Probably the biggest thing for people to remember is that you need to have a properly set up 5.1, 7.1, 9.1 system before even looking at Atmos. Just adding more speakers overhead won't magically fix things. That is why I spent a solid year (all of 2015 plus a few extra months) doing the tweaks that I should have done years ago. I got my bed layer 7.1 system sounding as good as possible before adding overheads for Atmos.

That said, Atmos is no gimmick. It isn't about just putting sound in more areas around you, if done well, you literally get a pinpoint 3D experience. 2015 CEDIA they used a demo at so many booths that was from Star Trek Into Darkness' opening scene. I think that it was Golden Ear's booth where they actually took the time to do an A/B switch of that same clip back and forth a couple of times. Atmos vs. non-Atmos. The sound without Atmos was quite good (solid setup of their bed layer 7.1 system) but when Atmos was enabled, it filled the room more (as would QS8 speakers for the surround sound), but then when they pinpointed one piece. It was where one of the natives of that planet throws a spear straight at "you" (middle of the screen throw right at the camera), you could literally hear the spear coming straight at you. That can't be done without Atmos (or DTS:X) regardless of speakers.

It isn't just about overhead sounds. It is about being able to precisely place sound objects anywhere in the space. That is something that is done significantly better with monopole speakers all around.

You need to be able to map a point in space, do you use all lasers for pinpoint accuracy, or a combination of lasers and a few flashlights? You will still get some decent sound area generalizations, but not pinpoint accuracy.

So I know that I talk about switching from QS8s to M3s for my own room, but understand that while monopoles are scientifically better and in practice noticeably better, it isn't like you couldn't get decent Atmos/DTS:X sound using quadpoles. And it isn't like people are able to do an A/B test at home between a full monopole system and a mix with bi/di/quad-pole so most people won't know any different. I mean the QS speakers are absolutely AWESOME for 5.1, 7.1, and 9.1 setups for surround speakers. I am just a crazy person that never wanted to know what I was compromising by not having monopoles.

One last note that was part of a key deciding factor for what I did. I have experienced SOOOO many Atmos setups that I knew that I had to have it. I needed 4 additional overhead speakers. I wanted my overheads and surrounds to be identical speakers for even better sound matching (I know that my receiver can tweak them to sound the same), but I also wanted the larger woofer and lower frequency capability since you need to have "full range" speakers overhead, even with bass management. I certainly wasn't going to put QS8's on my ceiling since that isn't precise enough, so that also pushed my decision to replace the QS8 surrounds with whatever I ended up putting on the ceiling, which was 4 M3s.

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough.

Can you do Atmos with QS surrounds? Yes
Will you enjoy it? Yes
Is a traditional 5.1, 7.1, or 9.1 setup with QS surrounds the same as Atmos? No
Is a solid 5.1, 7.1, 9.1 setup key to anything (Atmos or not)? Absolutely
Do you need to use monopoles all around for the most accurate immersive 3D audio (Atmos/DTS:X)? Yes

Farewell - June 4, 2020