As promised in my previous entry I wanted to prepare a suggestion for speaker types and layout
to provide for Atmos
as well as Auro3D
sound. For everybody who haven't heard Auro 3D so far, writing it off already is a huge mistake IMO and Auro will most likely be available in normal priced gear also soon. Preparing your speakers for both is thus very important to be future proof.
Basis for this guideline were countless hours in this thread as well as talking to different dealers and a long conversation with the Auro engineers during the IFA in Berlin. We looked together at the famous Denon diagram which is in general also valid for Auro so we should use this to start with. Fortubately the 5.x or 7.x bed is the same for Auro and Atmos, so we should only concentrate what is happening at the ceiling.
Starting from the back we have first the rear height speakers
and the rear top speakers
. According to the chart both these have very similar angles of 125-150 respectvely 135-150 degrees, so installing one pair of speakers fulfilling both requirement is very easy achievable. In regards to speaker types two possibilities exist. A direct aiming height speaker tilted towards the MLP or an in ceiling speaker with a pointable tweeter towards the MLP. Both ways are a compromise but should work for both systems. Maybe the direct speakers are a little bit better for Auro and the ceiling speakers better for Atmos so choice should be done depending on preferences.
Next row of speakers are the top middle speakers.
In a normal sized Atmos setup this row should not have much relevance as normal setup would be rear and front top speakers, but for Auro3D this is the position where the Voice of God speaker
should be. VOG is a mono speaker located more or less directly above the MLP. Speaker type can be a normal in-ceiling speaker such as used for Atmos rear and top speakers. In general it can be stated that the VOG speaker does not hold much relevance in the Auro setup. Especially when directly pointing back and front speakers are used no real difference can be heard between a setup with an without VOG speaker, so this one can be skipped without much influence.
The following row of speaker is the front top speaker
. Now whilst the middle top was not really that important for Atmos the front top row has little to none importance for Auro. Therfore my suggestion for this row would be in-ceiling or Dolby enabled speakers. If the overall amount of channels is of relevance this row could be muted during Auro playback and the amplifier could be used to drive front height speakers.
The last row according to the Denon sheet is the front height speaker
which again like the rear height are direct firing speakers tilted to the MLP. The difference between Atmos and Auro for this row would be that the speakers should be attached 30-45 degrees which leave them sometimes in the middle of the room (in my case for instance) Auro requires them to be in line with front row speakers / the screen and not much relevance is given to the angle. As these speakers do not hold much relevance for Atmos, my suggestion would be to install them by the screen and maybe even mute them for Atmos. As suggested above front top for Atmos and front height for Auro could be run over the same amp using a switch in between.
One last speaker which is an Auro only one is the height center soeaker
. This one is a mono speaker and should be installed either directly firing over the screen or as a LCR designated in-ceiling speaker (such as the IC 608 FG LCR from Jamo). This speaker is not essential for Auro but has quite a nice effect to distribute dialogues more homogeniozsly over the screen.
Some clever arrangement and maybe one additional pair of speakers can achieve that your speaker types and layout is at least Atmos and Auro compatible. Now DTS UHD might be another story again...
Addition on September 12th
In the meantime I got feedback from Auro tgemselves. I forwarded this post to them and they replied that they don't see any issue with using this setup for Auro!