eARC required for Dolby Atmos?

PNut12345

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 27, 2004
Messages
4,953
Current situation: we are finishing a big phase of our remodel and I’d like to add Atmos to our good sized basement living space. I’d still like to run with a soundbar*sub+rear speakers to keep the clutter down.

I’m currently running a Sony bar/sub/rear speakers that were given to me by a good friend, as the wireless sub and wireless rears keep cutting out. All research points to WiFi interference causing this problem, with absolutely no solution beside “deal with it” or “power cycle the whole system every 30 minutes”, neither of which are acceptable solutions.

Main input source is an Xbox Series X. It handles all the movies and most of the games. I’ve also got a Wii U and SNES Classic is like to run through the soundbar if I can find one with enough inputs.

I’ve got the go ahead to upgrade the speakers and am looking at Atmos soundbar systems, but my 70” Samsung 4K TV doesn’t have eARC or ARC. I’ve read ambiguous posts about Atmos working if the source is connected via HDMI to the soundbar directly, thereby nullifying my lack of eARC/ARC.

Is that true or would an Atmos system be a waste of money with my current TV?

I really don’t need recommendations since I’ve got a few systems in mind and I’m not a true audiophile. I will of course take all recommendations people choose to throw out there, though, as I ain’t no fuckin’ snob.
 
Just an update, I grabbed a Sony HT-A5000 and SW3 subwoofer today. Got it home, hooked it up and life was great.

Then an hour later, disconnects every 20-30 seconds. I can’t watch a movie without it going to a black screen then the picture comes back, I’ve been kicked to the title screen in the Xbox Movies & TV app. This is beyond ridiculous.

I’m done with Sony sound equipment, and am taking the soundbar and sub back to Best Buy tomorrow. Not sure what I’ll get, other than it won’t be anything Sony…fuck them.
 
I recently upgraded my Vizio SB (optical input) to a Vizio M-Series M512a-H6 with Dolby Atmos support.
I also have an XB series X and a PS5.
My 2016 SUHD TV has HDMI ARC but in a usual Samsung fashion, not delivering what was promised which was DD+ passthrough.
So to get Dolby Atmos I have to plug the XBSX directly to the SB HDMI IN which works pretty well.
However, the SB would get confused when switching TV input between PS5 and XBSX and I’d have no audio at times, would require manually changing inputs in the SB (HDMI IN-> HDMI eARC).

I’ve decided to get an HDMI switcher that supports eARC so I can plug everything there. My one concern is that HDMI CEC works so I can use the same TV control for all devices.
 
Just tried some more troubleshooting today with no luck. Gonna exchange this thing for the JBL 9.1.4 system that’s roughly the same price.

This is so frustrating. My first ever soundbar was a Sony A300 I think, whatever it is I bought it new in 2007 and it still works today. I’m giving it to my mom and stepdad after we get them a 4K tv for Christmas.
 
I ended up trading the Sony in for the LG S90QY and the separate rear satellites. It sounds quite a bit better, and it also works, so that’s good too 😂
 
Long story short, For a basic sound bar arc (Dolby digital) is fine. Earc upgrades to Dolby digital Plus but on most soundbars you won’t be able to hear the difference. Earc also streams Dolby atmos but this only really matters with full 7.1 and higher setups. Streaming services only provide dolby digital plus embedded in their dolby atmos streams, so you would only hear the higher Fidelity dolby TruHD streams that you would get with Blu-ray.
 
I’m really very impressed with the LG system I ended up with. Very good surround performance and it gets punishingly loud, while staying very clear.

I watched the Tiger tank ambush scene in Fury, my youngest daughter had the shit scared out of her by the sound of that high velocity 88mm Tiger main gun. She thought the house was falling down. Not bad considering she was two rooms away from the TV at the time. That was on volume level 20.

Also, it turns out my TV has eARC after all. I really didn’t think it did. Discovered that after watching some YouTube content that said most mid level and up TVs made from 2020 on have eARC.
 
Last edited:
If you're remodeling why not run speaker wire in the walls and install a real surround system?
 
If you're remodeling why not run speaker wire in the walls and install a real surround system?

I thought about it, but hadn’t had the chance to do that when the drywall guys showed up.

My wife likes to rearrange too much for any kind of fixed system, so it’s probably better this way 😂

I’m still super happy with what I ended up with, it sounds absolutely amazing.
 
I thought about it, but hadn’t had the chance to do that when the drywall guys showed up.

My wife likes to rearrange too much for any kind of fixed system, so it’s probably better this way 😂

I’m still super happy with what I ended up with, it sounds absolutely amazing.
You can still have wires installed, it just costs more. I did this to my house in town, and did it the other way (remodel) at deer camp and the lake houses.
 
Back
Top