Very disappointed Dolby atmos, Help

dante01

Distinguished Member
No, Atmos is not night and day and you are not experiencing overhead effects all the time with it, but it does make some difference and isn't pointless. It will create a more atmosheric 3D soundstage if listening to a good soundtrack. There are however soundtracks that do not implement this new format very well and some that even use it as a marketing tool for the content without very much attention if any being payed to the mixing of said soundtrack.


Is it essential? No, and there's still plenty of fun to be had from 7.1 or even 5.1. Does it add anything? Yes, but don't expect things to be whizzing over head all the time in the manner some have tried to suggest Atmos will.
 
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D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Dante's made exactly the point I was about to make!

In the short spell where I tried various methods of up-firers (shared with AVF and I gave up) one thing that was quite obvious is that some of the implementation of the height formats is really poor.

In fact, of the material that I played, it seemed considerably less than half of the content actually used the height domain for anything at all appropriate. But that was mostly streaming sources.

It would be great if, like the BEQ Catalogue which gives a great indicator of LFE before watching a film, there was something that reported the sound in general. E.g. "too much surround effects" "height domain poor just some pointless ambient sounds" "Dialogue weak" etc.
 

wasjrx51

Standard Member
It seems like I may not be the only one who views Atmos as kind of a hit or miss ... personally, I do not think my effort in adding Atmos was worth it. But perhaps as more movies and programs use it ... and use it effectively ... it will change my mind.

As for getting a player ... I have learned my lesson HAHA I have had a highly technical career and consider myself technically literate, and I would have bet a huge amount that wired networks would never be supplanted by wireless HAHA With that said, my PC's, laptops, audio and video equipment, even my lowly range, LED lighting, and wall outlets are all connected wirelessly thoroughout the house - although my personal PC is via ethernet (and ironically is usually needed to program everything else HAHA), just because I can!

I have a lowly Blu-ray player that can play the movies I have, so I have a way to play legacy stuff. But you do make an extremely valid point in that "ownership" of downloaded and/or saved content is not equal to that of having media in your hands - not to mention if your site (whatever that might be) is temporarily not/no longer accessible, or even snafu'd in technology - I have this problem right now with a paid and downloaded CD from Apple where "it" refuses to play.
 

SeanBrothers

Active Member
Do you need more than 1 speaker? Of course not.
But...

My experience with Atmos has been that for any well mixed audio, it makes a big difference. Some music sounds much better in Atmos, and some is far better in stereo due to poor mixing. Similarly, some Atmos movie mixes are just 5.1 as stationary sources and, for obvious reasons, sound no better. And some really don't use the Atmos speakers much at all. But when they do...
 

wasjrx51

Standard Member
I thought I'd follow up on this thread ... yesterday I set up a new Roku Ultra box, and it has changed my opinion of Atmos. In short, I would say that the Roku box made a huge difference in the system's ability to receive and decode Atmos - I had suspected that the TV wasn't passing the metadata through to the receiver reliably (I was using the services from the TV before and rarely decoded Atmos and when it did, it was underwhelming). But listening to the audio now, I can say that it made it worth the effort to add the speakers. I know the Atmos is supposed to add the height, and in my system it does somewhat (I also have my surrounds in the ceiling), but it also made side to side much better. I don't mean this to be a advertisement for Roku (I bought the unit on impuse - I had gone in the get the Apple 4k 5th Gen but the price difference was just too great to not try), but as a hint that source may be an issue to consider.
 

basserphil

Active Member
I am also underwhelmed with Atmos ... especially after all the time and work I took to install the speakers and trying to set it all up correctly. I admit I am more of an enthusiast than an audiophile, and I've been told the speaker placement should be all on the same plane (which mine are not due to the parameters of the room) except for the Atmos where they should be above, but most times I cannot tell if the Atmos speakers make a difference (from my previous 5.1 setup). I am starting to think that Atmos is more like 4 channel audio of the '70's HAHA In theory, it should be great - but at what cost? In summary, my system sounds pretty good - but it did before too, and except for a helicopter scene where I could actually detect something overhead, the definitive statement is that it so far has been underwhelming. Maybe as more movies and shows incorporate Atmos, my opinion will change. But for everyday life watching TV, Atmos wasn't worth the effort for me.
i was of the same opinion, i have a 4300h 5.1.4 setup, did all the audessey setups many times and it was ok but underwhelming...........last night i found a thread on here about the Denon App, thought ok £20 might give it a go.........i now have the sound i have always thought i was going to get,after 4 years of trying, all the speakers sing in harmony and the sound is crystal clear with superb directional audio....the app takes a few minutes to get your head round , but boy the best £20 i ever spent.....Denon, this app should be free to all us owners.
 

wasjrx51

Standard Member
i was of the same opinion, i have a 4300h 5.1.4 setup, did all the audessey setups many times and it was ok but underwhelming...........last night i found a thread on here about the Denon App, thought ok £20 might give it a go.........i now have the sound i have always thought i was going to get,after 4 years of trying, all the speakers sing in harmony and the sound is crystal clear with superb directional audio....the app takes a few minutes to get your head round , but boy the best £20 i ever spent.....Denon, this app should be free to all us owners.
My "AH HA" moment came after I broke down and bought the Roku Ultra ... From the first movie, I could tell there was a night and day difference from watching the services through the TV ... and then, since it did sound so good, I went ahead and bought a Panasonic UB 420, and that ups the ante in sound quality even more! Just pop in a movie with Dolby TrueHD and you'll start ducking your head when bullets fly over your head! I watched the new James Bond movie last night and it was a magnitude better than I had seen from the Apple service - simply amazing. I have learned my lesson about being too frugal with sources! (I don't mean to sound like a commercial for Roku - I am sure the Apple 4K hub sounds just as good)
 

KBD

Well-known Member
As mentioned, source-material is going to make a huge difference.

Disney's Cinderella with Camila Cabello

When Camila sings the chorus of Million to One, it's like an angel from above!

I've read that the animated Coco is great for this, as well, but I've never personally seen/heard it.
 

basserphil

Active Member
My "AH HA" moment came after I broke down and bought the Roku Ultra ... From the first movie, I could tell there was a night and day difference from watching the services through the TV ... and then, since it did sound so good, I went ahead and bought a Panasonic UB 420, and that ups the ante in sound quality even more! Just pop in a movie with Dolby TrueHD and you'll start ducking your head when bullets fly over your head! I watched the new James Bond movie last night and it was a magnitude better than I had seen from the Apple service - simply amazing. I have learned my lesson about being too frugal with sources! (I don't mean to sound like a commercial for Roku - I am sure the Apple 4K hub sounds just as good)
my sources are aptv, 4k uhd bluray, xbox x, htpc, inbuilt tv apps, nothing tops the uhd blu ray discs with atmos but the aptv comes a close second.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
I've read that the animated Coco is great for this, as well, but I've never personally seen/heard it.
I can indeed confirm this..... Having watched it numerous times - courtesy of my daughters 😄
 

KBD

Well-known Member
I can confirm I was not watching Cinderella for myself, but Camila's vocals raised the hair on my neck!
 

Tricky-Ricky

Well-known Member
Interesting reading, and I have yet to read through the other thread mentioned, but I have recently gone the Atmos route, but I am also underwhelmed, my speaker setup is pretty much unchanged other than adding some rear high presents, I have gone from an older Onkyo TX-NR5008 which was over 2K worth ten years ago to a Yamaha RXA 3070 and frankly the old Onkyo was better in some respects at providing some moving effects like helicopters and gunfire, but there are some subtle effects that the Yamaha can do a bit better but for sheer impact the Onkyo takes the crown, shame as the reason I replaced it was down to the ARC no longer working which is very inconvenient in my setup I have toyed with the idea of using speaker and HDMI switches to make the best of both, but it's a bit of a faf.
 

wasjrx51

Standard Member
I would think that your Yamaha should yield better results ... I have been using Yamaha receivers since the mid '80's and have always liked the sound. I will admit that Yamaha is not a "mellow" sound - it's more of a "harder" sound for lack of another term - but I have found them very precise in sound placement. I do not have the best speaker placement for my system (all speakers are in the ceiling except for the main L & R, which are in the wall) and with good sources, the effects are great and Atmos has really added another dimension to the sound. I really struggled getting Atmos to work, but when it did, it was amazing. For me, the problem was the sources I was using ... for surround sound, the TV apps were fine, but not so for Atmos. If I had to do my troubleshooting again, I would probably start by getting an Ultra HD player and tweak from there - it would have made my life much easier HAHA Good luck!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I would think that your Yamaha should yield better results ... I have been using Yamaha receivers since the mid '80's and have always liked the sound. I will admit that Yamaha is not a "mellow" sound - it's more of a "harder" sound for lack of another term - but I have found them very precise in sound placement. I do not have the best speaker placement for my system (all speakers are in the ceiling except for the main L & R, which are in the wall) and with good sources, the effects are great and Atmos has really added another dimension to the sound. I really struggled getting Atmos to work, but when it did, it was amazing. For me, the problem was the sources I was using ... for surround sound, the TV apps were fine, but not so for Atmos. If I had to do my troubleshooting again, I would probably start by getting an Ultra HD player and tweak from there - it would have made my life much easier HAHA Good luck!



I'd have to suggest that you'd not really be getter the best from Atmos due to the fact that your Atmos effects speakers and your surrounds are all on the same horizontal plain and on the ceiling. Atmos is very reliant upon the height speakers being high up on the walls or better still, on the ceiling. All other speakers need to be ideally located at the listeners seated head height.
 
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wasjrx51

Standard Member
You have mentioned that to me before, and I understand that better placement would yield better results. With that said, after listening to a few movies with Dolby TrueHD, I can tell you that I do hear height sounds and sound movement very well. I cannot postulate why it is so good, but it is ... perhaps because all the speakers except for the main L & R are indeed on the same plane? Or perhaps because I can actually aim the speakers (the Atmos I can actually aim both the midrange and tweeter) compensates? Everyone was here for Christmas, and both my kids have far better systems than I do (only 1 has Atmos) and both commented that mine sounded better. Moreover, someone was always in the family room watching Star Wars, James Bond, and John Wick ... even the grand-daughters and I don't have Disney movies! HAHA
 

Snootle

Member
My 2 cents...

There are so many factors in achieving a impactful Atmos setup, most have been mentioned in previous posts. Collectively addressing all of these should yield a far superior aural experience compared to non object based content or attempts to simulate such via a sound bar.

One aspect of Atmos I feel is most important is the strict speaker placement required, whereas DTS is more relaxed. Therefore placement should be based on Atmos suggested giidelines. It is also important to note that despite positioning, EQ, etc... the complexity of the sound field can be dimished due to standing wave interference, room dimensions, surface reflectivity etc... It is difficult enough to optimise a stereo source correctly and account for many of these factors let alone a multi channel object based setup.

What I have found is that constant tweaking will reveal what elements compromise the sound field and if addressed can yield vast improvements. This does require patience. Understandably, some people just want to plug and play. I feel the time invested in getting it right is worthwhile.

That being said I feel a DTS X mix of the same track is superior to my ear than Atmos.
 

unoduo

Active Member
I found the Atmos test tones (available for download direct from Dolby) very helpful in setting up my system. The tones are more full range than those inbuilt into my receiver & are good for checking that levels, crossovers & room eq are setup properly.

If you‘ve set everything up correctly the tones from each speaker, including the height channels, should have the same volume & timbre. If you‘re not hearing distinct tones from overhead then your Atmos experience is always going to be very underwhelming.
 
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Tricky-Ricky

Well-known Member
I always set up, so everything is good to my ears as after all it's me that I am trying to please and everyone is different in their individual hearing and perception of sound, however despite having all speakers set to my liking the surround/moving effects are just not that distinct, so I am going on the premise that It's just too subtle for me, and maybe I'm a bit mutton.
A bit like the whole TV setup debate, I find the recommended settings from the so-called experts quite horrible to my eyes.
 

lindsayt

Active Member
Of all the Atmos films I've watched, it's The Revenant that took the most advantage and was most suited to Atmos.
There was 1 scene in a log building where you could hear someone moving about upstairs. And in the scenes in the woods the background bird twittering came from above, as if the birds were up on the branches of trees.

None of this made any difference to the plot.
And when I have a non-Atmos film, it's not like it sounds like there's something wrong or missing from the soundtrack.
 

anlygi

Well-known Member
I was a bit underwhelmed with Atmos when I had front heights for it. When I moved to ceiling speakers, whilst met with a lot of eye rolling from my wife, even she noticed the difference. Think it was A Quiet Place she was impressed with.

Of all the Atmos films I've watched, it's The Revenant that took the most advantage and was most suited to Atmos.
There was 1 scene in a log building where you could hear someone moving about upstairs. And in the scenes in the woods the background bird twittering came from above, as if the birds were up on the branches of trees.

None of this made any difference to the plot.
And when I have a non-Atmos film, it's not like it sounds like there's something wrong or missing from the soundtrack.

Where are you getting The Revenant with Atmos? I'd love to hear it, but my UHD disc doesn't have it, just DTS-MA 7.1, granted it was one of my first purchases so had it years. Has there been a newer release? Don't see Atmos listed on iTunes version either but know one exists from the theatrical run.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
And when I have a non-Atmos film, it's not like it sounds like there's something wrong or missing from the soundtrack.

Don't you use the Dolby Surround/DTS-X upmixing modes when listening to non-Atmos tracks.

It adds an extra dimension to films and can be really impressive.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Of all the Atmos films I've watched, it's The Revenant that took the most advantage and was most suited to Atmos.
It's a DTS HD-MA soundtrack not Atmos. The scene you talked about responds very well to DTS Neural:X as an upscaling DSP. It will draw your attention to your ceiling, but it's not in Atmos, unless you have other than a UK release?

As for Neural upmixing DTS HD then the series Black Sails is absolutely brilliant for being upmixed, especially the onboard ship scenes. This series really brings home what speakers in the Atmos domain can really do.
 

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