Polk Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 Demo at CEDIA 2015 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Polk Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 Demo at CEDIA 2015

When I stopped by the Polk booth at CEDIA 2015, it was nearly the end of the show. As a result, there was a relative calm in the air, and the background noise level was lower than it had been since the show started. It presented an opportunity to hear Polk's 7.1.4 demo—which was open to the show floor—without much distraction.


Polk kept its Atmos system simple, an Onkyo TX-NR1030 AVR provided all of the processing and amplification.

The Polk system did not push any limits or bend any rules when it came to speaker layout. Instead, the system proved that if you use gear with proven performance and set it up in a proper Dolby Atmos-approved speaker configuration, the result would blow you away!

All processing and amplification for Polk's Atmos demo came courtesy of an Onkyo TX-NR1030 AV receiver ($1700). Up front, a pair of LSiM 707 towers ($2000 each) took care of the left and right channels. In the center, the system used an LSiM 706C center channel ($1200) while two pairs of LSiM 705s ($1500 each) handled surround duties. Polk's 900 LS in-ceiling speakers ($450 each) handled the four Atmos elevation channels, meanwhile a pair of Polk MicroPro subs pumped out the bass.

Granted, that's a $13,000 speaker system—not including the subs—but that's hardly a high price for the performance you get when compared to most other Atmos systems I heard at the show. More importantly, Polk's outfit produced the sort of immersive experience I've come to expect from a good system—it completely enveloped me in the soundfield and the speakers effectively disappeared.

Here's the thing, had I not taken a moment to stop by the Polk booth before the show ended, I would've missed out on one of the best-sounding Atmos demos at CEDIA 2015. If I had stopped at the company's booth during the middle of the show, it's practically guaranteed that the cacophony of the show floor would have obscured any nuance in the presentation. Fortunately, the serendipitous timing allowed me to experience at least a portion of the system's capability.

The demo itself consisted of clips from the latest Dolby Blu-ray. By day two of CEDIA, a clip from the Star Wars Battlefront video game had emerged as an exhibitor favorite, and it quickly became the Atmos sequence that I was most familiar with (out of sheer repetition). Gamers literally depend on accurate object positioning within the soundfield to identify off-screen threats, and indeed the object-based approach to audio that's used by Atmos comes from the world of gaming. The Polk system would make an advanced gamer very happy with its ability to render a multitude of sound objects in a 3D soundfield with pinpoint accuracy.

What did I learn from Polk's demo? That a mainstream receiver hooked up to great-but-affordable speakers using a Dolby-approved Atmos configuration (featuring four in-ceiling speakers) can deliver the immersive audio goods like few other approaches are able to. Based on my experience demoing dozens of Atmos-capable systems, I am compelled to rank it in the top tier (as far as sound quality goes) because what I heard was the best-sounding mainstream Atmos system at CEDIA 2015.

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Last edited by imagic; 10-26-2015 at 11:24 AM.
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post #2 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 06:50 AM
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Hey Mark,

This was the first demo I stopped by (right by the door I came in) Thursday morning and couldn't agree with you more. It set the tone for the rest of the demo's I had heard that day.

It was great meeting you Thursday morning in the GoldenEar demo.
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post #3 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 06:58 AM
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Mark if you had to choose, would you take this set up or the Goldenear with let's assume the Triton Ones and Supercenter XXL so we can compare apples to apples.
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post #4 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RuthlessCynic View Post
Mark if you had to choose, would you take this set up or the Goldenear with let's assume the Triton Ones and Supercenter XXL so we can compare apples to apples.
That would be literally impossible to decide without having both systems in the same place. IMO the apples-to-apples GE system would be the SC XXL, two Triton Fives (up front) and four Triton Sevens for the surrounds—the price would be the same. I really wish it was possible to make that comparison.

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post #5 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 08:40 AM
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How about the GoldenEar Ultimate Invisa Lifestyle Atmos System vs. the Polk set up?
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post #6 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Up front, a pair of LSiM 707 towers ($2000/pair) took care of the left and right channels. In the center, the system used an LSiM 706C center channel ($1200) while two pairs of LSiM 705s ($1500/pair) handled surround duties.
LSiM 707's are $2000 each, $4000 for a pair, and LSiM 705's are $1500 each, $3000 a pair. Unless you're finding a really good deal and holding out on us.

Total system price is really closer to $17,000 it sounds like. I'm betting those are the MicroPro 4000 subs (which interestingly aren't listed on Polk's site anymore) and Crutchfield last had those listed at $1000 each.

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post #7 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zim2411 View Post
LSiM 707's are $2000 each, $4000 for a pair, and LSiM 705's are $1500 each, $3000 a pair. Unless you're finding a really good deal and holding out on us.

Total system price is really closer to $17,000 it sounds like. I'm betting those are the MicroPro 4000 subs (which interestingly aren't listed on Polk's site anymore) and Crutchfield last had those listed at $1000 each.
Yeah, all the MicroPros are no longer on the Polk site and are listed as no longer available at retailers. And yeah, that's $13,000 in speakers—not including subs. Thanks for catching that error, I made the edits.

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post #8 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 09:47 AM
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Isn't this a 7.2.4 system?

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post #9 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Yeah, all the MicroPros are no longer on the Polk site and are listed as no longer available at retailers. And yeah, that's $13,000 in speakers—not including subs. Thanks for catching that error, I made the edits.
Do you happen to know if Polk is reintroducing a new high end sub line? I got a MicroPro 1000 back in 2009 refurbed from their Ebay store and I've always liked it. The build quality is absolutely superb, far beyond their entry level subs, and the sound quality was excellent. My only complaint is the remote that came with it didn't work well, but that might have been why it was refurbished.
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post #10 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Isn't this a 7.2.4 system?
I understand what you are saying. The reason I used 7.1.4 instead of 7.2.4 is that it is the editorial policy at AVS to refer to multi-subwoofer systems as ".1" if it is based on the same LFE signal (i.e. mono bass). If the system could handle and was configured for stereo bass, it would be a ".2" system. The reason for this is the "X.X" and "X.X.X" designations refer to the signal itself (the available channels) and not the speaker configuration.

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Last edited by imagic; 10-26-2015 at 10:55 AM.
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post #11 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 11:19 AM
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I love Polk Audio, I feel that they are one of the few companies who gives you a fair price for their product, to call them mainstream or budget because of their price point doesnt do justice to the quality and build of their speakers. Im very happy that I went with Polk in my home setup.
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Projector: BenQ w1500 + ES Sable 135" 16:9 Screen AVR: Marantz SR6011 ATMOS/DTSX + Unity 2ch Amp + Darbee 5000s Speakers: Polk Audio TSX550t (FL/FR), CS2 Series II (C), FXiA6 (SL/SR), Monitor40 Series II (RL/RR), TSx110B (Ceiling FL/FR RL/RR) LFE: (2) JL Audio 12" Subs + (2) Dayton 15" Subs + (2) ButtKicker LFE Arrangement: 7.1.4 Source: OPPO UDP-203 4k Bluray Player, Roku 4, HTPC, 2017 nVidia Shield, Hauppauge OTA DVR
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post #12 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I love Polk Audio, I feel that they are one of the few companies who gives you a fair price for their product, to call them mainstream or budget because of their price point doesnt do justice to the quality and build of their speakers. Im very happy that I went with Polk in my home setup.
How about "great-but-affordable"
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post #13 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by New24K View Post
How about the GoldenEar Ultimate Invisa Lifestyle Atmos System vs. the Polk set up?
You must have missed my earlier post
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post #14 of 28 Old 10-26-2015, 01:02 PM
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Was there any mention of Polk offering Atmos add-on modules for placing on top of their tower speakers, similar to other brands out there? I have the A7's up front and would be interested in upgrading to Atmos this way. I already have four-conductor speaker wire to the front L+R but am only using two conductors, so the extra wiring is already there.

Otherwise I'd have to cut lots of holes in the basement ceiling and walls, and not just for add'l speakers themselves. I'd need to pull new wiring thru many joists, past a soffit and major house beam, then down inside the wall and to my remote equipment rack...

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Thanks once again for providing your impression. Its very helpful to have you review multiple atmos system, it gives me fair idea what should be on my shortlist before deciding. Also given that Polk often have friend and family sales, some on budget like me, can assemble such setup at lower price point and have good system. Its exciting times for home theater enthusiasts with so much progression in equipment, 3d audio and video immersion at affordable pricing.
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Happy to hear about Polk speakers on AVS again, they kind of get lost in the fray despite so many people owning them. I love my RTi set up, and have been looking for a way to add two atmos speakers to my set up now that I have a 9 channel Atmos ready AVR.

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Star Wars Battlefront is in Atmos?!
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post #18 of 28 Old 10-29-2015, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
...

The demo itself consisted of clips from the latest Dolby Blu-ray. By day two of CEDIA, a clip from the Star Wars Battlefront video game...
Mark,

Has Dolby produced another Atmos blu-ray demo disc? Where can I get a copy of this?

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It's their best demo disc yet and I have been trying to find one with no luck. I tried to talk to the Dolby guys at the show but they were by appointment only. I have emailed three people at Dolby and got two different responses:

1. Sorry we don't hand out discs. Which is a lie as I have gotten one from them before
2. Sorry we are out and getting more in in three weeks



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Mark,

Has Dolby produced another Atmos blu-ray demo disc? Where can I get a copy of this?
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post #20 of 28 Old 10-29-2015, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
All processing and amplification for Polk's Atmos demo came courtesy of an Onkyo TX-NR1030 AV receiver ($1700). Up front, a pair of LSiM 707 towers ($2000 each) took care of the left and right channels. In the center, the system used an LSiM 706C center channel ($1200) while two pairs of LSiM 705s ($1500 each) handled surround duties. Polk's 900 LS in-ceiling speakers ($450 each) handled the four Atmos elevation channels, meanwhile a pair of Polk MicroPro subs pumped out the bass.

Anyone else find it "interesting" that this entire set up was done just using a 135 Watt Onkyo TX-NR1030?
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post #21 of 28 Old 10-30-2015, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mak99 View Post
Was there any mention of Polk offering Atmos add-on modules for placing on top of their tower speakers, similar to other brands out there? I have the A7's up front and would be interested in upgrading to Atmos this way. I already have four-conductor speaker wire to the front L+R but am only using two conductors, so the extra wiring is already there.

Otherwise I'd have to cut lots of holes in the basement ceiling and walls, and not just for add'l speakers themselves. I'd need to pull new wiring thru many joists, past a soffit and major house beam, then down inside the wall and to my remote equipment rack...
I actually sent Polk an email last week asking this same question for my RTiA7s. Their response was "Not at this time". Disappointed since I can not use ceiling speakers.
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post #22 of 28 Old 11-01-2015, 05:47 AM
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I'd love to own that system you demoed but with a pair of PB13 Ultras. Does that Onkyo really have 11 amplified channels?

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Originally Posted by BNestico View Post
Does that Onkyo really have 11 amplified channels?
Nice catch.

The Onkyo TX-NR1030 is a 9.2 AVR.

How did it power a 7.2.4 set up?
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post #24 of 28 Old 11-01-2015, 08:59 PM
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I use the Polk Audio OWM3 as my go to Atmos speakers.

Who needs 4K?... just go see your optometrist.
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post #25 of 28 Old 11-02-2015, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BNestico View Post
I'd love to own that system you demoed but with a pair of PB13 Ultras. Does that Onkyo really have 11 amplified channels?
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Originally Posted by New24K View Post
Nice catch.

The Onkyo TX-NR1030 is a 9.2 AVR.

How did it power a 7.2.4 set up?

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post #26 of 28 Old 11-02-2015, 08:55 AM
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Huston we have a problem
Yes, something isn't adding up.
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post #27 of 28 Old 11-02-2015, 01:50 PM
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Was it actually a 7.1.2 system? Or 5.1.4? If not there was some amps somewhere you weren't made privy to.

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post #28 of 28 Old 11-14-2015, 07:55 PM
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Huston we have a problem
Did you ever get an answer from Polk?
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