Worth adding Atmos speakers if you're just watching Sky/non-Atmos feeds?

gadgetluvr

Active Member
I've just bought the Denon AVR-X2700H and Wharfedale DX-2 5.1 speaker package - my first foray into a separate amp and speakers getup. My lounge is 6m x 4m with a flat plastered ceiling. I'm considering adding a pair of the Minx Min12's (wall mounted, above the fronts) to the mix.

About 90% of my viewing is just regular Sky TV (I don't have Sky Cinema or Sport), 9% Amazon Prime (I have a 4K stick) with the remaining 1% being old DVD's, all at moderate volume. Before I get caught up in all the Atmos setup, is it even worth considering given what I view on TV? i.e. will the Denon AVR somehow "virtually work out" what to fire out of the Atmos speakers with a non-Atmos feed or will they stay silent till I view a specially encoded Atmos feed? And will adding this additional Atmos speaker pair, "take away/degrade" sound from the rest of my 5.1 setup for a non-Atmos feed?

Also, will the Min12's play well with the rest of my kit? I've been advised to generally stick to the same manufacturer when adding speakers, but there is something about the size of the Min12's that are appealing plus it doesn't break the bank - and there's a (slim!) chance my wife might not even notice them mounted if I time it right ...

Many thanks in advance.
 

Dolus

Active Member
From Richer Sounds page for Denon AVR-X2700H (Black)
Experience the immersion of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X use ceiling or up-firing speakers for three-dimensional and fully immersive sound. Whether it’s rain falling in a tropical jungle or the intense sound of overhead gunfire, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X put you in the centre of the action.

Extra height, without the speakers - Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X
As impressive as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound, it’s not always possible to accommodate the extra speakers. Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X Height Virtualisation technology go some way to help fix. Play any Dolby format and enjoy a more immersive sound with virtual height enhancement – using your existing speakers. DTS Virtual:X also creates a more enveloping sound from any DTS codec. Compatible with 2.1, 5.1 or 7.1 speaker configurations, DTS Virtual:X gives the impression of height and immersive sound.

What it does not mention is the inclusion of the DTS and Dolby upmixers that will upmix none Atmos/DTX X material to any height/ceiling speakers.
 

gadgetluvr

Active Member
From Richer Sounds page for Denon AVR-X2700H (Black)
Experience the immersion of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X use ceiling or up-firing speakers for three-dimensional and fully immersive sound. Whether it’s rain falling in a tropical jungle or the intense sound of overhead gunfire, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X put you in the centre of the action.

Extra height, without the speakers - Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X
As impressive as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound, it’s not always possible to accommodate the extra speakers. Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X Height Virtualisation technology go some way to help fix. Play any Dolby format and enjoy a more immersive sound with virtual height enhancement – using your existing speakers. DTS Virtual:X also creates a more enveloping sound from any DTS codec. Compatible with 2.1, 5.1 or 7.1 speaker configurations, DTS Virtual:X gives the impression of height and immersive sound.

What it does not mention is the inclusion of the DTS and Dolby upmixers that will upmix none Atmos/DTX X material to any height/ceiling speakers.
Thanks, I did see that. In my case, I can actually accommodate the additional Atmos speakers - I’m just unsure if it will make a difference to the content I view, my educated guess is it won’t.
 

gadgetluvr

Active Member
@Dolus, I might've misinterpreted your response. You're saying that an "upmixer" (I'll need to look that up!) will upmix a non-Atmos feed to Atmos speakers.

Which seems to be what the last question at the link below is saying as well I think .. ?

What I don't understand is how does this upmixer know what sounds to send to Atmos speakers if it wasn't done by the content creator to begin with! Surely it's making algorithmic based educated "guesses" - which could actually detract from the experience?

I guess I'm trying to work out if I could potentially degrade my overall listening experience by adding Atmos speakers when most of the content I currently view is non-Atmos. If that is indeed the case I may as well wait till such time I'm watching mainly native Atmos content.
 

gadgetluvr

Active Member
@Gasp3621, I think you either have (or have recommended) the Min12's from another thread I came across a few days ago, apologies if that's not the case. I thought you might be able to advise on the second part of my original post (or perhaps the first part even!).

If I did buy a pair of the Min12's as Atmos speakers is it preferable to mount them on the ceiling as opposed to high on the wall above the fronts? And are there any "established" guides you are aware of that can direct me on ceiling placement? My preference tbh is actually high on the wall but I think some people have managed to mount the Min12s on the ceiling which is apparently meant to be a lot better, although I can't seem to find any of those posts now.

Thanks in advance.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Ceiling always if possible as that is where the sound suppose to come. :) They have tiny wall brackets with 4 screws i think and the bracket has plenty of angling if needed to turn speakers, although the Minx has BMR drivers = wide dispersion. I had the 10s. Not really fan of tiny speakers generally, but understand they can be quite invisible in lounge so why not. They can certainly suprise as they are so damn small. For heights i would probably just buy pair of DX-2 speakers as i understand they are sold as each/pairs too.

Sadly i don´t know how useable they will be with your use. But they will be active if you use the upmixers so.. Maybe other members will chime in.

You probably seen these, but number 6 shows the optimal position. Surround sides number 5 ("rears") should be placed at seated ear height if you go with atmos route so they won´t "battle" against each other at same height.

5.1.2-overhead.png


image2.jpg
 

gadgetluvr

Active Member
Ceiling always if possible as that is where the sound suppose to come. :) They have tiny wall brackets with 4 screws i think and the bracket has plenty of angling if needed to turn speakers, although the Minx has BMR drivers = wide dispersion. I had the 10s. Not really fan of tiny speakers generally, but understand they can be quite invisible in lounge so why not. They can certainly suprise as they are so damn small. For heights i would probably just buy pair of DX-2 speakers as i understand they are sold as each/pairs too.

Sadly i don´t know how useable they will be with your use. But they will be active if you use the upmixers so.. Maybe other members will chime in.

You probably seen these, but number 6 shows the optimal position. Surround sides number 5 ("rears") should be placed at seated ear height if you go with atmos route so they won´t "battle" against each other at same height.

5.1.2-overhead.png


image2.jpg
Thanks for the quick reply. I hadn't actually seen that graphic and it's quite useful - and actually kinda dictates what I need to do :-( It appears that with just one set of ceiling Atmos speakers, they need to be roughly above your MLC. Unless you can wire inside a ceiling cavity, I'd imagine for most rooms you'd need to wire from the amp in the front, all around the room and then across the ceiling! Suddenly, front heights are looking a lot more palatable.
Has anyone done A-B comparisons of the same Atmos speaker pair in both placements do you know? Interesting to see what the real difference is and what the effort/benefit ratio is.

I did actually consider adding just another pair of DX-2s to match what I have. Small as they are, they are still noticeable bigger than the Min12s - which is ok if you aren't mounting them high up on a wall I think ...

Re your last sentence about the rear's being placed at ear height, what would they "battle" with? The 6's are on the ceiling as per that pic but clearly I'm missing something obvious.

Many thanks again for your input on this thread and the other one too.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the quick reply. I hadn't actually seen that graphic and it's quite useful - and actually kinda dictates what I need to do :-( It appears that with just one set of ceiling Atmos speakers, they need to be roughly above your MLC. Unless you can wire inside a ceiling cavity, I'd imagine for most rooms you'd need to wire from the amp in the front, all around the room and then across the ceiling! Suddenly, front heights are looking a lot more palatable.
Has anyone done A-B comparisons of the same Atmos speaker pair in both placements do you know? Interesting to see what the real difference is and what the effort/benefit ratio is.

I did actually consider adding just another pair of DX-2s to match what I have. Small as they are, they are still noticeable bigger than the Min12s - which is ok if you aren't mounting them high up on a wall I think ...

Re your last sentence about the rear's being placed at ear height, what would they "battle" with? The 6's are on the ceiling as per that pic but clearly I'm missing something obvious.

Many thanks again for your input on this thread and the other one too.

I meant don´t mount the surround speakers too high on wall, as is often the case/recommendation for 5.1/7.1 systems. If you have both high then there is no "separation" and you probably don´t get the ideal effect then.

Few threads with pictures about the Minx as heights, check these two:



They have been quite popular choice as they are so small. I think one member swapped the 12 to 22 model and said they were lot better (heights)! They are not large either, same wall bracket.
img_20200618_214609-jpg.1320350
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Definately worth the extra two speakers in the Atmos position. The upmixing modes, explained above, are very good and bring a new dimension to base 5.1 broadcasts and discs. With Sky if you have the UHD subscription then there are a few programmes with Atmos, Britannia II being one. Jack Ryan on Prime has Atmos as well. So a few programmes about.
 

gadgetluvr

Active Member
Few threads with pictures about the Minx as heights, check these two:
Thanks for the links! I had come across the first one but not the second one, so that was useful. The pictures have helped too as the other half has just signed off on the Min12's because of their (lack of) size - she hasn't realised that it will look bigger on our smaller wall though! Plus I need to work out how some of these people have hidden their cables so well - I'm sure there is a thread or two on that somewhere.
One of the posters (Dante?) also mentioned something from Dolby that said you could mount height speakers on the ceiling in front if you had to go down that route - I might revert to that option again with the Min12's now rather than mounting them on the wall.

Definately worth the extra two speakers in the Atmos position. The upmixing modes, explained above, are very good and bring a new dimension to base 5.1 broadcasts and discs. With Sky if you have the UHD subscription then there are a few programmes with Atmos, Britannia II being one. Jack Ryan on Prime has Atmos as well. So a few programmes about.
That is good to know, thanks! I don't have Sky UHD but it sounds like just upmixing my standard feed should yield in a better output even using front height speakers. And Atmos content can only increase hopefully! :)
 

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