Bipole, dipole or direct with Atmos in this room?

Atomicus

Active Member
I am coming across conflicting opinion and advice on this, with some people even slating what Dolby themselves recommend, so I'm unclear what my approach should be. I would assume it's largely room dependent anyway, so have attached an image below of my space.

I have x3 LCR in-walls up front and plan on x2 Atmos ceiling speakers. What I am unclear about is the surrounds at the side, and if I should go with bipole, dipole or direct? My assumption was that I should be placing the surrounds on the side walls, but I have seen some people go with them at the rear.

Obviously my space is quite small (2.5m W/4m L/2.3m H) and I have the potential added issue of small protruding sections of boxing on either side of the room (covering pipework) that I am not sure if might be an issue with sound reflections etc.

A couple of the surround speakers I have been looking at are the Definitive Technology SR9040 (my LCR are Def Tech UIW RLSII) and the ELAC Debut OW4.2... so two quite different speakers here.

Any advice much appreciated. :)
 

Attachments

gibbsy

Moderator
Direct firing surrounds are considered the best when an Atmos set up is wanted, dipoles being too defused. The surrounds need to be just above a seated head height and the front three at seated head height to allow for a good separation between the base level and the Atmos domain.
 

Atomicus

Active Member
Direct firing surrounds are considered the best when an Atmos set up is wanted, dipoles being too defused. The surrounds need to be just above a seated head height and the front three at seated head height to allow for a good separation between the base level and the Atmos domain.
Thanks. Would bipole be too diffuse as well in that case? I can see direct firing makes more sense.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
There are people who use MA FX speakers, mainly because of tight positional problems but if there is room direct will be better as the Atmos stage design is more focused and directional.
 

Atomicus

Active Member
There are people who use MA FX speakers, mainly because of tight positional problems but if there is room direct will be better as the Atmos stage design is more focused and directional.
My space is not large, but mostly unencumbered by any odd angles etc. I'm not sure what would constitute enough room exactly. I've read some people prefer bipole/dipole for movies over music, yet obviously Atmos is going to be for movies, so potential contradiction here I thought. Everyone is going to have a preference though, and no two rooms will be the same of course.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you've got odd angles then bi/dipoles may not be the best anyway and there just may be too many reflection points. Perhaps posting a diagram of the room would help give a more informed answer.
 

Atomicus

Active Member
If you've got odd angles then bi/dipoles may not be the best anyway and there just may be too many reflection points. Perhaps posting a diagram of the room would help give a more informed answer.
I did in my first post lol.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I did in my first post lol.
Jest testing you. ;) I read a lot.

You could place them on the pillars but I would suggest your rear wall is too narrow for FX type speakers.
 

Atomicus

Active Member
Jest testing you. ;) I read a lot.

You could place them on the pillars but I would suggest your rear wall is too narrow for FX type speakers.
Direct firing on the pillars you mean? Or bipole?

Do you think there is a risk of some nasty reflections if I put direct firing towards the back, the other side of the pillars? I don't know my EXACT sitting position yet, but I imagine it will be somewhere just behind those pillars. I don't think I'd be sitting in line with them, as it feels a bit close to the screen IRL.

Yes, I am not sure the room justifies rears on the back wall, but I'm sure some people would disagree.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Bipole on the pillars. Otherwise follow the Dolby set up guide as closely as possible.

 

Atomicus

Active Member
Bipole on the pillars. Otherwise follow the Dolby set up guide as closely as possible.

If following the Dolby guide, that would point me towards direct firing and Surround option 2 on the below diagram, with them angled towards the seating position. Given they wouldn't actually be ON the wall, I'd have to make some sort of angled plate for them... not a big deal. Option 1 is easier to mount, but not what is advised by Dolby.

I am not sure about the bipoles on the pillars as they would be sticking out into the room quite a ways then, which I think could be rather aesthetically unpleasing.

Garage_sketch_nov2019_2.jpg
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Option 2 would be my choice, it's more or less my set up. I suppose those would be the Elacs(?) because of their narrow profile. I have KEF R100s on surround duties, wall mounted on Btech brackets, unfortunately such brackets would not safely hold those Elacs.
 

Atomicus

Active Member
Option 2 would be my choice, it's more or less my set up. I suppose those would be the Elacs(?) because of their narrow profile. I have KEF R100s on surround duties, wall mounted on Btech brackets, unfortunately such brackets would not safely hold those Elacs.
That's my thinking... or something similar. Technically I could go with R100s... I don't have any surrounds yet (just my LCR), so my options are wide open. It's whatever works best in the room really. Do those brackets keep the R100s (or any bookshelf) far enough from the wall?

Not sure if it might make sense to stick with Def Tech brand and consider the Demand D7?
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
The B-tech brackets are good, plenty of scope for placement and safe. Not pushing the R100s, just using them as a guide to the size of speakers that can be used effectively in position 2. You have to pick the speakers that you think will sound the best when blending with the fronts. Easy for me as I have KEF all round.

 

Atomicus

Active Member
The B-tech brackets are good, plenty of scope for placement and safe. Not pushing the R100s, just using them as a guide to the size of speakers that can be used effectively in position 2. You have to pick the speakers that you think will sound the best when blending with the fronts. Easy for me as I have KEF all round.

Thanks. Yeah, that's the tricky part for me as I just don't know what will 'blend'. I do see a lot of advice regarding sticking with same brand, yet plenty of people also say that doesn't matter so much... outside of the LCR remaining the same. I also don't know if those D7 speakers, despite being the same brand as my fronts, would even adhere to any blending given they are a different range from a much newer time period. I know Def Tech do have in-wall surrounds as part of the UIW range, but they aren't really a viable option for me.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
In a normal UK lounge where a person on one end of the sofa will be very close to a side and rear speaker, I think you’ll be very aware of the nearest speakers to you which I find distracting.

Dipoles and bipoles avoid this but they don’t provide the direct information that is required for the best mutli channel sound. This is what a Tripole aims to fix.

You need to hear them, but I find their location is much less obvious and distracting than a direct radiating speaker while they fill in the gaps in the soundstage around you by using the reflections of side and rear walls.

It takes 1000's of direct radiating speaker to create a seamless 360 sound-stage around you. This is impractical so use the reflections from walls etc. to fill these holes.
 

Atomicus

Active Member
In a normal UK lounge where a person on one end of the sofa will be very close to a side and rear speaker, I think you’ll be very aware of the nearest speakers to you which I find distracting.

Dipoles and bipoles avoid this but they don’t provide the direct information that is required for the best mutli channel sound. This is what a Tripole aims to fix.

You need to hear them, but I find their location is much less obvious and distracting than a direct radiating speaker while they fill in the gaps in the soundstage around you by using the reflections of side and rear walls.

It takes 1000's of direct radiating speaker to create a seamless 360 sound-stage around you. This is impractical so use the reflections from walls etc. to fill these holes.
I'm obviously not in a normal lounge, but due to the room width of only 2.5m, I do anticipate my seating position, no matter where it is, being quite close to the surrounds. That said, with the suggested Dolby 5.1.2 configuration, they would be behind me in the corners angled in, so that's further away than if they were directly at the sides.

Are you suggesting x2 direct radiating surround speakers wouldn't be the way to go in my space then, despite Dolby's recommendation to do, and that tri-pole may be preferable? It's tricky to know what is the right way to go here, as I can find examples of any configuration that people are using and enjoy... and that's going to be a combination of personal preference and the room specifics... which are both constant variables obviously.

Added to that, ultimately, I have no real frame of reference, so I won't know if what I end up going with is optimal or not... but then maybe this is a welcome case of ignorance is bliss ha! As long as I am happy with the end result. Still, I'd like to ensure the optimal solution as best I can, and avoid trialing a dozen speakers or second guessing myself... as much as that's possible anyway.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I’m sure you’ll be happy with the addition of any extra speakers but I think if you do an A/B between a direct radiating speaker, a dipole or bipole and a Tripole you’d prefer the Tripole.

It’s a dem I do every week and everyone loves the Tripole.

Your reference is real life. Sit anywhere where there is noise all around you and concentrate on where its coming from. It will be from all around and not from 2 or 4 fixed locations to the side and rear of you.
I think adding reflections from the side and rear walls to the direct sound from the speaker locations does this much more convincingly.
 

Topmetom 2

Well-known Member
Interesting, I have dali opticon LCD as my rears. Which fire into the room, so my right ear is near right rear and the wifes left ear is near the left rear. Would tripole work better for me?
 

Atomicus

Active Member
I’m sure you’ll be happy with the addition of any extra speakers but I think if you do an A/B between a direct radiating speaker, a dipole or bipole and a Tripole you’d prefer the Tripole.

It’s a dem I do every week and everyone loves the Tripole.

Your reference is real life. Sit anywhere where there is noise all around you and concentrate on where its coming from. It will be from all around and not from 2 or 4 fixed locations to the side and rear of you.
I think adding reflections from the side and rear walls to the direct sound from the speaker locations does this much more convincingly.
Thanks. So placement of tri-poles would be on the rear wall facing directly forwards then? So you get that sound going in all directions and bouncing off the sides, enveloping you. Is there a guide as to how far apart they would be on the wall? My room is 2.5m wide and 4m long.

What tri-pole speakers would you typically recommend?
 

Atomicus

Active Member
I only found mk as a tripole maker. The new m40 look good
Yes, saw these, they do look very impressive... although they'd better be at £800 a pair lol. Don't think they make bad speakers though, it's just down to what works best in any given space.
 

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