.4 (or 11.2?)
I currently playback in 5.1.2 (with heights in back), and I'm not even sure there will be a huge difference going to 7.1.4, what do you think 7.1.4ers?
 

Beefalo

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I'm looking to buy a receiver to play 7.1.4. Opinions on something good and affordable? I've been searching the net and seems there are so many listed at 7.2 but not many listed at 7.1.4 (or 11.2?)
I currently playback in 5.1.2 (with heights in back), and I'm not even sure there will be a huge difference going to 7.1.4, what do you think 7.1.4ers?
I can run 7.1.4 or 5.1.4.
I almost always prefer 5.1.4.
because I get more discrete content from the surrounds.
 

humprof

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I'm looking to buy a receiver to play 7.1.4. Opinions on something good and affordable? I've been searching the net and seems there are so many listed at 7.2 but not many listed at 7.1.4 (or 11.2?)
I currently playback in 5.1.2 (with heights in back), and I'm not even sure there will be a huge difference going to 7.1.4, what do you think 7.1.4ers?

I recently upgraded to a Marantz SR6014 for that very purpose--I took the leap in May when, after tracking it for months and months, it finally went back down to within $50 of its historic low at Accessories4Less. (Not sure where it is now.) Best compromise I could find between quality and affordability. I like everything about it but the front-panel display, which is frustratingly tiny.

All in all, I'm not sorry--I'd already talked myself into making the upgrade, which I'd been budgeting and prepping for (I installed 4 ceiling speakers almost 2 years prior)--but I don't think there's any objective answer as to whether it's worth it. Or even whether Atmos is worth it, period (yet). Of the two dozen Atmos mixes I own, and the comparable number of Tidal streams I've heard, I'd say maybe 3 or 4 of them are, to my ears, a whole lot more interesting than their 5.1 counterparts, in that they do something uniquely imaginative and/or fitting with the heights. (And sorry: I should have said at the outset that my upgrade was from 5.1.2 to 5.1.4, not 7.1.4.) Another dozen or so are slightly and/or subtly more interesting. The rest are, as @ubertrout recently put it, "5.1 or 7.1 in drag." But with the aforementioned recordings, four overheads tend to add more spaciousness and/or movement and/or accuracy in placement than two. (I was previously using only the front heights.) Action/adventure movies & TV with Atmos soundtracks are significantly improved, however.

My USD .02; your mileage/room/setup may vary.
 
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HomerJAU

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You didn’t mention your existing setup.

There’s quite a lot of existing 7.1 mixes in movies.

If you have the space I’d recommend 7.1.4 as having rears does add a more immersive sound field. All the Atmos mixes will use the rears.

The higher end (price) Denon AVRs either have 11 amps or analog outs to drive another amp ore AVR with analog ins. I’m sure other brands do similar.

On Audio Science review the Denon AVR preamp sections get better scores than Marantz AVR preamps even though they come from the same parent company.
 
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beerking

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I'm looking to buy a receiver to play 7.1.4. Opinions on something good and affordable? I've been searching the net and seems there are so many listed at 7.2 but not many listed at 7.1.4 (or 11.2?)
I currently playback in 5.1.2 (with heights in back), and I'm not even sure there will be a huge difference going to 7.1.4, what do you think 7.1.4ers?
Hi Ian,
I'm a devotee of the 7.1.4 speaker set up, which I've had for a couple of years now.
I use heights front and back, for the Atmos playback.

My receiver is the Marantz SR 8012. I chose it because it can handle up to a 11.2 speaker configuration, with ease.

I also prefer Marantz receivers for their musicality.

The speakers are Monitor Audio Silver 6's, including 2 small bookshelves for the rear heights. The front heights are 2 SVS's.

The sub is from Arendal.

Hope this helps.
 

Sal1950

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I'm looking to buy a receiver to play 7.1.4. Opinions on something good and affordable? I've been searching the net and seems there are so many listed at 7.2 but not many listed at 7.1.4 (or 11.2?)
I currently playback in 5.1.2 (with heights in back), and I'm not even sure there will be a huge difference going to 7.1.4, what do you think 7.1.4ers?
As HomerJAU has already mentioned, the latest line from Denon have been the best measuring of the AVR's that Amir at ASR has seen over the last few years. Any receiver listed as offering Atmos should do the .4 playback of Atmos files..
I run a 5.2.4 set-up here, I just don't have the room for the extra 2 speakers in the back of the room here, So I can't comment on the 7 channel base sound but I do believe it would be a valuable upgrade to add the front heights. Atmos effects of things such as fly-overs or any that involve a panning of an object from front to rear or vise versa would gain from going to the .4 setup.
Bottom line, I'd recommend the best Denon you can afford at this point.
BTW, I run a Marantz 7703 pre/pro here, so no bias involved. ;)
 

beerking

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I'm looking to buy a receiver to play 7.1.4. Opinions on something good and affordable? I've been searching the net and seems there are so many listed at 7.2 but not many listed at 7.1.4 (or 11.2?)
I currently playback in 5.1.2 (with heights in back), and I'm not even sure there will be a huge difference going to 7.1.4, what do you think 7.1.4ers?
Maybe this one?
Amazon.com: Denon AVR-X6700H 8K Ultra HD 11.2 Channel (140Watt X 11) AV Receiver 2020 Model - 3D Audio & Video with IMAX Enhanced, Built for Gaming, Music Streaming, Alexa + HEOS: Electronics @ $2599

Or this one second hand ?
Marantz SR8012 11.2-Channel WiFi Compatible Home Theater Receiver W/ Mic & Stand | eBay @$1804

Brand new Marantz
MARANTZ SR-8015 SR8015 11.2 Channel Home Theater Network A/V Receiver! New! 699927251451 | eBay@$3289
 

ar surround

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I'm looking to buy a receiver to play 7.1.4. Opinions on something good and affordable? I've been searching the net and seems there are so many listed at 7.2 but not many listed at 7.1.4 (or 11.2?)
I currently playback in 5.1.2 (with heights in back), and I'm not even sure there will be a huge difference going to 7.1.4, what do you think 7.1.4ers?

I saw this item on Tuesday morning. I was at the seller‘s house to pick up my new Parasound A21 amp which I purchased from him. So I asked to see this AV processor also. He took it out of the original box and it looked to be in mint condition.

 

ar surround

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I'm looking to buy a receiver to play 7.1.4. Opinions on something good and affordable? I've been searching the net and seems there are so many listed at 7.2 but not many listed at 7.1.4 (or 11.2?)
I currently playback in 5.1.2 (with heights in back), and I'm not even sure there will be a huge difference going to 7.1.4, what do you think 7.1.4ers?

This AV8802A has a better price so far, but I haven't seen it in person like the other one. And since it is a processor, further investment in outboard amps and cables would be required.
 

Sal1950

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This AV8802A has a better price so far, but I haven't seen it in person like the other one. And since it is a processor, further investment in outboard amps and cables would be required.
Find out if either has had the Auro 3D upgrade installed. It's a simple download but will cost you another $199 from Marantz if you want it. I paid for the download on my 7703 and think it's well worth the money.
All newer Marantz pre-pro's come with it installed.
 

GOS

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Is there a dedicated thread (that is current) on options (and how to set up) for accessing and properly listening to Atmos tracks via streaming? Wondering if there are now more viable options, that actually work well (Fire stick or whatever it's called, etc)
 
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