Originally Posted by Derek87
i think it all depends one's system and ears.
i'm a long time audiophile whose ears aren't as sensitive as they used to be due to age and an accident, yet to me, there is a significant difference between lossless and lossy soundtracks so that i am always choosing between better audio (physical Blu Ray disc) and better video (4k HDR). the lossless soundtrack is more immersive and more transparent, for lack of better description.
i hope to remedy this compromise of both buying a 4k player later this year (hoping the price of the Sony x800m2 drops a little in the coming months).
but in the end, it's going to depend on one's ears and equipment. i think the latter is pretty important as i have had many people really blown away by the sound of my setup even though it doesn't support Atmos. (7.1 system with Magnepan front channels, REL sub that is flat to 16hz, and remaining channels are Gallo speakers)
Derek87 - I think your post is spot on (btw - stellar HiFi equipment you have - congrats). While the source (compressed vs. lossless, UHD disc vs. streaming) DOES make a difference, I believe the destination plays even a bigger role in the total HT immersion.
For instance, I was killing some time in Stockholm stad a while ago and decided to A-vs-B demo a pair of Von Schweikert Audio speakers @ a dealer vs. a more modest pair of JM Labs/Focal (test songs were by Diana Krall and Antonio Vivaldi, some pieces that I was very familiar with); I can't remember what amplification, cabling was being used, but I do recall that the Von Schweikert speakers alone costed more than a 5,000 m2 mansion + a brand new Porsche 911 (that's for L and R only)! With the Von Schweikert speakers, I was able to discern nuances that I simply couldn't notice before (heard instruments that weren't EVER present ), even with the 'lowly' JM Labs...there wasn't just a significant difference between the two sets of speakers, there was the Grand Canyon itself separating them. While the experience was awe inspiring, I decided to run away to keep my sanity...I walked away feeling that I just experienced the Bugatti Chiron, and came down to earth by driving home a Skoda.
Any-who, the point is, we try to squeeze the most out of the video processing, DV @ 50 Hz this, HDR10+ that, so let's not forget that audio plays an equally significant role in the total movie enjoyment. Yep, I am aware that it was a long winded way in saying that I absolutely prefer physical discs over streaming whenever possible...and in a streaming vs. disc audio test, objectively speaking, the discs should win every single time. Nevertheless, compared to the demo above, my humble HT system would be considered a bare bones 'stereo in a box/boom box'. Whatever media one would play through the Von Schweikert setup, it would disintegrate anything you most likely have heard.
With all that jabber, I think we all agree that, in today's digital streaming world, audio quality remains secondary to video. And in my simplistic view, Dolby Atmos represents an increase in quantity of speakers, not necessarily in quality...really wished that Apple would have implemented an ATV4k w/ dual HDMI output and pass through unmolested bitstream audio, akin to the Oppo 203 (provided that Netflix, MA, Vudu, Prime would support such audio).