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Which bookshelf crossover (non-DSP) provides highest performance under $2,500? Acoustic Energy AE1?

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mel

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The space for 7.1 is too demanding. I have doubts about Sennheiser Ambeo, too.

https://professional.dolby.com/siteassets/cinema-products---documents/dolby-atmos-specifications.pdf

According to Sennheiser, the effect is best if the
  • walls and ceiling are no more than five meters (about 16 feet) from the soundbar;
    • otherwise, the reflected sound might be noticeably delayed.
Sennheiser recommends installing the speaker
  • in the center of a wall
  • at least 39 inches (1 meter) from
    • the side walls or
    • ceiling.
  • You have to give this thing room to work, so if you can't do that,
    • this probably isn't the soundbar for you.
All listener speakers should be at the same height,
  • typically 3.9 feet (1.2 meters),
    • which is ear level for the average seated listener (as defined in ITU-R BS. 1116-1).
  • If possible, the height of the rear speakers should be the same as the height of the front speakers.

HDMI 2.1 is the latest version. It allows streaming of advanced surround sound formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and supports 8K video.

For speakers:
  • Minimum Layout Length: 3.5 meters (= distance from Center baffle to your back-surround line)\
  • Minimum Layout Width: 3.0 meters (= distance between you side-surround speakers). \
  • Minimum LayoutHeight: 2.4 meters (= distance measured from the floor at mix position to the acoustic center of your overhead speakers)May 18, 2021
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. ... Dolby Atmos speaker layouts parallel the 5.1 and 7.1 setups for surround sound. A 5.1.

DTS is encoded at a higher bit-rate and therefore is considered by some experts to be better quality. Others argue that Dolby Digital's technology is more advanced and produces better sound quality at a lower bit-rate.4 days ago

With Dolby Digital, when an illusion of someone behind the audience needs to be created, the sound is simply thrown to the intended speaker. This is because Dolby Digital is a speaker-based system. Dolby Atmos, on the other hand, does not push the sound to a certain speaker. Instead, it pushes the sound to a 3D space.

Compromised Sound as an Evaluation Technique
Perfect sound reproduction does not exist. The extent to which sound is compromised is a more realistic appraisal. Reflective surfaces are key to Dolby Atmos performance.

I believe a high degree of compromise exists in my bedroom for fully immersive sound (7.1.4), based on software intuition,
  • -2, on a scale from +3 to -3
  • The ceiling fan will scatter reflected sound.
  • The irregular, recessed nook in one half of one wall.
  • The irregular notch near one door
  • The six-foot (2m) knee wall that is open from three feet (1m) from the ceiling.
  • LWH ratios necessary to fully exploit Sennheiser Ambeo technology.
  • I cannot position myself in the center of the room, on my bed.
    • The room dimensions are too small.
    • My head is close a wall.
I believe a somewhat high the degree of compromise for 5.1 sound in my bedroom
  • -1, on a scale from -3 to +3
  • The degree of compromise is determined by DSP capability.
    • I really do not know what the actual DSP result will be.
      • My guess is the improvement would be limited to +1, on a scale from -3 to +3.
  • My guess, based on software intuition, is my bedroom does not provide the
    • regularity of reflective surfaces
    • LWH ratios necessary to fully exploit Sennheiser Ambeo technology.
  • I am unwilling to bet on a $2500 soundbar.
  • The six Sennheiser Ambeo 4 inch, long throw woofers are unfamiliar technology to me.
  • Two subwoofers are probably necessary.
    • One subwoofer sounds very unbalanced, because it can only be placed near a wall.

A 2.1 audio system is the highest degree of compromise that I can expect for my situation.
  • Specifically, about a
    • 2m to 3m listening triangle
      • Closer to 2m than 3m, based on the choices in the following table.
      • Online store return policy compromises to 1.5m to 2.0m.
    • with 195 cubic meters of room volume.
      • See blue rectangle in following picture
        1. 8351B
          • The upgraded 8351B now offers increased SPL,
          • additional room compensation EQs,
          • equalised delay and
          • enhanced HF response.
          • Offering the same extraordinary imaging and uncoloured precision of its smaller
            • 8331A - The price point ($3,500) where cancellations and returns are allowed
              • 7350A included with kit
                • Designed to complement our 8320A and 8330A smart monitors
            • 8341A siblings
              • Important Notice This item is noncancelable and nonreturnable. ($6,000)
            • the 8351B provides even greater LF extension, while its
            • higher maximum SPL enables longer listening distances.
          • Important Notice This item is noncancelable and nonreturnable. ($8,000)
        2. 1032C
        3. 8350A
        4. 8361A
  • The following table is useful to begin trading off compromises.
    • Immediately, the race track shape (13m x 5m x 3m, LWH) of my space compromises my choices.
      • Trade off distance from speaker against room volume.
  • The Important Notice This item is noncancelable and nonreturnable is the second compromise.
Distance chart.png
 

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mel

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Compromised Sound as an Evaluation Technique
Perfect sound reproduction does not exist. The extent to which sound is compromised is a more realistic appraisal. Reflective surfaces are key to Dolby Atmos performance.

I believe a high degree of compromise exists in my bedroom for fully immersive sound (7.1.4), based on software intuition,
  • -2, on a scale from +3 to -3
  • The ceiling fan will scatter reflected sound.
  • The irregular, recessed nook in one half of one wall.
  • The irregular notch near one door
  • The six-foot (2m) knee wall that is open from three feet (1m) from the ceiling.
  • LWH ratios necessary to fully exploit Sennheiser Ambeo technology.
  • I cannot position myself in the center of the room, on my bed.
    • The room dimensions are too small.
    • My head is close a wall.
I believe a somewhat high the degree of compromise for 5.1 sound in my bedroom
  • -1, on a scale from -3 to +3
  • The degree of compromise is determined by DSP capability.
    • I really do not know what the actual DSP result will be.
      • My guess is the improvement would be limited to +1, on a scale from -3 to +3.
  • My guess, based on software intuition, is my bedroom does not provide the
    • regularity of reflective surfaces
    • LWH ratios necessary to fully exploit Sennheiser Ambeo technology.
  • I am unwilling to bet on a $2500 soundbar.
  • The six Sennheiser Ambeo 4 inch, long throw woofers are unfamiliar technology to me.
  • Two subwoofers are probably necessary.
    • One subwoofer sounds very unbalanced, because it can only be placed near a wall.

A 2.1 audio system is the highest degree of compromise that I can expect for my situation.
  • Specifically, about a
    • 2m to 3m listening triangle
      • Closer to 2m than 3m, based on the choices in the following table.
      • Online store return policy compromises to 1.5m to 2.0m.
    • with 195 cubic meters of room volume.
      • See blue rectangle in following picture
        1. 8351B
          • The upgraded 8351B now offers increased SPL,
          • additional room compensation EQs,
          • equalised delay and
          • enhanced HF response.
          • Offering the same extraordinary imaging and uncoloured precision of its smaller
            • 8331A - The price point ($3,500) where cancellations and returns are allowed
              • 7350A included with kit
                • Designed to complement our 8320A and 8330A smart monitors
            • 8341A siblings
              • Important Notice This item is noncancelable and nonreturnable. ($6,000)
            • the 8351B provides even greater LF extension, while its
            • higher maximum SPL enables longer listening distances.
          • Important Notice This item is noncancelable and nonreturnable. ($8,000)
        2. 1032C
        3. 8350A
        4. 8361A
  • The following table is useful to begin trading off compromises.
    • Immediately, the race track shape (13m x 5m x 3m, LWH) of my space compromises my choices.
      • Trade off distance from speaker against room volume.
  • The Important Notice This item is noncancelable and nonreturnable is the second compromise.
View attachment 140082
Compromised Sound as an Evaluation Technique Summary
The initial compromises were based on:
  1. 2.1 stereo configuration
    1. Dolby Atoms 7.1 room reflection surfaces are too irregular for confidence in DSP.
    2. 5.1 room width too narrow
  2. Distance (2m to 3m) from speaker and room volume (200 cubic meters)
    1. Compromise is actually 0.5m to 2.1m
  3. Online retailer return policy.
    1. The price point ($3,500) where cancellations and returns are allowed.
I rate this compromise as +2 (Better), on a scale from -3 to +3.
  • 8331A
    • 7350A included with kit
      • Designed to complement our 8320A and 8330A smart monitors
      • RME DAC compromise
        • Analog XLR connection, rather than AES digital
          • No reason to spend extra money on a Dolby Atmos pre-amp
-3 Worst
-2 Worse
-1 Bad
0 OK or Indeterminate
+1 Good
+2 Better
+3 Best
 
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mel

Senior Member
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Compromised Sound as an Evaluation Technique Summary
The initial compromises were based on:
  1. 2.1 stereo configuration
    1. Dolby Atoms 7.1 room reflection surfaces are too irregular for confidence in DSP.
    2. 5.1 room width too narrow
  2. Distance (2m to 3m) from speaker and room volume (200 cubic meters)
    1. Compromise is actually 0.5m to 2.1m
  3. Online retailer return policy.
    1. The price point ($3,500) where cancellations and returns are allowed.

  • 8331A
    • 7350A included with kit
      • Designed to complement our 8320A and 8330A smart monitors
      • RME DAC compromise
        • Analog XLR connection, rather than AES digital
          • No reason to spend extra money on a Dolby Atmos pre-amp

Compromised Sound as an Evaluation Technique: Music Experience
Personal sound experience compromises at a $3,500 price point. This aspect is more important that the Genelec GLM kit package. The GLM kit provides all the audio functionality that I can possibly desire. The important question is whether I will hear what I want, given the following triads.

The distance from speakers can range between 0.5m and 2.1m, according to Genelec. I should be able to configure the parameters very precisely.

Sense of space and reverberation in a cathedral or symphony hall is probably the single most important driving factor. Soundstage is probably second.

Dolby Atmos would be the most direct way to obtain a strong sense of space and reverberation, but I suspect my irregular reflecting surfaces would defeat the DSP processing. For example, I have retreated to my bedroom for the ceiling fan due to 100F high temperature forecast for today. The fan is not only noisy, but would interfere with Dolby Atmos reflection from the ceiling.

I estimate this compromise as +2, on a scale from -3 to +3.
  • Power
  • Color
  • Pitch
I estimate this compromise as +2, on a scale from -3 to +3.
  • Rhythm
  • Melody
  • Harmony
Is a +2 rated sound system a fair compromise for $3,500(+2), on a scale from -3 to +3?
  • OK, but cannot state as compelling.
  • I need a listening room that cooperates with the technology.
    • I am after the 7.1.4 immersive sound channels and speakers panning capability
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panning_(audio)

Simple analog pan controls only change relative level; they don't add reverb to replace direct signal, phase changes, modify the spectrum, or change delay timing. "Tracks thus seem to move in the direction that [one] point the pan pots on a mixer, even though [one] actually attenuate those tracks on the opposite side of the horizontal plane."[3]

Panning can also be used in an audio mixer to reduce or reverse the stereo width of a stereo signal. For instance, the left and right channels of a stereo source can be panned straight up, that is sent equally to both the left output and the right output of the mixer, creating a dual mono signal.[citation needed]

Ubiquitous in the Billboard charts throughout the middle and late 1960s, clear examples include the Beatles's "Strawberry Fields Forever" and Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze", Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City".[5] In the Beatles's "A Day In The Life" Lennon's vocals are switched to the extreme right on the first two strophes, on the third strophe they are switched center then extreme left, and switched left on the final strophe while during the bridge McCartney's vocals are switched extreme right.

-3 Worst
-2 Worse
-1 Bad
0 OK or Indeterminate
+1 Good, $5,000
+2 Better, $3,500, best possible 2.1 or 5.1 sound, strong soundstage
+3 Best, $2,000, best possible cathedral or symphony hall space and reverberation sound

What about virtualized 5.1 sound?

    • Seriously doubt will work in my situation.
      • I need a listening room that cooperates with the technology.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_surround

Virtual surround is an audio system that attempts to create the perception that there are many more sources of sound than are actually present. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to devise some means of tricking the human auditory system into thinking that a sound is coming from somewhere that it is not. Most recent examples of such systems are designed to simulate the true (physical) surround sound experience using one, two or three loudspeakers. Such systems are popular among consumers who want to enjoy the experience of surround sound without the large number of speakers that are traditionally required to do so.

For virtual surround to be effective, the room should be both

    • physically symmetrical about the perpendicular to the line between the speakers, and the
    • absorbing characteristics of the left and right walls. An
      • absorptive piece of furniture close to one speaker, and
      • not matched on the other side will
      • cause the sound field to shift to the "live" side of the room.
    • The resulting "sound stage" is affected by asymmetry.
Perception of direction is greatly affected by the

    • relative time that a sound arrives at each ear and
    • any difference in the amplitude of a sound at each ear.
    • It is possible to create a sound source having an
      • output characteristic which is rapidly varying with direction and frequency of signal.
      • These kinds of sources create sound fields which are
        • rapidly variable around the listeners room.
      • These are often referred to as diffuse sources, this is because their
        • output resembles a diffuse sound field —
        • a sound field where soundwaves are traveling in
          • all directions with equal probability.
        • In a diffuse field the sound at each of a listeners' ears is
          • so completely different that it is
          • impossible for the brain to work out where the sound has come from.
      • A diffuse source located in front of the listener will be hard to localize and can be used to carry the surround signals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surround_sound#7.1.2/7.1.4_immersive_sound

    • I am after the 7.1.4 height channels
7.1.2/7.1.4 immersive sound

    • 7.1.2 and 7.1.4 immersive sound along with
      • 5.1.2 and 5.1.4 format
    • adds either 2 or 4 overhead speakers to enable

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Atmos

Dolby Atmos technology allows up to 128 audio tracks plus associated spatial audio description metadata (most notably, location or pan automation data) to be distributed to theaters for optimal, dynamic rendering to loudspeakers based on the theater capabilities. Each audio track can be assigned to an audio channel, the conventional format for distribution, or to an audio "object." Dolby Atmos in theaters has a 9.1 "bed" channels for ambience stems or center dialogue, leaving 118 tracks for objects.[7]

Atmos for home in films has only

    • 1 bed channel in LFE and
    • usually 11 dynamic objects.
    • In Atmos games ISF (Intermediate Spatial format) is used, that supports 32 total active objects (for 7.1.4 bed 20 additional dynamic objects can be active[8]). Each object specifies its apparent source location in the theater, as a set of three-dimensional rectangular coordinates relative to the defined audio channel locations and theater boundaries.[9]
During playback, each theater's Dolby Atmos system renders the audio objects in real time based on the known locations of the loudspeakers present in the target theater, such that each audio object is heard as originating from its designated set of coordinates. By way of contrast, conventional multichannel technology essentially burns all the source audio tracks into a fixed number of channels during post-production. This has conventionally forced the re-recording mixer to make assumptions about the playback environment that may not apply very well to a particular theater. The addition of audio objects allows the mixer to be more creative, to bring more sounds off the screen, and be confident of the results.


    • Manufacturers such as Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer, and Yamaha announced products that brought Dolby Atmos into home theaters. Products offered range from premium home cinema receivers and preamplifiers to mid-range home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) packages.[17][18][19][20][21][22] On June 4, 2018,
    • Apple announced that tvOS 12 for AppleTV 4K would support Dolby Atmos when released in Fall 2018.
Dolby Atmos for Music, an audio-only iteration of the format was adopted by streaming music services Tidal and Amazon Music in December 2019.[29]

Sennheiser launched a new soundbar with built-in Dolby Atmos technology named AMBEO soundbar at the 2019 CES in Las Vegas.[30] The soundbar utilizes analysis of a room's reflective characteristics to enable a single-unit 5.1.4 setup.[31]

On May 17, 2021, Apple Music announced the addition of spatial audio with support for Dolby Atmos and lossless audio.[32]

    • The feature started rolling out to Apple Music users using Apple devices on June 7, 2021
      • ,[33] with Android and Windows support later.

Because of limited bandwidth and lack of processing power, Atmos in home theaters is different from cinemas.

    • is present as metadata in Dolby MAT 2.0, LPCM like format.
    • This substream is an efficient representation of the full, original object-based mix. This is not a matrix-encoded channel, but a spatially-encoded digital signal with panning metadata.
    • Atmos in home theaters can support 24.1.10 channels, it also can do up to
      • 118 dynamical simultaneous objects with
      • 10 bed channels[34][35] and uses the spatially-encoded object audio substream to mix the audio presentation to match the installed speaker configuration.
In order to reduce the bitrate, nearby objects and speakers are clustered together to form aggregate objects, which are then dynamically panned in the process that Dolby calls spatial coding.[36] The sound of the original objects may be spread over multiple aggregate objects to maintain the power and position of the original objects. The spatial resolution (and hence the strength of the clustering) can be controlled by the filmmakers when they use the Dolby Atmos Production Suite tools. Dolby Digital Plushas also been updated with Atmos extensions.[7]
 
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mel

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Compromised Sound as an Evaluation Technique: Music Experience
Personal sound experience compromises at a $3,500 price point. This aspect is more important that the Genelec GLM kit package. The GLM kit provides all the audio functionality that I can possibly desire. The important question is whether I will hear what I want, given the following triads.

The distance from speakers can range between 0.5m and 2.1m, according to Genelec. I should be able to configure the parameters very precisely.

Sense of space and reverberation in a cathedral or symphony hall is probably the single most important driving factor. Soundstage is probably second.

Dolby Atmos would be the most direct way to obtain a strong sense of space and reverberation, but I suspect my irregular reflecting surfaces would defeat the DSP processing. For example, I have retreated to my bedroom for the ceiling fan due to 100F high temperature forecast for today. The fan is not only noisy, but would interfere with Dolby Atmos reflection from the ceiling.

I estimate this compromise as +2, on a scale from -3 to +3.
  • Power
  • Color
  • Pitch
I estimate this compromise as +2, on a scale from -3 to +3.
  • Rhythm
  • Melody
  • Harmony
Is a +2 rated sound system a fair compromise for $3,500(+2), on a scale from -3 to +3?
  • OK, but cannot state as compelling.
  • I need a listening room that cooperates with the technology.
    • I am after the 7.1.4 immersive sound channels and speakers panning capability


-3 Worst
-2 Worse
-1 Bad
0 OK or Indeterminate
+1 Good, $5,000
+2 Better, $3,500, best possible 2.1 or 5.1 sound, strong soundstage
+3 Best, $2,000, best possible cathedral or symphony hall space and reverberation sound

What about virtualized 5.1 sound?

    • Seriously doubt will work in my situation.
      • I need a listening room that cooperates with the technology.

I don't see how Sennheiser gets "5.1.4" sound with just two top-firing speakers.
  • Shouldn't it be "5.1.2"?
https://www.rtings.com/soundbar/reviews/best/by-type/dolby-atmos

While not as great as dedicated down-firing speakers, it still produces good surround sound thanks to its unique 3D audio mode.

https://en-us.sennheiser.com/ambeo-soundbar

Speaker type
6x 4" longthrow woofer, cellulose sandwich cone
5x 1" tweeter, aluminium dome tweeter
2x 3.5" fullrange driver (top-firing)

By capturing the characteristics of your living room and reflective surfaces, and using the latest virtualization technology developed with Fraunhofer, the AMBEO Soundbar from Sennheiser merges with the acoustics of your environment to create a 3D sound experience. The 13 independent drivers and the AMBEO technology work as virtual speakers, recreating a surround sound installation and placing you in the center of the action.

Everything you hear in the real world is immersive. With AMBEO, Sennheiser delivers end-to-end 3D audio technologies and solutions for you to achieve as natural and immersive a sound experience as possible in applications such as Home Audio 3D, 3D Sound Recording and Mixing, VR/XR, and Exhibitions. AMBEO’s promise is to empower listeners to experience and shape new perspectives and realities in sound.
With audio solutions that capture and amplify real life (AMBEO VR Mic and AMBEO Smart Headset), AMBEO equips content creators with unique tools to make an impact on their audiences. For listeners who are hungry for breathtaking emotions, the AMBEO exhibitions (Pink Floyd, etc.) and the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar transform every moment into a supernatural audio experience.
 
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mel

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First diagram relating room dimensions to immersion.

https://www.nakamichi-usa.com/shockwafe-ultra-92-dolby-atmos

Screen Shot 2021-07-09 at 3.00.44 PM.png



Screen Shot 2021-07-09 at 3.01.56 PM.png

Spatial
Performs spatial-amplification techniques and engages the 4-6 high-frequency tweeters located around the user (4 for 7.1/7.2 SSE and 6 for 9.2 SSE) to unlock extra details, enhance directionality and enlarge spaciousness of the surround sound experience.

Surround
Executes upmixing, phase and volume improvements to optimize the clarity and balance of the surround sound across all channels, delivering up to 9.2.4, 7.2.4 and 7.1.4 channels of uncompromising surround sound on the Ultra 9.2, Elite 7.2 and Pro 7.1 SSE models, respectively.

Elevation
Enables the processing of all the latest 3D object-based content, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and interlaces a height effects sound layer into each of the 12-16 speaker drivers (12 for 7.1/7.2 SSE and 16 for 9.2 SSE) located around the user, resulting in the most immersive perception of directionally vertical effects.

Screen Shot 2021-07-09 at 3.04.08 PM.png
 
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mel

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The four Genelec height speakers are suspended from the ceiling. The sound compromise is too great.

https://assets.ctfassets.net/4zjnzn...e7ac0/2020_Leiting_Game_Studio_Case_Study.pdf

https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/post-and-broadcast/shenzhen-leiting-digital-genelec

2020-11-03-genelec-726x408.jpg

Now completed, the facility is based around Genelec Smart Active Monitors, with 8330A nearfield two-way monitors and a 7370A subwoofer, plus 1234As. The studio engaged the system integrator DMT to install a pair of 1234As as its main stereo monitoring system, with a
  • 5.1.4 immersive system comprising
  • 11 8330A nearfield two-way monitors in all positions,
  • complemented by the 7370A subwoofer.
  • All the monitors were supplied in a polar white finish. The entire system was configured and calibrated by DMT using GLM loudspeaker manager software.
 
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mel

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I don't see how Sennheiser gets "5.1.4" sound with just two top-firing speakers.
  • Shouldn't it be "5.1.2"?

https://www.techradar.com/reviews/samsung-hw-q90r-soundbar

The Samsung HW-Q90R sets itself apart from the competition with
  • wireless rear speakers
    • which Sennheiser Ambeo lacks
  • four upward-firing drivers (the small speakers in the following picture)
    • that combine to deliver a genuinely immersive surround experience with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
  • No other soundbar comes close in terms of object-based performance.

01_HW-Q90R_Set-R-Perspective3_CarbonSilver.jpg
 
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mel

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My impression is Dolby Atoms requires calculated speaker placement (e.g., four speakers installed in ceiling) to extract the maximum recording panning (height) effects. The immersive panning (height) results probably vary to a very high degree, depending upon room dimensions, audio configuration and recording. Dolby Atmos is valuable to me to the degree that audio panning realistically creates a cathedral or concert Hall effect.

The proper way to understand Dolby Atmos technology is from a movie theatre perspective, rather than home cinema and music orientation. The best Dolby Atmos sound recordings will most likely be movie soundtracks. At least, movie sound productions are more demanding than music.

The immersive experience is a compelling reason for me to upgrade. My guess is at least one year is needed to allow the technology and recordings to mature.

I do not believe 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 is accurate enough to achieve optimum height immersion. I believe 5.1.4 or 7.1.4 is required, both in recording and playback.

Side-firing soundbar speakers do not strike me as being legitimately counted as part of height (x.1.4). I am skeptical about soundbar height speakers because their position is fixed.

Until the necessary information becomes readily available to make accurate audio panning judgments, I adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

Headphones are a less risky way to access Dolby Atoms during this transition period.
 
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mel

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My impression is Dolby Atoms requires calculated speaker placement (e.g., four speakers installed in ceiling) to extract the maximum recording panning (height) effects. The immersive panning (height) results probably vary to a very high degree, depending upon room dimensions, audio configuration and recording. Dolby Atmos is valuable to me to the degree that audio panning realistically creates a cathedral or concert Hall effect.

The proper way to understand Dolby Atmos technology is from a movie theatre perspective, rather than home cinema and music orientation. The best Dolby Atmos sound recordings will most likely be movie soundtracks. At least, movie sound productions are more demanding than music.

The immersive experience is a compelling reason for me to upgrade. My guess is at least one year is needed to allow the technology and recordings to mature.

I do not believe 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 is accurate enough to achieve optimum height immersion. I believe 5.1.4 or 7.1.4 is required, both in recording and playback.

Side-firing soundbar speakers do not strike me as being legitimately counted as part of height (x.1.4). I am skeptical about soundbar height speakers because their position is fixed.

Until the necessary information becomes readily available to make accurate audio panning judgments, I adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

Headphones are a less risky way to access Dolby Atoms during this transition period.

In the final analysis, good judgment and decisions are largely a matter of compromise. The Dolby Atmos that reflects off your walls will be a compromise of complex factors. How well that compromise matches your expectations will determine how much Dolby Atmos will be played on your system. Audio panning (x.1.4) is the feature I am least willing to compromise on, because I highly cherish cathedral and concert hall space and reverberation sounds. I am very flexible on almost all other factors, to some degree.

I do not believe the most expensive or sophisticated technology produces the best sound. The best compromise results in the most satisfying sound. I love my micro desktop solution because it fits my situation so well. I did not compromise on the DAC. The RME DAC also makes an ordinary subwoofer and soundbar sound their best in my small bedroom.

My guess is the Dolby Atmos DSP processor will have the most influential impact on audio panning. Therefore, I will probably be least likely to compromise on the Atmos DSP processor. Precise axis angles could also prove most significant. I simply do not know enough, yet.
 
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In the final analysis, good judgment and decisions are largely a matter of compromise. The Dolby Atmos that reflects off your walls will be a compromise of complex factors. How well that compromise matches your expectations will determine how much Dolby Atmos will be played on your system. Audio panning (x.1.4) is the feature I am least willing to compromise on, because I highly cherish cathedral and concert hall space and reverberation sounds. I am very flexible on almost all other factors, to some degree.

I do not believe the most expensive or sophisticated technology produces the best sound. The best compromise results in the most satisfying sound. I love my micro desktop solution because it fits my situation so well. I did not compromise on the DAC. The RME DAC also makes an ordinary subwoofer and soundbar sound their best in my small bedroom.

My guess is the Dolby Atmos DSP processor will have the most influential impact on audio panning. Therefore, I will probably be least likely to compromise on the Atmos DSP processor. Precise axis angles could also prove most significant. I simply do not know enough, yet.

I cancelled by Tidal account. I have a recent MacBook Pro. Dolby Atmos is supported on Apple Music on Macs. I am loath to subscribe to Apple Music, but it just sounded too good. Tidal has been a daily pain.
 
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I cancelled by Tidal account. I have a recent MacBook Pro. Dolby Atmos is supported on Apple Music on Macs. I am loath to subscribe to Apple Music, but it just sounded too good. Tidal has been a daily pain.

Tidal controlling the device audio path was probably unhelpful. I can now control the maximum bit depth and sampling rate from Mac MIDI app, 768kHz at 32 bit. Nothing transmits at that rate, but at least I know what is going on.

Something changed, because the same music sounds much better than Tidal. The subwoofers are vibrating my desk when playing Dolby Atmos.

Screen Shot 2021-07-10 at 11.55.36 AM.png


IMG_0073.jpeg
 
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Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
https://hometheaterreview.com/marantz-sr6014-92-channel-av-receiver-reviewed/

New to the SR6014, the SR5014, and the slim NR1710, and exclusive to those models in the Marantz lineup for now, is a technology called Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, which allows you to experience Dolby Atmos soundtracks without the need for overhead speakers or Atmos effects modules. (The tech also appeared on new AVRs from Pioneer, including the recently reviewed VSX-LX504, though it wasn’t available on that model until a firmware update that dropped after I finished my review.)

you can apply Dolby Surround (and hence Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization) to DTS-encoded audio.

There was still an undeniable height axis to the overall sound. Turning the Speaker Virtualizer off in the SR6014’s menus, I immediately felt the vertical nature of the cave collapse around me. Turning it back on, I got a very strong sense that the water was flowing from above. The little drips and drops of moisture, as well as the echoing, reverberating ambience of the cave, also added a healthy height element to the aural landscape of the scene. And again, this was with a 5.2-channel speaker system with the five satellites all positioned at pretty much ear level.

But there is, without question, enhanced height to John Williams’ score. And Height Virtualization does a great job of recreating the most effective (for me) elements of the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack. That is to say, it does a really nice job of creating a sense of space that includes the height dimension. You can feel as much as hear the difference between interior and exterior spaces, and with the former you can feel as much as hear the difference between caves and the decks of the Supremacy, in a way that just isn’t as salient with Height Virtualization turned off.

That’s it for my subjective critique. Now, let’s talk some objective observations for a few minutes. One of the reasons I’m talking so much about Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and not much about DTS Virtual:X is because the latter--while great for soundbars, and great and creating the impression of speakers where none exists--works its magic at the expense of natural timbre. Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, by contrast, lifts sound gracefully (though subtly) into the height dimension without really changing its sonic characteristics to any appreciable degree.

With James Gang’s “Walk Away,” I found that adding Dolby Surround processing really didn’t change the overall timbre of the music very much. Maybe a bit of extra richness in the bottom end, and some definite enhancement of the reverb effects (though that had as much to do with drawing the music into the surround speakers as it did adding a virtual height effect, as I discovered when I turned the Speaker Virtualizer off and left Dolby Surround on).
Virtual:X by contrast fundamentally changed the tonal balance of the music, even if it did add a more dynamic and discrete virtual object-based surround effect.
 
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/marksp...hd-av-surround-pre-amplifier/?sh=5475d85321c6
  • 2x Griffin Lite DSP for 3D audio: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization. Technology, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced, and Auro-3D processing including support for front wide and center height support.

https://planethifi.com/denon-avc-x4700h/

Two ADI Griffin Lite DSPs deliver crystal clear surround sound. The model is also far ahead when it comes to playing 3D sound formats with Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, IMAX Enhanced, and Auro-3D. The only thing missing is DTS: X Pro, which is only supported by the new AVC-X6700H (via firmware update). Thanks to the expanded channel processing, home cinema fans can expand their audio setup to 7.1.4.

https://www.marantz.com/en-us/product/av-separates/av7706

11.2Ch 8K Ultra HD AV Surround Pre-Amplifier with HEOS® Built-in and Voice Control $2,600
  • Featuring 11.2 channel XLR and RCA pre-outs, the Marantz AV7706 supports
  • all 3D audio formats including
    • Dolby Atmos®,
    • Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization,
    • DTS:X®, DTS Virtual:XTM, IMAX Enhanced®, and Auro-3D®. Enjoy audio playback with exceptional quality thanks to Marantz-proprietary HDAM modules and

    • stream from Amazon Music HD, Pandora, Spotify, TIDAL, Deezer, and more with HEOS® Built-in.
      Suite of Audyssey room correction software: Audyssey MultEQ XT32, Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ, LFC, and Sub EQ HT
 
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https://www.marantz.com/en-us/product/av-separates/av7706

11.2Ch 8K Ultra HD AV Surround Pre-Amplifier with HEOS® Built-in and Voice Control $2,600
  • Featuring 11.2 channel XLR and RCA pre-outs, the Marantz AV7706 supports
  • all 3D audio formats including
    • Dolby Atmos®,
    • Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization,
    • DTS:X®, DTS Virtual:XTM, IMAX Enhanced®, and Auro-3D®. Enjoy audio playback with exceptional quality thanks to Marantz-proprietary HDAM modules and

    • stream from Amazon Music HD, Pandora, Spotify, TIDAL, Deezer, and more with HEOS® Built-in.
      Suite of Audyssey room correction software: Audyssey MultEQ XT32, Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ, LFC, and Sub EQ HT

 
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I'm sorry to be mean, mate, but did you forget to take your meds?

No, I had great day because Dolby Atmos improved my sound system. I hope you had an equally big improvement in what's important to you.

I am trying to find a Dolby Atmos height virtualizer pre-amp for a 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 system. My intent is eventually implement the following system, if the incremental improvements continue to bear out.

https://www.genelec.com/home-theatres/8340-7370-immersive-system

For medium sized spaces, this 7.1.4 solution delivers a stunning immersive experience. The system uses GLM software to analyse your room before intelligently tuning itself for optimum performance. Easy.

https://www.genelec.com/8330a#section-downloads

Dolby Atmos for Genelec.png


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No, I had great day because Dolby Atmos improved my sound system. I hope you had an equally big improvement in what's important to you.

I am trying to find a Dolby Atmos height virtualizer pre-amp for a 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 system. My intent is eventually implement the following system, if the incremental improvements continue to bear out.



https://www.genelec.com/8330a#section-downloads


  • 5.1 surround is therefore limited in its ability to convey 3D sound,
  • 7.1.2/7.1.4 immersive sound

    7.1.2 and 7.1.4 immersive sound
    • along with 5.1.2 and 5.1.4 format adds either 2 or 4 overhead speakers to enable sound objects and
    • special effect sounds to be panned overhead for the listener.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surround_sound#Standard_configurations

The function of the center channel is to anchor the signal so that any central panned images do not shift when a listener is moving or is sitting away from the sweet spot.[27]
  • The center channel also prevents any timbral modifications from occurring,
    • which is typical for 2-channel stereo,
    • due to phase differences at the two ears of a listener.[24]
  • The centre channel is especially used in films and television,
    • with dialogue primarily feeding the center channel.[25]
    • The function of the center channel can either be of a monophonic nature (as with dialogue) or it can be used in combination with the left and right channels for true three-channel stereo.
    • Motion Pictures tend to use the center channel for monophonic purposes with stereo being reserved purely for the left and right channels. Surround microphones techniques have however been developed that fully use the potential of three-channel stereo.

  • In 5.1 surround, phantom images between the front speakers are quite accurate,
    • with images towards the back and especially to the sides being unstable.[24][25]
  • The localisation of a virtual source,
    • based on level differences between two loudspeakers to the side of a listener,
    • shows great inconsistency across the standardised 5.1 setup,
    • also being largely affected by movement away from the reference position.
    • 5.1 surround is therefore limited in its ability to convey 3D sound,
      • making the surround channels more appropriate for ambience or effects.[24])
 
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No, I had great day because Dolby Atmos improved my sound system. I hope you had an equally big improvement in what's important to you.

I am trying to find a Dolby Atmos height virtualizer pre-amp for a 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 system. My intent is eventually implement the following system, if the incremental improvements continue to bear out.



https://www.genelec.com/8330a#section-downloads

View attachment 140368


https://assets.ctfassets.net/4zjnzn...8d89b063fe51254c/7360_and_7370_op-man_a_0.pdf

The 7360/7370 need seven analog XLR inputs for the 7.x speakers coming from a Dolby Atmos pre-amp.
  • But how to connect the two or four 7.1.x overhead speakers?
    • To a second subwoofer?
  • Analogue input 1 thru 7 XLR balanced inputs,
  • typically provided from console or monitor controller. +24 dBu max.​
  • Multichannel digital signal can be monitored by using the 9301A AES/EBU Multichannel Interface device connected to the subwoofer.​

Screen Shot 2021-07-10 at 6.46.18 PM.png

https://www.genelec.com/home-theatres/8340-7370-immersive-system#section-downloads

8340 and 7370 Immersive System
For medium sized spaces, this 7.1.4 solution delivers a stunning immersive experience. The system uses GLM software to analyse your room before intelligently tuning itself for optimum performance. Easy.
 
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An excellent sense of recording space and reverberation that is unmistakeable on my 2.2 sound system.
I find myself unconsciously turning down the volume, from already low levels, because the violins seem too close to my face. The violin bows seem to be right in front of my eyes. Link to web page.

You don't need to improve your playback equipment, when the recording has been substantially improved.
  • performance that’s crisp, songful, and wonderfully eloquent, and
    • her Bach solos speak powerfully in such a striking setting. Zeffman conducts Honegger’s “Pastorale d’été” with a
  • lovely sense of atmosphere, while Arvo Pärt’s timeless “Fratres” makes a
  • huge impact with its stillness and deceptive simplicity.

The recording sounds just you would imagine from this picture.


Album-cover-1600px-768x768.jpg
https://music.apple.com/us/album/live-at-the-v-a/1569499596

Atmospherically filmed amid the Raphael Cartoons in the V&A’s Raphael Court, this album is a treat for both ear and eye. British conductor Oliver Zeffman leads the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in a program that wanders through time, perfectly complementing the glorious surroundings. Russian-born British violinist Viktoria Mullova joins the ASMF for Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major in a
  • performance that’s crisp, songful, and wonderfully eloquent, and
    • her Bach solos speak powerfully in such a striking setting. Zeffman conducts Honegger’s “Pastorale d’été” with a
  • lovely sense of atmosphere, while Arvo Pärt’s timeless “Fratres” makes a
  • huge impact with its stillness and deceptive simplicity.
 
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