sony str-dh790 and 5.1.2 - how to setup dts:x?


Novice Member
Everything I read so far mentioned dts:x would work on all speaker configurations but in my setup it works without utilizing upfiring speakers.

my setup:
TV : sony xh90 - eARC & HDMI
AVR : sony str-dh790 - eARC
speakers : old sony 5.0, an old jamo subwoofer and 2 sony ss-cse atmos enabled spakers on top of my fronts.
Mediabox : amlogic s905x cpu on coreelec kodi, bypassing dolby truehd, dts hd-ma, atmos, dts:x without problem

I ran setup, picked front dolby for my .2 upfiring speakers, set distances, used some test tone files until it fits my taste. Then I played an atmos demo video, all channels worked properly. AVR screen showed atmos over truehd. When I play a dts:x demo, it shows dts:x and plays the file but no sound comes from upfiring speakers. I checked it with information button on AVR remote and it grays out the DFR and DFL channels.

I wonder if it is a dts:x thing or how my avr processes dts:x, but I found that if I select front heights for my actually upfiring speakers both formats utilizes height speaker.

If you own an avr and 5.x.2 speaker setup, can you please check a dts:x demo and tell me how it works for you? even if you have in ceiling or front heights can you change avr settings as atmos enabled upfirings and test a dts:x file/movie?

Also what do you think about selecting front heights or top middle in settings for my upfiring speakers? Would it properly solve my problem or make the quality worse?


Distinguished Member
You cannot portray DTS:X via either upward firing or ceiling speakers if using a Sony AV receiver. The only option that would facilitate this it the one that uses height speakers. Sony claim it to be DTS who force them to do this and that DTS don't endorse the use of anything but height speakers to portray DTS:X, but no other AV receiver manufacturer does likewise and they all allow height, ceiling or upward firing speakers to be used to portray both Atmos and DTS:X.

The only option that will allow you to access and portray DTS:X on a Sony AVR is the one that relates to HEIGHT speakers.

Also note that Neural:X upmixing will not engage anything but height speakers.
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Novice Member
Thank you, I'm a newbie with limited knowledge and budget. This was driving me crazy.

Good thing is sony made these atmos enabled speakers wall mountable. It will take some time to persuade my wife but I still have some hope to mount them as real height speakers. Do you think would it make an audible difference for amateurs?

I 'm also confused about the right height for them according to our MLP, and I have no idea how should I consider the affect of their angled design in such calculation.


Distinguished Member
You could just reassign the speakers as being height speakers and then still use them as though they are upward firing? Many other people do this and say it works in a favourable way.

Make sure the set them as being SMALL though with a high crossover setting greater than 120Hz.

If you were to mount them on the walls then height speakers need to be up clos to the ceiling and mounted above the front left and right speakers.

by default 2021-11-09 at 13.41.18.png

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Height Speaker Placement Guidelines
This section provides placement guidelines for the following height speakers:
  • left front height/right front height speaker pair
  • left rear height/right rear height speaker pair
    In the following descriptions and examples, the term center-front reference denotes an imaginary line between the listener position and the middle of the screen or the placement of the center speaker.
    In all of these examples, overhead speakers must be added to the playback system in pairs.
    Left front height/right front height speaker pair
    The left front height and right front height speakers should be mounted on the front wall (instead of on the ceiling) in line with an approximately 30 degrees horizontal from the center-front reference. This places the left front height and right front height speakers directly above the left and right speakers. If the left front height and right front height speakers must be mounted on the ceiling, they should be placed no more than one-eighth the distance to the middle of the room, approximately 45 degrees vertical from the center- front reference. This guidance represents a slight change from the original Dolby Pro Logic IIz documentation, which mandated that front height speakers not be placed inside the left and right main speakers (for example, closer to the center speaker).
    The left front height and right front height speakers are typically included in Dolby Pro Logic IIz products.
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Active Member
Easiest and cheapest option is to do what you have already done and use the height configuration.

I have height speakers and configured them in turn as Height/Top/Dolby Atmos. I could not tell any noticeable difference in how they sounded.

Another option is to employ one of the up-mixers DTS Neural:X or Dolby SURROUND.
DTS Neural:X may not be available if the source is DTS:X in which case the Dolby SURROUND

The Sony speakers appear to come with some brackets so wall mounting could be an option.

My Denon AVR supports Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D and the only speaker configuration that supports all three is height.


Distinguished Member
AS I've already said NEURAL:X will not engage the speakers if designated as being ceiling or upward firing Dolby enabled Atmos speakers. NEURAL:X is proprietary to DTS and as such Sony would also deem nothing but height speakers as being applicable relative to its creation of pseudo DTS:X.

All other makes and models of AV receiver support the use of height, upward firing or ceiling speakers for the portrayal of both Atmos and DTS:X.

DTS themselves have made no mention of not supporting upward firing or ceiling speakers. In fact they go out of their way to suggest anything goes as far as DTS:X is concerned. No one knows why Sony have insisted upon the restrictions they've imposed?

Auro is the only format where you'd be advised to use heights as opposed to ceiling or upward furing speakers.
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Novice Member
Thank you both for enlightening me about my options. I will try to find 2 stands to widen my fronts, then work on my wife to accept 2 height speakers with visible ugly cables. Since the wall is brick and mortar I have no solution for hiding them and that makes the politics hard.


Distinguished Member
See how you go by simply leaving them as upward firers with them set as heights? They should still technically work as such and the AV receiver would be non the wiser. You'd then be able to still portray DTS:X and Atmos or use Neural:X or DSU, but still have upward firing speakers.

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