Dolby Atmos beyond 7.1.4 - Part 1 (2023) (2023)

A little over a year ago, I started experimenting with ways to extend my Dolby Atmos surround sound system beyond the 7.1.4 limitation of current consumer hardware. My constant quest for the best Atmos experience at home has recently led me to make additional updates. These days my home theater is so complex that I need to run three A/V receivers at the same time to control all my speakers.

In most home theaters, 7.1.4 channels of audio should be sufficient. While the Atmos format (like its competitor, DTS:X) can support additional speakers, there hasn't been much consumer demand or much pressure from manufacturers to do so. Currently only high end boutique items like $37,000Altitude Trinnov 32will decode more than 11 channels simultaneously.

However, for some of us, four-channel headroom isn't enough to fill the top of the room with sound. My home theater is a big room with a lot of space behind my seats. That, combined with a low ceiling, makes it difficult for just four speakers (two at the front of the room and two at the back) to convincingly project sound. This problem is compounded by the fact that the locations I installed speakers when I built my home theater system (before I even considered surround sound) weren't ideal for Atmos. These speakers are now wired to the walls and ceiling and I can't move them without renovating the room. This is simply not an option.

The best solution is to install additional speakers in the center between the other height channels (upper middle position). Unfortunately, the asking price for this Trinnov processor is ridiculously out of my budget. I needed to find a way to create a similar effect at a fraction of the cost.

(Video) Dolby Atmos Beyond 7.1.4: Where's Next?

the first attempt

EUwrote an article last yearexplaining how I built a complex system (jokingly called "Zatmos") using a second A/V receiver to produce additional channels on my ceiling. I advise you to read this article to understand the basic idea of ​​how this is possible.

Even at the time, I wasn't the only person experiencing this, and I knew that my Zatmos system wasn't as ideal as I would have liked it to be.An AVS Forum, a member named Scott Simonian went even further by fully usingthree A/V receivers;together to create a 7.1.6 configuration (affectionately known as "Scatmos") more accurate to the intent of the original Dolby Atmos audio mixers.

(Video) Dolby Atmos Beyond 7.1.4 - Where to next?

For a while I decided not to go that far. The complexity of installing, connecting, and configuring three A/V receivers seemed overwhelming to me. I felt that the results I got with the Zatmos were good enough to see me through to the end, and I took a certain selfish pride in finding a way to do that with just one extra receiver instead of two.

However, in recent months my attitude has changed and I am less satisfied with the Zatmos setup. Ultimately, he knew that if he was going to do this, he had to do it right.

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Going to Full Scatmos

The silly monikers Zatmos and Scatmos can be more formally grouped under the heading "Dolby Atmos Extended". I want to be clear here that I did not develop the Scatmos process. Credit for this goes to Scott Simonian and others at AVSForum for helping you figure it out. With your permission, I'm just trying to explain here.

Because, as ridiculously complicated as they can be to set up, one of the saving graces of these experiments is that they can be put together relatively cheaply. While the primary A/V receiver must be a Dolby Atmos (or DTS:X) model capable of decoding 7.1.4-channel Blu-ray or UHD immersive audio, secondary receivers don't need to be as sophisticated. Any receiver with at least Dolby ProLogic II processing will do. (If you use multiple sub-receivers, I recommend that they be identical to each other.)

With a little patience while looking at the sale ads on my local Craigslist, I was able to pick up a pair of used Marantz SR4400s for less than $100 each. This is a basic no-frills (or close) Dolby Digital/DTS 2003 model. It's so basic that it doesn't even have an on-screen menu system. I have to configure it using only the front panel display. The receiver doesn't have HDMI and can't handle lossless Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio signals, but it doesn't have to. All you need is a pair of stereo analogue inputs (which any receiver will have) and ProLogic II.

The simple act of finding a place to put another A/V receiver in my system turned out to be a lot harder than I wanted it to be. Since there wasn't enough room for it in the main rack, I had to remove all my components, remove the rack, rearrange the layers, put most of the equipment back in, and plug it back in. I then had to do the same for the second shelf to add a layer. Previously on the main shelf, Blu-ray and HD DVD players have been moved to the second so you can keep all your audio gear together where the speaker wire will go. That in itself was a great pain.

(Video) 4K Home Theater Tour! 7.1.4 NON-RAID ATMOS PLEX!

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That done, here's the basic idea behind Scatmos: You want to fit six ceiling speakers, in front-top, center-top, and rear-top positions. (The sketch below does not represent my personal speaker setup, but I drew it this way to show howhave toThe main A/V receiver will be configured to decode a maximum of 7.1.4 channels, configured as top front and top rear.

All four height channels must be routed to the main AVR's analog output connections. You must not connect any speaker cables to these channels on the main AVR. For all height channels, the speaker wire will only be connected to the secondary AVRs.

The pre-outs for the Top Front Left and Top Back Left channels will go to the AVR 2's Stereo Right and Left inputs.

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The pre-outs for the Upper Front Right and Upper Rear Right channels will go to the left and right stereo inputs (inverted from AVR 2) on AVR 3.

If this already looks messy, trying to keep it straight when connecting wires and cables can be daunting. I recommend drawing a chart showing what should go where.

When functioning correctly, each of the downstream slave AVRs should take a stereo signal consisting of a front and a rear and create a middle channel between them using whatever mono information is common to both (as ProLogic II will output a center channel to the dialogue at the front of your room between your left and right speakers under normal conditions). So you get six channels of height information from the original four.

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This is the theory, simplified down to its most basic elements. In fact, getting it to work correctly after making the connections has a few extra levels of difficulty that I'll cover in Part 2 shortly.

Read Part 2

1. Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4 para Amazon|Diseño


3. Show Dolby Atmos object on speakers 7.1.4 - 360 surround sound

4. Top 5 Dolby Atmos movie scenes to test your system

5. Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4 Canadian 600W Dolby Atmos with 8 Subwoofers Free

6. New Heights In My Atmos Studio (Thanks Billie)

(Video) Onkyo TX-RZ50 7.1.4 AV Receiver Review - Part 1 Initial Setup

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(Video) Why 7.1.4 Static Atmos Mixes Instead Of Dynamic Mixes?

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Which is better Dolby 7.1 or 4k Atmos? ›

Expert-Verified Answer. The sound is deeper and more precise with Dolby Atmos than with conventional Surround 7.1 systems due to the addition of overhead sound and superior calibration software.

Is Dolby Atmos on Apple music good? ›

For movies and TV shows, it is absolutely superb. Whenever I use my AirPods Pro or AirPods Max in conjunction with my Apple TV, the head tracking and completely un-headphone-like sound reproduction never fail to amaze me.

Is Atmos music the future? ›

The Future of Dolby Atmos

And even more immersive and engaging experience for music fans. Dolby Atmos is the future of music and sound. It's providing an immersive and engaging experience for music listeners and musicians alike.

What is the difference between 7.1 and 9.1 Atmos? ›

A 7.1 system adds left and right rear surround speakers. A 9.1-channel system adds front height speakers to take advantage of Dolby Pro Logic® IIz, which derives height information from the signal. Dolby Atmos layouts add height speakers to the traditional 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound setups.

What is higher than Dolby Atmos? ›

Dolby Atmos requires two to four height channels, while DTS:X keeps height channels optional. DTS:X has a far higher bit rate than Dolby Atmos, raising questions about why the latter is largely preferred over the former.

Which Dolby Atmos mode is best? ›

Dolby Atmos - use Music mode at all times

Auto sometimes made my music / movies sound honky, with a slight bump in the mids. Movie and Voice modes have a weird mid scoop, which makes audio sound a bit "hollow" to me. Music seemed to be the best out of the bunch — and for every type of media, too.

How do I know if Dolby Atmos is working on Apple Music? ›

How can I see if a song is available in Dolby Atmos? Play the song, then check for the Dolby Atmos badge in Now Playing. If every song on an album is available in Dolby Atmos, you'll see the Dolby Atmos badge on the album's detail page. Some songs are available in Dolby Atmos only on a particular version of an album.

Why does Dolby Atmos sound muffled? ›

With Dolby Atmos Music, however, this is also the case although it shouldn't be. The sound gets is filtered to add the threedimensional effect, making the singer sound further away than he or she actually is. That's exactly what you can read in many comments: The vocals sound somehow muffled and far away.

What's better lossless or Dolby Atmos? ›

Dolby Atmos is a 3D surround sound technology, while lossless means that track was compressed without any data loss - tracks have higher bitrate, so they should sound better on supported devices than standard AAC, MP3 or any other tracks with lossy compression I guess.

Should I listen to music with Dolby Atmos? ›

With Dolby Atmos Music, the experience is better. Artists can create soundscapes that are much more seamless and compelling. They can precisely place sound “objects” in your listening space and engage your imagination by moving the objects around. Immersive music is now more affordable, too.

Did Netflix stop Dolby Atmos? ›

You can currently experience Dolby Atmos with select Blu-rays and through an array of streaming platforms ... and that includes Netflix.

Is Dolby Atmos the highest quality? ›

Both DTS and Dolby Atmos are top of the line sound systems that are made to get the most out of your home theater with surround sound. DTS does offer a higher sound bitrate, but the two are identical.

Is Dolby Atmos 7.1 or Dolby Atmos? ›

Dolby Atmos takes Dolby's traditional 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound setups a step further by adding a third, overhead dimension. You're no longer constrained to a stereo system or standard six- or seven-channel arrangement.

How many channels is Dolby Atmos? ›

Dolby Atmos captures the director's intent and brings it intact to any theatre of any size and configuration, from 5.1 and 7.1 up to 64 channels. It ensures that the audience experience is always the best possible for your specific playback environment.

Why DTS is better than Dolby Atmos? ›

DTS is encoded at a higher bit rate and therefore is considered by some experts to be better quality. Others argue that Dolby Digital's technology is more advanced and produces better sound quality at a lower bit rate.

What is the maximum Dolby Atmos? ›

Dolby Atmos technology allows up to 128 audio tracks plus associated spatial audio description metadata (location or pan automation data, data about the sound's movement, type, intensity, speed and volume) to be distributed to theaters for rendering to loudspeakers based on the theater capabilities.

Do you need HDMI 2.1 for Dolby Atmos? ›

You're in luck — all you need is a single HDMI cable to connect your TV and soundbar enabled with Dolby Atmos (HDMI 2.0 for ARC should do the trick while HDMI 2.1 is necessary for eARC setups). This is the simplest option and will send audio directly from your TV to your soundbar.

How do I get the best out of Dolby Atmos? ›

To get the best Atmos experience with your TV, you should send the audio output to a soundbar or AV receiver. For this, you will need an HDMI ARC connection and Dolby Digital Plus audio support. Most newer TVs will be fine, but anything before 2018 may have problems.

How many speakers do you need for Dolby Atmos? ›

While two Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, modules, or overhead speakers will deliver a compelling experience, we recommend using four if possible. This will deliver more precisely located and realistic overhead sounds.

Can you tell the difference with Dolby Atmos? ›

How does Atmos compare to surround sound? The biggest difference between Dolby Atmos and traditional surround sound is the use of channels. Audio over conventional surround sound is mostly referred to as 5.1 (five speakers, one subwoofer) or 7.1 (seven speakers, one subwoofer) channels.

Does Dolby Atmos make music quieter? ›

Like, it's a night/day difference in terms of max volume compared to standard. As soon as I enable Atmos, songs get so much quieter. Switch it off, and you can hear “real” full volume again. is a perfect example of this.

How do you know if you're actually getting Dolby Atmos sound? ›

The one surefire way to confirm Dolby Atmos is working is to check the information panel on the front of your AV receiver or your soundbar (if it has one, or perhaps an on-screen display). It should display the kind of audio signal it's currently working with.

Why do songs sound different on Dolby Atmos? ›

Without Atmos-enabled headphones, Dolby Atmos tracks have an artificial wideness to them, unfamiliar placement of vocals and instrumentation, and just sounds weird and “echoey”. Typically, you'll need either a 5.1 speaker setup, a 7.1 speaker setup, or a soundbar.

Does Dolby Atmos improve music quality? ›

' Dolby Atmos is an improvement on what came before and a leap forward from surround sound. It's ultimately designed to put you in the center of it all when watching movies or listening to music to give you the most immersive sound possible.

Does speakers matter for Dolby Atmos? ›

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.

Is Dolby Atmos lossless audio? ›

Dolby Atmos averages around 6,000 kbps when a 48kHz sampling rate is used. But Atmos can be encoded losslessly at up to 24-bit/192kHz, which results in bit rates that can soar as high as 18,000 kbps.

Is there a big difference between Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos? ›

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology built on the codec of Dolby Digital Plus (Dolby Digital Plus is also known as Enhanced AC-3). In addition to the multi-channel surround sound capabilities of Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos adds additional height-based audio channels.

Is Dolby TrueHD the same as Atmos? ›

But what are the differences between them? Dolby TrueHD is a lossless audio codec with support for up to 7.1 audio channels and is used with Blu-ray Discs. No major streaming platforms use it. Dolby Atmos is a 3D surround sound technology that allows sounds to be placed anywhere in a 3D environment.

What is the highest quality of Apple music? ›

Lossless Offerings on Other Music Streaming Services

For instance, Apple Music now supports lossless audio quality up to 24-bit/192 kHz and Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio. In comparison, Spotify's highest setting only goes up to 320kbps bitrate. What is this?

Who is Google Dolby Atmos competitor? ›

One of Atmos's prominent competitors is Sony's 360 Reality Audio, but another may be on the way… from Google. Tech site Protocol reported that Google is developing two new 'open media' formats for 3D audio and HDR video under the working title of 'Project Caviar'.

What is the bitrate of Dolby Atmos? ›

Dolby Atmos audio in Dolby Digital Plus is typically encoded at bitrates between 384 and 768 kbps.

How much does Dolby Atmos mixing cost? ›

Dolby Atmos Up-Mixes

The average price for a Dolby Atmos up-mix of an existing stereo mix is $150. Atmos up-mixes are mastered and ready for release.

Which songs use Dolby Atmos? ›

Top 10 Dolby Atmos Songs
  • All Too Well (Taylor's Version) Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift. ...
  • Señorita. Shawn MendesCamila Cabello. Shawn MendesCamila Cabello. ...
  • Don't Know Why. Norah Jones. ...
  • jealousy, jealousy. Olivia Rodrigo. ...
  • Tom Sawyer. Rush. ...
  • Riders on the Storm (New Stereo Mix) The Doors. ...
  • BOOM. TiëstoSevennGucci Mane. ...
  • Oxytocin. Billie Eilish.

Which music streaming platform has Dolby Atmos? ›

Amazon Music Unlimited lets you bring your favorite songs to life in Dolby for an immersive experience that feels like you've stepped inside the music.
  • Echo Studio or mobile device.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.
  • Music mixed in Dolby Atmos.

Can I use any headphones with Dolby Atmos? ›

Dolby Atmos for Headphones will work with any headphones, since the software still outputs to just two channels to simulate sound from all directions.

Does Amazon Prime have Dolby Atmos? ›

Amazon Prime Video offers Dolby Atmos as part of its standard subscription. To fully experience Dolby Atmos, you need to first make sure you are watching a series created in the audio format. Be sure to look for the Dolby Atmos badge on the title pages of your favourite series.

How can I test my Dolby Atmos? ›

You can test Dolby Atmos output by checking your AV receiver or TV display for “Atmos” or “Dolby Atmos” options. You can also put on a Dolby Atmos movie and listen closely to see if sounds move from one corner to the other. Another option is to check your speaker app to see if it uses Atmos.

Is Netflix Atmos true Atmos? ›

You can watch Netflix in Dolby Atmos audio on select TV shows and movies. You need: A Netflix plan that supports streaming in Ultra HD. A Netflix-capable device that can play Dolby Atmos.

Should my soundbar have Dolby Atmos? ›

If you're a gamer or enjoy watching the latest blockbusters, then yes, a Dolby Atmos soundbar is worth paying more for. But you need to make sure that you have a TV with an HDMI ARC port (for Dolby Digital Plus) and a Dolby Atmos-capable source such as the Xbox Series X or the latest Roku streamers.

Is it worth getting a soundbar with Dolby Atmos? ›

Yes, Atmos Soundbars are worth the higher price because they give you a more immersive and three-dimensional sound compared to regular soundbars. Thanks to the innovations of object-based sound and vertical audio, you don't just hear sounds from around you but also from above, making the experience more life-like.

Can I use a 7.1 receiver for Atmos? ›

A Dolby Atmos home theater can play any stereo, 5.1, or 7.1 content.

Which is better Dolby 7.2 or Atmos? ›

Overall, you need a lot of space both in your entertainment room and your budget to maximize the benefits of using the Atmos. The 7.2 channel system will have more compatible equipment for less money, but it won't have the same cinematic sound quality.

How many channels are in a Dolby 7.1 surround sound system? ›

Dolby Surround 7.1 uses eight discrete audio channels to establish four surround zones in a theater.

Is everything everywhere all at once Dolby Atmos? ›

Everything Everywhere All at Once, directed by Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, premiered in 2022 and the movie is available in the US and/or internationally in up to 4K Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on the home entertainment market. Available formats are 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Apple TV (iTunes).

Which is better Dolby 7.1 or 4K Atmos? ›

Expert-Verified Answer. The sound is deeper and more precise with Dolby Atmos than with conventional Surround 7.1 systems due to the addition of overhead sound and superior calibration software.

Does Dolby Atmos work with every movie? ›

Aside from hardware, it's important to understand that not all content is compatible with Dolby Atmos. In fact, there was a time that it was only available on 4K and Blu-ray discs. However, these days you can steam Dolby Atmos-compatible content on platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Vudu, Tidal, and Apple Music.

Is Dolby 7.1 better? ›

Better sound for all seats

Dolby Surround 7.1 increases the impact of surround sound by adding two audio channels. In the process, it improves the spatial dimension of movie audio and enhances overall audio definition for movie soundtracks.

Is Dolby 7.1 worth it? ›

7.1 Surround Sound Pros and Cons

A 7.1 system is a great choice for larger rooms where sound may get lost in the space. It provides a deeper surround sound listening experience. Theater quality media designed for a 7.1 system will come through clearer than it would on a 5.1 system.

What is 4K Atmos? ›

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology developed by Dolby Laboratories. It expands on existing surround sound systems by adding height channels, allowing sounds to be interpreted as three-dimensional objects with neither horizontal nor vertical limitation.

Is Dolby Atmos the best sound? ›

Dolby Atmos is an improvement on what came before and a leap forward from surround sound. It's ultimately designed to put you in the center of it all when watching movies or listening to music to give you the most immersive sound possible.

Does Dolby Atmos improve sound quality? ›

Dolby Atmos really makes a difference as it brings a higher sound quality and makes it seem like the sound is coming from all directions. It is the benchmark for theaters, so it makes a huge difference to your home setup.

What is the maximum speakers for Dolby Atmos? ›

Figure 10: A traditional 5.1 speaker layout with two Dolby Atmos enabled speakers (5.1. 2). In addition to the typical configurations in the previous section, Dolby Atmos can support more speaker positions, up to a maximum of 34 total (for example, 24.1.

How many speakers are required for Dolby Atmos? ›

While two Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, modules, or overhead speakers will deliver a compelling experience, we recommend using four if possible. This will deliver more precisely located and realistic overhead sounds.

Is there anything better than 7.1 surround sound? ›

An expensive 5.1 surround system will likely beat a cheap 7.1 system when it comes to sound quality. Secondly, you need to factor in the size of your room. The thing about having directional audio is that speakers need a bit of space between them, otherwise you actually make the sound worse by muddying the sources.

What size room is good for 7.1 surround sound? ›

How big is your room? If it's larger than around 350 square feet, consider a 7.1 speaker setup. If it's smaller, a 5.1 may be more appropriate.

Should I use 7.1 surround sound for music? ›

Music Production

The major reason to purchase a 7.1 surround sound system is multiple channels. EKSA E900 Pro includes eight channels that offer music producers and sound engineers' immersive sound quality. As a result, they can enhance their mix and produce wide-sounding songs.

Do all 4K players support Atmos? ›

As long as the Blu-ray player supports Dolby TrueHD and bitstream audio, it can output Dolby Atmos audio. The soundbar or AV receiver and the Blu-ray disc must also be Dolby Atmos-enabled. If the Blue-ray disc is not Dolby-compatible, it might support DTS, a good alternative.

Is HBO Max 4K Atmos? ›

For $9.99, you'll get two concurrent ad-supported streams at HD quality. For $15.99, you'll lose the ads and be allowed to download up to 30 pieces of content at a time, but you'll no longer get access to 4K. Finally, for $19.99, you'll get 4K with HDR and Dolby Atmos, four concurrent streams, and up to 100 downloads.

Is Amazon Prime Dolby Atmos? ›

Amazon Prime Video offers Dolby Atmos as part of its standard subscription. To fully experience Dolby Atmos, you need to first make sure you are watching a series created in the audio format. Be sure to look for the Dolby Atmos badge on the title pages of your favourite series.


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