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Old 10-15-2017, 06:42 PM   #1
wonderer99 wonderer99 is offline
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Default Dolby Atmos Soundbar vs 5.1?

Hi all

I currently have an LG BH9430PW 9.1 HTIB. The 9.1 upspeakers have always been a bit of a gimmick however they do fill the room with sound, for certain material they work OK.

The system is getting a bit long in the tooth though and with limited rear options and no 4k passthrough it is time to upgrade. I only use this in a standard size living room so no professional setup here. My question is coming from this 5 speaker setup what kind of experience would a decent Atmos soundbar like the Sony provide? Having never experienced Atmos before I know a proper Atmos setup would destroy what I currently have but using just an Atmos soundbar vs my 5.1 was a little blurrier to compare. I like the idea of a single speaker for space saving and ease and understand I need my ears to give me a final answer but some opinions would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:10 AM   #2
cynatnite cynatnite is offline
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Since we're limited on space and I don't want to deal with various speakers around the living room so we found the Samsung HW-K950. There is a subwoofer, but no satellite speakers.

It has dolby atmos, but no decoding for DTS:X.

I did a lot of research and wound up going with what works for us in our space. At some point I might get a wireless speaker for a better surround sound effect or possibly wait for a new and better soundbar later down the road. I got the extended warranty at Best Buy so trading it back in won't be an issue.

There are shortcomings for a soundbar with dolby atmos. You'll have to weigh the pros and cons and do some research.

More knowledgeable folks than me can offer detailed guidance.
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Scarriere (10-16-2017)
Old 10-16-2017, 12:42 AM   #3
slimdude slimdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynatnite View Post
Since we're limited on space and I don't want to deal with various speakers around the living room so we found the Samsung HW-K950. There is a subwoofer, but no satellite speakers.

It has dolby atmos, but no decoding for DTS:X.

I did a lot of research and wound up going with what works for us in our space. At some point I might get a wireless speaker for a better surround sound effect or possibly wait for a new and better soundbar later down the road. I got the extended warranty at Best Buy so trading it back in won't be an issue.

There are shortcomings for a soundbar with dolby atmos. You'll have to weigh the pros and cons and do some research.
I would wait until I move into a bigger place to accommodate a full set of speakers, which will cost less money than what you've already spent because, I personally think that, $1,500.00 is a lot of money to spend for a soundbar.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:50 AM   #4
cynatnite cynatnite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
I would wait until I move into a bigger place to accommodate a full set of speakers, which will cost less money than what you've already spent because, I personally think that, $1,500.00 is a lot of money to spend for a soundbar.
That should've read HW-K850. Sorry about that. Didn't see the typo.

Anyway, we spent $470 on the soundbar which was a very good deal. The Dolby Atmos sounds pretty fantastic even as limiting as it is. As I said above, I just don't want to mess around with a bunch of speakers. I do expect soundbar technology to improve later down the road and maybe we'll trade in for something else.

And no way would I spend $1500 for a soundbar.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:09 AM   #5
slimdude slimdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynatnite View Post
That should've read HW-K850. Sorry about that. Didn't see the typo.

Anyway, we spent $470 on the soundbar which was a very good deal. The Dolby Atmos sounds pretty fantastic even as limiting as it is. As I said above, I just don't want to mess around with a bunch of speakers. I do expect soundbar technology to improve later down the road and maybe we'll trade in for something else.

And no way would I spend $1500 for a soundbar.
$470.00 is a lot better.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:38 AM   #6
Scarriere Scarriere is offline
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Just for kicks, I listened to a Samsung Atmos Soundbar a while back and I thought it was fairly effective.
With major players like Samsung, Sony and Yamaha doing Atmos soundbars, you gotta think that they'll be good, or well on their way to good.
I think you should work with what's best for price and space.
Sure, we all want a JBL Synthesis system screaming our movies out, but reality rears it's head.
Research, like you're doing now, and go with what works best for your budget and space.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:42 PM   #7
rroeder rroeder is offline
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I bought an expensive sound bar a few years back and was disappointed coming from a cheap 5.1 HTIB system. I prefered the 5.1 system and it was half the price. Why?, cause it did not provide a fully immersive experience. Moved the soundbar to the bedroom and bought a real sound system 5.1.4. I'm using Dolby enabled speakers for the height channels and I want to swap out those for real height speakers mounted at the ceiling/wall, the upfiring affect is not the real deal kind of a gimmick like a soundbar
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:43 PM   #8
wonderer99 wonderer99 is offline
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Thanks for the replies guys.

So gun to your head. A standard 5.1 home theatre in a box (mine cost £500 about 4 years ago) VS a £1400 Dolby Atmos soundbar? I have the room for either. Purely looking for audio quality and sound immersion.

On paper and in theory the soundbar should sound better but the 5.1 would, cough, surround you more correct? Which would you choose for 4k uhd movies?
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:14 PM   #9
rroeder rroeder is offline
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DO NOT spend that much money on a soundbar! IMO

Buy a decent receiver that decodes Atmos and DTS:X, then get speakers you can afford, obviously the more $ you spend here the better it will sound. You could use Dolby enabled speakers for the height channels they work ok but like I said above they are not the same thing as real speakers mounted above.
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:26 PM   #10
slimdude slimdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rroeder View Post
DO NOT spend that much money on a soundbar! IMO

Buy a decent receiver that decodes Atmos and DTS:X, then get speakers you can afford, obviously the more $ you spend here the better it will sound. You could use Dolby enabled speakers for the height channels they work ok but like I said above they are not the same thing as real speakers mounted above.
The OP had already stated that he doesn't have the room to accommodate a full set of speakers, which is why he's settling on a soundbar.
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:49 AM   #11
cynatnite cynatnite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderer99 View Post
Thanks for the replies guys.

So gun to your head. A standard 5.1 home theatre in a box (mine cost £500 about 4 years ago) VS a £1400 Dolby Atmos soundbar? I have the room for either. Purely looking for audio quality and sound immersion.

On paper and in theory the soundbar should sound better but the 5.1 would, cough, surround you more correct? Which would you choose for 4k uhd movies?
Samsung and LG both have soundbars with Dolby Atmos for under $1000. We took the open box deal on our Samsung K850 and got it for $470.

The more expensive Samsung K950 comes with satellite speakers and if I remember right, it's not that much different than the K850 so I don't know if I'd spend the extra money on it.
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:52 PM   #12
rroeder rroeder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
The OP had already stated that he doesn't have the room to accommodate a full set of speakers, which is why he's settling on a soundbar.
He did?

"Purely looking for audio quality and sound immersion"
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:25 AM   #13
wonderer99 wonderer99 is offline
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Thanks guys for the replies. I do have room for either but have decided against a soundbar. Researching and taking on board others opinions I think it is too much to spend on a soundbar alone.

So now onto my next issue!!

This is going to be my first foray into Atmos. I was looking at the Q acoustics 300 5.1 set to go with a Dolby Atmos receiver. So can I just add two more height speakers (either upfiring or otherwise) for the Atmos height effects?

Secondly can anyone recommend two smaller (but decent) speakers that can be ceiling mounted facing down but not actually installed in the ceiling? I rent so can't be doing a proper install but would rather proper downward speakers and not upward firing if I can help it.

As I say this is my first move up the ladder from HTIB and I am struggling a bit with the speaker side of things. Would just like to dip my toe in the Atmos waters. I have seen the Onkyo Atmos set but not sure they are they great based on what I have read. Look a bit cheap too but happy to be convinced otherwise.

Thanks all.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:28 PM   #14
rroeder rroeder is offline
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I think the Onkyo Atmos are upfiring speakers but not sure there. Not familiar with the speakers you've mentioned but yeah you could buy a 5.1 set and then add 2 heights. Make sure receiver is at least 7 channel and 9 channel is better so you can add 2 rear height speakers later is you want. Do a search of Dolby Atmos speaker placement ton of info there.

I would recommend a 5.1.4 setup tho to get full affect so 4 height speakers if you can do it. I'm using Pioneer speakers now that have front firing and upfiring combined and they work ok but I'm planning on replacing the speakers with standard fronts/surr's and then 4 height speakers mounted at wall/ceiling corner
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:28 AM   #15
LordoftheRings LordoftheRings is offline
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Hey!

https://www.cnet.com/news/is-creativ...ar-worth-5800/
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