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post #1 of 2 Old 02-06-2019, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Question in regards to a unique ATMOS/DTS:X speaker configuration

Hey guys, I am looking for some advice in regards to a unique configuration for a 5.1.4 ATMOS/DTS:X speaker configuration.

To start off with I have a "standard" configuration for the 5.1 setup, being a L/C/R with two rear surrounds and a sub. All are "within spec" per Dolby in regards to layout and angles.

The issue I have is with the height speakers. I have 4 in-ceiling speakers, but the angles are "off" for the two top front speakers.

The rear heights are within the 150 degree spec for a "top rear" configuration (more like 143-144 degrees from MLP), but the "top front" speakers are at around 65-67 degrees from the MLP (and I know Dolby specs a 55 degree at most config).

Now, I know Dolby would classify the listening angle to the "top front" speakers more as "top middle" if you look at their specs, but I have a Onkyo TX-NR787 9.2 receiver and if I try to configure the "top front" speakers as "top middle" it automatically configures the "top rear" speakers as "rear high" with no option to configure them otherwise.

Now I do have the option of installing front height speakers on the walls up high above the main left/right towers and then I can configure them for the "front high" speakers and then configure the "top front" as "top middle", or even just ignore the "top front"/"top middle" and configure the rears as proper "top rear".

My question is what setup am I better going with?

a) "top front" and "top rear", even though the fronts are out of spec angle wise?

b) "front high" and "top middle", even though I would not have any sound from above behind the MLP? (Surround speakers are positioned slightly behind the MLP as Dolby specs it, FYI)

c) "top middle" and "rear height", even though the "rear heights" are technically in the ceiling and within spec for "top rear" configuration?

d) "front high" and "top rear", at which point I am not using the front in-ceiling speakers?


I know I could play around and experiment, but I really don't want to install the "front high" speakers if I don't have to. ie, if the existing in-ceiling speakers will produce better results overall I will try to make them work.

I figure someone has run into this type of situation before and would defer to their experience before going on a prolonged and timely experiment.

For reference, the LCR and surround speakers are all Klipsch Reference IV speakers (RF62/RC25/RF42 with an option for RB51 or RB61 for "front high" speakers) and the in-ceiling speakers are all Monoprice Caliber 8" coaxials with rear enclosures.

I will add, changing out in-ceiling speaker locations is not a possibility (primarily due to facilities and internal bracing in the ceiling). The location of the "top front"/"top middle" speakers are approx 5 feet back from the front channel L/R towers). Ceiling height is just under 8ft at 7ft-10.5in.

The locations for the front left/right towers are quite a bit wider than I would like them, due to a large console and towers on each side of it, causing the speakers to sit about 10ft apart, but I will admit it does sound good even with that. The in-ceiling speakers are pretty much directly in-line with the front towers. If I put in "front high" speakers up on the wall they will sit directly above the front towers and can be angled in towards the MLP a bit or left firing directly back (I already have brackets sitting in the box if I decide to go that route).

Thanks for any and all input on the configuration.

(I posted this in the "audio theory and setup" forum and got a bunch of reads but no replies, so I figured I would post here as well.)
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post #2 of 2 Old 02-06-2019, 11:20 AM
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dolby Atmos is supposed to be an object-based sound field not channel based so the receiver just needs to know where the speakers are in relation to the sound field. You existing configuration should work and the room correction software should account for any discrepancies in your setup. If there wasn't any leeway it would not be practical for a lot of people and it would not be commercially viable for Dolby.
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