Any reason to upgrade to Atmos if I am only at 5.1 channels?

quiktake

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
487
Hi,
I currently have a beastly 50 lb Onkyo 1007 driving a 5.1 channel system. I have tried other speaker configs up 9 channels but due to room issues and the fact that most movies have been 5.1, I haven't bothered to seriously look into an atmos setup. I am getting the upgrade itch along with some connection/ compatibility issues due to 4k.


If I am only at 5.1 channels, does Atmos offer an upgrade at all over good old DTS-HD Master? Any improvement in channel separation, presence, etc.? It seems like the only benefit lies with extra height channels. I purchased a new Sony Ultra HD Bluray player with dual audio outputs. Obviously a new receiver would off easier control, direct 4K support, and streaming options. But there are plenty of workarounds/add-ons for that,
 
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
681
Maybe if you have a 13.4 system like Flooyd Toole lol

ctQGFr5.jpg


Otherwise I think you should wait for HDMI 2.1 receivers before upgrading. I think the biggest upgrade for a system is Dirac Live room correction, maybe look into an Arcam or NAD receiver with this feature once 2019-2020 receivers start showing up with HDMI 2.1.

I've been running a 7.1 system for the last 7 years and haven't felt a need to upgrade to more speakers honestly. There was an improvement going from 5.1 to 7.1 as the surround output became more consistent from movie to movie. I think if you have speakers that have wide dispersion, and are consistent in their imaging on the vertical axis, having height channels is less interesting.
 
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deaedius

Gawd
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Jun 18, 2014
Messages
973
If you are big on digital streaming from netflix, amazon or hulu there would be no need to upgrade to 7.1 or atmos.

I have a 5.2.2 atmos setup and it is amazing for the content that uses it or DTS:X. I am disappointed in the available content out there from a digital stand point otherwise I find it quite lovely.
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
19,187
If you are staying with 5.1 channels it offers nothing.
You need the processor, amps and specific type of speakers to mount high up and/or reflect sound off the ceiling.
 

Solhokuten

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
1,270
If you are big on digital streaming from netflix, amazon or hulu there would be no need to upgrade to 7.1 or atmos.

I have a 5.2.2 atmos setup and it is amazing for the content that uses it or DTS:X. I am disappointed in the available content out there from a digital stand point otherwise I find it quite lovely.
Netflix has Atmos content. Not much at the moment, but im sure theres more to come.
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
8,297
Maybe if you have a 13.4 system like Flooyd Toole lol

View attachment 154882

Otherwise I think you should wait for HDMI 2.1 receivers before upgrading. I think the biggest upgrade for a system is Dirac Live room correction, maybe look into an Arcam or NAD receiver with this feature once 2019-2020 receivers start showing up with HDMI 2.1.

I've been running a 7.1 system for the last 7 years and haven't felt a need to upgrade to more speakers honestly. There was an improvement going from 5.1 to 7.1 as the surround output became more consistent from movie to movie. I think if you have speakers that have wide dispersion, and are consistent in their imaging on the vertical axis, having height channels is less interesting.
A friend of mine has a 13.3 setup with one 18" sub and two 15". And a 120" screen... I'm still hanging with 7.1 personally.
 

Archaea

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
10,052
I like it, and thought it was worthwhile in my setup.
879A0AD1-268C-44C5-A568-B163031188FD.jpeg


But I’d call Atmos ceiling speakers a 15-20% improvement over a competent 7 or 9 channel base system. Certain movies are incredible with it - Blade Runner 2049, Mad Maxx Fury Road etc.

Going to ceiling speakers with Atmos is a bigger difference IMO than going from 5.1 to 7.1 in a small room. In a big room you are probably better off with 7.1 than 5.1.2.
 

quiktake

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
487
Maybe if you have a 13.4 system like Flooyd Toole lol

View attachment 154882

Otherwise I think you should wait for HDMI 2.1 receivers before upgrading. I think the biggest upgrade for a system is Dirac Live room correction, maybe look into an Arcam or NAD receiver with this feature once 2019-2020 receivers start showing up with HDMI 2.1.

I've been running a 7.1 system for the last 7 years and haven't felt a need to upgrade to more speakers honestly. There was an improvement going from 5.1 to 7.1 as the surround output became more consistent from movie to movie. I think if you have speakers that have wide dispersion, and are consistent in their imaging on the vertical axis, having height channels is less interesting.
My system is NHT Classic 3’s with homebuilt 12inch ported sub tuned to 27hz. I have been very happy with the setup for 9 or ten years.
 

PCMusicGuy

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,197
Atmos is only good if you are watching a movie that is mixed well enough to take advantage of it. Getting a receiver and bluray player along with a 5.1 setup is easy enough, but it is also highly dependent in having the correct layout. Atmos doesn't work unless your regular channels are mounted on the floor or wall, close to ear level. I see a lot of newer homes being sold with in ceiling speakers for the "5.1" setup, but Atmos doesn't work or works very poorly in this kind of layout.
 

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
17,889
How are your rear channels arranged? If they're behind you, but mounted on the wall I find that the Atmos height functionality works just fine if not great. At least assuming that the content you're playing actually uses it.
For me, the main use of Atmos is Netflix. The default DD+ surround output is downright awful IMO. The mixing almost always makes dialogue washed out and sound effects deafening. Yet with Atmos the mixing is way better and the sound quality is better across the board. It might not be lossless, but it's a big step up.
 
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