Originally Posted by rfb6435
I have the AIM speakers as side surrounds which is a more demanding use case IMO and they work well.
I also have them as front heights in a Neo:X/AudysseyDSX configuration (but that has less impact).
I am about to install some HD-R80s as my top middle atmos speakers. I just bought an Marantz SR-7009 to upgrade my onkyo 929. I am mainly putting the HD-R80s in because their grille size is the same as the AIMs which I already have in the ceiling so they will match better than the R65s will.
I will have to post back with how it works.
I now have the HD-R80s installed as Top Middle atmos speakers. The HD-R80s were chosen over the HD-R65s both for a little more bass and because the grilles are actually the same size as the HD-R65AIM speakers which gives a better overall look where I don't have two different sized grilles in the same ceiling.
I was surprised that both my wife and I noticed a real difference when running 7.2.4 atmos with Top Middle and Front Height speakers enabled. I was shocked that the FH speakers made a big impact with atmos because they were almost insignificant and add very little IMO with Neo:X and DSX...
I expected to strongly prefer 9.2.2 with the front wides but there was a definite difference in immersion when both the FH and TM were used together that didn't exist with 9.2.2(FH) or 9.2.2(TM). More interestingly I don't think that a TF+TM configuration would sound as good in my 1 row setup as the FH+TM does! It turns out that some engineers from THX also came to the same conclusion where sounds behind the seating position were covered well enough with the Rear srrounds. I think TF+TR makes more sense when there is more than one row of seating.
Right now I still prefer DTS Neo:X (FW+FH) over the Dolby DSU (new dolby upscaller) which supports (FH+TM) for non atmos content. The TM ceiling speakers just don't seem right to me when they are formed from 5.1 content (too many overhead sounds are injected that shouldn't be) but perhaps it will grow on me... We have been using 7.2.4 for atmos movies and 11.1 for non atmos where FW speakers work better than TM when upscaled IMO..
I do wish that I could run 9.2.4 because the FWs also make a difference with the transition from Front to Side surrounds. 9.2.2 does have a more seamless surround sound on the floor but 7.2.4 has more of a wow factor.
I am actually considering moving my Level 2 towers that are currently the FW speakers to be side surrounds. The HD-R65AIM speakers work well there but with the atmos configuration side surrounds should be lower than with the normal 7.1 setup because the height is already there from the TM speakers. I have a pair of HTD middy speakers that I can use for wides if I can get my wife to approve the towers as side surrounds...
Perhaps someday there will be a $2000 or less AVR/Prepro that will support 9.2.4 so I can enable all of my speakers at the same time!