Everything about Dolby Atmos - MUST READ!

This is a great sharing session between Audioholics chaps and a bona fide Dolby Atmos sound mixer working for Hollywood studios. Very informative and useful.

Here’s the summary of the article put up by the Audioholics team: Dolby Atmos Best Speaker Setup Practices In the Home | Audioholics. This is by far the best article on Dolby Atmos imo.


Thx for this!

Heads up that the link doesnt open up to an article.

Thanks. Link updated.

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Nice will check it out when free! Good informative video

Have only had Atmos up and dialed in for a few weeks in a 5.1.4 configuration and everything sounds great with excellent panning and height effects. Was thinking about going to 7.1.4 by buying some large front speakers for better 2-channel stereo. However I’m worried about timbre matching with the existing speakers, which are all the same brand and blend nicely. Was wondering if anyone has gotten front speakers that outperform the rest of the speakers by a considerable margin and are from a different brand. What did that do to your Atmos mix? Was also toying with the idea of getting powered speakers and driving from the pre-out of my Denon. Anyone tried that? Is that even more risk that speakers not powered off the Denon and of a different brand could mix even worse because of different amplification?

Anyway, enjoying the various Atmos mixes, even streaming. Should have gotten this installed earlier…

Congrats on your new found HT sound. =)

For this system, how many % use for HT & for 2 channel music? Is this your main music system (I thought u had a separate system for music?

Assuming the majority use is HT, if u are just gonna change the front speakers (LR) only, IMHO, it’s a bad idea for the reason you mentioned yourself - timbre matching. Reasons:

  1. The bed layer is the most important sound/ foundational layer in HT and a seamless timbre all round is vital, esp LCR. Most HT sounds are from the bed layer.

  2. The LCR is the most impt in HT. If u gonna upgrade the front LR speakers and not changing the centre, it will bring down your overall frontal presentation, GREATLY. Imagine basic sounds panning across the LCR sounding disjointed due to the difference in TIMBRE / DETAILS/ DISPERSION… Plus, most of the sounds in bed layer come from the LCR. I would rate this as detrimental to the effect 9/10 from a HT aspect. If u wana upgrade the fronts, upgrade the centre speaker as well. =) [I would do this, and then upgrade the surrounds later haha]

  3. Sounds panning from LCR to surrounds will be disjointed too. For the best HT immersion, we would want the sound from the front to the rear to sound roughly the same and not be “prominently different”. Esp u are coming from a timbre-matched setup already on bed layer, this will be something your ears cannot escape from in future. But this is still not so detrimental as (2), and small impact.

Sammy, jf u can still find these Mini Wharfedale 5.1 speaker package, it would TimbreMatch perfectly for your setup i guess.

@Cash thanks. I already got my four wharfedale Atmos speakers installed on the ceiling and all is sounding good and powerful. I am now trying to improve my 2 channel music speakers by buying large speakers so that I don’t have to use the subwoofer. My 3 options are:

  1. Hook big speakers independently to a 2 channel amp, DAC and Wiim Streamer. No room correction, but super clear because of good DAC. Retain 5.1.4 for movies.
  2. Get 3800 to drive front speakers through pre-out to 2 channel amp. Can turn room correction on or off, but risk of timbre mismatch because of speaker and different amplifier (eg tube amp). However, adding 2 speakers will give me 7.1.4 as 3800 will drive all but main speakers. Is 7.1.4 much better than 5.1.4? Will Dirac make large front speakers sound better than uncorrected?
  3. Use 3800 to drive front speakers directly and use a smaller amp for surround channels. Perhaps having center and front speakers driven by directly by 3800 will give it more integrated sound. I also get 7.1.4

Many choices :rofl:

I listen to music about 50% of the time in the HT room just because its dark, quiet and comfortable. I think you are right about not upgrading the center speaker and causing timbre mismatch. Current timbre match is very good as they are all Wharfedale speakers with the same type of tweeter and Kevlar cones. I could keep the system completely separate or use it on Zone 2. But then I would retain my 5.1.4 setup instead of moving to a 7.1.4 How much benefit is 7.1.4 over 5.1.4?

There are some gigantic Wharfedale speakers too, but the tweeters will be a different material

its pretty negligible, if i can say so…
i am running a 7.1 instead of a 5.1
the “Little Sound’s” that come out from the “Back Surrounds” are really not woth the “Extra Moolah” if u ask me honestly.
i bought the 2 “Back Surround’s” just to make sure my system is always ready for “Demo” sessions for any bro to drop by n have a listen…

If u wish to stick to Wharfedale’s, your best bet would be the New Evo Series with the “AMT Tweeters”
They really are value for money!!
I had the 4.2 bookshelves before…super sounding pair…
Sold them away…
But I still have the “Huge Center Evo speaker” with me in my current setup.
Still haven’t found another Center speaker with that much authority yet… so it still stays in my setup.
AMT TWEETERS are great…

@Cash The Evo was precisely the Wharfedale speaker I worried about timbre matching because of their AMT tweeters. The rest of my Wharfedale speakers have dome tweeters. So if I get a large Wharfedale speaker, to timbre match, I would get the Lintons, 3-way speakers which have a dome tweeter, and an 8 inch woofer.

Wharfedale Evo 4.C is the Center Speaker Model

The other obvious choice in the exact Linton price range is the KEF LS50 Meta. Supposedly the Wharfedale’s give more boom!, but the KEF is more precise. Haha

Linton VS LS50

I had the Linton’s too…
Oh!! They beat the crap out of the Evo’s due to the Size n Vintage Tuning that Wharfedale engineer’s did…
Linton’s would be Great for the Stereo pair for 2 channel listening…
I never hooked the Linton’s to be used as HT duties…
As my HT n Stereo are totally separate setups, with different amp’s driving them.

all sold away already…hehehehe!!!

Ah i see. 50-50. Tough choice as u have to channel monies to 2 diff needs ha

Personally i would:

  1. retain the current timbre matched HT system for HT as its already timbred matched. Then have a separate system and speaker pair for music. Simpler

  2. use the money to upgrade the LCR to higher quality speakers :slight_smile: i believe this could give a day and night diff. Then when hv budget for surrounds, then upgrade surrounds.

Think I will go with 1. As for 2, I’m not sure if movie sound will improve that much getting better LCR or surround speakers since most of the bass is going to the sub anyway. Dialog is crystal clear and I don’t need subtitles. Think its Audyssey making the dialog clear and smooth.