Are Front Height Speakers OK use as Atmos speakers? - Page 13 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #361 of 376 Old 03-24-2019, 04:26 AM
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Can someone help an older lady, setting all this up herself, to understand how to configure my setup. I have a very low budget setup but it suits me ok as it currently is, I’m just wondering if it’s optimal. I have a Pioneer Elite LX103 AVR, BS22 front speakers, bs22c center, Tecnics sb-s80 surrounds, JBL surrounds for rear heights mounted at the vaulted ceiling corner. I have a Sony Xbr900f 4K tv. I have those rear mounted ceiling speakers configured in the Pioneer AVR as “rear heights”. Should I have them configured as Dolby Enabled? The only time I can get Atmos sound is when watching a Dolby Atmos 4k disc on my Sony Blu-ray player, internet speed not high enough to stream anything 4k. So my question is..do I have my AVR configured right by setting those rear ceiling speakers to rear heights to recieve Atmos and then would I need to set (change) anything else in the AVR when watching a blue ray movie w/Atmos vs watching a regular streaming (no 4K, non Atmos) on say Netflix? Sorry if this has been answered in this thread already, if so I am needing it more clearly stated to understand. Thank you so much if you can take the time to help.
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post #362 of 376 Old 03-24-2019, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by EliteNewbie View Post
Can someone help an older lady, setting all this up herself, to understand how to configure my setup. I have a very low budget setup but it suits me ok as it currently is, I’m just wondering if it’s optimal. I have a Pioneer Elite LX103 AVR, SB22 front speakers, bs22c center, Tecnics sb-s80 surrounds, JBL surrounds for rear heights mounted at the vaulted ceiling corner. I have a Sony Xbr900f 4K tv. I have those rear mounted ceiling speakers configured in the Pioneer AVR as “rear heights”. Should I have them configured as Dolby Enabled? The only time I can get Atmos sound is when watching a Dolby Atmos 4k disc on my Sony Blu-ray player, internet speed not high enough to stream anything 4k. So my question is..do I have my AVR configured right by setting those rear ceiling speakers to rear heights to recieve Atmos and then would I need to set (change) anything else in the AVR when watching a blue ray movie w/Atmos vs watching a regular streaming (no 4K, non Atmos) on say Netflix? Sorry if this has been answered in this thread already, if so I am needing it more clearly stated to understand. Thank you so much if you can take the time to help.

I believe you have them configured correctly. From what I am gathering, you have vaulted ceilings and the only mounting choice you had was the current location? The reason I'm asking is that typical placement if you are only going to mount 2 atmos speakers is directly overhead or slightly forward of the seating position with a top middle designation. However, if you have them mounted in the rear in a rear height placement, that's how you should configure in the AVR.
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post #363 of 376 Old 03-24-2019, 05:33 AM
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Thank you. Yes, you are correct, rear ceiling is the only option for those. I would have just gone with a 5.1 setup. But when we bought the house (years ago) there were these little shelves diagonal in the vaulted ceiling rear corners with wire coming out of them labeled “rear surrounds”. So when I was hooking all of my speakers up, I had these old JBL that were labeled on their back as rear surrounds, an AVR that allowed for rear heights, so I thought “why not try”, i then also placed my Technics rear surrounds in the usual place for 5.1, in case something didn’t sound right with these ceiling mounted rears. I have been very pleased with all these low budget speakers in my large room, just wondered if I had it set up “best”. Thanks again for the quick response.
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post #364 of 376 Old 05-13-2019, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by citsur86 View Post
I don't think there was actually a way to define six Atmos heights. I had to define it as 5ch + Surround Back. It's unfortunate, but the surround back are actually up high, so not exactly acting as rear heights, but more-so just surround backs that happen to be up high. I couldn't have real surround back as my kitchen is directly behind and open to MLP. It still works surprisingly well. The in-ceiling atmos speakers are being amplified by a separate stereo amp.

What is the difference between 5.1 with “surround back” and 7.1?
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post #365 of 376 Old 05-13-2019, 11:23 AM
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What is the difference between 5.1 with “surround back” and 7.1?

Those two things are the same. The reason for the differentiation here is because i set the system to 11.1 and it needs to know what the floor level (ear level) speaker layout is.



My system is basically setup as 7.1 with 2x front height and 2x top rear speakers. The 7.1 there being 1x center, 2x fronts, 2x surrounds, and 2x surround backs that are at height instead of ear level (not ideal, but still sounds good)

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post #366 of 376 Old 05-15-2019, 05:33 AM
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http://i64.tinypic.com/5z7o.jpg

Guys, just doing up my HT in my living room and seeking your suggestions where do my Top Rear speakers go to?
For the Top front, i will be placing at the front height position.
But for the Top rear, im thinking 3 different locations, the furthest back should be consider as Rear height instead of Top Rear.

What do you guys think?

Last edited by deadrick; 05-15-2019 at 07:09 PM.
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post #367 of 376 Old 05-15-2019, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by deadrick View Post
http://i64.tinypic.com/5z7o.jpg

Guys, just doing up my HT in my living room and seeking your suggestions where do my Top Rear speakers go to?
For the Top front, i will be placing at the top front position.
But for the Top rear, im thinking 3 different locations, the furthest back should be consider as Rear height instead of Top Rear.

What do you guys think?
Well... There's three approaches here and you seem to have chosen them all and probably for good reason.

With 5.1.4, you might want to have the rear tops close to inline with the surround speakers so they mesh well. 100 degree angle makes sense there, but that's would really be "top middle" in the renderer. I can actually play movies in this EXACT configuration here (I just disable my rear surrounds and rear heights and to be exact turn off my matrixed speakers as well, but that's all easy to do without even getting up from my programmable remote). If you label the speakers "heights", it actually works great for Auro-3D as well since Auro-3D really is just heights added to a 5.1 layout. They have the speakers on the side walls, but I'm not sure how important that really is in practice as my top middles are on the sides and they blend just fine for Atmos so why wouldn't they blend the other way around with mixed audio? Recorded audio I can see where there might be a slight issue for precision, but mixed? It's all off-screen so you'd never really notice, IMO especially without a comparison. In any case, this configuration sounds pretty good here for one row of seats. You have the surrounds in the correct position as well (100 degrees gives decent side and rear fill, IMO).

Now the 125 degree position is a good rear tops position and would kick up the overhead spread a notch, but you might feel like you're missing something without rear surrounds back there. Actually, that's an Auro-3D option as well. For multiple rows, surely it's an improvement, but for one row, I'd probably stick with the 100 degree position.

At the 150 degree position, you're basically doing rear heights. On the plus, it matches with the front angle, giving a nice even spread. At 5 meters, however, I think you'd be spreading the center line imaging pretty thin and you'd benefit from a top middle being there as well.

Thus, limiting it to only 5.1.4, I'd go with the 100 degree position and label it Top Middle (if your AVR allows that). You'd then of course have the option to add rear surrounds and rear tops/heights in the future if so desired with your work already done for the top middle position.

However, there's one little possible issue. How high is that "cabinet" behind the sofa? Are you putting the surrounds on top of this cabinet? Do they end up much above ear height?

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post #368 of 376 Old 05-15-2019, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MagnumX View Post
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Originally Posted by deadrick View Post
http://i64.tinypic.com/5z7o.jpg

Guys, just doing up my HT in my living room and seeking your suggestions where do my Top Rear speakers go to?
For the Top front, i will be placing at the top front position.
But for the Top rear, im thinking 3 different locations, the furthest back should be consider as Rear height instead of Top Rear.

What do you guys think?
Well... There's three approaches here and you seem to have chosen them all and probably for good reason.

With 5.1.4, you might want to have the rear tops close to inline with the surround speakers so they mesh well. 100 degree angle makes sense there, but that's would really be "top middle" in the renderer. I can actually play movies in this EXACT configuration here (I just disable my rear surrounds and rear heights and to be exact turn off my matrixed speakers as well, but that's all easy to do without even getting up from my programmable remote). If you label the speakers "heights", it actually works great for Auro-3D as well since Auro-3D really is just heights added to a 5.1 layout. They have the speakers on the side walls, but I'm not sure how important that really is in practice as my top middles are on the sides and they blend just fine for Atmos so why wouldn't they blend the other way around with mixed audio? Recorded audio I can see where there might be a slight issue for precision, but mixed? It's all off-screen so you'd never really notice, IMO especially without a comparison. In any case, this configuration sounds pretty good here for one row of seats. You have the surrounds in the correct position as well (100 degrees gives decent side and rear fill, IMO).

Now the 125 degree position is a good rear tops position and would kick up the overhead spread a notch, but you might feel like you're missing something without rear surrounds back there. Actually, that's an Auro-3D option as well. For multiple rows, surely it's an improvement, but for one row, I'd probably stick with the 100 degree position.

At the 150 degree position, you're basically doing rear heights. On the plus, it matches with the front angle, giving a nice even spread. At 5 meters, however, I think you'd be spreading the center line imaging pretty thin and you'd benefit from a top middle being there as well.

Thus, limiting it to only 5.1.4, I'd go with the 100 degree position and label it Top Middle (if your AVR allows that). You'd then of course have the option to add rear surrounds and rear tops/heights in the future if so desired with your work already done for the top middle position.

However, there's one little possible issue. How high is that "cabinet" behind the sofa? Are you putting the surrounds on top of this cabinet? Do they end up much above ear height?
Thanks for the detailed breakdown, for the cabinet behind sofa, it's the same height as the sofa, the surround speakers tweeter level will probably be 1ft above MLP.

I would have tested all 3 top rear/rear height but the wall and ceiling are concrete so it wouldn't be possible without making a mess and patching up holes after the project.

Some how I was trying to replicate this 5.1.4 set up from Dolby page. See the image attached.
Now it makes me wonder if the top middle will be lacking of sound, since I choose to do front height than top front, and with the top rear at 125 or higher degree angle.

Maybe between 110 to 125 degree will be the sweet spot without too much compromises?

And yes, if placing at the 150degree angle, itwill be rear height instead of Top read. I haven't actually hear rear height so hard to imagine if it's similar to top rear.

For auro 3d, I don't think it's applicable to me, first is I haven't came across an auro content/movie. And my avr can't do auro3d as well. Using pioneer sclx59.
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post #369 of 376 Old 05-15-2019, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadrick View Post

Some how I was trying to replicate this 5.1.4 set up from Dolby page. See the image attached.
Now it makes me wonder if the top middle will be lacking of sound, since I choose to do front height than top front, and with the top rear at 125 or higher degree angle.
It never "removes" sounds. It just presents them differently. If I drop down to 5.1.4, the rear surrounds simply move forward into the room to just behind my front row. They don't disappear or aren't played. Frankly, I think the renderer would treat front height + top middle the same as front height + rear height as there's nothing else it can do with the sound but move it forward. DTS:X might try to create some weird combined thing, though. You can always try the different setting (assuming the Pioneer even will let you set top middle with front height to begin with (D&M does)).

I wouldn't worry too much about front height versus top front. There's some advantages to both positions, IMO. I like the height information to start at the top of my screen (sounds seem like they're coming straight out of the screen when they fly into the back instead of starting 6-8 feet into the room instead). But having them more forward will put them more often "above" you instead of above and in front of you so I think some people like that as they want ALL their overhead sounds to be coming from outer space instead of the top of the screen moving across the ceiling.

Quote:
Maybe between 110 to 125 degree will be the sweet spot without too much compromises?
I'm pretty sure it will just move the image back a bit further. I can't say which would "sound better" for sure. It's kind of subjective. The sounds are offscreen, so this idea that something is in the "wrong place" is a little absurd the way some people become obsessed with precision angles. I'd be more concerned about a smooth image pan between speakers than whether the screaming kid is just behind me or 5 feet behind me or 10 feet behind me (switching from 11.1.6 to 5.1.4 will move the rear sounds closer to me since the sides have to reproduce them and top middle has the rear height information folded into it as well).

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post #370 of 376 Old 05-27-2019, 06:18 PM
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My system is basically setup as 7.1 with 2x front height and 2x top rear speakers. The 7.1 there being 1x center, 2x fronts, 2x surrounds, and 2x surround backs that are at height instead of ear level (not ideal, but still sounds good)
have just about the same room layout as deadrick here..and pretty much like your speaker system - 5.2.4 front and rear heights. side surrounds is lacking though, because of one side-wall being so far away from the couch I didn`t bother with when I built the room(kinda regret it now) am I missing out in you lots view. receiver(denon 4500) have room for 2 more channels, but getting side surrounds up properly would be quite the job as an after thought
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post #371 of 376 Old 05-31-2019, 10:45 AM
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well that is certainly good to hear. did you ever designate them as top and if so.. how did that work in comparison
Sorry I took so long to get back to you Peder. I've been switching between the front height and Dolby Front speakers. There are times when one of the setups can sound better than the other. Those small NHT Dolby speakers are actually pretty good, especially since I put small shims under them to angle them more forward a bit. Since my Denon AVR easily allows me to save and load different configurations, I'm going to try letting the Denon identify the front heights as top fronts and then top middles for the Audyssey runs to hear what the system sounds like.
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post #372 of 376 Old 06-01-2019, 07:00 AM
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I am also considering a 5.1.2 setup. I tried front height and fount the effect lackluster. I would like to try them as top mid or top front. However, I only have 8ft ceilings. I can't put my surrounds behind my couch so they are on the sides at 90 degrees. I also can't put anything on the ceiling, but I could mount them high up on the side wall pointing to the MLP. When I look at where on the side wall I would put my .2 they are only three feet higher than my surrounds and just in front of them. Would there be enough stereo separation in this case?

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post #373 of 376 Old 06-01-2019, 07:29 AM
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I am also considering a 5.1.2 setup. I tried front height and fount the effect lackluster. I would like to try them as top mid or top front. However, I only have 8ft ceilings. I can't put my surrounds behind my couch so they are on the sides at 90 degrees. I also can't put anything on the ceiling, but I could mount them high up on the side wall pointing to the MLP. When I look at where on the side wall I would put my .2 they are only three feet higher than my surrounds and just in front of them. Would there be enough stereo separation in this case?
I believe 4ft of separation is the recommendation from dolby. Dont hold me to that 😅. Now on side mounting them svs does recomend mounting there height speakers this way. Below is a link. You could also move the surround speakers closer to ear lvl to get more seperation.

https://homemovie.hu/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/elhejezés.pdf
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post #374 of 376 Old 06-12-2019, 10:53 AM
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So I've been testing and comparing Dolby Fronts (Up-fires), Front Heights, Front Heights set as Top Fronts and Front Heights set as Top Middles. Setting the Front Heights as Top Middles resulted in an odd sound stage but making them Top Fronts resulted in a more robust and immersive sound presence than the normal Front Heights or the Dolby Up-firing speakers. I have one of the Dolby Atmos demo discs and the Amaze clip really shows off that process. With the Top Fronts I got more of a sense of overhead sound than I did with the other speakers or settings. It's clearly not as good as ceiling speakers but for what it is, it's decent.
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post #375 of 376 Old 06-12-2019, 11:33 AM
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So I've been testing and comparing Dolby Fronts (Up-fires), Front Heights, Front Heights set as Top Fronts and Front Heights set as Top Middles. Setting the Front Heights as Top Middles resulted in an odd sound stage but making them Top Fronts resulted in a more robust and immersive sound presence than the normal Front Heights or the Dolby Up-firing speakers. I have one of the Dolby Atmos demo discs and the Amaze clip really shows off that process. With the Top Fronts I got more of a sense of overhead sound than I did with the other speakers or settings. It's clearly not as good as ceiling speakers but for what it is, it's decent.

Thanks for sharing the results of your testing! I may give setting front heights as top fronts a try some time to see how it compares in my HT.
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