Better Atmos setup

tigermad

Distinguished Member
I currently have a Denon AvRx2200w receiver. MA Bronze floorstanders and BRFX Rears. My heights are Cambridge Audio Minx minis. I am running an XTX sub with this.
Had this 5.1.2 setup for a few years and the MAs for even longer. The effect with atmos films is ok but it’s not like night and day. What I would like is proper atmos speakers front and back. Can you get speakers with the atmos built in them like the ones you get with a soundbar? If so I’m guessing I will need a new amp.
My other option is to go the soundbar route with wireless speakers but dint think I can use my XTZ with this method.
Can anyone suggest something for me please? The atmos speakers can’t really be ceiling mounted ones because it contains asbestos.
 
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vaderag

Active Member
I'm going to jump on your thread as I'm feeling a bit the same. Was looking to post something along the lines of "is Atmos just rubbish?!"

I have Monitor Bronze with front upfiring and 90% of the time there is nothing coming out of them. Tbh, I thought for a while they weren't working.
Just tested with Star Wars Ep4 opening scene on Disney+ as was told it was good and it's... Okay...
I really wouldn't miss those speakers.
I even bumped the dB just incase they weren't being heard right and still meh.

Would love to know how to make Atmos actually good or maybe should just sell my heights!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I'm going to jump on your thread as I'm feeling a bit the same. Was looking to post something along the lines of "is Atmos just rubbish?!"

I have Monitor Bronze with front upfiring and 90% of the time there is nothing coming out of them. Tbh, I thought for a while they weren't working.
Just tested with Star Wars Ep4 opening scene on Disney+ as was told it was good and it's... Okay...
I really wouldn't miss those speakers.
I even bumped the dB just incase they weren't being heard right and still meh.

Would love to know how to make Atmos actually good or maybe should just sell my heights!

Hmm did we talk in other thread.. I assume the upfiring speakers are assigned as "Dolby Atmos Enabled" in the receiver menu as there is usually 3 options (height and overhead too). So you have boosted the levels, crossover is set about 120-180hz. Receiver front display says Atmos when watching movie or if you are using upmixers, then Dolby Surround or DTS Neural:X which should be more aggressive. I wonder are the listener(s) in optimal distance to speakers as there is often small sweet spot where the effect works best.

Also one should meet there requirements (Dolby):

For optimal performance, the ceiling should be flat (not angled or vaulted), with a height between 7.5 and 14 feet (2.3 to 4.3 meters), and made of an acoustically reflective material (drywall, plaster, hardwood, or another rigid, non---sound-absorbing material).

Many members here and US forums have moved the upfiring speakers on side or front wall high up below ceiling and it has sounded better. Clearly the effect is still bit different to overhead channels directly coming from ceiling.

Dali-Alteco-Niek-3.jpg


original.jpg
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I currently have a Denon AvRx2200w receiver. MA Bronze floorstanders and BRFX Rears. My heights are Cambridge Audio Minx minis. I am running an XTX sub with this.
Had this 5.1.2 setup for a few years and the MAs for even longer. The effect with atmos films is ok but it’s not like night and day. What I would like is proper atmos speakers front and back. Can you get speakers with the atmos built in them like the ones you get with a soundbar? If so I’m guessing I will need a new amp.
My other option is to go the soundbar route with wireless speakers but dint think I can use my XTZ with this method.
Can anyone suggest something for me please? The atmos speakers can’t really be ceiling mounted ones because it contains asbestos.

Maybe the expectations are set too high. Proper atmos speakers you would place the speakers in the ceiling where the sound suppose to come, not anywhere else. But if you can´t even make some rail which would hold the speakers on-ceiling then it´s tough. If you have height channels now placed high up on wall and aren´t happy i have my doubts with the upfiring route, especially if you go with soundbar. I think it would be huge mistake to go from full size hifi speakers to soundbar just cause of "atmos". I mean you can´t really angle them, you have to move the couch to that sweet spot. For Focal Sib Evo it was around 1,5-3meters, probably closer 2m? That is with the atmos modules inside the speakers. You could consider some larger speakers like Dali Alteco C1 which can be wall mounted high up like the Minxes. Or better yet Monitor Audio Bronze AMS which has keyholes for wall mounting behind. Example with the Dalis most members who has tried them upfiring and height, prefer the latter big time! They can be mounted flush against wall (keyholes) too and most brands these days has white option which disappears slightly better in lounge.

img_5780-jpg.1029135
 

vaderag

Active Member
Hmm did we talk in other thread.. I assume the upfiring speakers are assigned as "Dolby Atmos Enabled" in the receiver menu as there is usually 3 options (height and overhead too). So you have boosted the levels, crossover is set about 120-180hz. Receiver front display says Atmos when watching movie or if you are using upmixers, then Dolby Surround or DTS Neural:X which should be more aggressive. I wonder are the listener(s) in optimal distance to speakers as there is often small sweet spot where the effect works best.

Also one should meet there requirements (Dolby):

For optimal performance, the ceiling should be flat (not angled or vaulted), with a height between 7.5 and 14 feet (2.3 to 4.3 meters), and made of an acoustically reflective material (drywall, plaster, hardwood, or another rigid, non---sound-absorbing material).

Many members here and US forums have moved the upfiring speakers on side or front wall high up below ceiling and it has sounded better. Clearly the effect is still bit different to overhead channels directly coming from ceiling.

Dali-Alteco-Niek-3.jpg


original.jpg

Thanks for the reply.
In short, I meet all the requirements.
Ceiling is 2.6m, speaker position trained through the amp, front screen said Atmos when it's Atmos. Config is set as front firing heights - I don't have an Atmos specific option that I see on my Sony (just ceiling or front firing)

One thing you said which has me wondering is the neutral x and Dolby upmixing - I really get very little from these at all... Definitely not "agressive". I leave them on most of the time

The other thing is that my rears are pretty high, so perhaps that is dulling the effect
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the reply.
In short, I meet all the requirements.
Ceiling is 2.6m, speaker position trained through the amp, front screen said Atmos when it's Atmos. Config is set as front firing heights - I don't have an Atmos specific option that I see on my Sony (just ceiling or front firing)

One thing you said which has me wondering is the neutral x and Dolby upmixing - I really get very little from these at all... Definitely not "agressive". I leave them on most of the time

The other thing is that my rears are pretty high, so perhaps that is dulling the effect

The manual says if you have Sony STR-DN 1080: 5.1.2-channel using Dolby Atmos enabled speakers -> [Speaker Pattern] setting : [5.1.2 (FD)]. FDL and FDR.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Yeah, just double checked, that's what I have 😕

So you have tried to "crawl" bit more forward when you play movie just to make sure the effect isn´t stronger closer to those speakers? How much did you up the speakers? 3db seems normal, but i see some people have upped them way more to get the desired effect. Only one way to know for sure..
 

vaderag

Active Member
So you have tried to "crawl" bit more forward when you play movie just to make sure the effect isn´t stronger closer to those speakers? How much did you up the speakers? 3db seems normal, but i see some people have upped them way more to get the desired effect. Only one way to know for sure..
The calibration mic detected them at 0.5 so I upped them 2.5db from there. Will keep pushing but I think the biggest challenge I have is finding something that actually outputs from those speakers... Every time I head over to them during an Atmos mix thinking that there must be height at a point there isn't 😔
as I say, the NeuralX and Dolby version don't seem to do anything!
 

Conrad

Moderator
Do you have atmos demos, like the helicopter or plane? They only use the atmos speakers so would be a good test.

You can start with these: Dolby Trailers - The Digital Theater

I couldn't find the 747 or helicopter one but I have copies of them so I might be able to share them.
 

vaderag

Active Member
Do you have atmos demos, like the helicopter or plane? They only use the atmos speakers so would be a good test.

You can start with these: Dolby Trailers - The Digital Theater

I couldn't find the 747 or helicopter one but I have copies of them so I might be able to share them.
I didn't. Will dump some on my Plex server and give them a go. Had been trying to catch an official disc on eBay but this may be easier! Thanks!
 

vaderag

Active Member
Do you have atmos demos, like the helicopter or plane? They only use the atmos speakers so would be a good test.

You can start with these: Dolby Trailers - The Digital Theater

I couldn't find the 747 or helicopter one but I have copies of them so I might be able to share them.

Thanks, just tested a few of these and they're definitely giving me Atmos and better than I've had to date. I'm still not blown away by the overhead stuff tho... I'll have a move around and see if there's a sweet spot tho I know the sweet spot overall is my main seating position
 

Conrad

Moderator
They tend to be mixed about 6-10dB hot by my reckoning. If you listen to the demos and they sound good then normal content tends to sound a bit meh, same for the bass. If I listen to the Amaze trailer with my normal bass levels it sounds massively overcooked, but regular content doesn't - but I think that's the point. Surround levels, atmos levels, and bass levels are supposed to be subtle, until called on to not be, the trailers are supposed to be really in-your-face levels.

My point is that you can turn the levels up until the trailers sound overpowering and normal content should then sound better.
 

Spick72

Active Member
I have a 7.1.4 with ceiling speakers, Atmos to me is the last piece of the home cinema chain and not a huge difference over a well set up 7.1 with a bit of height in the rears. I often watch 7.1 or 5.1 and am amazed at the soundstage height. Took me a while to get them setup that way. Only the occasional movie does Atmos make you grin such as invisible man or a quiet place and then maybe only a couple of mins a movie. Therefore if you love a bit of faffing like me go for it. If you can’t be bothered or can’t fit ceiling speakers in then don’t feel that you have missed out that much
 

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