Neumi Atom 4K as an Atmos music server

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Blackwood

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Oct 6, 2022
Messages
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Location
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For those who want the bottom line first: This does what I want it to do and I’m glad I bought it to play downloaded or ripped Atmos and Quad MKV files.

The longer version… After discovering Atmos downloads on IAA this year and finding that Macs connected to receivers wouldn’t easily play anything in the height speakers, I started looking for solutions.

I ended up with a small Dell computer in my office and a TrigKey Mini PC in my living room. Works fine, but then I have to turn them on, log in, have a keyboard/mouse handy (or remote in), perhaps do some Windows updates, etc.

When I wrote about my TrigKey experience, @sjcorne (who heard about it from @ryan de topanga) mentioned the Neumi Atom. I threw one in my Amazon wishlist to explore later.

With Christmas as justification, I bought one. I mistakenly bought an Atom 4K Lite first, then bought the Atom 4K. Now I have one for each surround setup.

There’s very little configuration to do. I simply changed the Audio Output from Default (stereo PCM) to RAW Passthrough.

The big thing is making sure the device likes the formatting of your SD card or USB drive. It supposedly handles FAT32, exFAT and NTFS. The 4K has a MicroSD slot while the 4K Lite use SD.

The storage formatting is something I won’t go deep into. I’m still exploring some things. My MKV files total about 3TB, so maybe a few MicroSD cards is a route I’ll go.

Something rather important... their website says the max for the SDs are 512GB and 4TB for a USB drive. But their chart on Amazon says 1TB for SDs and 8TB for USB drives. I e-mailed them and they said it’s their website that’s out of date, not Amazon. You’d think they’d fix that. Kudos for getting back to me quickly, though

Very early days, but so far, so good.

Pros (for me):
  • It works with MKV files for full 7.1.4 through my Denon.
  • It’s inexpensive. About $50 for the ATOM 4K, $42 for the Lite.
  • It saves me having to log into a PC and fiddle with updates or configurations.
  • It takes up very little space. (See picture below.)

Cons (for me):
  • The UI is OK, but it seems a bit sluggish when I’m trying to move around with the remote. Not a major problem, though.
  • The remote seems to need a straight line to the device with no variance. I know that might sound obvious, but this is the most finicky remote I own.
  • Initially, it doesn’t appear to like my USB-C to USB-A converters which means if I’m using a USB drive, it needs to be native USB-A.
Given the price point and the fact it does the #1 thing I want it do (play MKV files with full channels), none of the cons are deal killers for me.

There is a firmware update for the device which I haven’t installed. Sometimes when something is working, I like to leave it. But maybe during the holidays I’ll get around to it.

Files tested: Remember the Audio (the song) Atmos from Monkey House via IAA, Jethro Tull’s WarChild quad rip, King Crimson’s ITCOTCK Atmos rip.

Here’s a photo for perspective with a disc since we all support physical media any chance we get.

Atom4K.png
 
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Glad this is working for you! I have one and when I listen to my album, Act 3, through it, playing the True HD MKV files, it sounds just as good as the master Dolby ADM BWF files for that album. Downloads are a great way for independent artists to create high quality music and easily get it to listeners!
 
Glad this is working for you! I have one and when I listen to my album, Act 3, through it, playing the True HD MKV files, it sounds just as good as the master Dolby ADM BWF files for that album. Downloads are a great way for independent artists to create high quality music and easily get it to listeners!
If I was the type to do a personal music year-in-review, learning about this device and seeing it work so well would likely be my “Best Moment.”

It was a game-changer for me in terms of simplicity and opening doors to more downloads.

I’m thrilled with all the great Atmos music in 2023 – and that includes your album which I really enjoy – but hearing about this device via your conversation with @sjcorne ... yeah, game-changer for me.
 
Hmm. Considering this, especially with the occasional IAA-only Atmos downloads. My Sony X700/m works wonderfully for quad and 5.1 files, but chokes on handling 7.1 and above, including Atmos... and lately it's got a bit of a ghost in it's system, hitching for a second at the 1 min 10 second mark on every track... might make sense to switch to a dedicated thing like this rather than relying on it's OS.

Is there any reason why one would pick the full 4K over the Lite? Trying to make sure I grab the right one if I do...
 
I purchased a refurbished one (4K) from Amz US for a ridiculous price (paid more for shipping and taxes than the item itself). I upgraded it to the latest firmware available, no issues with that.
So far I'm happy, as it plays almost all types of video formats, including Blu-ray iso files (it plays the main stream file but not the menu and with a few it struggles when selecting the desired audio format).
Where it fails is with 5.1 flacs (it does play 5.1 wavs). I asked their support and supposedly they are working on solving this.
No issues with a regular 4TB HDD.
Don't know about the lite, but if you can get one refurbished, go for it, it's with the money.
Now if someone could make Kodi or VLC work... it's based in Android, I believe.
 
Response from Neumi:

Dolby Atmos is an audio processing technology, but it is not a different CODEC. Dolby Atmos sound tracks can either be compressed into Dolby Digital Plus, or uncompressed into Dolby True-HD. Our Atom series media player will pass Dolby True-HD bitstream to the your preamp, regardless of whether the Dolby True-HD bitstream contains Dolby Atmos information or not.
So please just ensure that your preamp is capable of decoding Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby True-HD.
 
I purchased the Atom 4k lite. Everything plugged in correctly. When trying to play MCH files from hard drive, processor only reads it as 2.0.
 
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