Dolby Atmos Ceiling Speakers

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LuvMyQuad

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All great stuff, I'm seriously impressed!
Thank You.

Its sad to say, but the CD rack is simply a nuisance now. I never play them at all. With the rips I have and the stuff I can stream off of Apple I'm seriously considering selling them off. Not the deluxe stuff, mostly the CDs. Look at all that hanging space I'd gain!!!!
:SG
 

boxhead

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I’ve been meaning to write this up for a while but the project was only completed this week. I was resigned to not being able move to Atmos as the installation of height speakers in the ceiling was not sufficiently wife friendly and I wasn’t overly convinced that upward firing height speakers would be to my liking.

Then one day I stumbled across a Youtube video titled “How To Build "The World's Best Speakers" - Are Flat Panel Speakers Really Any Good?” The guy started out claiming he was skeptical, but then goes through the process of building a pair of these. If you’re interested you can search Youtube for the phrase “world’s best speaker” and you’ll find other examples of people building and testing them. Here’s the link to the original video:


Anyway, I figured I may be able to swing an easily reversable “ceiling mount” solution as opposed to cutting holes for permanent speakers with the good wife. Further investigation showed that they are relatively easy to assemble and are really quite cheap – around US$50 per pair. They cost me AU$95 all up here in Oz.

Each speaker consists of one 600mm x 600mm (2ft x 2ft) XPS panel about 40mm or 1.6” thick. XPS stands for eXtruded PolyStyrene and is a building material commonly used as in-wall insulation. This material is extremely stiff but also extremely light which makes it perfect as a rigid sound source. My local hardware store carries them in 1200mm x 600mm sheets which is then cut in two for the two speakers. Remember, these are just panels – we’re not using them to construct speaker boxes. After preparing the panels (see the above Youtube video) you attach to each one a self adhesive “DAYTON 32MM SOUND EXCITER 40W”. This is the device that vibrates or ‘excites’ the entire panel which in turn produces the sound. It’s somewhat akin to the magnet assembly of a standard speaker but instead of attaching to a cone it bonds with the XPS panel.

Do they work? Yes, surprisingly well.

Do they sound any good? Much better than I expected however they are bass shy. This is not a problem in a setup with a subwoofer as you can set them to small in your AVR and set an appropriate crossover point. You can hear them in the above video but be aware that the bass in person is better than it sounds there. The guy may be using a phone microphone because it doesn’t come out too well. But when I tested them as stereo speakers with a sub the sound was more than acceptable.

Now my system is not the highest of high end, but my current AVR/speaker setup cost around AU$8,000 so it’s quite capable of great sound. Using the XPS speakers as height speakers and calibrating them with Yamaha’s YPAO has them fitting in with the other components nicely in the 5.1.2 configuration. Here’s a picture of what the final install looks like. NB the exposed wires may be going into the ceiling eventually. The setup now sounds awesome with the appropriate content, for example Yello’s ‘Point’!

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Hamilton59

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I finally got the heights installed last weekend
Looks great and how do like ATMOS music now? Initially, I was surprised how it lifted up the sound stage in my room but a little disappointed that there wasn't more sound coming down from the ceiling. But then when I played most 5.1 discs, something was missing... Now I wish everything had an ATMOS mix!
 

LuvMyQuad

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Looks great and how do like ATMOS music now? Initially, I was surprised how it lifted up the sound stage in my room but a little disappointed that there wasn't more sound coming down from the ceiling. But then when I played most 5.1 discs, something was missing... Now I wish everything had an ATMOS mix!
Thank you.

I won't actually be Atmos capable until the new pre/pro shows up. Its being shipped to ASR for testing before it even gets to me, so it will be some time before i can tell you. I have played the heights in a double stereo configuration just to make sure there are no issues. The fidelity is pretty good, but the imaging is truly weird. Like music in a doctors office.
 

jhw59

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are there any decent wireless atmos speakers? WAF will not allow wires in our tall ceilings. I. currently running a 5.2 system with Klipsch speakers and 2 svs 2000 subs.
 

ar surround

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For anyone interested, here is the review of the Emotiva MC-1 over at ASR. Its not great. Im going to have to determine if I want to return it or not.

Emotiva MC-1 Review (Home Theater Processor)
I just glossed over the review. I wonder if anyone can actually hear the issues he’s raising? Also, new AVRs are already obsolete, by definition. If one finds the unit is a PITA to use, or is buggy, well those things would be more of an issue.
 

LuvMyQuad

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I just glossed over the review. I wonder if anyone can actually hear the issues he’s raising? Also, new AVRs are already obsolete, by definition. If one finds the unit is a PITA to use, or is buggy, well those things would be more of an issue.
For the most part I agree. The biggest issue for me is its going to convert everything digital to 48kHz. For Atmos content (which is what I bought it for) it dosen't need anything beyond 48kHz as that is where Atmos maxes out.

I wasn't planning on getting rid of my current 5.1 pre pro, but using two pre/pros creates a lot of switching hurdles to overcome, both analog and digital.
 

mkt

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I have a tiny 5.1 nearfield setup (working from home pandemic indulgence). In the 5.1 setup below (ITU-R BS 775-1) all the speakers are equidistant from the listening position. I plan to add 2 more speakers for 5.1.2. Should the height speakers be equidistant as well? It was not clear to me in the Dolby diagrams in which the heights are lined up with the front LR and the distance to listening position depends on ceiling height. And the Dolby home theater diagrams are not aiming for equidistant 5.1 anyway. Overthinking but why not :)
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