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

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The Home Entertainment Dolby Audio Room Design Tool (DARDT_HE)

https://professionalsupport.dolby.c...RDT-HE-v5-3-7-is-now-available?language=en_US

The DARDT_HE calculator is an interactive Microsoft Excel tool which allows the user to input speaker layout dimensions, speaker locations, and speaker and amplifier details to help design and model a Dolby Atmos Home Entertainment configuration to Dolby specifications.

The calculator represents Dolby’s technical guidelines and will assist in optimizing the studio setup.

Version v3.5.7 adds the following feature:
  • Music Mode,
  • Advanced Mode (with acoustic modeling functionality), expanded 5.1.4 layout capability and direct links to back to Professional Support Site.

For a full list of changes please refer to the change log in the worksheet.

To get started with the tool, check out the HE DARDT Quick Start video series . You can also review the various pop-up help menus and hover-over messages contained in the Main Entry Sheet.
 
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Genelec 8341 and 7380 7.1.4 Immersive System

I noticed this yesterday while playing a Dolby Atmos jazz recording. My table was vibrating from the subwoofers. I never experienced this before. I didn't hear an excessive amount of bass, but I felt the table vibrate.
  • intention with the W371A was really to reach down into that tactile, haptic aspect of sound,
  • to reach down into the part of the sound experience which transitions from audio into the vibration range.”
https://www.genelec.com/game-audio/8341-and-7380-immersive-system

The perfect system for making accurate, informed mix decisions. Use the point source performance of the 8341 with GLM calibration software to enjoy a beautifully optimised immersive environment.

https://www.genelec.com/-/genelec-dolby-atmos-immersive-audio-experience-at-telefunken

Join Genelec and Dolby at TELEFUNKEN Soundstages for an immersive Dolby Atmos Audio Experience!
About this Event
Genelec will be setting up their 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos playback system consisting of The Ones SAM three-way coaxial studio monitors and 7380 subwoofers to demonstrate the latest in professional immersive audio systems.

https://www.genelec.com/-/reference...r-morten-lindberg-s-stunning-immersive-studio

https://assets.ctfassets.net/4zjnzn...89/Genelec_Morten_Lindberg_Case_Study_PDF.pdf

In the world of immersive music recording, no-one has done more than Grammy-winning sound engineer and music producer Morten Lindberg to set the gold standard for what can be achieved in this field.

Lindberg’s newly upgraded post production facility is designed specifically for the editing, mixing and mastering of immersive audio. Compatible with both Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D, the monitoring system is largely based on models from ‘The Ones’ series,
  • starting with seven 8351B coaxial three-way monitors in the bed layer,
  • all complemented by W371A adaptive woofer systems.
  • The height positions are handled by four of the lighter, more compact 8341A models,
    • with a 7380A subwoofer handling the LFE.
  • Additionally, an 8320A compact two-way nearfield monitor sits atop the 7380A,
    • to provide an upwards frequency extension above 120 Hz.
    • This acts as a checkpoint into the true content of the LFE channel before it is distributed.
“I found that the coaxial design of The Ones gives amazing imaging not only in surround, but it actually adds to the full surround and extends to the height dimension, preserving that precise detail of our source,” he continues. “All The Ones models that we used have full bandwidth capabilities on their own, so the
  • intention with the W371A was really to reach down into that tactile, haptic aspect of sound,
  • to reach down into the part of the sound experience which transitions from audio into the vibration range.”
There are different directivity modes you can use on the W371A woofer which might help out if you’re in a smaller or compromised room - but i
 
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High quality sound

  • Deliberately call out: Dolby Atmos height virtualization and surround virtualization.
    • Don't know if this a special chip or marketing skill.
      • I suspect a chip.

https://manuals.denon.com/AVRS960H/NA/EN/GFNFSYxkcmyvmq.php

High-Performance Discrete 7-channel Amplifier
Featuring discrete high-performance power amplifiers on all channels, this unit powers 90 W per channel (8 Ω/ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, T.H.D.: 0.08 %, with 2 channels driven).
With low impedance driver capability, it offers operational stability with a wide range of speakers for balanced, quality sound. Plus, Auto Eco Mode adjusts power output to speakers based on volume level and on-screen eco meter, providing power consumption reduction in real-time.
Dolby Atmoslink
This unit is equipped with a decoder that supports Dolby Atmos audio format.
  • The placement or movement of sound is accurately reproduced by the addition of overhead speakers, enabling you to experience an incredibly natural and realistic surround sound field.
Speaker Virtualizerlink
Speaker Virtualizer enables you to access a
  • more immersive entertainment experience from traditional channel based speaker layouts through digital signal processing including
    • Dolby Atmos height virtualization and surround virtualization.
Speaker Virtualizer is not for use when both height speakers and surround speakers are connected.
Height Virtualization may be applied when surround speakers are connected.
DTS:Xlink
This unit is equipped with the DTS:X decoder technology. DTS:X brings the home theater experience to new heights with its immersive object based audio technology which removes the bounds of channels. The flexibility of objects allows for sound to be scaled large or small and moved around the room with greater accuracy than ever before leading to a richer immersive audio experience.
DTS Virtual:Xlink
DTS Virtual:X technology features DTS’s proprietary virtual height and virtual surround processing to deliver an immersive sound experience from any type of input source (stereo to 7.1.4 channel) and speaker configuration.
DTS Virtual:X is not for use when Height speakers are connected.

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The closest match so far.

  • They don't call out Dolby virtualization, which I assume is deliberate.

  • Dolby Atmos (up to 9.1.6).
  • (1) set; 16 channels: Main analog audio outputs (balanced XLR).
  • Digital Post Processing Support:
    • Dolby Surround Upmixer.
    • DTS Neural:X.
  • (1): AES/EBU (XLR) digital audio.
  • (1): USB Type B digital audio (UAC2 USB audio up to 24/192k)
  • All audio decoding and post processing is handled by twin Analog Devices, dual-core, 450 MHz DSP engines.
  • Audio digital-to-analog conversion is performed by AKM AK4490 Verita DACs (operating in fully balanced Mono mode on the front three channels; fully balanced stereo mode for the remaining channels).
  • Dirac Live User Manual

https://emotiva.com/products/xmc-2?..._M4kjHAV2dlbk7EZ_5KuIXAZ7MmcYQgIaAvtTEALw_wcB

True Audiophile Sound Quality
  • Designed first and foremost to deliver superb sound quality.
  • Fully balanced Reference Stereo signal path.
  • Highest quality audio decoding for the latest Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object oriented surround sound formats.
  • Highest quality audio decoding for high resolution surround sound formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
  • Support for stereo and surround sound PCM digital audio via HDMI.
  • Native support for stereo and surround sound DSD digital audio via HDMI, and for both single-rate and double rate stereo DSD audio via USB.
  • Audiophile grade AKM4490 Verita DACs (operating in fully balanced Mono mode for the three front main channels)
  • AKM5572 Verita ADCs on analog inputs.
  • Hardware based ASRCs (asynchronous sample rate converters) between DSP stages for extremely high jitter immunity with digital audio sources.
  • Digitally controlled precision analog ladder network volume controls. (Cirrus CS3318 resistor ladder network volume controls on main zone; Cirrus CS3310 resistor ladder network volume control on secondary zones.)
  • High performance digital AM/FM tuner.


XMC2_REAR_0_1500x_6dd61ebd-c0f6-4aa6-8e48-3db8193cbef7_1500x_copy.png
 
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Marantz clearly calls out Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, which many "surround sound processors" do not. I am not sure if this is a marketing or functionality issue.
  • "Full 3D audio support" - not sure what they mean.
  • Only two height channels, though.

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

1870_mz_av7706_hotspot-rear-panel-1200w.png
 
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My understanding at this point about Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization is a feature of Marantz and Pioneer brands. This technology is a special chip.

https://hometheaterreview.com/hometheaterreviews-av-receiver-buyers-guide/

Or, as of late summer 2019, you can opt for a solution that’s somewhere in the middle. Many offerings from this year’s new slate of receivers feature a technology called Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, which applies processing to your ear-level speakers to create the illusion of overhead speakers where none exist. Make no mistake about it: this processing is subtle. In other words, it’s not going to sound as if you have four in-ceiling speakers installed at precise locations overhead. But it does add a convincing height element to the mix, extending sound effects upward and overhead, just without any sort of pinpoint specificity and without any of the shifts in tonality and timbre that have plagued previous technologies that purportedly serve the same function, like DTS Virtual:X. For my in-depth impressions of this virtualization technology, check out my standalone review of Marantz’ SR6014 AV receiver.

Before you make any decisions about whether to go with (or forgo) a full-blown Dolby Atmos/DTS:X setup, though, you really should seek out a demo and hear the difference for yourself, since this is a very subjective consideration. It would be a shame to buy a 7.1-channel receiver now only to realize six months down the road that four overhead speakers really make your tasty bits tingle. You also may find the subtlety of Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization underwhelming, no matter how much I like it. The good news is, most AVRs that support this new height virtualization technology also feature enough amps and speaker connections to hook up a genuine object-based speaker setup.

https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/virtual-surround-sound.htm

In addition to allowing you to interpret the sound, your brain also uses lots of aural cues to help you figure out where it came from. This isn't always something you think about or are even consciously aware of. But being able to locate the source of a sound is an important skill. This ability helps animals locate food, avoid predators and find others of their species. Being able to tell where a sound came from also helps you decide whether someone is following you and whether a knock outside is at your door or your neighbor's.

A person's ability to pinpoint a sound's location comes from the brain's analysis of the sound's attributes. One attribute has to do with the difference between the sound that your right ear hears and the sound that your left ear hears. Another has to do with the interactions between the sound waves and your head and body. Together, these are the aural cues that the brain uses to figure out where a sound came from.

Imagine that the coins in our quiet classroom example hit the floor somewhere to your right. Because the sound travels as physical waves through the air -- a process that takes time -- it reaches your right ear a fraction of a second before it reaches your left. In addition, the sound is a little quieter by the time it reached your left ear. This reduction in volume is because of the natural dissipation of the sound wave and because your head absorbs and reflects a little bit of the sound. The difference in volume between your left and right ears is the interaural level difference (ILD). The delay is the interaural time difference (ITD).


The ILDs and ITDs are identical in a cone-shaped area extending outward from your ear known as the cone of confusion.

When a sound wave reaches a person's body, it reflects off of the person's head and shoulders. It also reflects off of the curved surface of the person's outer ear. Each of these reflections makes subtle changes to the sound wave. The reflecting waves interfere with one another, causing parts of the wave to get bigger or smaller, changing the sound's volume or quality. These changes are known as head-related transfer functions (HRTFs). Unlike with ILDs and ITDs, the sound's elevation, or the angle at which it hits your ears from above or below, affects its reflections of the surfaces of the body. The reflections are also different depending on whether the sound comes from in front of or behind your body.

The biggest drawback to virtual surround-sound systems is that their immersive effect is an illusion rather than the product of multiple speakers. Maintaining this illusion requires you to sit in the right spot and to look directly at the television screen. Moving too far to the left or the right of the sweet spot can disrupt the sensation of real surround sound, placing you outside of the directed sound field. Sometimes, sounds that move from one side of the room to the other or from in front of you to behind you seem to be interrupted or sound unnatural. Since the sound waves themselves are only coming from two speakers, the sound field often has less power and impact than one from a full set of speakers.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-...ound-sound-guide-different-formats-explained/

Using the same matrixed four-channel sound as the original Pro Logic,
  • Pro Logic II can create a 5.1 surround sound mix from a stereo source.
  • Pro Logic II also has another trick up its sleeve:
    • It can separate the surround signal into stereo left and right channels
    • instead of the original Pro Logic’s dual-mono presentation.
    • This processing mode is commonly used when watching non-HD TV channels with a stereo-only audio mix.
Pro Logic IIx
If your video source is presented in 5.1 surround — and your home theater system supports additional speakers — Pro Logic IIx can take that mix and expand it to 6.1 or 7.1. Pro Logic IIx is subdivided into movie, music, and game modes.


Pro Logic IIz
Pro Logic IIz allows the addition of two “front height” speakers that are placed above and between the main stereo speakers. This form of matrix processing aims to add more depth and space to a soundtrack by outputting sounds from a whole new location in the room. Since IIz processing can be engaged with a 7.1 soundtrack, the resulting format could be called 9.1.

Despite the addition of these height channels, Pro Logic IIz does not enable a true 3D placement of sounds. To enable that, you’ll need Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, which we describe below.

Because Dolby Atmos can be calibrated for as few as two channels, we suppose this is technically accurate. However, buyers should be aware that two-channel Atmos will never sound as good as discrete 5.1.2 or better Atmos.
 
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I am actually looking for the 8805 functionality in a surround sound processor.

Four XLR height channels. Dolby Atmos Music appears to be yet another chip.

The av8805: Dolby TrueHD / Dolby Atmos / Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization / Dolby Atmos Music

The AV7706: Dolby TrueHD / Dolby Atmos/Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization

8805Back.png


https://www.marantz.com/en-us/product/av-separates/av8805

  • Enjoy Immersive, Three-Dimensional Sound
    Enjoy immersive, three-dimensional sound with the latest surround formats including Dolby Atmos (up to 7.1.6 or 9.1.4), DTS:X and Auro-3D (up to 13.1)
  • connectivity_power_dark_bacground.png
    Powerful Processing In All 13.2 Channels
    13.2 channel processing with 15.2 channel XLR and RCA outputs and flexible pre-amplifier stages — ideal for the advanced home cinema enthusiast
  • whole_home_audio_dark_bacground.png
    Room Perfect Sound With Audyssey MultEQ XT32
    Audyssey MultEQ XT32, LFC, Sub EQ HT, Dynamic Volume and DynamicEQ deliver equalization to best suit your listening environment

The Marantz AV8805 features premium grade
  • AK4490 32-bit DACs on all channels and XLR input and outputs.
  • There's a balanced XLR stereo input that's assignable as well as 15.2 balanced XLR outputs,
    • which includes the two subwoofer outputs,
    • front height/width outputs and
    • overhead channels.
 
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I am actually looking for the 8805 functionality in a surround sound processor.

Four XLR height channels. Dolby Atmos Music appears to be yet another chip.

The av8805: Dolby TrueHD / Dolby Atmos / Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization / Dolby Atmos Music

The AV7706: Dolby TrueHD / Dolby Atmos/Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization

"Dolby Atmos Music Panner" is clearly the height functionality that I am after to create the illusion of a cathedral or concert hall space and reverberation.

"Dolby Atmos Music" is distinct functionality that Mararatz has probably encoded on some hardware as a "Dolby Atmos Music" feature.

https://learning.dolby.com/hc/en-us...xercise-8-Using-the-Dolby-Atmos-Music-Panner-

https://www.rollingstone.com/produc...-music-in-surround-sound-dolby-atmos-1136008/

Driving these speakers requires a Dolby Atmos compatible A/V receiver, and
 
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"Dolby Atmos Music Panner" is clearly the height functionality that I am after to create the illusion of a cathedral or concert hall space and reverberation.

"Dolby Atmos Music" is distinct functionality that Mararatz has probably encoded on some hardware as a "Dolby Atmos Music" feature.

https://learning.dolby.com/hc/en-us...xercise-8-Using-the-Dolby-Atmos-Music-Panner-

https://www.klipsch.com/products/rp-500sa-dolby-atmos-elevation-surround-speaker
https://d2um2qdswy1tb0.cloudfront.n...Sheet_v01.pdf?mtime=20180727081556&focal=none
  • Switchable Crossover Setting for Dolby Atmos or Surround Sound
    • The RP-500SA features a switchable crossover that changes between Atmos and Surround speaker modes, for optimized performance as a Dolby Atmos Elevation speaker or a wall mounted side or rear surround.
Screen Shot 2021-07-11 at 6.30.20 AM.png
 

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DolbyAtmos® Specifications

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

Dolby has revisited critical areas of soundtrack reproduction,
  • including equipment performance,
  • layout, and
  • installation for dubbing theaters and cinema
  • Frequency Response: 31.5–120 Hz, ±3 dB
  • The recommended number of top surround loudspeakers matches the number of side surround loudspeakers, as indicated in the previous section.
    1. 4.4 Surround Loudspeaker SoundPressureLevel:99dB

    2. Each loudspeaker and associated amplifier must have a maximum output capability of 99 dB continuous SPL at the RLP (defined on page 1). Loudspeaker capability must be determined, as described in Section 6. We recommend an amplifier with 3 dB of headroom (that is, twice the required continuous power).
      4.5 SurroundArraySoundPressureLevel:105dB
      Each surround array and the associated amplifiers must be able to produce 105 dB continuous SPL at the RLP. To meet this requirement for surround arrays with fewer than four loudspeakers, each loudspeaker must be able to produce more than 99 dB continuous SPL.
      4.6 SurroundSoundFrequencyResponse:40Hzto16kHz,+3/–6dB
    3. SurroundSubwooferFrequencyResponse:40–120Hz,+3/–6dB
 
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I actually need a "Dolby Atmos Music" installation guide, not a home cinema guide. I need to create a set of principles that reflect my desires.

I am a firm believer that the best compromise results in the best sound for a given situation. The most sophisticated or expensive equipment probably results in a poor compromise. My compromises are oriented around an excellent Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization processor.

I do not own a TV. I am only interested in Dolby Atmos Music. I prefer to compromise on a 2.2, rather than 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos system. If a Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization adds significant soundstage height, I will accept a 2.2 configuration compromise. A 7.1.4 system provide greater height sound effects. I do not want to compromise Genelec speakers for a 7.1.4 system. I also prefer the minimum number of speakers to achieve additional height sound effects. 11 speakers is more hardware than I am actually interested in.

My goal is obtain the most immersive experience possible from a 2.2 system, rather than the most immersive possible experience. A 7.1.4 system is clearly the most immersive solution. I am interested in maximizing a cathedral or concert hall space and reverberation sound, not a cinema experience.

The second compromise consideration is having four height speakers, if a 2.2 system proves unsatisfactory, based on the Dolby Atmos installation guide.

The surround sound processor is the most important piece of equipment to realize my compromise. I carefully stated "realize my compromise", than to "achieve my goal". I approach this solution from a "sound compromise" perspective. I am deliberately compromising one sound experience for another.

The recording serves as my reference music to judge against. The music sounds just you would imagine from this picture. You don't need to improve your playback equipment as much, when the recording has been substantially improved.
https://music.apple.com/us/album/live-at-the-v-a/1569499596

  • 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.


Album-cover-1600px-768x768.jpg

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.

After reading the Dolby Atmos installation guide, a more diffuse height speaker sound is more desirable. Floor-based height speakers are more diffuse sounding than ceiling mounted.

I would first try Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, rather using floor-based height speakers, too. This is another deliberate compromise. Overhead sounds might be too subtle when virtualized, however. Aggressive overhead sound is a major issue for a Genelec based Dolby Atmos system. The sound I seek is a gentle overhead reverberation, not a dominating point source.

https://www.dolby.com/siteassets/te...atmos-installation-guidelines-121318_r3.1.pdf

https://professional.dolby.com/events/dolby-atmos-music-specifications/
distanceRatios.png



Additionally, a new Dolby® surround upmixer allows for channel-based content that has not been mixed for Dolby Atmos to be expanded to fill the flexible speaker layouts of a
Dolby Atmos system.

In all cases, be sure to set the audio output of your device to bitstream output and ensure that secondary audio functionality is disabled. Connect the devices to your Dolby Atmos enabled AVR using an HDMI connection.3

Any speaker type that is capable of accurately representing a stereo pan is suitable to reproduce objects.

  • The speakers located in the front of the room shall be used as a reference point. All speakers in the listener plane should ideally be equidistant from the listener position. If this is not possible, compensating for distance may be used to time align the arrival of audio from each speaker to the listener.
  • 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).

  1. Note: Dipole surround speakers are not recommended for use for Dolby Atmos playback.

One solution is to install speakers overhead. Most conventional overhead speakers with wide dispersion characteristics will work in a Dolby Atmos home theater.

Dolby Atmos audio is mixed using discrete, full-range audio objects that may move around anywhere in three-dimensional space. With this in mind, overhead speakers should complement the frequency response, output, and power-handling capabilities of the listener-level speakers. Choose overhead speakers that are timbre matched as closely as possible to the primary listener-level speakers. Overhead speakers with a wide dispersion pattern are desirable for use in a Dolby Atmos system. This will ensure the closest replication of the cinematic environment, where overhead speakers are placed high above the listeners.

If the chosen overhead speakers have a wide dispersion pattern (approximately 45 degrees from the acoustical reference axis over the audio band from 100 Hz to 10 kHz or wider), then speakers may be mounted facing directly downward. For speakers with narrower dispersion patterns, those with aimable or angled elements should be angled toward the primary listening position.

Dolby Atmos enabled speakers produce a slightly more diffuse overhead audio experience that is quite lifelike and, in some cases, may be preferable to the sound that originates from overhead speakers. If the ceiling is low or you have to mount the speakers on overhead trusses or brackets, overhead speakers may be too close to you as you listen. The audio may be distracting because you’ll hear and notice the output from each speaker instead of feeling immersed in an atmosphere in which sounds occur naturally overhead.

In this environment, Dolby Atmos enabled speakers may be a better solution for reproducing the height plane of sound, similar to what you would hear in a cinema. In a cinema, the overhead speakers are located high in the auditorium and naturally create a more diffuse experience. Using Dolby Atmos enabled speakers produces a similar experience: the reflection of sound off the ceiling makes the overhead effect sound diffuse, which results in the room sounding larger. Audio mixers and experts who have auditioned

Dolby Atmos enabled speakers agree that the sound these speakers produce can be preferable to the sound of dedicated overhead speakers.

To avoid an unwanted proximity effect, make sure the speakers are at least 3 feet
(0.9 meter) away from listening positions, ideally 5 feet (1.5 meters) or more. This distance may be less than 5 feet if the upward-firing driver(s) of the Dolby Atmos enabled speaker is placed well above the level of the closest listener’s head.

It is important to properly set the distance for all speakers to ensure that audio signals arrive at the listening position at the right time. The distance can be set manually or with the automatic calibration system that is included with almost all AVRs or processors. When manually setting the distance for Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, make sure to include the distance from both (a) the speaker to the ceiling and (b) the ceiling to the listening position. Autocalibration systems can sometimes incorrectly set the distance for Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, so make sure to double-check the settings in the speaker setup menu if you run autocalibration.
 
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The Marantz Dolby processor requires 7.1 speakers to be connected. Apparently, "Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization" only works for 7.1.0 configurations. Virtualization would need to work well with Genelec speakers. Could be a very risky decision.

"Dolby Atmos is not supported in a 5.1-channel or less speaker configuration."

Dolby Atmos cannot be used with headphones, either.

The Marantz receiver connected to some "Atmos up firing speakers" may be incompatible with Genelec speakers, as indicated in the Dolby installation guide. Dolby has very clear specifications. Height speakers placed on the floor are preferable to ceiling mounted speakers to produce a more diffuse height sound.

Screen Shot 2021-07-11 at 9.58.59 AM.png


Dolby Atmos cannot be used with headphones, either.

Screen Shot 2021-07-11 at 10.04.15 AM.png
 
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Such a fantastic sound and video with Dolby Atmos. Incredible! Bravo!

The "haptic feedback" feature is amazing. They play subsonic ( < 20Hz ), so you feel the music, as well as hear it. Very disconcerting when your table vibrates for no apparent cause. Like a 1,000 watt subwoofer in the trunk of car with the windows closed. You fell the beat, but cannot hear the melody.

Seeing 20Hz frequencies on the RME DAC, when you can only apparently see and hear one violin playing is quite extraordinary! I can actually hear the ceiling fan in my bedroom. Quite an amazing illusion!

Being able to hear a single double bass string being plucked, along with finger effect is startling. The resonance is incredible for such a delicate sound.

https://music.apple.com/us/music-video/violin-concerto-no-3-in-g-major-k-216-i-allegro/1569499609
 
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I am starting to realize the complexity of a Dolby Atmos system. A better approach is to understanding Dolby Atmos is with an existing package like one of the following.

Apple will do extremely well from AirPod Pro for Dolby Atmos sales.
 
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"Virtualization" is an important technology. Sennheiser Ambeo "upmixes" 2.1 input to 5.1.2 with Fraunhofer audio technology. Marantz does not up mix to the same degree. Marantz virtualizes height from 7.1.0 to 7.1.2 or 7.1.4. Neither solution provides much value to me. The Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos speakers are a similar lifestyle product.

The Focal Chora 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos speakers are the best solution I have found, so far. The front and rear speakers are both top-firing Dolby Atmos certified. However, my situation does not permit exploiting top-firing technology. I would also need to move my desk to the center of the room, which is inconvenient. Furthermore, the Focal Chora are passive speakers. I greatly prefer active speaker architecture.

I actually tried the same experiment with one small, mono speaker. The sound was colored mono.

I am unwilling to compromise the benefits of "ultra near-field" (arm's length) for "mid-field" listening distance required by 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos top-firing requirements. Manufacturers must comply with many demanding technical requirements to receive Dolby certification. The top-firing speaker angle seems to require at least 2m to bounce off the ceiling properly. Virtualizing height, as a work around, for top-firing speakers is not possible with Marantz surround sound processors. When dealing with the 3D space of a cylinder, the base radius must be maintained. A 2D triangular space acoustically scales much more easily. Accommodation is key. In my situation, a Dolby Atmos cylinder radius must be at least one or two meters to accommodate ceiling reflection.

Ceiling-mounted speakers are too aggressive. Height related sounds are always diffuse, never direct, aggressive sounds. Ceiling-mounted height speakers are effective in movie theaters with high ceilings, but ineffective in ordinary rooms with lower height ratios. Ordinary rooms are not designed around acoustic principles.

Dolby Atmos is a fantastic improvement for recording studios. However, the idea that movie theatre space ratios can be downsized and compressed to ordinary room ratios, with the help of sophisticated microphone measurements and real-time DSP processing, is a risky hope surrounded by error, that cannot be generalized to accommodate every real life situation. Sound expands to fill the void, which is rarely a shape that is convenient to process.

Think in terms of a cylinder, rather than a rectangle to transform movie theatre space to home room ratios. The cylindrical ratio differences are ridiculous. A typical home radius might be one or two meters. Certainly, a half to one meter cylinder radius in my situation. "3D" essentially means you are positioned in the center of a cylinder, enclosed by a rectangle. Just compare some household jars in boxes, to visualize the relationships. The height ratio is lost in the transformation from movie theatre to rooms in a home. Furthermore, movie theatre floors are angled, like an amphitheater. The other dimensions are drastically different, too.

My current 2.2.0 configuration is the best compromise. A higher soundstage would be fantastic, but it results in a denigrated compromise. Increasing the soundstage to a circular shape, e.g., 5.1.0 or 7.1.0, is beyond the point of diminishing returns. The greatest improvement is from higher quality Dolby Atmos 2.1 recordings. I do benefit substantially from an improved recording quality triad of:
  1. Power
  2. Color
  3. Timbre

  • The improvement is substantially greater than a circular 7.1.0 speaker configuration.
Apple Music sound processing remains mediocre. The headphone jack is limited to 96/32. The RME DAC remains the most substantial improvement in my system. I actually played some Dolby Atoms music through an ordinary subwoofer and 24" soundbar in my bedroom. The Dolby Atmos recording drastically improved the sound from the soundbar. However, playing the same music through the headphone jack without a subwoofer resulted in a noticeable degradation. I passed the sound through the subwoofer to the soundbar from the REM DAC, because the soundbar lacks sub out RCA jacks.

At this point, I do not see a way to improve my audio sound compromise. Some Dolby Atmos recordings are a spectacular improvement in audio experience.
  • Finding the best recordings is the most significant way to improve my musical experiences, because my situation is constrained to 2.2.0 channels of information.
    • The additional information encoded in 7.1.4 recordings does not scale to fit my situation.
    • The improved quality of some Dolby Atmos recordings is a dramatic improvement for the 2.1.0 domain.
 
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mel

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How to Reason the Solution to a Cathedral-like or Concert Hall-like Effect on a Desktop 2.1 System
I gathered together the conceptual pieces. The useful aspect of Apple Spacial Audio is the "Head-related_transfer_function", rather than Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos provides little value for my situation. Dolby Atmos vertical dispersion is useful, however horizontal dispersion is antithetical for my purposes.

My supposition is that music band "line array", rather than Dolby Atmos, equipment is adequate to achieve desired results.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explor...sound-system-design-and-setup-for-a-live-band

Speaker Processors
Regardless of whether you are using active speakers or passive speakers with an amplifier, you should invest in a speaker processor. In my opinion, it is the most important piece of gear and will save you time, money, and headaches. A speaker processor combines a number of processors into a rackmount signal processor. You will find gain, EQ, delay, crossovers, and limiting for both input and output. A typical processor might have a stereo input and six outputs. The inputs will feature a 6- to 8-band parametric EQ and/or a graphic EQ, as well as a system delay. Each output on your processor will offer gain, a 4-band parametric EQ, a delay for time-aligning speaker components in a bi-amp or tri-amp application, or a full-range speaker and a subwoofer.

processor3edited.png
Signal Path for a Passive Sound System
Utilizing stage sub-snakes before going to the main stage snake will keep the cable clutter on stage to a minimum. Many digital mixers offer digital stage boxes that function like an analog stage snake, only instead of a 16- to 24-pair multi-channel cable, the digital snake will use a single CAT5 cable to connect to the mixer in the FOH position. This cuts down considerably on the weight and setup time of the entire system.

Digital Snake

Simply stack Genelec speakers connected to a 2.1 "line array" device. My guess is six stacked speakers (roughy corresponding to 2.2.6 notation) is adequate. The speakers need to be angled at the ear to compensate for stacked height, like Focal Grand Utopia:



882px-Kugel-zylinder-kk.svg.png

Frequency response at ears, rather than speakers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-related_transfer_function

FreqHRTF.jpg



HRTFazimuth.png


1626174657831.png

https://www.qsound.com/products/qsurround.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QSound_Labs


QSound Labs is an audio technology company based in Calgary, Canada. It is primarily a developer and provider of audio enhancement technologies for entertainment and communications devices and software. The company is best known as a pioneer of 3D audio effects, beginning with speaker-targeted positional 3D technology applied to arcade video games and professional music and film soundtrack production. QSound was founded by Larry Ryckman (CEO), Danny Lowe, and John Lees.Jimmy Iovine served as SVP of Music and Shelly Yakus as VP of Audio Engineering in its formative years.[1]
 
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mel

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In my experience, especially at low-to-moderate volume (SPL) levels, Studio monitors give you a refined, detailed and accurate sound for much less cost than typical HiFi equipment of equal performance.
And it is all in an well optimized properly engineered package.
If something isn’t right you send them back in a box, they really are minimalist, there is minimal troubleshooting and minimal things to go wrong.
All this and they are designed to be bullet-proof, as that is what professionals expect.
Genelec is just one such brand, but I would give equal merit to Adam Audio, Neumann and HEDD, all these brands are very serious about their professional products and it shows when their studio monitors are analysed.



I would say studio monitors do exactly this, provide the ability to use a magnifier to see into the mix.

Neutral/even response together with higher quality drivers of Studio monitors results in more easily perceived detail, which is experienced even when listening off axis/walking around the room.
Even with this extra detail, fatigue will not be an issue as long as your in room response looks like a downwards slope.

Here is an actual case study from Genelec of a professional "magnifier" system.

https://www.genelec.com/-/case-study-land-of-the-rising-sam-imagica-opts-for-genelec

Although effective 5.1 monitoring requires precision in speaker position, balance and flight time adjustments, Genelec Loudspeaker Manager (GLM™ 2.0) software allows the user to easily establish an ideal surround sound monitoring environment. GLM™ 2.0 can be used as a versatile monitor controller to perform instantaneous switching between 5.1 surround sound and 2-channel stereo operations as and when required.
 
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mel

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They are expensive due to all this swiss manufacturing and you'd better listen them first. At least read opinions about their sound: they are very clear and slightly emotionless, so with RME result might be ... not exciting at all.

I spoke with Guitar Center about a Genelec surround sound system. Guitar Center obviously specializes in line array equipment for music bands. I have not called them back about a 2.2.6 line array system. I am hoping to find an actual implementation of a Genelec "Case Study".
 
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