Dolby Atmos and Reclining Theater seating a basic problem - my next BIG idea - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Dolby Atmos and Reclining Theater seating a basic problem - my next BIG idea

I've now sat through two years of various Dolby Atmos sound demos in at least 20 different vendor rooms. Every single one of those rooms had a common element. The demo chairs lack any neck/head support which would block the sound. I know in my personal theater which is the first room I built, the misses picked the Berkline 45099s, big mistake, my surround sound suffers significantly even when mounted according to the then recommended couple feet above your head.

The current Atmos recommended side and rear surround speaker height recommendations are to place them at ear level. That is going to make things even worse. So I started thinking about a solution and came up with this concept. Basically build a theater recliner like a dentist's chair back profile, maybe more padding. Your ears are unobstructed. I shopped this around at a couple of seat manufacturers at CEDIA and basically they though I was nuts. I think I'm just ahead of my time

here is the concept:

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post #2 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 02:42 PM
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I just copy righted the idea, so get with me when the initial prototype is done. We will talk numbers.


No seriously though, that seems like it would work.
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post #3 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 02:48 PM
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Check out the "Hyperion" build thread...
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post #4 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 02:55 PM
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Big... You are far from nutz. Fantastic idea there. This will enable more " sweet spots" in the theater for sure. Less sound blockage/ less area for sound to ricochet off of. Two thumbs up.
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post #5 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 04:11 PM
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Big. I recline all my seats way I have better line of sight to my ears every time I go into my theater but always regret having the head rest block some of the sounds so you my friend are not alone nor are you crazy by any means. It requires the surrounds to be calibrated louder because of the headrest and I've been struggling trying to get it right every since I bought my first set of theater seating recliners. Maybe someone will listen and then have all of us who understand placing orders left and right.
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post #6 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
Check out the "Hyperion" build thread...
did a thread search and a google search and couldn't find a link. Is that spelled right or do you have a link?
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post #7 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 06:18 PM
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Believe it or not this is something I've thought about and one of the reasons I am not so quick to dismiss theater style seating over the recliner types. So many decisions to make.
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post #8 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 06:45 PM
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What about automotive seating? There should be lots more options and it would be more readily available and at a lower cost.
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post #9 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
did a thread search and a google search and couldn't find a link. Is that spelled right or do you have a link?


Sorry couldn't resist
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post #10 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 07:01 PM
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Good idea
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post #11 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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that gives me another idea- potty humor

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post #12 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikela View Post


Sorry couldn't resist
It's in the $20,000 forum. Basically low back high dollar recliners. Some range in the $100k range if memory serves me correct.
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post #13 of 45 Old 09-20-2016, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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the diagram of the Hyperion seat still shows that the seat back blocks the direct sound of a rear surround mounted at ear level.


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post #14 of 45 Old 09-21-2016, 05:53 AM
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I like your idea. Wish there was something available.

I personally raised my speakers a bit above ear level and angled down a hair for this very reason.
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post #15 of 45 Old 09-21-2016, 07:42 AM
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So take my seats for example... I know normally they partially block the sound, but not much because the rear speakers are higher up (non-atmos level) But reclined, there would be no blocking at all because now my head is sitting on top of the seat back instead of against it. What height would you position these on? The reclined position or the normal seated position? How on earth do they do Atmos in a movie theater with stadium seating? There isn't speakers directly behind anyone. You will still hear the sound behind you anyway, it just might be slightly diminished.
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post #16 of 45 Old 09-21-2016, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I think the residential recommendation for Atmos Surround at ear level is driven by normal residential ceiling heights of 8-10 ft. You need to have a delta between the sides and the ceiling speaker to fully achieve the 3D sound effect. In commercial theaters the ceilings are much higher and the side surrounds can also be higher.
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post #17 of 45 Old 09-21-2016, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustinF View Post
I like your idea. Wish there was something available.

I personally raised my speakers a bit above ear level and angled down a hair for this very reason.
Due to space in my last theater, we actually used in-ceiling speakers for the rear surrounds that are angled toward the seating area. Love the sound we get from them.

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post #18 of 45 Old 09-22-2016, 09:19 AM
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there is the new "rules" that triad put out with dolby and it now says the sides and surrounds can be no higher than 1.25x the height of the LCR tweeter. So you deff have some wiggle room. They now have more emphesis on the placement of them in relation to the LCR vs the separation between them and the atmos speakers. The atmos speakers are now being targeted by listener ear and ceiling height vs relaying them back to the sides and surround separation.

So now you should have more flexibility that chairs won't block. i know the chairs I'm using have choices for low, medium, and high backs so i will most likely do the medium but if im comfortable in them the low version will come home with me.
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post #19 of 45 Old 09-22-2016, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimim View Post
there is the new "rules" that triad put out with dolby and it now says the sides and surrounds can be no higher than 1.25x the height of the LCR tweeter. So you deff have some wiggle room. They now have more emphesis on the placement of them in relation to the LCR vs the separation between them and the atmos speakers. The atmos speakers are now being targeted by listener ear and ceiling height vs relaying them back to the sides and surround separation.

So now you should have more flexibility that chairs won't block. i know the chairs I'm using have choices for low, medium, and high backs so i will most likely do the medium but if im comfortable in them the low version will come home with me.

That's actually not a Triad rule. They're just following Dolby's guidelines and have been around almost since Atmos first came out.. Below is link to the April 2015 guide.

If possible, the height of the rear speakers should be the same as the height of the front speakers. If the room design makes this impractical, or impossible, the rear speakers may be higher than the front speakers. However, we suggest that the height of the rear speakers not be more than 1.25 times the height of the front speakers.

Page 7
http://www.dolby.com/us/en/technolog...guidelines.pdf

Lots more good info there too.

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post #20 of 45 Old 09-26-2016, 02:27 PM
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Any thoughts on using a speaker like this for surround backs? Seems like you could place it at an elevated height and create a little more space and help get the sound over the back of the seats. Klipsch states that they can be used for surrounds.
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post #21 of 45 Old 09-26-2016, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Dolby says ear level for Atmos. I think a lot of theater builders are cheating.
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post #22 of 45 Old 09-26-2016, 05:52 PM
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I've thought of the headrest only type of seat on and off over the years. Kinda like a dentist chair, but way more comfortable (somehow).

How much is it going to take for you and I, Big, to market this baby? And does it pencil out or do we lose our shirts on it?

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post #23 of 45 Old 09-26-2016, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I kicked this around with two of forum's well known Home theater seat importers over on the theater accessories forum, we will see if any of my arguments took traction. If it does I'm only in it for the bragging rights. They both import seats from the same Chinese factory (so i've been told).
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post #24 of 45 Old 09-27-2016, 12:06 AM
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Although the Dolby white paper has the surrounds at ear level, I have not heard any acousticians or theater designers advocating this. Quite contrary, most are strongly disagreeing with this recommendation and to mount surrounds 2' higher than ear level to help line of sight problems with high seat backs and other people heads getting in the way.

Here's Nyal's recommendation: http://www.acousticfrontiers.com/ten...os-dts-x-auro/

He also states that CEDIA was going to have an official recommendation for having them mounted higher, but I couldn't find any CEDIA papers supporting this directly.

Anthony Grimani has also mentioned this in HTG 233 @ 32:00

BIG, since you've worked on some of Erskine's designs, are you aware of his position on the matter?

It seems it would be a good practice to have them mounted a bit higher than ear height, but only the amount necessary to get line of sight to the listeners so there's still angular separation from the ceiling speakers.
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post #25 of 45 Old 09-27-2016, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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If there were proper seats Nyal and Shawn (Erskine's lead designer) wouldn't have to cheat and pull the speakers higher. One basic flaw in Dolby's logic is the assumption that the listeners ears are at 45 inches from the floor, in most reclining theater seats they are at 36 inches. Dolby's installation guidelines (Linked above) are based on seating not often found in the theaters built on this forum. If we follow the rears at 1.25x the fronts guideline 1.25x 36 is 45 inches. Most headrests still block that sound source. In fact I have ceiling mounted rear surrounds and they are blocked by my Berklines.
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post #26 of 45 Old 09-27-2016, 02:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
If there were proper seats Nyal and Shawn (Erskine's lead designer) wouldn't have to cheat and pull the speakers higher. One basic flaw in Dolby's logic is the assumption that the listeners ears are at 45 inches from the floor, in most reclining theater seats they are at 36 inches. Dolby's installation guidelines (Linked above) are based on seating not often found in the theaters built on this forum. If we follow the rears at 1.25x the fronts guideline 1.25x 36 is 45 inches. Most headrests still block that sound source. In fact I have ceiling mounted rear surrounds and they are blocked by my Berklines.

Yup.
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post #27 of 45 Old 09-28-2016, 11:13 PM
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This was the first sign of hope I'd found for a non-invasive headrest. From Octane. Otherwise, I'll use a low-back seat again.



These from Jaymar might also prove useful. Either remove the headrest, or get them modified to just use the center third.

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post #28 of 45 Old 09-29-2016, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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interesting find, from their marketing blurb

"The Viper was specifically designed for audiophiles who require the ultimate in sound quality in their home theaters. The headrest was designed so that the patron's ears are not blocked by the padding of the theater seat so that all sounds can be heard at complete clarity. A true audiophile's dream theater seat!"

unfortunately just a basic black seat in leather with a power recline is $2500 a chair.
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post #29 of 45 Old 09-29-2016, 10:17 AM
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I also like how some chairs use the footrest function first or separately from the reclining function. If I could just prop my feet up without reclining I would be perfectly fine with that and my head would be above the backs of most seats in this position. I know this is a half as$ed idea in a way but after I purchased my seats from Roman I missed the ability to only raise my feet. The Escapes do help some while reclined since I'm tall enough that the remote controlled headrest does actually help me get comfortable while reclined so I don't feel like I'm laying down. But for anyone that's too short for it to work correctly it's just an added feature that doesn't help them.
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post #30 of 45 Old 12-04-2016, 05:03 AM
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A little late but this chair has been for sale in the Norwegian av-shop for some time now.



The aim is to reduce blocking of rear channels.





Have a great Christmas
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