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Old 11-19-2019, 08:36 PM   #1
Captainhawk1 Captainhawk1 is offline
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Default Dolby Atmos Noob... need guidance.

I have a Onkyo TX-NR646 7.2 receiver that I got as a replacement from Onkyo for a receiver that had a recall on it.

I had a straight-up configuration of in-wall front channels and my center channel with in-ceiling surround and rears.

We just bought a new house and I wanted to take advantage of the Atmos feature of the receiver but I’m not quite sure how this works.

In the new house, the fronts will not be in the ceiling. They will either be sitting on the towers of the wall unit or mounted directly above them.

I was looking at these Pioneer SP-BS22A-LR Andrew Jones designed Dolby Atmos Bookshelf Speakers on Amazon and I even called Pioneer for some guidance on this and they said that these speakers would act as my front and my rear (height) speakers.

That would be very convenient as it means I would only have to do one run of speaker cable for the surrounds on the first floor of a two-story house, but I’m confused as I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the notion that the Atmos speakers in the front of my home theater would take the place of my rear speakers.

Any insight you can provide and any recommendations for Atmos speakers that would serve my needs would be greatly appreciated.

I’m trying to keep the speakers at around $300 or less for the pair but I’m not opposed to spending more.

Thanks in advance.

- Shawn
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:14 AM   #2
samlop10 samlop10 is offline
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You should try to match speaker brand across all your speakers to have better timbre matching.

Those Pioneer speakers have two speakers each (technically 4 speakers for the pair). One module at the front and one at the top. So you'll still have to run two wire sets for each of both. It's simply a two speaker-per-unit thing, it's just that they share the same housing. The top modules would be essentially providing height effects by bouncing the sound off the ceiling.


With that receiver, you should use one of these two layouts (5.1.2, i.e. five channels at ear-level, one subwoofer, and two height channels):






I know you do not want in-ceilings, but for better height effects I'd recommend hanging the speakers from the ceiling or placing them high on the wall at the front (the receiver will let you pick the right layout; look at my gallery for examples of both).

If you're not using Pioneers for the fronts, I'd try finding surround and height speakers of the same brand. If you decide to use those Pioneers for the fronts, you'll be matching the first picture, if you use them for the surrounds, the height effects will bounce from the surrounds instead of the fronts.

Last edited by samlop10; 11-20-2019 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:08 AM   #3
slimdude slimdude is offline
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If I'm not mistaken, for Dolby Atmos you'll a 9.2 receiver or highe, not a 7.2. The extra two channels on a 7.2 receiver is for the surround back channels, and .2 is for the two subwoofers.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:31 AM   #4
JPK JPK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
If I'm not mistaken, for Dolby Atmos you'll a 9.2 receiver or highe, not a 7.2. The extra two channels on a 7.2 receiver is for the surround back channels, and .2 is for the two subwoofers.
Most new 7 channel receivers allow you to assign the speakers to either a 5.1.2 or 7.1 setup. The OP's is one of these.

There is even a couple of 5.1 receivers that allow you to run a 3.1.2 setup, e.g VSX-832.
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:37 AM   #5
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
If I'm not mistaken, for Dolby Atmos you'll a 9.2 receiver or highe, not a 7.2. The extra two channels on a 7.2 receiver is for the surround back channels, and .2 is for the two subwoofers.
If the receiver have Dolby Atmos, the extra rear connections are assignable. You can have up to 7.2 or 5.2.2.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:06 PM   #6
slimdude slimdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddbox83 View Post
If the receiver have Dolby Atmos, the extra rear connections are assignable. You can have up to 7.2 or 5.2.2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPK View Post
Most new 7 channel receivers allow you to assign the speakers to either a 5.1.2 or 7.1 setup. The OP's is one of these.

There is even a couple of 5.1 receivers that allow you to run a 3.1.2 setup, e.g VSX-832.
This is new to me. I've always had Denon receivers, and their speakers connections were always specifically assigned. I don't know about the other brands.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:10 PM   #7
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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Then you're a little out of date. Mine's a Denon. The Atmos ones are far more flexible in speaker assignment, as indeed they need to be.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:15 PM   #8
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainhawk1 View Post
That would be very convenient as it means I would only have to do one run of speaker cable for the surrounds on the first floor of a two-story house, but I’m confused as I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the notion that the Atmos speakers in the front of my home theater would take the place of my rear speakers.
Think of the core 5.1 outputs on the rear of the receiver. Set these up as you'd expect.

The other 2 channels can be assigned in the settings as rears of a 7.1 speaker surround, or as Atmos speakers, of which type you select in the settings to match the sort of Atmos speakers you have. It will then send the correct signal and won't be sending rear surround activity to the Atmos speakers.

https://www.onkyousa.com/wp-content/...X-NR646_En.pdf

Last edited by oddbox83; 11-20-2019 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:42 PM   #9
Captainhawk1 Captainhawk1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddbox83 View Post
Think of the core 5.1 outputs on the rear of the receiver. Set these up as you'd expect.

The other 2 channels can be assigned in the settings as rears of a 7.1 speaker surround, or as Atmos speakers, of which type you select in the settings to match the sort of Atmos speakers you have. It will then send the correct signal and won't be sending rear surround activity to the Atmos speakers.

https://www.onkyousa.com/wp-content/...X-NR646_En.pdf
So, what you’re saying is that I can keep my rear speakers in the rear and assign the Atmos speakers as my surrounds, correct?
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:38 PM   #10
slimdude slimdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainhawk1 View Post
So, what you’re saying is that I can keep my rear speakers in the rear and assign the Atmos speakers as my surrounds, correct?
I don't think you want to do that. Your Dolby Atmos speakers are suppose to be installed in the ceiling, that if you're getting ceiling speakers but, if you are getting the upfiring speakers, you can put those on top of your front main. For the best Dolby Atmos / DTS:X overhead sound effects are the ceiling speakers.

Last edited by slimdude; 11-20-2019 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:15 AM   #11
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainhawk1 View Post
So, what you’re saying is that I can keep my rear speakers in the rear and assign the Atmos speakers as my surrounds, correct?
No.

If you want 4 rears (as in 7.1) you can't have any Atmos speakers on that receiver.

If you want Atmos you can have a core 5.1 layout and use the other two assignable rears for Atmos in your choice of front, back or middle flavours.

Basically, you have 7 channels, 2 or which the user can pick how they want to use them, the rest are locked. For your receiver using Atmos you will have a core 5.1 layout and wire it up as such. Put your choice of Atmos speakers in the 2 assignable channels and tell the receiver exactly what sort of Atmos speaker you've plugged in and where it is placed. Ceiling, height, Atmos-enabled, etc. If you stand upfiring speakers on your fronts that will be Atmos-enabled you need to select that sort of speaker and that they are at the front. My Denon gives an onscreen display so is a lot easier than it sounds.

You, to clarify, you have your non-assignable speaker channels which you can wire up to 5.1. The other 2 you tell it are for either 7.1 rears or Atmos. These are clearly marked as assignable on the back of the receiver so you know where you plug your Atmos speaker wires.

Last edited by oddbox83; 11-21-2019 at 11:28 AM.
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