Does Dolby Atmos sound better on a 2 channel system? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Does Dolby Atmos sound better on a 2 channel system?

I am just wondring if Dolby Atmos sounds better downmixed to 2 channels?
Since the audio space is made in 3D instead of channels I would suspect this might be the case?
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post #2 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 08:13 AM
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post #3 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Uhh no. So you are saying Atmos is on Atmos in 7.1.2? Got it.
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post #4 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 10:23 AM
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Well you cannot get height and surround component from only two speakers.
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post #5 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 10:41 AM
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while you are correct,
my recreational experimentation of switching back and forth between DSU and stereo
using a spl meter to keep the same level at the MLP, and the same sub line-up

the F15's create by themselves a wondefrully clear, tall, wide, deep, phamtom center filled and extended sound field, in my space,
that for some "tunes", the stereo is actually more clear and definitive for smaller details like
the click and reverb fade of wood blocks,
high hats and that short sizzle .

I attribute that to being fortunate to go for the overkill factor in both using the science for speaker placement and a lot (120 ft^2) of room treatments.
not couning 7 of 52" x 96" ceiling to floor medium lined curtains in a slight arc, wall to wall, across the back of my listening space.

and as I know by using REW, I don't hear over about 6.6KHz.

The resources here at AVS can help you get (close to) the results you want . . .

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post #6 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristoffer77 View Post
So you are saying Atmos is on Atmos in 7.1.2?
Atmos soundtracks have a nested structure. Inside the Atmos mix is the entire soundtrack as a 7.1 mix. At the core of the 7.1 mix is the entire soundtrack as a 5.1 mix. Inside the 5.1 mix is the entire soundtrack as a 2.0 mix.

So, when you're playing an Atmos movie on a 2-speaker set-up, only the 2.0 core (2-channel downmix) is unpacked. The rest of the Atmos track doesn't need to be decoded.

BTW, the minimum Atmos configuration is 2.0.2 (two front speakers, no sub, two height speakers). If you already have 2 speakers, then adding 2 heights will cause the Atmos track to be fully decoded and rendered to your 2.0.2 layout.

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post #7 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 11:22 AM
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The only time 2 speakers is going to sound better than a 3+ speaker setup is when you have something like binaural audio happening.
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post #8 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donktard View Post
Well you cannot get height and surround component from only two speakers.

Height? Sure you can.

Surround? 90 to 100 +/- degrees to the sides, sure.

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post #9 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Lostandconfused2 View Post
The only time 2 speakers is going to sound better than a 3+ speaker setup is when you have something like binaural audio happening.

Not true. Don't need binaural for that to happen.
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post #10 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 11:33 AM
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You can achieve immersive audio in a 2 speaker system given that you are at MLP and a room that is designed well. However, you can not achieve what Atmos offers in just 2 channels. 5.x.4 will be better than 5.x.2 and 7.x.4 will be WAYYYYYY better than 2.0. Hell, 2.1 is way better than 2.0 when it comes to movies unless you have some pretty hefty front capable of delivering sub bass. There are those who are achieving 9.x.6 and still feel that they can benefit from more speakers.

Once you hear the audio demos and what Atmos is capable of and look back on this question, you will ask yourself, "WTF was I thinking?..."
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post #11 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Not true. Don't need binaural for that to happen.
Assuming equal quality speakers, setup, recording, room, and conditions, more speakers will always sound better than 2 except when comparing to binaural.
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post #12 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rontalley View Post
You can achieve immersive audio in a 2 speaker system given that you are at MLP and a room that is designed well. However, you can not achieve what Atmos offers in just 2 channels. 5.x.4 will be better than 5.x.2 and 7.x.4 will be WAYYYYYY better than 2.0. Hell, 2.1 is way better than 2.0 when it comes to movies unless you have some pretty hefty front capable of delivering sub bass. There are those who are achieving 9.x.6 and still feel that they can benefit from more speakers.

Once you hear the audio demos and what Atmos is capable of and look back on this question, you will ask yourself, "WTF was I thinking?..."

"7.x.4 will be WAYYYYYY better than 2.0."

Not hardly (done right)

"Once you hear the audio demos and what Atmos is capable of and look back on this question, you will ask yourself, "WTF was I thinking"

I ask "what am I doing here"?

You might well be right with regards to a movie, which I haven't watched an entire movie in over 20 years, but on music, done right, not true. I've heard plenty of it.

I live in a HOA where there are about 120 or so homes and all of them have HT rooms (or music rooms). About 1/5th of the plans have an identical room to what I have here so plenty of opportunity to hear in 'like kind' environments. All are HT system except for me and one other guy with Maggies. For sure, you got us on HT for movies. For music though, not.

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post #13 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostandconfused2 View Post
Assuming equal quality speakers, setup, recording, room, and conditions, more speakers will always sound better than 2 except when comparing to binaural.

^^^ Well, there you go ^^^


Not
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post #14 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Height? Sure you can.

Surround? 90 to 100 +/- degrees to the sides, sure.
Lets just assume speakers are placed in a "standard" stereo setup, not glued to the ceiling or placed on your sides like headphones.

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post #15 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by donktard View Post
Lets just assume speakers are placed in a "standard" stereo setup, not glued to the ceiling or placed on your sides like headphones.

My 'standard' is a lil different, I'll grant you that. Well, to be clear, in that mine are not plastered against the front wall.


< ---------
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post #16 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Atmos soundtracks have a nested structure. Inside the Atmos mix is the entire soundtrack as a 7.1 mix. At the core of the 7.1 mix is the entire soundtrack as a 5.1 mix. Inside the 5.1 mix is the entire soundtrack as a 2.0 mix.

So, when you're playing an Atmos movie on a 2-speaker set-up, only the 2.0 core (2-channel downmix) is unpacked. The rest of the Atmos track doesn't need to be decoded.

BTW, the minimum Atmos configuration is 2.0.2 (two front speakers, no sub, two height speakers). If you already have 2 speakers, then adding 2 heights will cause the Atmos track to be fully decoded and rendered to your 2.0.2 layout.


Ok, interesting. So my BD player won't downmix but just " know" that it has to play the 2.0 mix?
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post #17 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
"7.x.4 will be WAYYYYYY better than 2.0."

Not hardly (done right)

"Once you hear the audio demos and what Atmos is capable of and look back on this question, you will ask yourself, "WTF was I thinking"

I ask "what am I doing here"?

You might well be right with regards to a movie, which I haven't watched an entire movie in over 20 years, but on music, done right, not true. I've heard plenty of it.

I live in a HOA where there are about 120 or so homes and all of them have HT rooms (or music rooms). About 1/5th of the plans have an identical room to what I have here so plenty of opportunity to hear in 'like kind' environments. All are HT system except for me and one other guy with Maggies. For sure, you got us on HT for movies. For music though, not.
To be fair, the OP was asking about Atmos. AFAIK, there haven't been any music only Atmos releases as of yet, or am I wrong?
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post #18 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 01:58 PM
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My 'standard' is a lil different, I'll grant you that. Well, to be clear, in that mine are not plastered against the front wall.


< ---------
Sure, but you still wont be able to decode object oriented atmos track properly, which is the point of this topic.

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post #19 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by kristoffer77 View Post
So my BD player won't downmix but just " know" that it has to play the 2.0 mix?
BD players can't recognize the Atmos portion of the track. The audio in the Atmos track is compressed using Dolby TrueHD lossless packing, so the bitstream ends up with a TrueHD flag. If you're decoding in the player, then it sees the TrueHD flag and unpacks the bitstream like any other TrueHD track. If the player is configured for 2-channel output, then it will unpack only the 2-channel lossless core.

Same thing if decoding happens in your AV receiver. No need to waste DSP resources unpacking the entire Atmos soundtrack, objects and all, only to downmix it back to 2 channels when a 2-channel downmix already exists inside the soundtrack.
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post #20 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 02:15 PM
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Sure, but you still wont be able to decode object oriented atmos track properly, which is the point of this topic.

That will never happen in this house from what I've heard around here in the neighborhood. For music I don't need it or want it to start with.

I thought the topic is " Does Dolby Atmos sound better on a 2 channel system"

I was responding to post 7:

"The only time 2 speakers is going to sound better than a 3+ speaker setup is when you have something like binaural audio happening"

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post #21 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
"7.x.4 will be WAYYYYYY better than 2.0."

Not hardly (done right)

"Once you hear the audio demos and what Atmos is capable of and look back on this question, you will ask yourself, "WTF was I thinking"

I ask "what am I doing here"?

You might well be right with regards to a movie, which I haven't watched an entire movie in over 20 years, but on music, done right, not true. I've heard plenty of it.

I live in a HOA where there are about 120 or so homes and all of them have HT rooms (or music rooms). About 1/5th of the plans have an identical room to what I have here so plenty of opportunity to hear in 'like kind' environments. All are HT system except for me and one other guy with Maggies. For sure, you got us on HT for movies. For music though, not.
For music, a 2 channel system is the way to go however, there are settings on AVRs like Yamaha's 9ch Stereo that makes a 2 track sounds so so so so so soooooooo dang awesome!!! OMG what an amazing sound in the MLP. Wow!! Hey, this is coming from someone who worked in the Pro Audio industry for 15 years doing nothing but mixing and mastering.

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To be fair, the OP was asking about Atmos. AFAIK, there haven't been any music only Atmos releases as of yet, or am I wrong?
There are some...however, Atmos is generally associated with "Movie" 3d surround sound. And its definitely not a gimmick.

But again some are fine with 2 channel setups and anything other than that sounds strange to them.

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post #22 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 02:51 PM
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For music, a 2 channel system is the way to go however, there are settings on AVRs like Yamaha's 9ch Stereo that makes a 2 track sounds so so so so so soooooooo dang awesome!!! OMG what an amazing sound in the MLP. Wow!! Hey, this is coming from someone who worked in the Pro Audio industry for 15 years doing nothing but mixing and mastering.
To each their own, but I have to disagree that "Party Mode" (aka All Ch Stereo, 5/7 Ch Stereo, etc.) is good for anything besides...well...parties.

Now, DPLII Music...that I kinda like sometimes, but I mostly stick to 2.1 for music.
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post #23 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Me to. I guess you are seeing it as "Does an "Atmos" mix sound better downmixed to 2 channel vs something that was mixed for just 2 channels?"

The answer is that a 2 channel mix is included in the Atmos track. But playing it on a 15.x.8 system will sound better than playing all of the objects that are design to be in a a particular 3D space such as the front of the room where other sounds supposed to be in the back.

Here's an example. There is an Atmos demo where a 747 flys overhead. You can clearly hear the plane coming from the far back then flys over your head and even gives a Doppler effect. There is just no way that this would sound "right" played back on a 2 channel system.

Nope Atmos on 2 Channels would sound cluttered and way too much going on in just 2 speakers. Sorta like a bunch of birds in a cage vs all of the birds flying around and chirping making a peaceful environment vs just a bunch of noise in a close up space.

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post #24 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 04:35 PM
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Me to. I guess you are seeing it as "Does an "Atmos" mix sound better downmixed to 2 channel vs something that was mixed for just 2 channels?"

The answer is that a 2 channel mix is included in the Atmos track. But playing it on a 15.x.8 system will sound better than playing all of the objects that are design to be in a a particular 3D space such as the front of the room where other sounds supposed to be in the back.

Here's an example. There is an Atmos demo where a 747 flys overhead. You can clearly hear the plane coming from the far back then flys over your head and even gives a Doppler effect. There is just no way that this would sound "right" played back on a 2 channel system.

Nope Atmos on 2 Channels would sound cluttered and way too much going on in just 2 speakers. Sorta like a bunch of birds in a cage vs all of the birds flying around and chirping making a peaceful environment vs just a bunch of noise in a close up space.

"too much going on in just 2 speakers. Sorta like a bunch of birds in a cage "

Doesn't have to be. Takes the right equipment and placement up front to dispense with that cage.

"Here's an example. There is an Atmos demo where a 747 flys overhead. You can clearly hear the plane coming from the far back then flys over your head and even gives a Doppler effect. There is just no way that this would sound "right" played back on a 2 channel system."

And this would be something I would have zero interest in. 747s in my listening room are somewhat unlikely, but I can reproduce the overhead antics in something like Dansk. Yep, for me it's music and music only, and for that, 2 channel (****done right****) is real hard to beat. And this is coming from someone who has been actively at this since 1959 (Quad ESL 57s)

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post #25 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 06:37 PM
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Two channel vs multichannel is a tired debate and not the subject of this thread. The common misconception I see from the two channel diehards is that they believe by avoiding artificial signal processing and staying more pure to the source they achieve better fidelity. The fallacy is that they aren't even avoiding signal processing.

A room is a signal processor. Some are better designed than others. But no room will ever be as powerful, flexible, intelligent and accurate as a well designed digital signal processor. This has been the case for, oh, two decades or so now.

There's a lot to be said for nostalgia. Bias likes to speak a lot as well.
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post #26 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 06:40 PM
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Two channel vs multichannel is a tired debate and not the subject of this thread. The common misconception I see from the two channel diehards is that they believe by avoiding artificial signal processing and staying more pure to the source they achieve better fidelity. The fallacy is that they aren't even avoiding signal processing.

A room is a signal processor. Some are better designed than others. But no room will ever be as powerful, flexible, intelligent and accurate as a well designed digital signal processor. This has been the case for, oh, two decades or so now.

There's a lot to be said for nostalgia. Bias likes to speak a lot as well.

I was responding to: "The only time 2 speakers is going to sound better than a 3+ speaker setup is when you have something like binaural audio happening" in post 7

"by avoiding artificial signal processing and staying more pure to the source they achieve better fidelity."

Correct
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post #27 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 07:31 PM
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Well, that belief is a fallacy. Great thing about this hobby is the only person we really have to please is ourselves. Mono speaker with tube amp playing vinyl? Knock yourself out!
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post #28 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 07:40 PM
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Well, that belief is a fallacy. Great thing about this hobby is the only person we really have to please is ourselves. Mono speaker with tube amp playing vinyl? Knock yourself out!

Never said that.

Tube amp playing vinyl? Absolutely.
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post #29 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 08:16 PM
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Wasn't specific to you. Some people may enjoy mono audio.
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post #30 of 38 Old 03-20-2017, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
Wasn't specific to you. Some people may enjoy mono audio.

I don't have much choice with my LPs from 1947 to at least 1958. Some stuff later than that I prefer in mono such as the early Beatles albums, Beach Boys, etc. Some of the early jazz stuff sounded pretty damn good in mono.
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