AVS Forum banner

4221 - 4240 of 4251 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,715 Posts
My impressions of Angry Birds 2 in DTS:X and the iTunes Dolby Atmos versions are HERE. Overall, the sound was not that great (either version), especially bass and dynamics. So much for IMAX Enhanced using full tilt Theatrical Mixes instead of "home mixes" or "near field" mixes. It MAY have been theatrical in the true near field sense (in that I liked the voices better with Cinema EQ turned ON), but beyond that, clearly it's a weak mix period, reminiscent of more recent Disney mixes on disc (the Star Wars Movies in Disney+ Atmos mixes are actually quite decent and even appear to use moving objects, contrary to their 4K Blu-Rays known for 7.1.4 with locked objects). The bass was weak (even set to +6dB it still wasn't really deep, IMO) and set to 0dB on my AVR, it was barely loud enough (dialog was good there, but sound effects could have been 10dB louder, IMO and bass even more so). Overall, it reminded me of a neutered Disney Blu-Ray mix. It was OK sounding, but I've heard better soundtracks from 1990s DVDs (let alone the Jurassic Park DTS laserdisc which still sounds awesome and thankfully the DTS:X version of that movie retains similar levels).

Edit: Turning dialog down -8dB and the sub up +6dB and the overall volume to +1dB sounded MUCH better here (DTS:X). Trying the first movie (Atmos), it sounds good with bass at +6dB and dialog normal at 0dB so other than louder dialog, they do seem similar in overall level (0dB is supposed to be reference, but most movies are louder; I don't know why bass is lower than most titles).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,715 Posts
So how are all you Trinnov owners liking your DTS:X Pro update? It was announced nearly a year ago (Jan 7th, 2019 I believe) for the second half of 2019 which is now over so I assume you must all have it, right? Is it awesome? 😉

I can only surmise it has major glitches or bugs to take so long after an official announcement. It was supposedly demoed years ago on the Trinnov Altitude 32 when DTS:X first came out and hence all the 30.2 layout diagrams, etc., none of which exist in any consumer level product.

I had high hopes for DTS:X. But it appears to have been more marketing hype than anything else. Even Auro-3D has a product out with 13.1 support, although not much content for it (I know of exactly two 13.1 titles while even newer releases, few as they are, only support 11.1).

It seems as of the start of 2020, Atmos is still the only 15+ discrete speaker game in town and even it seems to lack consistent varied use from the reports I've read. There's a certain irony in that most movies are designed to support the "masses" (as if it were so well adopted) on a system that was designed to show off most of its improvements on the high end.

Atmos, for all its hoopla about objects is mostly for all intensive purposes (and more so with Disney locked layouts) just up to four overhead channels for most of its users so it's easy to forget the benefits of more channels at bed level, especially with products actually removing support for wide channels on most models a few years ago.

Throw in sound bar orientated near field mixes and actual use on all three immersive formats that usually doesn't remotely live up to the demos level of immersion (surround volume levels are usually far less than the crickets, wind and storms found in those actual immersive demos and even the demos lack truly stunning overhead examples, IMO) and you're largely left with formats that delivered far less than they promised despite the high costs of a good system and the work needed to mount and wire all those additional speakers, particularly the overhead ones.

Perhaps Atmos, X and Auro-3D (if it's still around) need another full decade to come into their own as most early 5.1 soundtracks also failed to deliver the goods with so much old school belief in surround sound being distracting. It seems that belief is still alive and well as most movies still fail to deliver truly all encompassing immersive tracks that truly take your breath away.

It's also ironic to me that two of the tracks that impressed me the most were retrofits. One is the original Jumangi, which really does immerse you all around with the jungle, much more so than its sequel that takes place IN the jungle.

The other is Groundhog Day, not because it's the most impressive overall, but because it really tries hard to immerse as best it can with a movie where I always thought the sound was a mere afterthought compared to the jokes and visuals. It's a massive improvement over the original soundtrack in that regard, even if it is light on the overhead use. Compare that to Labyrinth, where it feels like "Atmos" is just a marketing sticker on the box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Neural:X is seriously awesome. I recently watched a korean movie "forgotten" in dts hd ma 5.1 and set my AVR to use Neural:X upmixer. There are some flashback scenes which last only for ~15 seconds and holy ****, the sound effects were simply elevated a lot due to most of the sound coming from the top 2 speakers. I felt like I was completely surrounded that whole time. Now I watched the same scenes with DSU upmixer, but I didn't get the same effect as I did with Neural:X. One more observation I had was that I could hear most of the background score or songs from my top speakers but in case of DSU, they seem to play from the front speakers. I've heard some people hate this aggressive approach by pushing most of the sound into top speakers, but I actually prefer this over Dolby's. It just became my go to upmixer for any movie especially with 5.1 hd soundtrack.



PS: If anyone has only 2 speakers on ceiling, set it to top front instead of top middle if you are watching any DTS:X content or using its upmixer. This sound clip will tell you why. https://www.demolandia.net/downloads.html?id=87980801

Edit: Oops, I had already shared this earlier, but just in case :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
218 Posts
Neural:X is seriously awesome. I recently watched a korean movie "forgotten" in dts hd ma 5.1 and set my AVR to use Neural:X upmixer. There are some flashback scenes which last only for ~15 seconds and holy ****, the sound effects were simply elevated a lot due to most of the sound coming from the top 2 speakers. I felt like I was completely surrounded that whole time. Now I watched the same scenes with DSU upmixer, but I didn't get the same effect as I did with Neural:X. One more observation I had was that I could hear most of the background score or songs from my top speakers but in case of DSU, they seem to play from the front speakers. I've heard some people hate this aggressive approach by pushing most of the sound into top speakers, but I actually prefer this over Dolby's. It just became my go to upmixer for any movie especially with 5.1 hd soundtrack.

Everyone has their own preferences, and that is the beauty of having your own home theater. I also personally prefer Neural:X over the DSU upmixer for movies, but many others do not. If you haven't experimented with it, I find that setting the overhead speakers to HEIGHTS rather than TOPS works better with DTS:X.

I started with only two overhead speakers. However, I suffer from "OCU" Obsessive Compulsive Upgradious, and just had to add two more overhead speakers for a total of four overheads. The difference between two and four overheads is a quantum leap in immersive sound performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Everyone has their own preferences, and that is the beauty of having your own home theater. I also personally prefer Neural:X over the DSU upmixer for movies, but many others do not. If you haven't experimented with it, I find that setting the overhead speakers to HEIGHTS rather than TOPS works better with DTS:X.

I started with only two overhead speakers. However, I suffer from "OCU" Obsessive Compulsive Upgradious, and just had to add two more overhead speakers for a total of four overheads. The difference between two and four overheads is a quantum leap in immersive sound performance.

I like that term OCU :D And yeah, I haven't tried heights config with DTS:X. I initially thought since I only have 2 height speakers, it wouldn't make much difference between heights and tops. And since my speakers are a little bit far from my listening position, I switched config to fronts. I even use the same config for atmos too, because I honestly couldn't find any difference between middle and front setup. I will give heights a go with DTS:X :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
218 Posts
I like that term OCU :D And yeah, I haven't tried heights config with DTS:X. I initially thought since I only have 2 height speakers, it wouldn't make much difference between heights and tops. And since my speakers are a little bit far from my listening position, I switched config to fronts. I even use the same config for atmos too, because I honestly couldn't find any difference between middle and front setup. I will give heights a go with DTS:X :)

There is quite a bit of technical info on this forum about the HEIGHT vs TOP configuration. If you are interested, you can search for it. When using both Atmos and DTS:X, then I think HEIGHTS, is the better compromise. HEIGHTS and TOPS has nothing to do with the physical location of your speakers. It has more to do with how either Atmos or DTS:X processes the audio signal. The only way for you to know what works best in your setup, and your personal listening preferences, is to try each setting yourself. Prepare yourself, if you haven't yet suffered from OCU, you will. It is highly contagious and widespread among home theater enthusiasts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: xavierlehnsherr

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,715 Posts
There is quite a bit of technical info on this forum about the HEIGHT vs TOP configuration. If you are interested, you can search for it. When using both Atmos and DTS:X, then I think HEIGHTS, is the better compromise. HEIGHTS and TOPS has nothing to do with the physical location of your speakers. It has more to do with how either Atmos or DTS:X processes the audio signal. The only way for you to know what works best in your setup, and your personal listening preferences, is to try each setting yourself. Prepare yourself, if you haven't yet suffered from OCU, you will. It is highly contagious and widespread among home theater enthusiasts.
I could never hear the slightest bit of difference except in the helicopter demo and even then it was minor where my side "top middle" extracted heights are slightly lower than the front/rear due to the steel beam box (I could hear the helicopter dip slightly with tops, but not with heights). Otherwise, all the demos imaged everything in exactly the same places. I think this is due to the fact that without having both rendered (ala Trinnov), it pretty much has to fold any sounds that are outside that region into it (like moving rears into the sides with 5.1.4 instead of 7.1.4). Thus, heights sounds either have to go to the mains or the tops. The physical location of heights speakers means that even tops rendered will start sooner in the room (towards the front wall for example) regardless.

I suppose it could fold sound into the mains instead of the heights or whatever instead. Maybe that's more noticeable with actual "tops" positioned speakers than with heights (i.e. pullback towards the front wall would seem to put less on the ceiling with 45+ angled speakers than with 30 degree range, I think). That might explain why some think more sounds are overhead with the "tops" setting, but I recall seeing some with heights saying they thought they got more overhead with the tops setting so I can't explain that. Maybe having a top middle speaker changes the rendering somewhat since it's not dependent on phantom imaging directly overhead? (In other words, you relative position between the speakers with only 4 might change where sounds are rendered, but with top middle in play, it's more locked down regardless?)

Now if you had BOTH rendered correctly (Trinnov with Heights and Tops), you'd probably get discrete differences in when/where a given sound starts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,682 Posts
I find that setting the overhead speakers to HEIGHTS rather than TOPS works better with DTS:X.
Curious...how does one change this setting? (I have a Denon 6500) Is it something that can be easily switched back and forth through a quick menu change when watching Atmos vs DTS:X?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
218 Posts
Curious...how does one change this setting? (I have a Denon 6500) Is it something that can be easily switched back and forth through a quick menu change when watching Atmos vs DTS:X?
In the Denon AVR-X4300H Users Manual, it is located on page 222. It is under either the Speaker Layout Settings or may be called Speaker Configuration Settings.

No, it is not easily changed back and forth. I have read that if you have the Denon App on your phone, you can use that to save presets.

There are ad nauseam arguments on this subject due to the fact that what one individual may like, another does not. It is just plain subjective based on personal tastes, and each person will make their own decision on what they want to hear. A purist will argue that it is not what the Director intended, and they are correct. However, other individuals may not like what the Director intended and want to try other solutions.

From thread reading, it is common to see that many believe that the TOP setting is more faithful to the Director's intent for Atmos, but this results in a less accurate result for DTS:X content. Conversely, Height settings result in a more faithful result for DTS:X, but results in a less accurate result for Atmos. These are unwinnable arguments because there are too many variables such as system and room differences, and moreover, personal taste differences. Thus, you must try each yourself and make your own decision.
 
  • Like
Reactions: galonzo

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,715 Posts
There are ad nauseam arguments on this subject due to the fact that what one individual may like, another does not. It is just plain subjective based on personal tastes, and each person will make their own decision on what they want to hear. A purist will argue that it is not what the Director intended, and they are correct. However, other individuals may not like what the Director intended and want to try other solutions.
I've never heard anyone say they've heard something specific beyond claiming to get "more overhead sounds" with the "tops" setting, despite the fact the placement of the speaker determines that far more than the renderer as it will still start at the speaker's location and pan from there. I've tried all the Atmos demos here with both settings. They seem to pan the same amount and I chalk that up to downmixing/folding of the information to the nearest speakers, which more or less makes the physical locations MOOT as an overhead sound will start where the speaker is located and pan to the next one, wherever it is in the room. The physical location of the speaker makes far more difference than the setting due to that "folding" of non-present channels.

From thread reading, it is common to see that many believe that the TOP setting is more faithful to the Director's intent for Atmos, but this results in a less accurate result for DTS:X content. Conversely, Height settings result in a more faithful result for DTS:X, but results in a less accurate result for Atmos. These are unwinnable arguments because there are too many variables such as system and room differences, and moreover, personal taste differences. Thus, you must try each yourself and make your own decision.
"Heights" IS a true Dolby Atmos rendered position (i.e. A Trinnov supports BOTH "Heights" and "Tops" for Atmos at the same time, handing off to the next speaker as it pans. There is nothing more or less "accurate" about heights versus tops. It's a starting point. Heights starts closer to the screen. Tops starts further out into the room. The former gives greater room coverage (the full length of the room), but for larger rooms, the angles between the two sets of speakers is often too large to hear direct overhead sounds very well (this is corrected if you add "Top Middle" speakers, although the AVR has to support it and then some soundtracks don't use it; the alternative is to use a form of extraction (matrixed or steered) to create a top middle speaker. This works fairly well, but requires more equipment and doesn't cooperate well with room correction (requires its own added separately, either in the AVR or with a box like a MiniDSP). Tops gives more "direct overhead" sound by starting 1/4 the way into the room from both directions (you lose 1/2 the room dimensions for panning, however). Switching the rendering setting, but not moving the speaker should theoretically start sounds sooner/louder that are farther away at the tops location or spread tops locations more to the edges for heights rendering, but as I've said above I've played all the major Atmos demos using both settings and I personally cannot hear a significant difference between the two (using front/rear heights in a 24' room with steered extracted "Top Middle" added. The sounds go from edge to edge in either rendering mode.

Now DTS:X in diagrams shows a higher angle than Atmos for the speakers (55 I think) and Heights are supposedly 45, but in reality, I find they sound just fine going edge to edge as well. Why wouldn't they? DTS:X supports Auro-3D and Atmos speaker locations so it can use ALL of them (center height, top surround, etc.), but many AVRs have channel limitations (from not carrying CH to only allowing 11-channels). DTS:X Pro rectifies this, but I'm only aware of Trinnov at the moment having the upgrade. It can use all 30.2 speakers for DTS:X, all 34.1 speakers for Atmos and all 13.1 speakers for Auro-3D.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I watched bourne identity recently with DTS:X audio and I was completely blown away by how amazing it sounded. I literally felt like I was in the movie all the time. The starting scene with heavy rainfall and thunders in the middle of the ocean will be my go to demo if someone comes to my home :D I experienced as if I had 4 overhead speakers. After watching plenty of atmos movies, I didn't really have experienced like this. I wonder if it's because of DTS:X pushing all the sound (which are usually heard from rear heights in a 11.1 setup with 2 fronts and 2 rear heights) into my 2 overhead speakers. Does atmos do this too?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,493 Posts
I wonder if it's because of DTS:X pushing all the sound (which are usually heard from rear heights in a 11.1 setup with 2 fronts and 2 rear heights) into my 2 overhead speakers. Does atmos do this too?
Yes, if you only have 2 height speakers, both formats will move all height-level sound to those speakers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,715 Posts
DTS:X with Neural X will actually use the bed level speakers in some situations depending on which overhead speakers are used to try and simulate the locations where the sounds are supposed to be. AFAIK, unlike Atmos (which does put everything into the 2 overheads for all overheads regardless of which set of speakers you select them to be), DTS:X depends on whether you use tops or heights, for example. Tops will use front/rear bed speakers to try and pull the sound back or forward a bit further. Heights will not with 7 bed speakers, at least.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Tops will use front/rear bed speakers to try and pull the sound back or forward a bit further. Heights will not with 7 bed speakers, at least.
This is exactly how I felt after doing some tests with tops and heights. With top front position, I could clearly hear even vehicle movements esp in movies which happen in the background and are supposed to be heard in the surround speakers. The sound transitioning from left surround to overhead and then to right surround also felt smooth (although a bit heavy on overhead since I ramped up sound level by 2db). But with front height, almost all the sound was directed to surround speakers. I still could hear from overhead, but it's too less compared to top. I should do few more tests with atmos too, because I honestly didn't find the right spot where I would finally settle down and just enjoy watching, like I did with DTS:X :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,001 Posts
This is because of some quirks of DTS:X "mapping" which differ from how Atmos works.

- First, DTS:X (unlike Atmos) renders a "dome" of sound with concentric circles
- Second, DTS:X hard-codes height information to 4 height "channels", not dynamic objects like Atmos
- Third, DTS:X assumes those height sounds are located "outward" of where the "top" speakers are located
- Fourth, DTS:X uses ear-level speakers, combined with overheads, to phantom image the sounds where they are "supposed" to be location



So if you look at the diagram above, notice the "tops" are on a more inner ring of the "dome" than the height speakers. So let's say there's a sound that's supposed to come from the "left rear height" location. You have a "left top rear" speaker, however, so DTS:X will mix some of the sound into the left surround + surround back speakers, and the three speakers will in theory product a phantom image of the height sound at the "correct" location (somewhere in between the physical top rear left speaker and the location of the surrounds closer to ear level).

This behavior is the origin of all the hand-wringing about heights vs tops in an immersive audio setup. The behavior is extremely audible if you have a DTS:X demo disc with the channel call-outs, if your speakers are set to top and you play the height speakers call-outs, you can hear the sound come out of ear level speakers in addition to the overheads.

I need to verify this on my setup, but I'm betting if you have a 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 layout with Top Middle, the phantom image "remapping" will also happen, vs Atmos which just collapses the overhead sound to the Top Middle speakers only.

In theory, it's "a good thing" because the sound is rendered at the more correct location. In practice, it tends to "smear" the sound a bit and make it sound "less overhead" and less precise when you play DTS:X content with overheads set to "top" instead of "height".

Atmos is more benign in this respect, it doesn't bleed sound down to the ear level speakers to remap height sounds (which makes more sense in its "room box" rendering, vs the concentric dome framework of DTS:X). If you only have 2 height speakers, and the sound is supposed to be above you, that sound goes to the height speakers. Done. If you have 4 height speakers, and a sound is supposed to come from the upper left front corner of the room, it's going to be played by the front left overhead regardless of whether it's set to top or height.

Since Atmos is more "forgiving" in this respect, and especially when you add in Auro3D mandating "height" designation, most people who care about cross-format compatibility with immersive audio just call them "front height + rear height" and move on, it's the simplest solution if you don't want to have to switch layouts to accommodate different audio codecs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,682 Posts
Since Atmos is more "forgiving" in this respect, and especially when you add in Auro3D mandating "height" designation, most people who care about cross-format compatibility with immersive audio just call them "front height + rear height" and move on, it's the simplest solution if you don't want to have to switch layouts to accommodate different audio codecs.
I have a traditional Atmos speaker layout with top fronts and top rears. Based on this, do you recommend I change my Denon config to call my speakers front height and rear height instead of the top front and top rear I’ve been using?

Thanks


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,715 Posts
I have a traditional Atmos speaker layout with top fronts and top rears. Based on this, do you recommend I change my Denon config to call my speakers front height and rear height instead of the top front and top rear I’ve been using?

Thanks


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

You 'could'. It's not worth the bother, IMO as it kills room correction. You can save the configs to USB or the Denon/Marantz app for Audyssey, but it's still a PITA. I suppose if your speakers don't blend well, you 'might' notice the DTS output to the bed level speakers, but if they blend well I doubt you'd even notice in actual use. I use Heights + Top Middle Extracted here, though so DTS doesn't try to use any bed level speakers for overhead information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,682 Posts
You 'could'. It's not worth the bother, IMO as it kills room correction. You can save the configs to USB or the Denon/Marantz app for Audyssey, but it's still a PITA. I suppose if your speakers don't blend well, you 'might' notice the DTS output to the bed level speakers, but if they blend well I doubt you'd even notice in actual use. I use Heights + Top Middle Extracted here, though so DTS doesn't try to use any bed level speakers for overhead information.

Why does it kill room correction? I'm asking about a permanent change from tops to heights (and I guess an audyssey recal)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,715 Posts
You 'could'. It's not worth the bother, IMO as it kills room correction. You can save the configs to USB or the Denon/Marantz app for Audyssey, but it's still a PITA. I suppose if your speakers don't blend well, you 'might' notice the DTS output to the bed level speakers, but if they blend well I doubt you'd even notice in actual use. I use Heights + Top Middle Extracted here, though so DTS doesn't try to use any bed level speakers for overhead information.

Why does it kill room correction? I'm asking about a permanent change from tops to heights (and I guess an audyssey recal)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
h

It doesn't if you make the change permanent. I was referring to changing it just for DTS movies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,682 Posts
I'm debating making the change, permanently in my Denon config, from tops to heights, but having trouble rectifying the following two comments (which are from different people, granted, but seem to be contradictory):

From thread reading, it is common to see that many believe that the TOP setting is more faithful to the Director's intent for Atmos, but this results in a less accurate result for DTS:X content. Conversely, Height settings result in a more faithful result for DTS:X, but results in a less accurate result for Atmos. These are unwinnable arguments because there are too many variables such as system and room differences, and moreover, personal taste differences. Thus, you must try each yourself and make your own decision.
Atmos is more benign in this respect, it doesn't bleed sound down to the ear level speakers to remap height sounds (which makes more sense in its "room box" rendering, vs the concentric dome framework of DTS:X). If you only have 2 height speakers, and the sound is supposed to be above you, that sound goes to the height speakers. Done. If you have 4 height speakers, and a sound is supposed to come from the upper left front corner of the room, it's going to be played by the front left overhead regardless of whether it's set to top or height.

Since Atmos is more "forgiving" in this respect, and especially when you add in Auro3D mandating "height" designation, most people who care about cross-format compatibility with immersive audio just call them "front height + rear height" and move on, it's the simplest solution if you don't want to have to switch layouts to accommodate different audio codecs.
 
4221 - 4240 of 4251 Posts
Top