Originally Posted by Dentifrice
I did some tests and I’m not so sure about the Virtual S.
Does anyone like this ? The effect is good but the sound quality isn’t very good IMO. Sounds a little like tin can. « Sound mode on » without Virtual S. is good but when enabled...not so sure.
I like the Dolby speaker virtualization way better but I don’t find a lot of documentation about all this.
What are the Pros and Cons of both ? I’m currently running only on the soundbar. The rear speakers will arrive next week.
When do we use all this ? Does having rear speakers change anything in the setting ?
How does choosing Dolby virtualizer affect DTX or DTX:X content ?
What I've learned so far (anyone correct me if I am wrong):
Sound mode on
: this is Sony's post processing setting. This is the only sound setting on the SB that will work with Virtual S, even when playing ATMOS content. The Virtual S thingy is meant to simulate a vertical (frontal mainly) effect to get that pseudo-atmos feeling without having phyisical upfiring speakers or speakers mounted on the cealling.
Pros of sound mode:
- Access to Vertical S and all the other modes (cinema, music, standard, etc).
- Virtual surround that, even though it can be a bit limited sometimes (and dependable of your room shape), does an interesting and entertaining job
Cons of sound mode:
- All the proccessing Sony adds to the audio in their mix can sound a bit off sometimes. It's hard to explain, but I do have experienced from time to time the little can sound some others have mentioned. Plus, with this setting I feel like voices are more prompt to get lost in the mix when there's a lot going on (even when using the combo standard + voice up1).
Dolby speaker virtualizer
: as others have said, this setting shutts off completely all the post processing and gives you the most accurate sound out of the bar, without any mocking around.
- More balance mix, accurate sound and slightly louder and clear voices.
- All Sony's options except for voice or night mode are disabled. This means you cannot use either Vertical S (not even while watching ATMOS content) or the other modes (cinema, music, standard, etc).
- I understand that Sony's virtual surround and vertical S are not perfect, but at least they added for me a nice effect (or flavour) to the sound. With the Dolby setting all this is gone and I feel like the SB's soundstage gets a bit more limited. It feels more a 3.1 sound system, which I guess it's good because that's what this SB is at heart, but it still feels like you are missing out on nice features (mainly vertical S).
- UPDATE: Yesterday I watched Stranger Things 3 with this setting (Dolby speaker virtualizer) and I can confirm that voices still get lost when there's a lot going on audio-wise. It does not happen as often as with Sony's setting, but it's still annoying nonetheless.
To sum it up: In my personal opinion, Dolby speaker virtualizer sounds better than Sony's setting for games, but for movies and TV shows I am not entirely convinced. I kind of get a bit dissapointed when selecting it over Sony's because I really like the vertical S and the extra virtual surround effects. If I am not using those, to be honest it kind of feels like defeating the purpose of the bar (the vertical S was a big selling point for me and possibly a reason for Sony to increase the SB price). On top of that, the issue with the voices is also a big concern for me. I have until the 20th to decide whether I want to keep the SB, so I will keep testing it in the upcoming days and make a decision, but right now I am slightly dissapointed.
Regarding the voice clarity issues: Have you guys run into similar problems or it's just me? Does the voice clarity situation improve in any way with the rear speakers?