Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers

Posted by: fish

Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/02/16 07:53 PM

Looking for feedback. i am thinking of using a pair of QS4 with ceiling brackets for my Atmos speakers. good or bad idea?
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/03/16 01:27 AM

Don't do it.

That is the short answer. No manufacturer recommends anything but monopole (regular, single direction) speakers for overhead Atmos speakers.

You really want monopole speakers all around until you get into really large spaces, and then something like the Axiom QS surrounds will work, but still, that is for surround, not overheads....
Posted by: fish

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/03/16 07:00 AM

thanks for the quick reply. so i guess i should trade my qs4s for a pair of m3 in ceiling
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/04/16 12:15 AM

I traded in four QS8s for on-wall M3s for surround duty, and added 4 more on-wall M3s to mount on my ceiling for Atmos. Just as designed by Dolby....

(I couldn't go with in-ceiling because of my soundproofing in my room.)
Posted by: SteveInCC

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/15/16 07:30 PM

I'm running Atmos and Auro-3D (and DTS:X once I get the update working). My current setup is:
Marantz SR7010
DIY HTPC
Vizio 65" w/3D
L-R M60s
C - RP-450C (fits console)
S - QS8s (2 pair)
H - M2s (2 pair)
SW - EP350 (waiting on shipment, replacing SVS PC13 Ultra)

M2s are near ceiling on front and rear walls per Auro-3D recommendation, to work best with all three formats.
2nd pair of QS8s replaced M3s for rear surround duty. The QS8s sound great in my 11.x (7.x.4) setup. The FMS QS stands put them at the perfect height.
The SVS was major overkill for my mobile home. wink
My room is 24x15x8. I imagine QS4s would be great for a smaller room.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/15/16 09:31 PM

Glad to hear that you are enjoying your setup.

Yeah, DTS:X can fit within the Atmos specs OR the Auro specs, but not both as Auro and Atmos layouts really aren't directly compatible.

A lot of people seem to experiment around and find a good compromise like you did though.

You should share some pictures of your setup. It would be cool to see.
Posted by: Thyname11

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/17/16 04:16 PM

Does Axiom have speakers that can be put on top of M60s for quasi-Atmos 5.1.2 setup?
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/18/16 12:04 AM

Originally Posted By Thyname11
Does Axiom have speakers that can be put on top of M60s for quasi-Atmos 5.1.2 setup?


Better. They have the in-ceiling speakers you really want(you just don't know it yet).
Posted by: Thyname11

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/18/16 09:15 AM

Originally Posted By brwsaw
Originally Posted By Thyname11
Does Axiom have speakers that can be put on top of M60s for quasi-Atmos 5.1.2 setup?


Better. They have the in-ceiling speakers you really want(you just don't know it yet).


Cannot afford them. Not the speakers themselves but hiring somebody to put in the ceilings as I cannot do it myself
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/18/16 04:10 PM

Its a shame really.
It would be worth the wait.
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/18/16 04:24 PM

Fwiw I have had really good luck without an atmos reciever.
My speaker hieghts increase as you go further back in the room.
I often get very locatable sound as an object travels through the room. Think of the spears thrown at the start of Star Trek or bullets flying in Band of Brothers.
I love it.
My M80's are on the floor with my QS8's just above the height of the lazy boys back with the rear surround QS4's at ear height for the rear row. The rear row is elevated 2' off the floor.
It works very nicely.
If I had a ceiling height of even 8' I'd already own in ceilings.
I am watching the refurb page for a few pair, not that I have the cash atm. I still want them.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/19/16 04:06 AM

"Atmos enabled" speakers are for people like you that don't want to install ceiling speakers for whatever reason. That said, people serious about the audio and stepping into immersive audio (Atmos and DTS:X) wouldn't touch Atmos Enabled speakers with a 10 foot pole. Sending sound up to the ceiling, and bouncing it down to wherever that happens to be (the speakers have a fixed angle on them) just isn't a great experience. I mean, it DOES work (sort of) and is better than a poke in the eye, but if you can find the way for ceiling speakers, do it. I put on-wall Axiom M3s up on my ceiling since I didn't want to cut large holes for the in-ceiling M3s (I still ran the wires in the ceiling).

I think that only 2 manufacturers at CEDIA were even showing Atmos Enabled speakers this past year. They were pretty much the "cheaper" brands that were doing it. By cheaper, I mean Pioneer had a $800 MSRP 7.1.4 speaker setup. That is ELEVEN speakers and a sub for $800. CHEAP.

Again, sometimes you gotta do whatchya gotta do, but just know that you will get, at best, 75% of the effect vs. in (or on) ceiling speakers. If anything is odd about your room (vaulted ceilings, wrong seating position in relationship to Atmos Enabled speaker placement and "the bounce" and so forth) that it will be even less effective.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/24/16 05:46 PM

Pioneers Andrew Jones speaker engineer begs to differ, I am just starting to do a little research on this subject, yeah I know way behind the times. smile Since I have a finished home theater room, would be difficult to rerun speaker wires to ceiling locactions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBHDtPu9UJk&t=240s
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/26/16 12:40 PM

Pioneer... I have a few comments about their speakers. (Keep in mind that I was a big fan or Pioneer receivers for many years. they have a place, but as I've been able to keep "upping" my receiver and gear, I can't imagine going back to Pioneer except for a true budget system).

1) Pioneer only pushes their Atmos modules for Atmos setups. they offer in-ceiling speakers, but they are mostly (if not all) designs from before Atmos, so they certainly aren't going to make a video about a better method for Atmos when they don't advertise or market anything other than upfiring.

2a) Pioneer is not exactly the leader in speaker quality

2b) Pioneer makes speaker systems designed for low/lower budget consumers (not generally people that actually care a lot about uncompromising sound)

3) At CEDIA 2015 only 1 mid-level or better speaker on display was using upfiring Atmos modules (Triad)

4) At CEDIA 2016 only the lower end systems demo'd upfiring Atmos speakers, everyone else was using overheads

5) Per Pioneer's own engineer in the video, he talks about "being able to use the same 'driver' as your main speakers" when describing Atmos modules. I'm doing that too with my overheads, but instead of being limited to some tiny 4" max sized driver, I have 6.5" and can get a lot more of the frequency range that you just can't get with the tiny speakers in most Atmos modules.

6) Ceiling heights, ceiling angles like vaults, trays, etc (if any), as well as how close or far you are from the Atmos modules impact how precise/diffused the sound is, as well as if the sound simply bounced up and over (past) you, or up and down in front of you, etc. You are locked in with where the modules go since they are on top of your existing speakers, so that means you need to be able to move your seating or those speakers, and even then you are still in for a mess if your ceiling isn't flat.

Atmos modules were, as noted by several companies at CEDIA 2016 (and 2015) as a way to not "freak out" consumers with speakers on their ceilings, plus running wires along walls is generally considered easier for most people than going up into the ceiling. It was done to give people an option who are just getting into the concept, but as time progresses, we are seeing more and more companies actually dropping their Atmos modules from their line-up, or at least pushing them to the back of their recommendation list in favor of overhead speakers.

Now if you have a perfect box of a room that has a flat ceiling and seating that can accommodate a perfect 30* angle from Atmos modules up and then down onto the listening area, then go for it. You will still be limited to only getting down to 120-150Hz depending on the module, and that is far from the recommended "full range" that Dolby says is ideal (even if that limit is still within their own "Atmos module spec."

Even with proper bass management, you are really limited in what sound energy can come out of an Atmos module. If I was doing things over again from scratch and could make my own speakers, I would go with something with a larger 8" or possibly even a 10" woofer for overhead. D+M (Denon/Marantz) had a demo with 10" overheads at CEDIA 2016 and they ran a Transformers demo both with and without bass management/subs. You could still "feel" the sound going overhead in one of the scenes because it was still in the directional frequencies, but low enough to feel the "punch."

Many people elsewhere have equated Atmos enabled speakers to being usable, but not good/great. Some of my favorite quotes from the Atmos thread at AVS in response to Atmos enables speakers are "something that will work, but then again so will a soundbar" or "something that will work, but then again so do Bose cubes."


That being said, don't be afraid to put holes in your ceiling to run speaker wires. My ceiling has clips and hat channel running between my joists, 2 layers of 5/8" drywall with GreenGlue inbetween, and I still was able to fish wires up, repair the holes, and you can not tell at all. Was it fun to do? Nope. Not at all. It was messy, and there were several points where I was really frustrated, but I got it done.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/26/16 01:01 PM

Sounds like good information Nick, and what I'm finding in a few days of research. To be honest I need to update my projector first I think. Believe it or not I'm still using my Sanyo Z2, lol Everyone says it still has a great picture at 720P. So I have been researching projectors. Also probably need to figure out what I will do with my Denon 3808ci, still decent AVR but doesn't have latest bells/whistles. Really using it as a Pre though since my Outlaw drives my 7 current speakers. The Marantz 7702mkii preamp from outlaw seems like a decent 11.2 preamp at a killer price, but would have to get more amplifiers for 2-4 additional ceiling speakers. I don't care about HEOS or whatever they call it and the 7703 is about a grand higher in price. Receivers with 11.2 seem very expensive and it would be a waste it seems as I would only be using 4 channels from the receiver for the ceiling speakers. To me the whole ATMOS think kinda sucks for people that have existing theaters finished with 5.x or 7.x. So many years people were told to not go with ceiling speakers and even pushed surrounds like the Q's to envelope you in the experience, now everyone is saying go with direct radiating bookshelves, arggg. To be honest I recently saw Rogue One at Jordan XD theater and I was not impressed with the sound. There was no LFE for the most part, just a bunch of bookshelfs surrounding the walls/ceiling bombarding you with mids/highs. Just seemed like to much with no seperation of the surround affects. What to do... smile
Posted by: Newf

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/26/16 01:49 PM

Atmos when done right should blow you away. I'm finding the biggest issue with Atmos isn't the equipment, it's the person making the soundtrack. They don't know how to use ceilings speakers yet and while there are plenty of movies in Atmos, few really sound great. Of course Atmos can also upmix normal DD and DTS which also sounds great but the fact of the mattter is, that person mixing that sound on that blu ray needs to be doing a better job! I'd also skip doing 5.2.4, and go straight to 7.2.4. All direct firing.

I'm using Axiom in Ceiling M3's with adjustable tweeters. Very capable for Atmos.
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/26/16 03:06 PM

Can anyone provide a quote from Dolby, one available online, that states tweeters should be aimed?
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/26/16 07:26 PM

Originally Posted By brwsaw
Can anyone provide a quote from Dolby, one available online, that states tweeters should be aimed?

Here's what I found:

Quote:
If the chosen overhead speakers have a wide dispersion pattern (approximately 45 degrees from the acoustical reference axis over the audio band from 100 Hz to 10 kHz or wider), then speakers may be mounted facing directly downward. For speakers with narrower dispersion patterns, those with aimable or angled elements should be angled toward the primary listening position.

Dolby Atmos Home Theater Installation Guidelines

Unfortunately it doesn't seem to say "plus or minus what". It does mention that expected ceiling height is 2-3x standard ear height, or ~8-12 feet, which I imagine relatively few HT rooms actually allow.

It seems to be a function of ceiling height among other things... if your ceiling is high enough then there's a reasonable chance you could find speakers with sufficiently wide dispersion to cover the listening positions without aiming, but in most rooms you are going to end up wanting to aim. Seems a lot like the "QS or directional rear" question where the answer is clearly "it depends".

I never know what to put for title

BTW I am also still enjoying my Sanyo 720p and have no plans to upgrade until I use up some more of the bulb life. Haven't even used up the first bulb yet and still have the spare to think about...

Since my HT room has a vaulted ceiling with 45 degree angles going up to a point it occurred to me that I could hang the ceiling speakers from wires and not have to put any holes in walls/ceiling (weiling ?)...
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/26/16 07:59 PM

Bridgeman I hope you try this , I often see people with the same constrictions and I have often pontificated about just such a solution. I look forward to your results.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/26/16 08:19 PM

Yeah, I'm on my second bulb for my Z2, I think the first one lasted around 10yrs, lol. Recently I upgraded my DirecTV DVR and HD receivers and now the Z2 won't handshake anything over 480 with the new HD Mini. Luckily I was able to adjust my Denon to upconvert to 720 but I don't think the picture is as good as when it was coming from my old Direct HD box.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/27/16 12:55 AM

Originally Posted By Socketman
Bridgeman I hope you try this , I often see people with the same constrictions and I have often pontificated about just such a solution. I look forward to your results.

It's going to be kind of creepy with M40s and M60s hanging over me like the sword of Damocles though...
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/27/16 01:40 PM

oh shit, I wouldn't go any less than an M80 for full coverage.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/28/16 11:33 PM

Nick where did you get your Anthem? I saw a thread from earlier this year you went through an installer in Canada? I noticed here in DSM there is AudioLabs as well as a few other "Installers". Any other choices online besides Crutchfield or Ebay(sketchy sellers). How do you like the ARC correction? Looks like the Marantz 7702mkii is getting harder to find, Outlaw is even out of their B stock units. I would have to add another 4-5 channel amp to add to my 7 channel Outlaw as well. I need to start selling stuff, lol (Denon, Projector, Telescope, etc.) lol
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/29/16 01:27 PM

I got an amazing price on it, but that installer from Canada got into a bit of hot water because he was selling it for what came out to a price that was more than $1300 off U.S. MSRP shipped to people in the U.S. (he was undermining U.S. reseller pricing, even though there was nothing stated that he couldn't do so, or that it violated any of their dealer agreements). I still have a fully warranted unit for a price that was too amazing not to jump on it.

Came across him on Facebook as he was giving everyone in a particular home theater group on there a promise of a deal.

ARC was always promised as a top tier room correction, but I wasn't sure. I REALLY liked Audyssey XT32. However, when I ran ARC for the first time, I was absolutely blown away at how much better my speakers and room sounded. I would never want to go back to Audyssey, and that is saying quite a bit.

If you already have the main 7 channel amp, you could always look that their AVM 60 and add more amplification down the road for overheads if you so desired. It is the MRX-1120 without amps. I am surprised that it isn't cheaper than $500 less than an 1120 that comes with internal amplification, but it would be an option.

Or go with the 720. It can process 11.1 audio, but only has 7 channels of amplification inside. Price point is a bit nicer.

Lots of options out there. I made a big jump up to Anthem and now I don't think that I could ever go back to any of the more "mainstream" brands.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/29/16 07:11 PM

yep, I've been reading up on ARC2 sounds cool. I like the option of doing quick measurements of speakers or subs to get things set before running the process. According to Audioholics article it works great with multiple subs. I just wish there were more people selling that brand to bring prices down. There is one Ebay seller, but that is a bit scarry for warranty issues even though they offer a 5 year squaretrade warranty. I would also have to figure out what to do with my current speaker positions/wiring. My side Q's are mounted higher up and angled down. The rears are a bit lower right behind the back row. I do have a pair of onwall 22's as well as regular 22's in boxes, hmmm
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/29/16 07:32 PM

actually since I enclosed in my HUGE Porterplex V1 and V2 theater to be isolated from the rest of the rec room/bar area, the overall dimensions are much smaller. Not sure how I would integrate 4 ceiling speakers, might have to consider just 2.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/29/16 08:10 PM

I suspect I would get too stressed out walking into an Atmos HT and looking at all those speakers. It just looks too much like one of those brainwashing setups you see in movies from the 70s and 80s.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/29/16 08:14 PM

I remember seeing Star Wars for the first time in 77. The River Hills Theater here in Des Moines was state of the art for sound at that time.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/29/16 08:57 PM

For me I am just not sure the investment required for atmos will enhance my enjoyment enough to justify it. Upgrade pre/pro, new speakers , sell amp and buy another amp. I really need a demo since my setup just sounds so good as is.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/29/16 09:23 PM

If I go down that path hopefully I can figure out how to integrate my current speakers and ones in storage to save a few bucks smile
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 12/30/16 12:49 AM

My first thought would be to put M22's where you have QS's now and put the QS's face up on your mains and rears (tweeters pointing front & back) so they can bounce off the ceiling smile
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 01/01/17 10:49 AM

I got the AV60 and cannot express how much it improved my sound doing nothing more than plugging it in.

I had tried the Marantz AV7005 and found it didn't sound right to me even with the Audyssey, i could not get it right.

I had some amps, but ended up buying newer Axiom ADA1000. Now I am in bliss
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 01/01/17 12:37 PM

The 60 is definitely on the top of my list, just need to figure out how to fund one. smile Then I need to figure out where to purchase one, they really don't have many options other than high end audio stores/installers around Iowa that are going to charge MSRP. Online as well, Crutchfield and that is about it. I know they make a good product but the 60 with no on board amps seems a little steep.

I have a 7 channel Outlaw amp, so would have to pick up a few 2 channel amps from someone, or maybe Outlaw's new 5 channel amp. As far as the speakers that is another question. Nice at one point it was Dolby that recommended Bi/di pole speakers for surrounds. I still may see if I can just lower my Qs8's to around ear level. i have 9ft ceilings so placement on my atmos speakers should still allow enough seperation for a great experience. I have a pair of onwall 22's, I wonder if that would work. I could always pick up another pair, or trade for some 3's.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 01/01/17 02:48 PM

Check out Gibby's should be able to do well with the dollar difference.

Also if they don't ship across the border I could relay the package for you. Serenity will vouch for my character
Posted by: AAAA

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 01/01/17 03:12 PM

A-1 pm me if needed
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 01/01/17 04:32 PM

If I did my math right would be about 2232 American $ not bad compared to Crutchfields MSRP 2999 price. May have to look into that when I get a little closer..Thanks for the input.

I have a few things I am working on selling smile A nice telescope and some older audio equipment. smile
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 01/01/17 07:11 PM

I hear ya, we don't all have Nicks money smile
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 01/01/17 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By Socketman
I hear ya, we don't all have Nicks money smile


Ha. If only. smile

If you could get a top tier receiver with full 7.2.4 capabilities fully amplified within the receiver box, with real wattage ratings that aren't inflated, ARC (Anthem Room Correction), toroidal power supply, with ALL current connection/playback technologies that will be used within the foreseeable future, all for less than $2200 shipped to your door, it would be something that you would consider if you were looking at jumping to the "next level" type of sound.

I didn't have the funds for it. I had about $1400 that I had been saving up for (from a couple of years of doing side work for people at AVS and elsewhere doing graphic image editing). I had to sell off some of my "old toys" to fund the rest. Ha.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that I will have to do the same thing again in a couple of years when I want to get a 4K projector. smile

Of course, I still had to get all of this "pre-approved" from my financial officer (my wife) that I could use the money I made in my spare time for a receiver both before and after I made it. It was easy getting approval before hand, but getting her to "let" me spend that much money took a lot of convincing.

Anyway, enough of this really long response about Socketman's statement. LOL.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 01/02/17 01:04 PM

Just teasing ya bro. Most people have the same money issue's around these parts. Champagne ideas and a beer budget. The Needs keep taking all the money for my Wants.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Using QS 4 for Atmos speakers - 01/02/17 05:59 PM

Yup. I didn't take it any other way. smile