Answered Dolby Atmos height speakers - as good as ceiling? And suggestions?

Discussion in 'What Speakers Should I Buy?' started by thurstan87, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. thurstan87

    thurstan87
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    For the last couple of years I have had a 7.1 setup that I've been very happy with. I have Kef eggs and sub for the 5.1 (2005.2 + PSW2010) and then for my rear speakers I have a Bose cube 2.1 that are mounted at height and pointed directly down at the sofa which is up against the back wall.

    All was going well until a fortnight ago I bought an LG OLED55C7v.

    Then I got unhappy with my AVR and have bought a Denon AVR-X4400.

    Then I wanted appropriate sources to make the most of it all so am going to get a Panasonic DP-UB820.

    I don't think we'll stay in this house for more than another 18 months, so I'm not going to put in-ceiling speakers. We have two very tall bookcases flanking either side of the TV (which has the front speakers on a shelf about 60% up them) and my thought is to change the current 7.1 into a 5.2.4 by changing the rear speakers into rear height ones (which they were anyway) and then adding 2 new speakers at front height.

    The TV is around 3.5m from the sofa.

    1) Would I benefit from front heights on top of the large book cases, or would it be overkill?
    2) If I would benefit, would a good Dolby Atmos experience be possible?
    3) What speakers would be best? New Atmos speakers on a lower bookshelf to bounce off the ceiling? New speakers on the top of the book cases angled down? Or new fronts and move the current front eggs to the top of the bookcases for height?

    I realise budget isn't mentioned. At the moment I'm trying to work out direction for it all and then psych myself for paying out. This month I was meant to be saving money, which really REALLY hasn't gone well.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #2 by gibbsy, Jul 3, 2018 (1 points)
  3. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Best Answer
    You can use ordinary speakers for Atmos duties in a height position. They will have to be placed as high as possible and angled down and towards the MLP. Configured as inceiling speakers a 5.1.4 will give a really good immersive experience. There is no need to spend a fortune on the speakers and you could certainly use what you have. Whether or not this would work by sitting them on top of the cabinet will depend on how high and the correct angle.

    If you choose just to use two speakers, 5.1.2, then they will need to be on the front wall. Upfiring speakers need to be correctly placed, on top of the front speakers which may prove a little difficult with Eggs. They can also be placed as near as possible to the front speakers and at about 40% of the height of the wall. In the Denon these would need to be configured as Dolby enabled.

    There are arguments which is best but there is no getting away from the fact that any layout that is correctly placed gives a really pleasurable experience that will easily outperform a base laybout beit 5 or 7.1.
     
  4. thurstan87

    thurstan87
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    Thanks @gibbsy

    I am slightly worried that the book case won't give enough height but I guess I'll have to try. Otherwise I might be the speaker on top of something else to boost the height up (there's enough holes in the walls already - don't need to ruin selling chances any more than we already have!).

    At the moment I'm leaning towards replacing my fronts with Kef LS50s and moving the current front eggs up to height. That will give a 5.1.4 and hopefully provide a good experience.

    My only concern with getting the LS50s is if they'll overpower the centre egg, and then I'd need to replace that too...
     
  5. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    When I upgraded from 3005 Eggs I went for the R100s, wife hated the look of the LS50s, but it was always planned to replace those with the R300s anyway. I telephoned KEF and asked about the centre and the R100s and their answer was that given the room EQ with the receiver that the 3005 centre would blend well with the 100s. Even though I purchased the R200C a week later the 3005 centre for the short time it was there did not prove problematic, just looked a little odd!

    I then ran the 3005 Eggs on surround duties for a year, even experimenting with them as upward firing Atmos speakers, ugly suckers pointing upwards!

    You can buy separate LS50s which can act as a centre and members on here run a full 5.1 with the 50s. A centre speaker is probably the most difficult to correctly place but it is so important as in a lot of film and broadcast it carries the majority of the dialogue and the clarity and delivery a 50 will give is well worth the investment.
     
  6. thurstan87

    thurstan87
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    Out of interest, were you interested in the LS50s or did you have a preference for the R100s anyway?

    Haha, the 2001s will not be attractive as upward firing either - but did yours sound good?

    3x LS50s for the front channels would be a great setup, but similarly I'll have to get the aesthetic sign off from the missus. Thankfully, the fuss that was kicked up about the price of the OLED actually subsided once she saw it and she has even enthused about it to others. Enough so that I was *allowed* to buy the new AVR and a new 4k blu ray player. The speakers may be a step too far, but I'm willing to play Relationship Buckaroo if the potential payoff is an amazing new home theatre setup!
     
  7. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    The LS50s weren't really available when I ordered my R100s and the plan was always to order the 100s and 200C for the fronts and then get 300s and move the 100s for surround duties. I did audition the LS50s against the R300s but I preferred the 300s as I thought they were punchier in the mids and were a better all rounder than the 50s, especially for films. Looks wise the wife thought they were bug eyed and no dust cover mean't I would have to watch my youngest grandson like a hawk.

    The LS50s, however, are a very fine speaker and I doubt if you buy them you will be disappointed but like the 300s they do like power to sound at their best.

    As for the Eggs for Atmos I could have used them high on the front wall but the wife scuppered that by not wanting them there. So I ordered upfiring R50s, they had only just come out and at the time they were as rare as rocking horse **** and were on back order. Just had to try the 3005s and sitting on top of the 100s they did give an overall increase to the front soundstage although object based reflections were poor, I don't think I could get the angles right. However the R50s were in a different league and I haven't looked back.

    If you can use your Eggs high on the walls and angled directly towards the MLP then I dare say they would be more than up to the job and is certainly worth trying.
     
  8. thurstan87

    thurstan87
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    Your setup sounds fantastic, @gibbsy - very jealous!

    I think I'm settled on speaker setup now. I need to buy the UB820 first to convince the missus that all of the upgrading is definitely worth it. Then next month I'll try and source a pair of LS50s.

    Thanks for your help!
     

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