Are Dolby Atmos speakers different

Dolby Atmos enabled speakers .....

Postby Mockingjay »Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:42 pm

Hi, I've been working with Dolby Atmos for over a year and have tried 2 different LS configurations so far.

a) Enabled LS on the front and rear LS
I placed the surround set in accordance with ITU specifications, all tweeters at ear level, but the rears more in quadro formation compared to the front speakers. The front LS is slightly angled, the Rears a little stronger, diagonally to the other front LS.
The enabled speakers should be no more than halfway up the wall, so it fits.
The 5.1 set sounds fantastic on SACD, the rears themselves cannot be located, they are only responsible for the spatial sound impression.
My first Atmos movie was Transformers 4, and I struggled to make sense of Dolby Atmos.
There were some noticeable effects, but the big wow didn't want to come. The Atmos-LS radiate against the ceiling at an angle of 11 °.
I contacted Onkyo and wanted to know what optimal setup they could recommend for the enabled speakers. Experience equals zero.

b) Enabled speaker set high at 1/2 stereo base width, echoing straight ahead
I came up with this configuration based on a report with Sennheiser's sound engineer regarding Auro 3D, who then informed me on request that the Auro setup was compatible with Dolby Atmos.
I have set the enabled speakers to 1/2 the stereo base width, so they are 1.12 m above the tweeters of the base speakers. The deflection angle of the enabled speakers is 11 °.
The sound improvement in terms of Dolby Atmos was fantastic. Alone, as now the football hits Transformers in the back right corner of the cinema. Mockingjay then showed what Atmos can really do.

c) Beam angle of the high-altitude LS
The default angle of the enabled speakers is 11 °. By chance I came across a Blu-ray from Dabringhaus and Grimm with 2222+ recording - Auro 3D compatible - and then set the beam angle to 25 ° according to Auro specifications. The AVR output the 8 audio tracks perfectly, center and software not activated. The sound was super good.

Then I listened to Unbroken with this LS-Konfig, and I didn't like the sound. With Dolby Atmos, the altitude information must not come too directly to the ears. I then - accidentally - reduced the angle to 18 °, and all of a sudden I felt the sound of Unbroken fantastic, just the rain in the jungle.

That is the configuration that I will keep for now.

d) Dolby Surround Upmixer
The DSU shouldn't be as good as the Auromatik, although upmixing is one of those things.

Using the DSU, I had a stereo CD output in 5.2.4, the sound is good, but every real SACD 5.1 sounds better.

A SACD in 5.2.4 sounds relatively good, but the SACD original is much better.

But Metallica's Trough the Never on stereo CD also says something about Dolby Atmos, about the DSU sounds very, very good. But it is nowhere near the Blu-ray version in Dolby Atmos. Adjusting the center width - advised by DSU - is of no use either.

However, the upmixer has already prepared the sound fantastic for some TV films, but Dolby 5.1 is relatively rare on television.

Conclusion: Dolby Atmos is not easy to hear. It also took me quite a while to get away from this showmanship and understand the object-based sound reproduction. With Dolby Atmos there is no phantom sound source, I can move freely in the room, there is no longer the ideal hotspot seat. And with that Audyssey is obsolete or I haven't used Audyssey yet. Everything can be set manually.

P.S. I have read many times that the treble speakers cannot be heard in Dolby Atmos. They are not either, they only serve to represent the sound object in space by means of coordinates.

DTS: X does not need any altitude LS for this, and that can be exciting.