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HT" 5.x vs 7.x vs Atmos


Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Mar 12, 2016

I have an HT system that I enjoy immensely. It is cheap by audiophile standards but satisfies me.
Denon AV-X3400H used as a Pre/Pro (It has unbalnaced output on all channels, including the Atmos ones)
3 JBL LSR 308 in Front
2 JBL LSR 305 for surround
3 Parts Express subwoofers
miniDSp 2 x 4 for bass management.

System is in a 6 x 4 x 2.5 meter room with a lot of opened windows. At the listening position I've had reached peaks of 110 dB on a few movies with everything and every channel going on...
At the current price of the LSR 305 MKii, about $200 delivered via Prime. I am tempted to offer me as a present (yes another one) a pair of LSR 305 for surround back. and something on the ceiling for the Atmos-thing. don't know yet some cheap powered speakers .. perhaps these JBL Professional Control 1 Pro High Performance 2-Way Professional Compact Loudspeaker System, Black (sold as pair) $169 delivered via Prime

and ..

What would I gain? How much better would that be than the current set-up? I get my movies from Netflix and/or Amazon Prime and they seem to be "only" 5.1... I will have to ask some questions about how movies are mixed in the Five point One later in this thread. What is the 7.1 thing? How many movies are mixed in that format? What about the Atmos thing? I haven't seen any mention of 7 or Atmos on Netflix or Amazon. I am not too excited about buying Blu-ray just to enjoy a few movies that are so mixed. Should I keep the money and (spolier alert :), new thread probable) get pair of another headphones? Or build a Linkwitz LX Mini?

Questions asked in all levity but I would like to understand the need for 7-channels or nine with Atmos and if these work better than plain 5-channel.


Addicted to Fun and Learning
Jun 5, 2016
We have a* system in our living room. Dolby Surround is pretty cool for live sports - it's good at getting the crowd noise above and around you. We don't watch movies often, but many TV shows are either encoded in Atmos or respond well to Dolby Surround upmixing.

However, I've found the biggest benefit to height speakers is the ability to upmix music in Auro.

The heights are small speakers and fed less power than the bed layer (Tannoy Revolution XT Mini/lab.gruppen LUCIA 240/2) but they do fine.

If you add a height layer I recommend setting them up per Auro guidelines: on-wall heights rather than on-ceiling tops. Doing that, if you have convenient outlets available you could even use the same 305s for heights that you use for bed surrounds.

*I like the Storm/Bryston nomenclature: bed.subs.heights.tops
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