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Hey guys, I am adding some additional speakers to my existing 5.1 system. Currently I have 5.1 with the surrounds being on my rear wall, which isn’t ideal.
So I’m adding some in wall speakers to the left and right of listen position, which will become the surrounds, and a pair of in ceiling for Atmos. 
Now for the rear wall, these are currently an on wall Focal Aria surrounds that are currently about 1.9M off the floor. I can move these down to the ear line of the fronts, centre and surrounds making 7.1.2 or move them up the and use them as additional Atmos making 5.1.4.
The room is 4M wide, 5.5M long and 2.7M high and seating position is about 4M from the front wall.
 

What do you guys reckon?

Edited by Monster11
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I'd recommend 7.1.2 - your room is deep enough for it. Depending on screen size, consider moving your seating forward a little (about 0.5m).

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I'd go the other way. 5.1 to 7.1 is not that big an improvement from a listening perspective. Having 3D overhead is a big improvement. 

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5.x.4 is far superior to 7.x.2.

7.1 is slightly better than 5.1 - it fills the soundfield better but the discreet sound effects (bullets whizzing by etc) is pretty much exactly the same.

x.x.4 is however WAY better than x.x.2 - you get front to back sound effects as well as left to right and this obviously gives you better overhead effects.

I did direct back-to-back testing in my 6.25 x 4.3 x 2.7m room with a single row of seating between 5.x.2, 5.x.4, 7.x.4, 7.x.6 etc and found 5.x.4 was the sweetspot. It gave 95% of what 7.x.4/6 gave but for a lot less money and effort.

To me it is a no brainer - 5.x.4 all the way.

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Have to agree with above 

put extra speakers in the ceiling 

I run 7.6.4 

if I had to lose 2 speakers it would be the rears,not 2 of the overheads

good luck ,you have a good size room to work with😊

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Thanks guys, my thought process has been that with 7.1.2 I will have height sound and rear sound. But with 5.1.4, I miss out on the rear sound. And if the seat position was right on the back wall 5.1.4 would be best. However I have some room around me, so 7.1.2 might work better?
I game a lot in there, so the rear sound would offer better placement of objects.  
 

Happy to hear ideas.  

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.4 for heights is amazing, never had .2.

 

5.x.4 before 7.x.2

 

However if your thinking the 2 rear surrounds mounted a bit higher for .4 with 2 in ceiling, stick to 7.x.2

 

.4 they should all be in ceiling as laid out by Dolby, or as close as you can get.

 

I've been toying with the idea of 7.x.4 I only have to run cable.

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14 hours ago, SGS said:

.4 they should all be in ceiling as laid out by Dolby, or as close as you can get.

Not true - as long as the fronts and rears are at the same angle (or as close as possible) then depending on your room layout you may end up with one pair on ceiling and one pair high up on the wall. It is the angle to the MLP  that is important.

14 hours ago, Monster11 said:

Thanks guys, my thought process has been that with 7.1.2 I will have height sound and rear sound. But with 5.1.4, I miss out on the rear sound. And if the seat position was right on the back wall 5.1.4 would be best. However I have some room around me, so 7.1.2 might work better?
I game a lot in there, so the rear sound would offer better placement of objects.  
 

Happy to hear ideas.  

Also not true. When I tested 5.x.x vs 7.x.x I found the discreet sound effects like bullets whizzing past etc were pretty much identical between both formats. The only thing 7 did was create a more ambient bubble. For gaming, with more discreet rear sounds, 7 may be preferable to 5 (I can't say for sure as I don't game) but not sure it would be a big enough difference to worry about.

But for movies I can't say this enough - 5.x.4 is the sweet spot for benefit vs cost/hassle.

Sure if you can do 7.x.4 then it will be better. But 5.x.4 is still way better than 7.x.2

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AVForum Podcast hosts (ISF calibrators and home theatre installers) recommend 7.1.2 over 5.1.4.

Their reasoning was that when you get pans around, 5.1.4 has big holes in the back which are not natural. 7.1.2 gives the proper illusion of all encompassing sound stage around you which is far more common a situation than mixes relying on rear height channels which are usually more effect-sy. 

 

Personally I would be happy with either as I only have space for 5.1.2...

 

Edited by HumanMedia
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On 20/10/2020 at 8:04 PM, Monster11 said:

Hey guys, I am adding some additional speakers to my existing 5.1 system. Currently I have 5.1 with the surrounds being on my rear wall, which isn’t ideal.
So I’m adding some in wall speakers to the left and right of listen position, which will become the surrounds, and a pair of in ceiling for Atmos. 
Now for the rear wall, these are currently an on wall Focal Aria surrounds that are currently about 1.9M off the floor. I can move these down to the ear line of the fronts, centre and surrounds making 7.1.2 or move them up the and use them as additional Atmos making 5.1.4.
The room is 4M wide, 5.5M long and 2.7M high and seating position is about 4M from the front wall.
 

What do you guys reckon?

Nice space, I have a 7.2.4 system running in such a space. So I'll say go the full hog and get 7.1.4 or two subs! :)

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18 minutes ago, petetherock said:

Nice space, I have a 7.2.4 system running in such a space. So I'll say go the full hog and get 7.1.4 or two subs! :)

 

Pete has the correct answer - go straight to 7.2.4

:winky:

Edited by HumanMedia
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On 21/10/2020 at 10:29 AM, Snoopy8 said:

There was a short reference by someone from Dolby saying 5.1.4 is better than 7.1.2

https://www.cepro.com/news/5_crucial_tips_for_dolby_atmos_setups_5_best_demo_scenes/

 

Also worth reading

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/dolby-atmos-vs-dolby-atmos

Here are 2 quotes from the links above.:

 

How do I begin to describe the differences among the setups? In this case, the 5.1.4c system (with “c” being my unofficial shorthand for ceiling speakers) performed phenomenally. The blades, especially the last one or two, were so acoustically fully formed and solidly placed as they moved from the screen to the back of the room that I had the urge to duck out of the way. I’m not sure how to quantify a three-dimensional sound element—I now understand why Dolby refers to it as an “object”—but this had all the acoustical aspects of the real thing. In comparison, with the 5.1.2c system, the blade was fully formed when it left the screen, but it seemed to dissipate slightly as it moved toward my head—and then it “disappeared.” The 3D soundfield flattened when it reached my head. In terms of 3D-ness, it reminded me of the limitation common to a lot of soundbars, whose soundfield never extends past the listener.

 

And this one is straight from Dolby :

 

5.1.4 Better Than 7.1.2: Dealers should opt to design a 5.1.4 system configuration (five listener-level speakers, one subwoofer, and four overhead speakers) over a 7.1.2 design for the best object imaging and panning. “You need to have four Atmos speakers overhead to move the sound around. With just two Atmos speakers, you are just moving sound back and forth,” he adds.

 

Case Closed 😉

Edited by niterida
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i reckon do what you want op.. after all "atmos" is just a money spinner, didnt they put it into an avr with 3.1.2? and bouncy sound bars.

 

anyway check your budget, buy some things second hand and the you can try and re-sell if you like one set better than the other.

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Arias are actually pretty good speakers, 2 of Focal 300 ICW8 In Ceiling Flax Speaker and happy life. image.png.e38ef1a1a265e10984d85dc824bd195e.png

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Hey guys, some really interesting discussions here. 
I have the installers coming at the end of November to run the cables for the Atmos and surrounds. I will get them to run extra cables to allow for the .4. The left rear .4 is going to be an issue as the air con is directly above that location. 
Once the surrounds and front Atmos are in, the speakers on the rear wall are kinda at the mid point of ideal location for either 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 being 1.9M off the floor. So I reckon I will do some testing and see what I like best. Hell I’m sure my deal can lend me something to test the 7.1.4 too, something like a bookshelf just to place in the location. 

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14 minutes ago, Irek said:

Arias are actually pretty good speakers, 2 of Focal 300 ICW8 In Ceiling Flax Speaker and happy life. image.png.e38ef1a1a265e10984d85dc824bd195e.png

 Nice, all my speakers are Focal.
I already I have the 300 IW6 as the surrounds and 300ICLCR5 for Atmos waiting to be installed. The existing on wall surrounds that are on my back wall are the Aria SR 900. 

Edited by Monster11
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5 minutes ago, Monster11 said:

 Nice, all my speakers are Focal.
I already I have the 300 IW6 as the surrounds and 300ICLCR5 for Atmos waiting to be installed. The on wall surrounds that are on my back all are the Aria SR 900. 

Lucky you, the question is which beer 🍺 to start with for the first movie.

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I wonder how many people who don’t notice much difference between 5.x and 7.x are able to put their surrounds in the optimum position? 
Unfortunately in my room I’m forced to put my surrounds slightly forward of the MLP. This means that without 7.x I have a massive hole behind me. I dabbled with two atmos briefly (at the sacrifice of rear surrounds) and immediately felt the experience was worse. 
 

It’s all very well for Dolby to say 5.x.4 is better than 7.x.2 but we don’t all have the luxury of purpose designed spaces...

Edited by Wood
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This thread has me thinking. I’ve wired my room for 7.2.2, but my rears are not ideal as they are mounted up high and aimed down, due to the room design. Once it’s finished, I think I’ll try both configurations and see what sounds best. 

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Everything is a compromise in a non-dedicated room. Even dedicated rooms can't have everything.

 

I have a 5.2.2 and it sounds great to my ears. I would love to have 4 atmos speakers but as my couch is almost against the back wall and atmos speaker directly above the couch. Having a extra two speakers further forward might help, but might not be worth the cost.

 

Do what you can, but i feel the 5.1.4 would be better than 7.1.2. Eitherway, get the speaker cables put in for as many as you can. Putting in spare cables is cheap insurance if you want to upgrade. 

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On 23/10/2020 at 12:34 PM, Monster11 said:

Hey guys, some really interesting discussions here. 
I have the installers coming at the end of November to run the cables for the Atmos and surrounds. I will get them to run extra cables to allow for the .4. The left rear .4 is going to be an issue as the air con is directly above that location. 
Once the surrounds and front Atmos are in, the speakers on the rear wall are kinda at the mid point of ideal location for either 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 being 1.9M off the floor. So I reckon I will do some testing and see what I like best. Hell I’m sure my deal can lend me something to test the 7.1.4 too, something like a bookshelf just to place in the location. 

You do realise that all surrounds should be at ear level (or 25% higher at most) for the most effective Atmos.

 

23 hours ago, Wood said:

I wonder how many people who don’t notice much difference between 5.x and 7.x are able to put their surrounds in the optimum position? 
Unfortunately in my room I’m forced to put my surrounds slightly forward of the MLP. This means that without 7.x I have a massive hole behind me. I dabbled with two atmos briefly (at the sacrifice of rear surrounds) and immediately felt the experience was worse. 
 

It’s all very well for Dolby to say 5.x.4 is better than 7.x.2 but we don’t all have the luxury of purpose designed spaces...

I tested 5 vs 7 in with speakers in the exact ideal location and the only difference I could tell was a slight improvement in the ambience and a slightly more complete soundfield. But I really hard to listen hard and IMO it just isn't worth the extra cost and hassle unless cost is no barrier and you can easily install all 7.

Also Dolby can only test and recommend for ideal locations - would be impossible for them to try and give options for non-ideal rooms as there are endless possibilities then.

 

22 hours ago, Johnny_Boy said:

Everything is a compromise in a non-dedicated room. Even dedicated rooms can't have everything.

 

I have a 5.2.2 and it sounds great to my ears. I would love to have 4 atmos speakers but as my couch is almost against the back wall and atmos speaker directly above the couch. Having a extra two speakers further forward might help, but might not be worth the cost.

 

Do what you can, but i feel the 5.1.4 would be better than 7.1.2. Eitherway, get the speaker cables put in for as many as you can. Putting in spare cables is cheap insurance if you want to upgrade. 

I currently run my rear heights just slgihtly behind MLP and fronts are on the front wall - still sounds way better than just using the rears as tops in a .2 config

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Hi guys, really appreciate the input.
Have an update, I have decided to go with 7.1.4. Still using the in-wall Focal 300IW6 for both side and now rear surrounds, which I will locate at about 1.2M of the floor. The front Atmos are in-ceiling Focal 300ICLCR and the rear Atmos will be Focal in-ceiling 300ICW6 as I am limited for space above the ceiling at the rear of the room. All these will be running from the amp in a Denon AVR-X6700H. 
The front sound stage will stay running from my existing pre and amp. 
Kinda made sense to get it all done at the same time. And the Focal 900 SR would be in the way if I moved them down to 1.2M as there is a cocktail gaming machine at the back of the room. The 300IW6  makes that go away. 

Once it’s all done, I will sell the Focal 900 SR. 

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