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Using a 2.1.2 stereo set up for dolby atmos


New Member
Mar 17, 2023
OK so after searching all of the internet I thought I would make this post. I have a Marantz NR 1711 receiver equipped with 2 Klipsch RP 600m speakers and matching Klipsch up firing speakers with a Jamo sub. I love my 2.1.2 set up because I have always preferred a stereo sound in my small set up and never could find a center I loved. Recently I have been using my Apple TV and current gen game consoles and after playing with audio settings I have noticed a few interesting things. For a few months I would set my tv to passthrough and set my apple tv/xbox to dolby atmos and never really had any complaints other than having to keep my receivers audio to 74 to get a decent volume. With the combination of large spatial separation with the stereo speakers and the cool occasional atmos effects in the height channels I thought I couldn't ask for more but I started to notice inconsistencies.... Dialogue would sometimes feel low, for example if the dialogue was supposed to pan from the center of the soundstage to the left or right it would sound low and then get much louder when it went to the left or right of the soundstage. I then decided to set everything to stereo on my apple tv and game consoles and to my surprise everything sounded much richer, my receiver upmixes the stereo sound to the atmos speakers for a faux atmos effect which is honestly nowhere as direct as native atmos but I will sacrifice the atmos effects for an overall better sound. So after that long explanation my question is... Is there a reason why dolby, atmos and dts content sound so much lower than stereo content, any audiophiles can give me a detail explanation and tell me what are the best settings for a 2.1.2 set up I would be so thankful.


Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Dec 10, 2019
Orem, UT
Dolby Atmos needs more overhead so often it's average volume is a bit lower vs stereo.

Join stereo will likely work better for your situation: What you are enjoying is the upmixing that is putting more in the height speakers than would normally be there... Just go all the way and have more enveloping stereo by having all the right channels play the right channel, and same for the left.

There may have been a center channel expected in your setup, be sure it's turned off or it will not sound very good. Even with a 4.1 system or other systems missing a center channel, you need the receive to know that the center channel needs to be split between the right and the left channel.
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