A little over a year ago, I started experimenting with ways to expand my Dolby Atmos surround sound system beyond the 7.1.4 limitations of current consumer hardware. My constant quest to get the best Atmos experience in my home has recently prompted me to make an additional upgrade. My home theater system is so complex these days that I actually need three A/V receivers running simultaneously to drive all my speakers.
In most home theaters, 7.1.4 channels will suffice. While the Atmos format (like its rival DTS:X) can support additional speakers, there's not much demand from consumers, and there's not much pressure from manufacturers. High-end boutique offering only $37,000 modelTrinov Altitude 32Will decode more than 11 channels at a time.
However, for some of us, the quadraphonic height restriction isn't enough to fill the top of the room with sound. My own home theater is a long room with plenty of room behind my seats. Combined with the low ceiling, it was difficult to convincingly reproduce sound overhead with just four speakers (two at the front of the room and two at the back). The problem was compounded by the fact that the placement of the speakers when I was building my home theater (before I thought about surround sound) wasn't ideal for Atmos. The speakers are now held in place by the wall and ceiling wiring, and I can't move them without remodeling the room. This is not an option at all.
The best solution is to install an additional speaker centrally between the other vertical channels (top middle position). Unfortunately, the asking price for the Trinnov processor is way beyond my budget. I need to find a way to manipulate similar effects at a fraction of the cost.
(Video) Dolby Atmos Beyond 7.1.4: Where's Next?
II wrote an article last yearExplains how I cobbled together a complex system (jokingly called "Zatmos") using a second A/V receiver to plug in extra channels on my ceiling. I recommend reading that article to get a basic idea of how this sort of thing is possible.
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Even then, I wasn't the only one experimenting with this, and I knew my Zatmos system wasn't as ideal as I'd hoped it would be.An AVS Forum, a member named Scott Simonian went even further, using a total ofThree A/V receiversConsistently created a 7.1.6 setup (affectionately known as "Scatmos") that more accurately matches the intent of the original Dolby Atmos mixer.
For a while, I decided not to go that far. The complexity of installing, wiring and configuring three A/V receivers seems like overkill to me. I feel like the results I'm getting with the Zatmos are good enough for most jobs, and I have a selfish pride that I've figured out a way that only requires one extra receiver instead of two.
However, over the past few months my attitude has changed and I've become less comfortable with my Zatmos setup. Ultimately, I knew that if I was going to do this, I had to get it right.
(Video) LG's new 770-watt 7.1.4 soundbar features Dolby Atmos and DTS X - LG SoundBar SN11RG review
go all out
The silly nicknames Zatmos and Scatmos could be more formally grouped under the heading "Dolby Atmos Extended." I want to make it clear here that I am not developing the Scatmos process. Credit goes to Scott Simonian and others at AVSForum for helping him out with this issue. With your permission, I just wanted to explain it here.
Although their setup is extremely complex, one of the advantages of these experiments is that they are relatively inexpensive to assemble. While your primary A/V receiver should be a Dolby Atmos (or DTS:X) model capable of decoding 7.1.4 channel sound from a Blu-ray or UHD surround audio soundtrack, your secondary receiver doesn't need to be as fancy ..any receiver with at least Dolby ProLogic II processing capability will work. (If you're using multiple secondary receivers, I recommend that they be identical to each other.)
With a bit of patience, I picked up a pair of used Marantz SR4400s for under $100 each while looking at ads for sale on my local Craigslist. This is a low-cost, entry-level (or close to) Dolby Digital/DTS model from 2003. It's so basic that it doesn't even have an on-screen menu system. I have to use only the front panel display for setup. The receiver does not have HDMI and cannot handle lossless Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio signals, but this is not required. All you need is a pair of stereo analog inputs (any receiver will have them) and ProLogic II.
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Simply finding a place in my system to put another A/V receiver was much more difficult than I'd like. Since I didn't have enough rack space for my main gear, I had to remove all components, disassemble the rack, rearrange the tiers, put most of the gear back together, and reconnect. Then I had to do the same for the second shelf to add a layer. My Blu-ray and HD DVD players, which used to be on the main shelf, have been moved to a second shelf so I can keep all my audio gear together so the speaker wires can run through. That in itself is a huge pain.
(Video) 4K Home Theater Tour! 7.1.4 Non-RAID ATMOS PLEX!
Once that's done, here's the basic idea behind Scatmos: You want six in-ceiling speakers in the front, center, and rear ceiling positions. (The sketch below does not represent my personal speaker design, but I drew it this way to show how it works.)shouldFinish. ) Your main A/V receiver will be set to decode your maximum 7.1.4 channel set to top front and top rear.
All four vertical channels should be routed to the analog preout connections on the main AVR. You should not connect any speaker cables to these channels on the main AVR. For all height channels, the speaker wires will only be connected to the auxiliary AVR.
The pre-outs of the upper left and rear upper channels go to the left and right stereo inputs of the AVR 2.
(Video) Trinnov Altitude Processor: Breaking the Envelope Barrier 7.1.4
On the AVR 3, the front outputs for the upper right front and upper right rear channels will go to the left and right stereo inputs (inverted from the AVR 2).
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If that sounds confusing already, trying to keep things in order when connecting cables can be really daunting. I highly recommend drawing a diagram showing where it should be placed.
When functioning properly, each downstream AVR subs should receive a stereo signal consisting of the front and rear, and use any mono information common to both to form a mid channel between them (much like a ProLogic II would Pull a channel center for dialogue). Normally located between the left and right speakers at the front of your room). So you get six channels of height information from four originals.
(Video) My Audiophile Stereo and Home Theater System 2021 7.1.4!
That's the theory, reduced to its most basic elements. Actually, getting it to work after the connection is established is a bit of extra difficulty, which I'll cover shortly in Part 2.
Read part 2
1. Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4 en Amazon|Raalmak
2. 747 Dolby Atmos Demo 7.1.4
3. Dolby Atmos Object Demonstration on Speakers 7.1.4 - Spatial Audio 360
4. Test your system with 5 Dolby Atmos movie scenes
5. Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4 Channel 600W Dolby Atmos Sound Bar with 8 Wireless Subwoofers
6. New heights for my Atmos studio (thanks Billie)
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Dolby Atmos takes Dolby's traditional 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound setups a step further by adding a third, overhead dimension. You're no longer constrained to a stereo system or standard six- or seven-channel arrangement.How do you know if you're actually getting Dolby Atmos sound? ›
The one surefire way to confirm Dolby Atmos is working is to check the information panel on the front of your AV receiver or your soundbar (if it has one, or perhaps an on-screen display). It should display the kind of audio signal it's currently working with.How many speakers do you need to mix in Dolby Atmos? ›
We recommend installing four Dolby Atmos enabled speakers whenever possible. The use of four speakers will make the placement of overhead sounds more accurate, and you'll get more precise, realistic sounds when an object, such as a helicopter, passes overhead.Is Dolby Atmos worth turning on? ›
Does Dolby Atmos make a difference on headphones? Yes, Dolby Atmos for Headphones makes a difference, even with only two speakers at its disposal. You get a more expansive soundstage that makes your audio sound dynamic and alive.Which is better Dolby 7.1 or 4k Atmos? ›
Expert-Verified Answer. The sound is deeper and more precise with Dolby Atmos than with conventional Surround 7.1 systems due to the addition of overhead sound and superior calibration software. Developed by Dolby Laboratories, Dolby Atmos is a surround sound system.Do you need HDMI 2.1 for Dolby Atmos? ›
You're in luck — all you need is a single HDMI cable to connect your TV and soundbar enabled with Dolby Atmos (HDMI 2.0 for ARC should do the trick while HDMI 2.1 is necessary for eARC setups). This is the simplest option and will send audio directly from your TV to your soundbar.How do I test my Dolby Atmos? ›
You can test Dolby Atmos output by checking your AV receiver or TV display for “Atmos” or “Dolby Atmos” options. You can also put on a Dolby Atmos movie and listen closely to see if sounds move from one corner to the other. Another option is to check your speaker app to see if it uses Atmos.How do I get the best out of Dolby Atmos? ›
To get the best Atmos experience with your TV, you should send the audio output to a soundbar or AV receiver. For this, you will need an HDMI ARC connection and Dolby Digital Plus audio support. Most newer TVs will be fine, but anything before 2018 may have problems.Which Dolby Atmos mode is best? ›
Dolby Atmos - use Music mode at all times
Auto sometimes made my music / movies sound honky, with a slight bump in the mids. Movie and Voice modes have a weird mid scoop, which makes audio sound a bit "hollow" to me. Music seemed to be the best out of the bunch — and for every type of media, too.
Experts estimate the optimal Atmos mix room is about 18 x 21-feet with a ten-foot-high ceiling. The absolute smallest is 10 x 11.5-feet with at least an eight-foot-high ceiling. These space specifications are estimated for optimal speaker configuration and sound dispersion.
A Dolby Atmos installation requires a minimum room volume of 50m³.What is the best sample rate for Dolby Atmos? ›
Dolby Atmos projects support native sample rates of 48 kHz and 96 kHz. In projects with sample rates of 44.1 kHz or 88.2 kHz, Logic Pro converts bed and object tracks in real time to 48 kHz or 96 kHz, respectively, before they are rendered by the Dolby Atmos plug-in.
Does Dolby Atmos Really Make a Difference? Dolby Atmos really makes a difference as it brings a higher sound quality and makes it seem like the sound is coming from all directions. It is the benchmark for theaters, so it makes a huge difference to your home setup.Does music sound better with Dolby Atmos? ›
Dolby Atmos delivers the highest-quality audio your device can support, so your music always sounds its best whether over headphones or through speakers.Is Dolby Atmos the best sound? ›
Dolby Atmos is an improvement on what came before and a leap forward from surround sound. It's ultimately designed to put you in the center of it all when watching movies or listening to music to give you the most immersive sound possible.Do you need 7 speakers for Dolby Atmos? ›
While two Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, modules, or overhead speakers will deliver a compelling experience, we recommend using four if possible. This will deliver more precisely located and realistic overhead sounds.Which is better Dolby Atmos or Laser Atmos? ›
IMAX with laser vs Dolby Cinema is just a difference between the screen size and audio plus visual quality. IMAX with laser has a much bigger screen compared to Dolby Cinema, but Dolby comes out on top with crisper images, higher resolution and more impressive audio.Which sound is best Dolby Digital or Dolby Atmos? ›
Dolby Digital is the name for what has become a family of audio compression technologies. Dolby Atmos, on the other hand, has a superior listening experience in the way it creates a superior illusion.Is eARC necessary for Dolby Atmos? ›
Is eARC Required for Dolby Atmos? No, eARC is not required for Dolby Atmos to work. Dolby Atmos can work with regular HDMI ARC through the Dolby Digital Plus audio codec.Does HDMI cable affect Dolby Atmos? ›
Dolby Atmos sound can be transmitted through any HDMI cable, including HDMI 2.0. However, you also need to be sure that all devices involved, such as the TV, are capable of delivering Atmos. For equipment that can handle HDMI eARC, HDMI 2.1 cables are recommended, but HDMI 2.0 cables will work fine.
The biggest difference is that HDMI can pass higher-resolution audio, including the formats found on streaming services such as Dolby Atmos and DTS HD Master Audio. These formats can't be transmitted across optical.Why can't I hear Dolby Atmos? ›
Make sure your TV is set up to output Atmos.
Navigate to the sound settings on your TV. (On Samsung TVs, navigate to Settings > Sound > Expert Settings.) Set the audio output to Dolby Digital or Auto. If your TV has a setting for Dolby Atmos compatibility, turn it on.
Watching Netflix content in Dolby Atmos is simple. You just need a premium subscription to Netflix and a way to experience Dolby Atmos sound: a TV enabled with Dolby Atmos, a soundbar, or a speaker setup enabled with Dolby Atmos.Can you get Dolby Atmos through ARC? ›
Most Dolby Atmos audio can be played through HDMI-ARC using the Dolby Digital Plus codec. HDMI-eARC is required to play lossless Dolby Atmos audio using the Dolby TrueHD codec.Do you master Dolby Atmos? ›
Yes, Dolby Atmos mastering is popular, but it works as a final perfecting touch to the mix. It happens quite often that musicians who create Dolby Atmos mixes don't have a 3D speaker setup and use headphones for mixing, or aren't experienced enough in working with this object-based format.How far to sit from Dolby Atmos soundbar? ›
For an ideal playback experience, a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar should be located at least 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) from the listener's seated position.Can Dolby Atmos go through optical? ›
Dolby Atmos content is not delivered through optical connections or through wireless connections of Bluetooth, AirPlay, or Chromecast. Most video streaming services that offer Dolby Atmos content use the Dolby Digital Plus codec. Physical media, like Blu-ray discs, typically use the Dolby TrueHD codec.Can you tell the difference with Dolby Atmos? ›
How does Atmos compare to surround sound? The biggest difference between Dolby Atmos and traditional surround sound is the use of channels. Audio over conventional surround sound is mostly referred to as 5.1 (five speakers, one subwoofer) or 7.1 (seven speakers, one subwoofer) channels.What is the difference between true Dolby Atmos and Dolby Atmos? ›
Dolby TrueHD is a lossless audio codec with support for up to 7.1 audio channels and is used with Blu-ray Discs. No major streaming platforms use it. Dolby Atmos is a 3D surround sound technology that allows sounds to be placed anywhere in a 3D environment.Does Dolby Atmos reduce sound? ›
Like, it's a night/day difference in terms of max volume compared to standard. As soon as I enable Atmos, songs get so much quieter. Switch it off, and you can hear “real” full volume again.
The technology can adapt automatically to take advantage of the number and placement of the speakers, whether there are five ear-level speakers and four overhead, or 24 ear-level speakers and ten overhead. For home theater, the gold standard layout is 7.1. 4, with seven ear-level speakers, and four overhead.What is the golden ratio for a home theater room? ›
The golden ratio for home theater design is widely considered to be H (Height) x 1.28H (Width) x 1.54H (Length/Depth). For example, if you have a room that has a 10ft ceiling height, the ideal width and height would be 12.8ft and 15.4ft respectively.What size room is best for 7.1 surround sound? ›
For medium sized rooms, we recommend a (7.1. 4+) THX Certified Select System which covers spaces up to 2,000 cubic feet in size, with a ~10 foot viewing distance from the screen.Where should 7.1 speakers be placed in ceiling? ›
7.1 Channel Speaker Setup
For the best 7.1 acoustic experience, these back speakers should be positioned just above the audience's head level, between 135 to 150 degrees behind the viewer. If you must compromise on placement, it's typically better to move these rear speakers closer together and further back.
The third number indicates the number of top channels (usually overhead speakers). For example, a 5.1 surround system has five ear-level speakers and one LFE. Similarly, a 7.1. 4 system has seven ear-level speakers, one LFE, and four overhead speakers.What height should Dolby 7.1 speakers be? ›
For 5.1 and 7.1 systems, the surrounds should be from ear level to 1 or 2 feet above. For a Dolby Atmos system, Dolby recommends having the standard surround speakers at ear level (listener level) – and the Dolby Atmos overhead speakers at two to three times the height of the listener-level speakers.What DB should Atmos speakers be? ›
Pink Noise played back from any single ceiling speaker should produce the same sound pressure level at the mix position as Pink Noise played from the Center Speaker. A typical alignment level for Home-Entertainment Atmos mix rooms is 79dB SPL (C), see our Atmos studio technical guidelines for more details.Is Dolby Atmos 48kHz? ›
This codec compresses the Dolby Atmos content to a sampling rate of 48kHz, resulting in a lower bitrate that is most suitable for online streaming.What is the highest quality audio sample rate? ›
High-Resolution Audio files have a sampling frequency of 96 kHz/24 bit, which is significantly higher than the 44.1 KHz/16 bit sampling frequency of CDs.Does Dolby Atmos sound better than lossless? ›
Dolby Atmos is a 3D surround sound technology, while lossless means that track was compressed without any data loss - tracks have higher bitrate, so they should sound better on supported devices than standard AAC, MP3 or any other tracks with lossy compression I guess.
The difference between the two systems is that the Dolby Digital Plus allows speakers to be placed vertically and horizontally. On the other hand, Dolby Atmos only supports the horizontal placement of speakers. The setup of Dolby Digital Plus usually ranges from 2.0 to 7.1 channels.Is Dolby Atmos lossless? ›
Dolby Atmos averages around 6,000 kbps when a 48kHz sampling rate is used. But Atmos can be encoded losslessly at up to 24-bit/192kHz, which results in bit rates that can soar as high as 18,000 kbps.Which Dolby is best for music? ›
Whether you're watching movies, TV shows, videos, or concerts, Dolby Digital Plus ensures that you always get clear, consistent audio.Which songs use Dolby Atmos? ›
- All Too Well (Taylor's Version) Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift. ...
- Señorita. Shawn MendesCamila Cabello. Shawn MendesCamila Cabello. ...
- Don't Know Why. Norah Jones. ...
- jealousy, jealousy. Olivia Rodrigo. ...
- Tom Sawyer. Rush. ...
- Riders on the Storm (New Stereo Mix) The Doors. ...
- BOOM. TiëstoSevennGucci Mane. ...
- Oxytocin. Billie Eilish.
Which is better: DTS or Dolby Digital? Based on the specs alone, DTS beats its rival with higher bit-rates that promise a more realistic movie experience. That said, other factors such as signal-to-noise ratio and speaker calibration mean that plenty of audiophiles would rate Dolby above DTS.Which Netflix Dolby Atmos? ›
The Right Subscription Plan
Netflix hosts a few different subscription plans for its users. You'll need the Premium subscription plan which gives you access to Dolby Atmos and Ultra HD (4K) content.
Dolby Surround 7.1 increases the impact of surround sound by adding two audio channels. In the process, it improves the spatial dimension of movie audio and enhances overall audio definition for movie soundtracks.Does 5.1 support 7.1 surround sound? ›
A/V receivers for 5.1 or 7.1 sound
The A/V receiver will have to support all channels in a surround sound setup. To this end, it will need to have enough outputs for a 7.1 system. Note that it's possible to power a 5.1 system with a 7.1 receiver. These outputs simply remain unused.
A 7.1 system is a great choice for larger rooms where sound may get lost in the space. It provides a deeper surround sound listening experience. Theater quality media designed for a 7.1 system will come through clearer than it would on a 5.1 system.What is the difference between Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 and Dolby Atmos? ›
Speaker. The difference between the two systems is that the Dolby Digital Plus allows speakers to be placed vertically and horizontally. On the other hand, Dolby Atmos only supports the horizontal placement of speakers. The setup of Dolby Digital Plus usually ranges from 2.0 to 7.1 channels.
Does Dolby Atmos Really Make a Difference? Dolby Atmos really makes a difference as it brings a higher sound quality and makes it seem like the sound is coming from all directions. It is the benchmark for theaters, so it makes a huge difference to your home setup.How many speakers does Dolby 7.1 need? ›
2 system uses two ceiling speakers, or two Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers or modules. A 5.1. 4 or 7.1. 4 system uses four ceiling speakers, or four Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers or modules.Is there anything better than 7.1 surround sound? ›
An expensive 5.1 surround system will likely beat a cheap 7.1 system when it comes to sound quality. Secondly, you need to factor in the size of your room.What size room is good for 7.1 surround sound? ›
How big is your room? If it's larger than around 350 square feet, consider a 7.1 speaker setup. If it's smaller, a 5.1 may be more appropriate.Do movies support 7.1 surround sound? ›
TV shows and streaming video movies will be either stereo or 5.1 channels. DVD's are 5.1 channels. The premium-quality 7.1 audio, which is much more than just two more speakers, is found almost only on Blu-ray Discs.Does Netflix have 7.1 surround sound? ›
In my experience, no. The movies that have 5.1 surround sound listed sound like they do. There are many movies/shows in the Netflix catalog however that do not have 5.1 sound. Sometimes big movie titles are lacking a 5.1 soundtrack on Netflix.What's better 3D sound or 7.1 surround? ›
With surround sound, it's only possible to have sounds coming from four or so directions. In comparison, 3D sound enables the listener to perceive sound from every direction - including above and below them. Further, the best 3D sound technology enables listeners to pinpoint the directional sound.Does Netflix support Dolby Atmos? ›
You can watch Netflix in Dolby Atmos audio on select TV shows and movies. You need: A Netflix plan that supports streaming in Ultra HD. A Netflix-capable device that can play Dolby Atmos.Is Dolby Atmos True HD? ›
Yes, Dolby TrueHD supports Dolby Atmos. This audio codec can work with up to 7.1 audio channels utilizing lossless compression. Not just that, it was designed especially for HD and UHD Blu-ray Discs.