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-   -   Dolby Atmos headphones?? (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/378-headphones/3079414-dolby-atmos-headphones.html)

Grinder12000 07-18-2019 02:44 PM

Dolby Atmos headphones??
I have a fairly fine Dolby Atmos home theater being driven by a Marantz SR7012 receiver (are they called that anymore).

When we finished teh basement I wanted more soundproofing which never happened - SO - I have my wife yelling down CAN YOU TURN IT DOWN? (don't get made she let me spend a LOT on his set up).

ANYWAY - I turned to my old corded Sennheiser HD-580 headphones.

Are there actual headphones for Dolby Atmos? Or am I out of touch with technology and how it works - I'm NOT a audiophile (used to be 30 years ago).

And if there are headphones - can you point me in the right direction on finding some?

Rod Columbus WI

Worf 07-18-2019 10:19 PM

At this point in time, no.

However, there is a processor coming out that will do it, but it will be very expensive. It's a processor, so you will have to supply your own headphones. It works with any headphones and comes with calibration mics to calibrate against your headphones.

If you're still interested, look up the Smyth Realiser A16. Hopefully it will ship later this year.

Grinder12000 07-19-2019 05:08 AM

So you are saying that even though my Marantz is Dolby Atmos capable (which is awesome with my 7 speakers) there are no headphones that will handle it?

There are Dolby Atmos headphones on the market but they are "gaming" headphones for PS4 and so forth and most are like $70 . . . . that is my confusion. is that just advertising?

Then I read online that ALL headphones can do Dolby Atmos, see my confusion?

Smyth Realiser A16 - seems people have it already?

Grinder12000 07-19-2019 06:20 AM

I read this which is confusing me even more - I'm waiting for a call back from an installer that worked for Dolby so I might have a real answer at some point LOL

Hello! Dolby Atmos will work with any standard pair of headphones…in fact, that’s what it’s designed for! You don’t need a special sound card on PC or any special hardware on the Xbox One either (As long as you have one of the controllers with a headphone jack).

A lot of the headphones that are sold today as “surround headphones” are actually just stereo headphones using software a la Dolby Atmos. The only multi-driver surround headphone I can think of off the top of my head that’s currently on the consumer market is the Razer Tiamat V2. I would have bought and reviewed one of those by now…but the cable between the headphones and the bass station is hard-wired. So, it would be hard for me to test them in my usual portable coffee shop writing scenario, where I test isolation.

Worf 07-20-2019 12:45 AM

Multi driver headphones do not work at all. They try, but usually it's a fail. They don't properly cross mix which destroys the surround effect. Down mixer algorithms work the best by modelling how the sound goes around the space and giving your ears that, which make them sound much more realistic.

Now, Dolby Atmos does have a headphone variant, however it's limited as they require the host processor to do the computations. So you can use a PC or an Xbox One with the Dolby Atmos app and they will downmix it properly to give you the proper effect. However, it also means it cannot take arbitrary input - you cannot take say, a PS4 and have it play Atmos through your PC headphones or through your Xbox One player. You can get away with this for UHD movies by playing them back on your PC or Xbox One S/X, and potentially through the Netflix app on the Xbox.

The ps4 can do surround sound to headphones using it's own virtualizer but again it's limited to pa4 sources only. And I think you need the Sony headphones for ps4.

If that's a compromise you're willing to make, it is an option, I believe it costs $15 to enable headphone support for Atmos on the PC and same for xbox one.

Of course, it also requires either an htpc or an xbox one.a

Grinder12000 07-20-2019 06:56 AM

So basically I can't just plug in a "special" headphone into my Marantz and get actual Dolby Atmos. OK - sad but not "sad" LOL I was just curious on the BEST way to get GREAT audio out of headphones when I can't use the house thumping 2 250w sub woofers and 7 other speakers.


noob00224 07-20-2019 01:27 PM


Originally Posted by Grinder12000 (Post 58318174)
So basically I can't just plug in a "special" headphone into my Marantz and get actual Dolby Atmos. OK - sad but not "sad" LOL I was just curious on the BEST way to get GREAT audio out of headphones when I can't use the house thumping 2 250w sub woofers and 7 other speakers.


There are no Dolby Atmos headphones per se, just models that can do 3D positioning well. There are other characteristics that make up a headphone, and this is highly subjective.
Multi driver headphones are inferior to many regular (2 driver, one per ear) type.
For a detailed discussion: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/378-h...und-sound.html

In order to hear the Atmos information a decoder is required. For headphones, rather than speakers, the signal is downmixed to 2 channels.
The Smyth Realiser A16 is $4k.
Don't know if the Marantz SR7012 applies it's Atmos Decoder for the headphone output. Check the manual or contact Marantz to find out.

The Windows 10 app named Dolby Atmos dosen't actually decode Dolby Atmos signals. It's just a regular DSP/sound virtualizer. I think the Xbox One app is the same.
Dolby Atmos support in Windows 10 at least is very limited:

My understanding of the situation now is that:
  • Atmos via Media Center only works when bitstreaming to an HDMI device, and since MC does not identify Atmos tracks you have to bitstream all TrueHD tracks.
  • Media Center's TrueHD decoding does not pass through Atmos data.
  • Windows 10 has a built-in decoder for Atmos content that works with DAfH, but it can only decode Atmos inside an E-AC3 track. It cannot decode TrueHD+Atmos, and there's no way to get it working with Media Center even for content which uses E-AC3. You would have to use the built-in "Films & TV" app.
Hopefully someone can figure out how to use the built-in decoder with other applications, even if it's limited to E-AC3.
E-AC3 tracks are mostly used with streaming services rather than Blu-ray discs though.



Originally Posted by KurianOfBorg (Post 57765778)
I believe there is an official Atmos decoder that works in conjunction with Dolby Atmos for Headphones, but it only works in supported applications like Edge, Films & TV, Netflix, etc.

There are also very few games that have incorporated the DA technology, Overwatch is one example.

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