Dolby Atmos Worth It? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Dolby Atmos Worth It?

I am moving and thinking of doing a complete living room upgrade. Currently I do not even have a soundbar for my TV. I am thinking of upgrading that to an OLED and wanting to take advantage of Dolby Atmos if possible. My situation is that I am renting a 1 bed apartment in NYC and my TV to couch will be 10 - 12 feet away. Is Atmos worth it? for the price? Am i better off saving my money and getting just a 5.1 system? What are the best 5.1.2 systems that do not involve true ceiling speakers but rather upward firing.
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 06:19 AM
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If you never had a simple 5.1 home cinema, go for it and forget Atmos in your small apartment.
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ses0713 View Post
I am moving and thinking of doing a complete living room upgrade. Currently I do not even have a soundbar for my TV. I am thinking of upgrading that to an OLED and wanting to take advantage of Dolby Atmos if possible. My situation is that I am renting a 1 bed apartment in NYC and my TV to couch will be 10 - 12 feet away. Is Atmos worth it? for the price? Am i better off saving my money and getting just a 5.1 system? What are the best 5.1.2 systems that do not involve true ceiling speakers but rather upward firing.
I think I would start off with a 5.1 system. Set up right they sound great, and you will be happy with it. Later on you can add ATMOS if you want to. In an apartment it could be difficult, in that you probably don't want to put holes in the ceiling. You could, depending upon your ceilings and the room it will be in add upward firing ATMOS speakers later after you get bored with your 5.1.
[edit: there is a lot of information on the Dolby Atmos thread, you can check that out.]
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 06:56 AM
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Yes, Atmos is worthy!

If you stick with the classic 5.1 go read this article: https://www.avsforum.com/best-surroun...eakers-people/ there are a lot of systems to pick from.

If you want Atmos, the price difference is not huge, 7.2 (5.2.2) channel receivers are not expensive and you should look for true Atmos experience (speakers mounted on the ceiling) not using Atmos-enabled modules that sit over main and surround speakers. But in a rented apartment...

A good and cheap receiver with Audyssey Room Correction is Denon AVR-X1400H.
You can add ELAC Debut B6 bookshelfs and on top of them the ELAC Debut A4 Atmos-enabled modules.
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 07:08 AM
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Atmos is really only worth it if you have 4 overheards vs just 2 so you get the panning affect
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 07:19 AM
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With only 10-12 feet distance between TV and couch you get plenty of panning with only 2 height Atmos channels...
The panning will become diluted (sound gaps) over greater distances, not that close...

5.2.2 is just fine for that distance!


A 5.2.4 receiver is more expensive than a 5.2.2, more than double the price..., so...
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the reply. Since I cant install true ceiling mounted speakers might just stick with 5.1 for now and go from there
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 09:28 AM
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Always start with 5.1 and then try to expand little by little. I recently upgraded to 5.1.4 and I love the setup. Only issue is there is not a lot of Atmos content out there. But whenever I see the receiver light up to show Dolby Atmos. I am in heaven! :-)
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ses0713 View Post
Thanks all for the reply. Since I cant install true ceiling mounted speakers might just stick with 5.1 for now and go from there
If you get a 7 channel Atmos receiver you can add atmos modules pretty easily. A Denon x4300 (2016) can be had on closeout or as a refurb for around $500 and has the best version of Audyssey, but there are also even cheaper 7-channel options.
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 11:14 AM
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In an apartment I'd start with 2.1 or maybe 3.1, just to make sure your budget goes further.
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjackkrash View Post
If you get a 7 channel Atmos receiver you can add atmos modules pretty easily. A Denon x4300 (2016) can be had on closeout or as a refurb for around $500 and has the best version of Audyssey, but there are also even cheaper 7-channel options.
You can find the Yamaha RX-V681 7.2ch Atmos AVR for around $300.

Absolutely love mine. Dolby Vision, HDR10, 4K, Atmos, DTS:X, 2 zones, etc.

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post #12 of 21 Old 03-29-2018, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ses0713 View Post
Since I cant install true ceiling mounted speakers might just stick with 5.1 for now and go from there
Be sure to buy a 7.2/5.2.2 receiver, not a 5.1, so that you will add later the height speakers without spending more on another receiver.

And get a good set of speakers, as the quality of the speakers is more important than the value of the receiver.
The speakers are always the weakest link in the audio chain, so seek quality, not quantity.
If you get good speakers you will keep them for many years, changing only receivers when new tech arrives.
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-30-2018, 12:21 PM
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I'm not sure Atmos will be quite worth it in your situation, mostly because I'm guessing your couch is on the back wall? Another thing to consider is Atmos, while neat, is not ubiquitous. Lots of content doesn't have it, and I've read plenty of posts trying to troubleshoot getting it to work. My feeling is you'll get more enjoyment out of 5.1, plus you can put extra towards quality components.

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post #14 of 21 Old 03-30-2018, 05:05 PM
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Nay-sayers notwithstanding, Atmos is the bees knees.
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-30-2018, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ski pete View Post
Always start with 5.1 and then try to expand little by little. I recently upgraded to 5.1.4 and I love the setup. Only issue is there is not a lot of Atmos content out there. But whenever I see the receiver light up to show Dolby Atmos. I am in heaven! :-)
If you add UHD Blu-ray into the mix, there's a growing slate of titles. Many studios now use Atmos or DTS: X exclusively on UHD Blu.
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post #16 of 21 Old 03-30-2018, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ses0713 View Post
I am moving and thinking of doing a complete living room upgrade. Currently I do not even have a soundbar for my TV. I am thinking of upgrading that to an OLED and wanting to take advantage of Dolby Atmos if possible. My situation is that I am renting a 1 bed apartment in NYC and my TV to couch will be 10 - 12 feet away. Is Atmos worth it? for the price? Am i better off saving my money and getting just a 5.1 system? What are the best 5.1.2 systems that do not involve true ceiling speakers but rather upward firing.
If you have the money, Atmos is worth it. 5.1.4 is doable and I've even set a system up temporarily in a spare bedroom for a bit while remodeling. Still very cool. Blu-ray, UHD Blu-ray, and now some streaming TV shows have Atmos tracks (and DTS: X as well). The list is growing. As I mentioned above, immersive audio is starting to become exclusive to UHD Blu-ray on the disc front, but the players are not that expensive anymore and the prices drop on these discs relatively quickly.

Use Height speakers and wire molding to hide speaker cables as upfiring Atmos modules are not that great. Overheads (Tops) may not be doable, but hanging wall speakers can be if they allow picture hanging in your apartment.
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post #17 of 21 Old 04-02-2018, 04:08 PM
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Atmos is well worth it.

I’ve had my Atmos system for over two years now, which I’m running a 7.1.4 system with my Anthem MRX 1120, along with my killer Q series speakers and JL Audio E-110 subwoofer.

I simply love my Atmos system.

Thanks,
Randy
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post #18 of 21 Old 06-06-2019, 11:16 AM
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For me Atmos is another world over 5.1. I would staple wires up and down the walls and duct tape speakers if I had too for atmos. Grab some SVS elevation speakers and you can always take them with you. Although...... I have had 5.1 for decades so maybe that might be enough for the year to enjoy. If you have the funds atmos all the way.

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post #19 of 21 Old 06-06-2019, 12:20 PM
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7.2 reciever you need for 5.2.2 can be had for about 300 on sale. Have seen a few brands ar this price.
9.2 can be had for $450-500. Onkyo 830 is what i have picked it up for 830. Not as many option though. Poineer has had one also on sale. Give more options for down the road
Both you can start with a 5.1 system and add on later. Could even start with a 3.1 for budget reason.

Now for upfiring atmos they are worth it it just depends on your room. I would not say dont do atmos because you cant mount ceiling speakers. They still have content sent up to them and it does make a difference. You probably wont notice the missing content unless you listen to ceiling mounted speakers. Now on upfiring the room needs a ceiling 8-12 ft. Needs to be flat, textured ceilings wont work. Upfiring atmos is to fix an issue, like yours, when you cant ceiling mount speakers. Its a compromise but is still enjoyable.
For setting them up the easy way i found is find a youtube video with only atmos speaker content (will need to stream it) this will help is reflecting the noise off the ceiling and at the mlp and have someone else move them around till you find the correct angle. Wedge them up id you need to. Every room is different and every speaker top is different. I would get atmos modules if your going to do upfiring. Reason being is the main speaker may sound better slightly tilted back so the tweeter is at ear hight but the atmos will them be firing to far back on the ceiling to reflect properly.

There is a ton of atmos content if you know where to look. Now getting atmos content to play can be the pain part. I use Xbox one X. Can play bluerays and steream 4 of the 5 atmos streaming platforms. Netflix seems to be adding the most atmos content on there original series, amazon has some also, vudu i use for movies. Youtube i use for test atmos sound tracks, really shows what atmos can do. Apple is the only other streaming service but xbox does not support it. Setting up the xbox to play atmos is a little tricky and took me a while to get everything working (some streaming like netflix also needs atmos content enabled on the profile online). Some movies/ series have more atmos content then others.

Sitting 12 ft is not to close. My tv is 8 ft from me and i have 5.1.2 (up firing) and working on 5.1.4 (ceiling mounted modules, just trying to find a mount that will work for the speakers i have)

One thing that might help is your budget. If its 5k there are alot more options then 1500. Also the % between movie and music. Can help narrow down speakers you might like.
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post #20 of 21 Old 06-06-2019, 01:07 PM
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Answers are pretty generic. Yes it's great if you can set it up correctly.

If forced or only willing to use upward firing modules that sit on your speakers maybe not. They work for some but not for all depending on your room, flat and average to low ceiling. It was always a more miss than hit for me. I also wonder if some folks with these, including me, sort of talk themselves into thinking they are better than they really are.

But I have auditioned in a proper room with speakers placed where they belong and on quality gear and holy crap it was awesome. Really it was beyond awesome.

Are you in option 1 or option 2 to get your answer?
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post #21 of 21 Old 06-06-2019, 06:26 PM
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I had almost zero interest in Atmos until recently, as I was pretty happy with my 5.1 system. When I decided to convert an extra room into a dedicated theater room, I became more interested. I was still a bit skeptical, right up until the point where I calibrated it and listened to a few demos off the bat. I can say without hesitation that Atmos is well worth the effort and expense in terms of the improvement over regular surround sound. That being said, even though my room isn't perfect in terms of following the dolby placement guide for a 5.2.4 system, it's pretty close. So I can't really speak for rooms that would require more compromise. But overall, I don't think I've come across anyone yet who did not feel as though Atmos was worth the effort, and I would certainly agree with that.
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