A pair of up-firing Dolby Atmos speakers assigned and positioned as "Surround Dolby"

D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
I understand that it is conventional (and I have had this setup before) if using only a pair of up-firing speakers to have them in the front position (normally on top of front speakers).

However, it is possible to have a pair and to assign them as "Surround Dolby" and place them on top of the surround speakers.

Please, is there anyone who as done this who would like to share their opinion about it? Is this position clearly not as good as having them at the front for example? Or does the height information still "work" well?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I can certainly connect and configure a pair of upfiring speakers to my Denon X6500, indeed it has the option for three positions. Denon do facilitate for those postioning.
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Thanks @gibbsy, it was you who confirmed to me a couple of weeks ago that it was possible. I'm just trying to find the opinion of someone who has tried it out :)

I know your KEF Atmos are on your fronts but did you ever try them anywhere else (as up-firing)?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thanks @gibbsy, it was you who confirmed to me a couple of weeks ago that it was possible. I'm just trying to find the opinion of someone who has tried it out :)

I know your KEF Atmos are on your fronts but did you ever try them anywhere else (as up-firing)?
No. At the moment I'm stuck with 5.1.2 and the surrounds are wall mounted so I wouldn't want to put modules on top of them. The wife's not budging on speaker placement so I'm stuck.
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Yep, think that is where many of us get to, as we've chatted about before!

I'm being a little bit lazy here.

The new setup can either be 5.2.0 or 5.2.2 but the .2 will be on the surrounds.

Next upgrade is likely a few years away but looks like I may go to narrower subs that will allow floorstanding front speakers to fit then can have up-firers on top of those (hence, 5.2.4).

I guess the question is what is people's subjective evaluation of having the .2 on the surrounds, will it be clearly better than no height at all and worth putting place before eventually going to the .4.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Next upgrade is likely a few years away but looks like I may go to narrower subs that will allow floorstanding front speakers to fit then can have up-firers on top of those (hence, 5.2.4).
Are you currently not able to mount a pair of atmos modules as heights above, or on (upfiring) with your present front speakers then?

I only ask as I'm struggling to visualise why you can't have a traditional 5.1 2 front atmos based system using upfiring modules. Is there something above your front speakers then?
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
You've probably already guessed it "aesthetics" is the polite word.

Yes, there are front speakers.

They have an ornament on them.

Nothing is allowed to be wall mounted.

I did try up-firers behind the front speakers on the same surface but they only fitted with their angle facing the side wall. This, not a surprise, did not create a height bubble in the room. But, interestingly, created a great "wide effect" on each side so would be a possible thought for anyone thinking of having front wides but wanting them hidden.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
@dante01 hiya, I know we've spoken about this before, but it would be good if there was someone who has tried it out. Do you know of anyone please?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Dolby themselves don't appear to endorse placing upfiring speakers anywhere other than at the front of a room. Yes, the likes of Denon and Marantz do offer users the option of locating a sinfle pair of upward firing speakers at the rear of a room relative to the location of your surrounds, but this isn't something Dolby would agree with:

Dolby Atmos enabled speaker positioning
We recommend installing four Dolby Atmos enabled speakers whenever possible. The use of four speakers will make the placement of overhead sounds more accurate, and you’ll get more precise, realistic sounds when an object, such as a helicopter, passes overhead. Two of the Dolby Atmos enabled speakers (whether they are integrated speakers or add-on modules) should be placed in the left front and right front speaker locations of your system. The other two should be positioned ideally in the rear surround speaker locations or alternatively in the surround sound speaker locations.
If you are using only two Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, place them at the left front and right front speaker locations.
Note: With the exception of the center and center surround speakers, all speakers in a Dolby Atmos playback system (listener level, overhead, and Dolby Atmos enabled) must be added in pairs.
Placement height
For optimal effect and to minimize direct radiating audio at listener level, place Dolby Atmos enabled speakers at or slightly above the height of your ears when seated. Avoid placing the Dolby Atmos enabled speakers higher than one-half the height of your wall.
Note: For some Dolby Atmos enabled in-wall speakers, if the placement is above one-half the height of your wall, you may need to adjust the vertical angle, if the manufacturer implements this feature. Please consult the manufacturer’s user manual for guidance.
Placement relative to listeners
To avoid an unwanted proximity effect, make sure the speakers are at least 3 feet
(0.9 meter) away from listening positions, ideally 5 feet (1.5 meters) or more. This distance may be less than 5 feet if the upward-firing driver(s) of the Dolby Atmos enabled speaker is placed well above the level of the closest listener’s head.
Positioning of add-on modules
If you’re using add-on modules, place them either on top of the front and surround (ideally, rear surround) speakers or within 3 feet (0.9 meter) of those speakers. Place on-wall or in-wall add-on modules in the same position. Dolby Atmos enabled speakers should be mounted so that the driver is facing toward the ceiling.
The most natable extract in this instance would be:
If you are using only two Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, place them at the left front and right front speaker locations.
Sorry, but no I don't know of anyone of hand who has located their signgle pair of upfirers relative to the surrounds as opposed to locating them at the front of the room. I'm sure that somone will have done this though? Whether it is as effective is another matter????
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Thanks @dante01 totally get your point but would think that the configuration wouldn't be available on D and M if it wasn't a feasible solution.
Don't know how to get this message out to anyone who may have tried it!
If no one comes back then I'll try it in a few weeks time and then share my thoughts.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
You have to look at it logically, using trigonometry. If firing the audio upward from the rear of the room then how is the audio going to appear to be eminating from where it would have been portrayed had it originated from the front? The reflected angless of the audio simply cannot give the impression of you having two ceiling speakers slighly in front of you, pointing and angled at you. This is what the 2 speakers are basically trying to create the impression of:

by default 2021-08-11 at 18.53.37.png


You can only really attain this if the 2 upward firing speakers are located at the front of the room. The closest you'd get with the speakers at the rear is 100. All the other angles would be unattainable.


Given the fact that they are upward fring speakers then isn't it simply a matter of you trying this for yourself? It is easy enough to simply move the speakers, recalibrate the setup and listen. You should be able to determine whether the rear upward firers are as good as they would be if located at the front of the room? In other words, can you hear a difference?
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Thanks Dante and that is what I will do once set up, see what it is like and report back.

Gibbsy has already told me that, if you have only two Dolby speakers, the same information goes to those two channels wherever they are positioned. And it is a summation of all of the Atmos channels, so is only divided left to right.

So it is not specific "front information". But I totally understand that it would seem more natural to create that height bubble from the front. Especially as it seems most of the summated Atmos information is probably intended for the front too (i.e. people who have multiple height/ceiling/Dolby speakers report that most of the action is at the front).
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It is more a matter of where the audio is being portrayed as opposed to Atmos being object based as opposed to channel based. Dolby have determined that you'll get a closer representation of what is intended if locating the speakers at the front of your room and positioning them in accordance with their recommendations. PLacing them to the rear of the room will not result in the audio being portrayed in the same manner. This is why Dolby themselves recommend that you locate the speakers at the front of the room if only utilising 2 Atmos a=effects speakers in a setup.


Atmos is not channel based, but is still dependant upon you locating the speakers in a pre determined locations.
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
So, I can report back now. I ran two Audyssey's deliberately, one in 5.2.0 and one in 5.2.2 (with the Surround Dolby).

First film was in DTS-HD MA on Blu-ray but with DTS up-mixing switched on. Utterly disappointing, sounded like loads of the front channel information was coming from the rear. We had to turn off up-mixing and go back to 5.2.0. Just to add at this point, this was the first surround sound we've had for months, so in the new setup it was amazing and sounds great. However, I was kind of "what a waste of time laying those wires in".

BUT. The next day we started "The Woman in the Window" on Netflix, which is in Dolby Atmos. We actually gave up on the film after 25 minutes because we didn't like it. It sounded great though. Something magical that you can't explain. "A sound bubble" that I've heard it described on here. That's exactly what it did. We went back and played a couple of the scenes without the surround dolby switched on and wow it makes a big difference.

So, the next day, we had a play around on Netflix. Various Dolby Atmos titles, switching between 5.2.0 and 5.2.2 and it is brilliant. So glad that Denon allow the surround dolby format for .2.

However, in summary for us... We will use this for titles intended to be Dolby Atmos or DTS:X but not use the up-mixing. The up-mixers probably work if you have them at the front because it doesn't matter what front channel information it uses. But with them as surrounds, it doesn't work at all. Either for DD or DTS sources, in our opinion.

General comment on Dolby Atmos though, the "bubble" is incredible. Still can't get my head around it yet. Sometimes, it "lifts up" centre information and it almost bewilders you with a "how is it doing this?". Really impressed so far.

Oh and, just to add, can't really explain this one but with 2.0 sources (good example is Harper's Island) the up-mixing is also really good. Again, we tried it with and without and it worked well.
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
However, in summary for us... We will use this for titles intended to be Dolby Atmos or DTS:X but not use the up-mixing. The up-mixers probably work if you have them at the front because it doesn't matter what front channel information it uses. But with them as surrounds, it doesn't work at all. Either for DD or DTS sources, in our opinion.

I was premature making this comment.

None of the DTS-MA sources worked well with DTS up-mixing (as mentioned above). BUT, so far all DD5.1 sources work well with Dolby Surround up-mixing. Not just films but, for example, S.W.A.T. on Netflix.

The up-mixing is subtle but does add something beneficial.

I haven't tried Auro up-mixer yet, in fact haven't even looked if it can be enabled with this configuration.

Also haven't tried anything in DTS:X yet but we have the Bad Boys boxset; I think one or more of them is in it.
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Sorry, I haven't updated this in a while now.

A lot of experimentation has been made since.

I've tried Surround Dolby (as most of this thread). Then, I've tried front Dolby with them hidden behind FL and FR. Then, I've tried them properly on top of the FL and FR (which is actually not permitted by "the household" but was allowed for a week's experiment).

These are my conclusions, from my experiments...

1. Proper Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Blu ray sources (I don't have any Auro 3D sources) work with all three setups, including Surround Dolby.

2. Some (well less than half in my experience) Netflix Dolby Atmos (sort of, with DD+) sources work, such as "Blue Miracle". Many of them don't and seem to me like it was just some geezer randomly putting some sounds in the height channels - in some cases worse than using upmixer!

3. Upmixing to me is mostly rubbish with them in any of the three positions. It's not intelligent enough to take anything meaningful that should be "higher up" in the soundstage. Yes, it gives this feeling of a bubble of more sound, but then I switch them back off and it is what I can only describe as "cleaner". Funnily, upmixing of 2 channel source is probably better because it's so subtle what it sends to height.

In summary, and please I'm stressing here that these are the personal views of me (and partly my wife), the upfiring method is not for us. The small amount of benefit is outweighed by the cons listed above - plus they are all pretty ugly weird shapes to have in the lounge and need more amplification etc etc.

If, one day, I can persuade "the household" to have proper wall mounted heights, then I'll give it a go then. Until that day, I'm moving back to good old 5.2.0. Gives me two spare channels, so I may pointlessly bi-amp the FL and FR now as the cables are there 🤣

Now have two pairs of pointless Dolby Atmos speakers, more for the loft space!
 

AndreNewman

Active Member
just some geezer randomly putting some sounds in the height channels
Unfortunately that seems to be a common situation, good description.

Judging by some of the mixers I've worked with this may be Director/Studio Exec told me I have to this atmos thing but I have no idea what to do or desire to learn.

Or Studio Exec said do it but Director is pushing back.


- in some cases worse than using upmixer!
Seems hard to believe but yes, upmixer can sound better.


3. Upmixing to me is mostly rubbish with them in any of the three positions. It's not intelligent enough to take anything meaningful that should be "higher up" in the soundstage. Yes, it gives this feeling of a bubble of more sound, but then I switch them back off and it is what I can only describe as "cleaner". Funnily, upmixing of 2 channel source is probably better because it's so subtle what it sends to height.
I know you have a furnished but, I think, untreated living room, it's possible there are significant reflections around the room that you like the sound of. This corresponds to preferring less artificial reflection like sounds from the Dolby Upmixer, maybe?

I find I like the upmixer all the time but we have a mostly treated room that is fairly dead so the artificial stuff from the upmixer (or from an ambient only atmos mix) sounds fine to us.


In summary, and please I'm stressing here that these are the personal views of me (and partly my wife), the upfiring method is not for us. The small amount of benefit is outweighed by the cons listed above
I thought you had decided you liked it?


- plus they are all pretty ugly weird shapes to have in the lounge
Ironic as the upfiring stuff only exists to placate people who want a "nothing attached to the walls or ceiling" lounge system.

If, one day, I can persuade "the household" to have proper wall mounted heights
I wouldn't consider heights to be "proper" unless you can get a significant separation angle between main and heights.

My first atmos setup was heights at ~30 degrees, it was ok but switching the ceiling mounts to 45 degrees was substantially better.

After we moved we now have a long thin room instead of a wide short one, we are now using side height if you like. My initial location for the front atmos speakers was too far forward but still not as far forward as front heights would have been, again moving them back for a steeper angle was a big improvement.

As has been said in these forums many times the angles seem to be what matters, more than the actual mounting.


What angles did you end up with, experimenting with the upfirers?

then I'll give it a go then. Until that day, I'm moving back to good old 5.2.0. Gives me two spare channels, so I may pointlessly bi-amp the FL and FR now as the cables are there 🤣

Now have two pairs of pointless Dolby Atmos speakers, more for the loft space!
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Unfortunately that seems to be a common situation, good description.

Judging by some of the mixers I've worked with this may be Director/Studio Exec told me I have to this atmos thing but I have no idea what to do or desire to learn.

Or Studio Exec said do it but Director is pushing back.

Thank you. The word geezer was the polite version!

I know you have a furnished but, I think, untreated living room, it's possible there are significant reflections around the room that you like the sound of. This corresponds to preferring less artificial reflection like sounds from the Dolby Upmixer, maybe?

Firstly, our ceiling is swirly thick textured finish (a but like Artex as a material but done more artistically) which is not recommended for upfirers.

Secondly, the surround ones are only just at about half room height, again borderline against the recommendations.

Thirdly, for front upfirers, we have a beam running across the room, half way, approx. 16cm deep which I think is ruining any reflections.

So, it's likely none of that is helping. Which is why the thread is a "what I've found" rather than an outright criticism of the up-firing method. It is, however, a bit of a criticism of how well the mix is being used by some sources.

I thought you had decided you liked it?

We did, for some things, as I've said. But weighing up pros and cons, it's not worth it for the small percentage of viewing of actual proper BR sources. Then, with Netflix/Prime, having to start something then decide it doesn't work then feeling like "do we start it again?" - I'd rather just not do it.

Ironic as the upfiring stuff only exists to placate people who want a "nothing attached to the walls or ceiling" lounge system.

So true! If you use g00gle images and look at the silly shapes on top of people's speakers, I couldn't agree more. But I guess (a) some people rent and (b) they have partners and they can't change their opinion!

In my opinion, we have white ceiling architrave, in which some KEF T101s in white (4 of them, or even 2) would seat perfectly at a great angle.

But, you know, I've got two new subs on the way so I'll be waiting AT LEAST six months before that conversation. We start the whole of Supernatural (again) next year (massive fans) that's in DD for S1-5 then DTS-MA for the rest...

As has been said in these forums many times the angles seem to be what matters, more than the actual mounting.


What angles did you end up with, experimenting with the upfirers?

It didn't seem to make any difference. Which further strengthens that is because the sound isn't actually reflecting off our ceiling much!
 

The latest video from AVForums

Panasonic LZ2000, LZ1500 & LZ980 Hands-on Launch Event | No QD-OLED for 2022, new 77-inch for LZ2000
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom