The problem is in a real room that wasn't built for home theater, the layout is probably going to be dictated by the room itself. One might have to place speakers where they can, not where Dolby or DTS wants them to be. Using something like a bipole or dipole could affect the pattern on the sides as well (obviously they no longer recommend those, but several people have reported good results using them just the same; a long narrow room probably could use more than one side, for example, especially if there are multiple rows of seating.
In other words, if the elevation angle suggests the speakers should go on/in the ceiling and that's a no-no, it's not going to meet the ideal. I just put my B15 bookshelf speakers as high as I could put them beside the screen for dialog lift (see attached image). I can't put them lower or dialog lift won't work right. I can't put them higher because I just met the ceiling and they're too large to go on the ceiling and putting a hanging speaker in front of the bookshelves would looks awful. In-ceiling speakers might work, but it's beyond my carpenter skill level (ceiling is between floors; no attic to easily move things over and cut holes to drop down). I'm left with what I'm left with in the front regardless of the angles. Calculating the angle from the height/distance to say the middle of the speaker, I get (Inverse Tangent 6.5/10) or 33 degrees. For the back of the room in the proposed location at the actual back of the room, it would probably be (InvTan * 7/10 + 90) or ~120 degrees. This would be pretty close to Dolby's "Height" reference. The side speakers are about 2/3 up the wall (old Dolby recommendation of a couple of feet above ear level) so that's no good, but they are bipoles and with Dialog Lift in line with the screen. I'd basically try it first before moving them down (probably use a set of speakers on stands to compare) since I'd have to make new holes, etc.
Math wise, it seems to me speaker delay basically increases or decreases the relative calculated distance away on the triangle to the main speakers by delaying the sound or sending it sooner (thus increasing the geometric angle in math terms). I don't think it would ever work with discrete real signals (too many reflections, etc. to give spatial clues to the true location), but I can't help but wonder if that's why the dialog lift effect on my Yamaha receiver moves up and down the wall if I change the speaker distance (thus altering the delay and the combined wave front. I'm sure there's quite a bit going on in perception terms, but there's no doubt the distance setting affects the dialog lift height here. It actually needs to be slightly off in the distance setting to get the best effect. Otherwise, I still feel like I"m hearing sounds at the center speaker location. Whether that could help even slightly with those DTS angles being somewhat different, I have no idea, but it would be interesting to play with the settings while a height effects are running in a movie and see what happens.
The back of my theater room is a somewhat different story due to the half bathroom and possible extra seating I could put back there. I could mount ceiling angled speakers (on, not in) behind the second row, but given the outboard fireplace in the room (big hassle, but it's not going anywhere), the only place I can put more future theater chairs is where the 4th row would be if you evenly placed theater chairs. I can put two there (sliding glass door blocks the other location and I'm out of space anywhere in-between as there's a half-bathroom entrance that needs to be clear). I've put fold-out chairs in those locations to see how the view of the screen is and it's surprisingly good from the back of the room, even though there's a ceiling beam mid-way across the room with the projector hanging from it (not obstructed at all sitting down).
Thus, with that in mind (i.e. it would be nice in the future to be able to sit more than 4 people in the theater; this expands it to 6, 3 in front, 1 to left and behind and two in the center and right back of the room), I would rather put the rear height/ceiling speakers near the ceiling in the back of the room. This would at least give the back two seats some kind of "surround" sound (since both the side and rear surrounds are in front of them and I can't put the rear surrounds back any further without compromising the width of the soundstage in that direction) and actually makes the front and rear heights almost equidistant (maybe 2 feet further in the back). Luckily, despite the bathroom, the rear left corner is pretty much right in line with the left front speaker and the right height is easily placed in line with the right front speaker. The fronts could be moved outward to sit directly under the front heights (i.e. current receiver recommends above and a bit outward but it's from 2007 before all these newer formats). The side wall surrounds would probably need to come down to just above ear level (at ear level the couch might block some of the frequencies). However, they're bipoles, but I'm not convinced given how narrow the room is that a direct fire would do better there, especially near ear level (don't want the person on the right couch/(future chair) to get beamed right in the ear and there's not enough room to place it directly to the side without a wall hugger like that. I've actually been TRYING to get some feedback on the layout, etc. in a couple of threads (PSB, Yamaha) and I get none. Rather than argue, where I actually would like a bit of feedback, I've been getting none. I'm attaching brand new photos of the room along with the last layout I made with actual/proposed locations).
It seems to me the AVR manufacturers (or even whomever makes some of the chipsets) could rectify a lot of these issues themselves. There's no law that says a receiver can store only ONE layout that must be used by all decoders. I'd prefer that it let you set the speaker layout by decoder instead. That would/could also let you use external speaker selectors to potentially use different speakers for different decoders if it makes sense for you to do so. Denon's 13.x receiver has at least two options it can switch for you (i.e. wide front or top-center/VOG, which lets you prioritize Auro over Atmos/X or vice versa and Rear height vs Side height, which lets you switch Auro to its ideal surround speaker while having a separate one for Atmos/X. That's great, but Denon doesn't have similar options on their 11.x and 9.x receivers. However, if you could just swap layouts with a software switch (and perhaps store a second Audyssey set of data as well), you could then use an external switchbox to achieve the same effect and/or swap between wide front and the Auro ceiling speakers as well on the 13.x receiver, letting you have ideal versions of both decoders. I gather you can do this with a USB load, but it would be much better to just store two sets (or even three sets) of settings in the receiver's memory at any given time. How much is memory today that they can't be bothered?
Really, given how much experimentation I've done over the years with side surround placement (what sounds best seems to vary by the room to some degree as well and the type of speaker), I can't say I buy into a "one size fits all" angle layout. What concerns me most is how it sounds. This is why with the areas I CAN play with a bit, I'd rather test before mounting anything on the walls/ceiling to hear how ti sounds first. That could be rough with the back ceiling, but fairly easy to do with speaker stands at the floor level. But I'm severely limited by the layout of the room with all the obstacles in it (as you can see the bathroom and fireplace make it rough in that vicinity, but then 90% of the time, there's no more than two people watching it anyway).
Right now with the new height speakers installed (wires on the sides in the photos, etc. to be cleaned up later with new painted molds I bought) with the old receiver where they do DSP and dialog lift only, it does sound massively more spacious in the vertical domain relative to the 92" screen. This was most obvious in early testing with the new speakers on Sebastican Manascalco's comedy routine from 2-channel. Instead of a line across the front leaving your brain to move the sound up, it actually come from in-between both sets of speakers like a wall of sound with the audience laughing where the bookcases are and Sebastian's voice coming directly from the screen. This is interesting in more than one way, however as the line of audio is no longer coming from ear level. The side surrounds were set to Dolby's old recommendations of a couple of feet above ear level with bipoles instead of dipoles (PSB didn't do dipoles versions at the time; the current generation have a switch to go either way; I thought bipoles made more sense for stereo surround anyway with some nebula of sound, but not extreme). I've tried the couch both along side and a bit in front of the surrounds. I think I liked the speakers slightly behind me better, but both sounded good. Now that the audio comes from the screen to the bipoles, it sounds like a wall of sound flying between the two almost in a straight line (before, a bit odd lower to higher, but most movies have poor panning in the space in-between or at least it doesn't pan well in that space, making me think front wides aren't a bad idea). Now it seems "ideal" for traditional 5.1/7.1 as the phantom middle ofthe screen image lines up with the surrounds and both are at screen level where the visible action is instead of ear level where nothing is.
Going Auro with the 13.1 Denon, I could leave the side speakers where they are and only use it for Auro (obviously can't really mount them higher, though due to the beam across the room). Otherwise, I might have to lower them to just above ear level when all is said and done (I'd try it first to compare, though, probably with some stand speakers to hear the lower before filling wall holes and making new ones).
Edit: I made a mistake with the angles as I was using floor to ceiling, not ear level. That puts it closer to 23/20 degrees, a fair bit below the expected heights. Nothing I can do other than going to the ceiling, though and/or moving the couch closer to the screen in the front, but it's really nearly as far as I can go without compromising the right viewing location too much. Rows further back would have even lower angles, but without overheads in the middle that would be true of any home theater with more than one row of seating (why theaters have so many surrounds in the first place). I'd basically need to go 13 channel and put top middle in (or 11 without the rear surrounds, but then the rear seats would only have side surrounds in front of them--far from ideal and that's only three rows).
Click THEATER (Updated: May-22-2019) for pics: Epson 3100 3D Projector, DaLite 92" screen, 11.1.6 (Marantz SR7012 + Yamaha HTR-5960 + Onkyo ESPro) - Dialog Lift - PSB T45/B15/S50/X1T/CS500 Speakers & Def Tech PF-1500 15" sub; 2nd Room (Updated Apr-22-2019): 48" Plasma TV, Carver AL-III, Carver C-5 Pre-Amp, Technics SH-AC500D, Dual Carver TFM-35x Amps (Active Bi-Amp), Klipsch Surrounds ; Sources: PS4, LG UP875 UHD, Nvidia Shield (KODI), ATV4K, Zidoo X9S, LD, GameCube
: Props (Updated 10-13-19)
Last edited by MagnumX; 07-19-2018 at 06:32 AM.