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Dolby Atmos Elevation Speaker Industry Feedback


This page is reserved for manufacturer and industry feedback and will be updated regularly (if needed).

Paul Scarpelli, former Director of Sales & Marketing of Triad Loudspeakers
I have some initial problems with Atmos for home systems. Speakers firing at the ceiling (and cheap speakers, at that) create and solve the same basic problems of dipoles. I don’t like using room reflections in a system for all the reasons my friend Floyd doesn’t approve of them. My preference; which is also Jim Fosgate’s preference; is to use ceiling speakers for height channels. There are problems with most ceiling speakers, as you know. Most are cheap sonic horror shows. The good ones (Triad, et al) are costly. And installation will be an issue. I use an in-ceiling speaker system in my office, using three $2,000 each Triad Gold MiniMonitors (Scan-Speak 7” Revelator with a nice Seas tweeter), and the fidelity is good. The speakers have angled baffles, and diffraction is dealt with by using two types of foam. The grills came from the factory custom painted to match the ceiling, and they are essentially invisible. It would make great sense to use ceiling speakers that used similar (or the same) drivers as the three front speakers, for proper timber matching (for lack of a better term).

I think home Atmos implementation will be too complex for anyone other than an audio propellerhead, and it will have little chance of success. It seems to me it’s a marketing exercise to sell more speakers and amplification channels. A proper 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 or various .2 systems in treated rooms will outperform most Atmos installations. We’ll see. And we are also seeing the demise of dedicated home theater, which Atmos will require.

Gary Yacoubian, President and Managing Partner SVS | Specialty Technologies
We are fans of the Dolby Atmos experience but not fans of the ceiling reflection based speaker executions.  Ceilings are notoriously unpredictable in their reflective properties and a home theater is only as good as its weakest link.  Direct radiation is the way to go, we think.  We will have a ceiling mountable solution very soon!!”


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Recent Forum Posts:

jlanzy posts on December 01, 2014 20:31
mtbdudex, whoa, and here I feared that adding an 18“ sealed jtr sub to my 15” sealed velo may be overkill in my 19x14x8 room…., it's not of course, like you when I got the denon 4520, I went the 11.2 route with dts neo and really like the overall soundfield for tv and movies. I plan on adding 4 in ceiling speakers for atmos, and auro3d with 4 heights and VOG. I want to stay with denon but current planned implementations for both hamstring one or the other, limit use of back surrounds, pirate preout sub2 for VOG, and exclude any use of wides during atmos/auro. I suspect these limited implementations will disappear as next generation of avr/pp become available and dts uhd is rolled out. I think even without movies encoded in either auro/atmos that the upmixer for both( I think atmos avrs/pp may upmix non atmos like auro does) would really add another engaging sound experience over our 11.x currently, and even more so for atmos/auro encoded soundtracks. But I won't be buying speakers, drilling holes in my ceilings, etc until I see that a single avr/pp can do all these without reloading speaker configurations and adding speaker selector switches and crippling other speaker configurations. I will add as many external amps as necessary for it all to work and without limiting each other in the process.
mtbdudex posts on November 26, 2014 00:40
In 2012 I got the Denon 4520 and went from 7.1 to 11.2, both front wides and front heights.
After comparing the 3 “expanded” formats then, PLIIz vs DSX vs NeoX I truly liked NeoX best for how it expanded the soundstage width wise and height wise.
Front view:

Rear view:

Now, since I'm at 11.2 I've studied going to 9.2.8, but there are no AVR's to handle that, and dataset gear is $$.
I'll keep watching to see what gear arrives 2015 end or 2016 early, till then 11.2 NeoX honestly does a great job.
For the mid ceiling speakers I'm looking at wide dispersion co-axials.

gene posts on October 31, 2014 15:41
This is Part 1 of our Dolby Atmos Elevation Speaker Explained Youtube Video.

I gives you the nuts and bolts of the speaker tech.


Part 2 is coming in a week or so and it will give details about the Dolby Atmos Crossover. Stay tuned…
gene posts on September 12, 2014 22:41
Updates to our Atmos Elevation Speaker Article

Update 9/12/14:

Regarding Building your own Atmos Speakers:
Please note based on the directivity requirements of Dolby, you will likely achieve better results employing a coaxial two-way speaker (like what Atlantic Tech is doing) or a single concentric two-way driver (like what Pioneer is doing).

Regarding HRTF:

Recent feedback from our talks with Dolby at CEDIA suggests there is some element of the HRTF employed in Atmos Elevation speakers in the analog crossover. However, we don't suspect it matches the amplitude of the above graph especially since most of the Atmos Elevation speaker specs we've read indicate a frequency response of 150Hz to 18kHz +-3dB which can't be met with a swing of 12dB from the HRTF graph (+5dB at 7kHz and -7dB at 12kHz). We will know more as we get samples in our labs for testing.
ferty posts on September 11, 2014 05:54
good post….
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