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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Are Front Height Speakers OK to use as Atmos speakers?

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Although not ideal or recommended, can Front Height speakers be used as Atmos speakers when other optional are not available?


From The Dolby Atmos Home Theater Installation Guide about Front height mounted speakers: Most AVRs will support the use of front height (Dolby® Pro Logic® IIz) mounted speakers with Dolby Atmos playback; however, we recommend the use of either overhead or Dolby Atmos enabled speakers to create the most lifelike and enveloping audio experience. Front height speakers may be used in conjunction with overhead speakers in larger room installations that can support a greater number of overhead/height outputs.


With that, will an AV Receiver setup with Front Height speakers support them using Dolby Atmos? Will sound come out of them?


According to the above, it seems possible but wanted to ask anyone with an actual Atmos receiver. Any help or information would be appreciated.
 

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Tried to search without luck.
Although not ideal or recommended, can Front Height speakers be used as Atmos speakers when other optional are not available?


From The Dolby Atmos Home Theater Installation Guide about Front height mounted speakers: Most AVRs will support the use of front height (Dolby® Pro Logic® IIz) mounted speakers with Dolby Atmos playback; however, we recommend the use of either overhead or Dolby Atmos enabled speakers to create the most lifelike and enveloping audio experience. Front height speakers may be used in conjunction with overhead speakers in larger room installations that can support a greater number of overhead/height outputs.


With that, will an AV Receiver setup with Front Height speakers support them using Dolby Atmos? Will sound come out of them?


According to the above, it seems possible but wanted to ask anyone with an actual Atmos receiver. Any help or information would be appreciated.
Absolutely, they basically work as well as they did as front heights, just with more discrete sound and separation to them, while I don't have actual overheads, I have all heights, ( front, wides, surrounds and rears) my front heights and wide heights are wired together and so are my surrounds heights and Rear Heights, both the height and overhead setup worked well, but I prefer the height setting for two reasons, I feel the discreet effects across the screen that change height are better and the front to back overhead effects have a slightly larger feel to them. (Example, plane flying front to rear overhead seems to appear sooner and last longer with the height setting as opposed to the overhead setting, even with all the speakers being in the exact same location)
 

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I use front heights with Atmos and they have plenty of info being sent to them. Personally I don't know if I like it (for DSU) as DSU seems to take info from the front L/R channels and therefore the L/R don't sound as detailed.

I noticed when telling the AVR that the heights are "Dolby fronts" instead of Dolby heights that the main L/R retain more info and the heights actually sound different. I'll need to spend more time with each setting before I reach a conclusion about which I prefer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I use front heights with Atmos and they have plenty of info being sent to them. Personally I don't know if I like it (for DSU) as DSU seems to take info from the front L/R channels and therefore the L/R don't sound as detailed.

I noticed when telling the AVR that the heights are "Dolby fronts" instead of Dolby heights that the main L/R retain more info and the heights actually sound different. I'll need to spend more time with each setting before I reach a conclusion about which I prefer.
That's a good point. I hadn't thought about that. Now that you mentioned it, I would also want to experiment with different settings on the receiver as well and identify the front height speakers differently to switch between them and see which is better.

I'm currently looking at getting the Denon AVR-X3200W and using it with an external speaker switch to use my existing Front Height and Back Surrounds. My budget is tight. I already have an $1200 9.2 ch Onkyo (2011) and I don't want to spend that much or more again on a receiver (for the room size, anything more is really overkill anyway). The AVR-X4200W would do everything I want (regarding Front Height/Back Surround switching) but for $500 more. A 9.2 ch receiver would of course be ideal but well over $800.

It's a purely 1st world problem but I would 'simply' have to manually select between Front Height for Atmos and Back Surround for pretty much everything else (DTS: X may be an exception) with the external speaker switch (before turning on the receiver) and go into the settings to disable one and re-enable the other. Worse case I would have to re-enter distance and level values but I think the receiver would store them despite the disabling and re-enabling. Either way, I would think I would be able to know before hand if I was going to play a Blu-ray with Atoms and/or DTS: X.

Regardless, it's good to know I could at least use the Front Heights and not have to install ceiling speakers (impractical for the room) and use all of the timbre-matched speakers I already have without having to get even more. I know it will not sound ideal but hopefully it will add something to the sound stage I already have and give me a taste of Atmos.
 

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Mark Henninger reviewed an Atmos speaker configuration with wall mounted height speake in the corners, just below ceiling height, with great results.

http://www.avsforum.com/svs-prime-5-1-4-atmos-speaker-system-review/
Old thread bump I know, but relevant.

I have a room that is has issues with adding ceiling speakers. I already have front height, I think I'm going to feed them the Atmos channels and see what happens. I've got 2 more I could add to the back too. I know its not optimal, but my room isn't set up well at all for ceiling speakers.
 

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It's a purely 1st world problem but I would 'simply' have to manually select between Front Height for Atmos and Back Surround for pretty much everything else (DTS: X may be an exception) with the external speaker switch (before turning on the receiver) and go into the settings to disable one and re-enable the other. Worse case I would have to re-enter distance and level values but I think the receiver would store them despite the disabling and re-enabling. Either way, I would think I would be able to know before hand if I was going to play a Blu-ray with Atoms and/or DTS: X.
If I understand correctly, you realize that Yamaha can do this for you with the push of a (Scene) button? The memory holds 2 speaker configs...without having to "recalibrate" your system (YPAO in this case). I use this to switch between Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks since the overhead speakers are treated differently by each codec.
 

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Has anyone used front and/or rear height speakers (wall mounted speakers high on the wall) instead of ceiling speakers for Atmos?
Yes: I use 2 "top middle" speakers mounted very high on the side walls and it sounds fine. There was no way I could put speakers in/on my ceiling and no way I was going to pass on immersive sound!
 
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Has anyone used front and/or rear height speakers (wall mounted speakers high on the wall) instead of ceiling speakers for Atmos?

Thoughts?
I use all height speakers.
I feel that if properly positioned in-ceiling speakers give you 100% of the experience, well positioned height speakers will give you 90-95%, as opposed to the 70-75% of the best possible scenario upfiring speakers.
And remember, Front and Rear heights are an officially Atmos approved position.
 

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I use all height speakers.

I feel that if properly positioned in-ceiling speakers give you 100% of the experience, well positioned height speakers will give you 90-95%, as opposed to the 70-75% of the best possible scenario upfiring speakers.

And remember, Front and Rear heights are an officially Atmos approved position.
I didn't know height was official. I thought it was ceiling only; and cheating with up firing.

My front heights are 6" woofer bookshelf speakers wall mounted a bit wider than my fronts, about 6" from the ceiling and aimed at the main listening position.

I wonder if I should add the same speakers as rear heights in the exact opposite spot.

I do have spare bookshelf and wall mounts, but I don't think they're the same woofer size. I wonder if I should have the better speakers in the front, or back?
 

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I didn't know height was official. I thought it was ceiling only; and cheating with up firing.

My front heights are 6" woofer bookshelf speakers wall mounted a bit wider than my fronts, about 6" from the ceiling and aimed at the main listening position.

I wonder if I should add the same speakers as rear heights in the exact opposite spot.

I do have spare bookshelf and wall mounts, but I don't think they're the same woofer size. I wonder if I should have the better speakers in the front, or back?
Yup, Front and Rear Heights are an approved Atmos layout location, which in turn let's the renderer do a more accurate job of sound positioning.

All of my height speakers have 6.5's and play clean down to 40hz.
Matching is simply a point of, doing your best so that sounds don't change as they pan. If you can match great, if not, esp for the heights, you won't lose much if anything.

Better speakers forward, same as your ear level, but with heights it just makes sense, since there will be more sounds panning across the screen (in all directions) than behind you.
 

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With all 4 height speakers, do you get a sense of above? Or just height?
 

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With all 4 height speakers, do you get a sense of above? Or just height?
The "above" is decent, not as good as in ceiling, but still definitely above, the "above and around" movement is excellent. The helicopter demo, while not directly overhead, is still extremely good, just like your being circled from above.

IMO, the reason it works so well is because of how Atmos actually works, it's not just sound out of one speaker at a time, but multiple speakers at the same time placing sounds where speakers aren't, which many times incorporates the ear level layer as well as multiple tops.
This is why the approved positions are so important, having speakers where the renderer thinks they are, allows for more accurate sound placement, for example a sound directly overhead, even with only height speakers, can still be placed there by using all 4 height speakers at the same time, using proper phase and distance calculations.

While this is lessened if you opt for surround heights, labeled as Top Middles, it is also still pretty good, compared to Top Middles with upfiring surround modules.

Honestly, IMO, unless you've done considerable listening to an in-ceiling system, you'll never know that a good height system is lacking at all.
 

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One good thing height speakers has over overhead is that height speakers works for ALL known height-configurations out there: be it Atmos, DTS:X, or Auro3d (lol).

Even before any of these Dolby propaganda "we own height effects" nonsense, Yamaha and Pioneer's own "height DSPs" works with height speakers if you decide you want to use them.
 

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Good to know, I'll try positioning my speakers as height. Should they be pointed directly at MLP? Or over the MLP?

Sent from my Note Edge
 

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One good thing height speakers has over overhead is that height speakers works for ALL known height-configurations out there: be it Atmos, DTS:X, or Auro3d (lol). Even before any of these Dolby propaganda "we own height effects" nonsense, Yamaha and Pioneer's own "height DSPs" works with height speakers if you decide you want to use them.

If South Korea actually starts regular consumer ATSC 3.0 OTA broadcasting in early 2017 as planned, we should rapidly get details about the AVR audio 'interaction' with [draft standard compliant] ATSC 3.0 TVs--albeit equipped with MPEG-H immersive|interactive audio rather than Dolby AC-4 as is the US national plan. South Korean region variants of next year's AVR models will presumably be MPEG-H Audio and Dolby Atmos [and DTS:X] decode capable, whereas 'later' US|Canada region variants will likely feature Dolby AC-4 plus Atmos [and DTS:X] support. However I'm guessing recommendations for 5.x.2|5.x.4|7.x.2|7.x.4 immersive (TV+AVR) speaker setup will be the same for all regions . . . and with a wider immersive|interactive audio aware consumer population 'beyond traditional home theater owners' perhaps there might be better [researched] dialog about the pros and cons of height and ceiling speaker configs in varied room situations.


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....While this is lessened if you opt for surround heights, labeled as Top Middles, it is also still pretty good, compared to Top Middles with upfiring surround modules.

Honestly, IMO, unless you've done considerable listening to an in-ceiling system, you'll never know that a good height system is lacking at all.
So are you saying if I run heights, I should set my AVR to Top and not Heights?
 

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So are you saying if I run heights, I should set my AVR to Top and not Heights?
Actually, since it's just settings, experiment, I feel that having them set as Tops sound best "in my room". Tops just seemed to give me slightly more discrete placement of sounds.

But... I have an Atmos only AVR that will never get DTS-X, and as stated above, Heights settings, work for all formats. Plus there was a "very" small difference in the sound, so even setting mine to heights would be a minimal compromise at best, once I upgrade AVR's.
 

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The "above" is decent, not as good as in ceiling, but still definitely above, the "above and around" movement is excellent. The helicopter demo, while not directly overhead, is still extremely good, just like your being circled from above.

IMO, the reason it works so well is because of how Atmos actually works, it's not just sound out of one speaker at a time, but multiple speakers at the same time placing sounds where speakers aren't, which many times incorporates the ear level layer as well as multiple tops.
This is why the approved positions are so important, having speakers where the renderer thinks they are, allows for more accurate sound placement, for example a sound directly overhead, even with only height speakers, can still be placed there by using all 4 height speakers at the same time, using proper phase and distance calculations.

While this is lessened if you opt for surround heights, labeled as Top Middles, it is also still pretty good, compared to Top Middles with upfiring surround modules....
You're right. I just tried them on the shelf, set at Top Front and Top Rear. Ran it through Audyssey, oh wow. I get a sense of above.
Played a demo with rain and a bird flying overhead. I was impressed. Now I know what they meant by Object Based. :)

Once I get my Atmos Speakers I will try to figure out the best setup.
 
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