What is Dolby Atmos and DTS:X?

Maineman

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Can someone explain exactly what Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are and what equipment is required to make good use of it?

I need to replace our A/V receiver that has a typical 7.1 speaker arrangement. Will these features make a noticeable difference in sound quality without adding the ceiling speakers some say are required?

What is the difference between 7.1 and the newer 7.2?
 
The entry level Marantz will likely sound better than the Sony or Onkyo but offer fewer features and less power on paper. In real life the Marantz sounds more powerful than the specs indicate.
When you run a surround receiver there is usually a single power supply for all the channels so under normal conditions the receiver puts out less power when all the channels are being used at the same time.
If you are replacing the main unit from an all in one system you may not be able to use the subwoofer with a standard AV receiver. In all in ones the sub amp is in the main unit. In AV receiver they assume the sub amp is in the sub. You would need to add an amp to use the Samsung sub if that's the case. You can tell because there won't be a power cord on the sub if it's powered from the main unit.
 

ZRace

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I can only explain the difference between 7.1 and 7.2:

7.2 has two subwoofers. This isn't for stronger bass, but rather to circumvent a certain problem that can occur with only one subwoofer:
If the sound waves coming from the subwoofer are reflected by a wall and come back, "hitting" the original sound waves, they cancel each other out an a (very) small area emerges where you can't hear any bass at all. For most users this really isn't relevant though.
 

Maineman

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Thanks. I don't use the sub-woofer that came with the system (too big) but might look into getting two smaller bass or sub-woofer speakers.
 
7.2 is not stereo bass. You can do the same thing with Y splitters on your old receiver. Most people can't position two subwoofers correctly to take advantage of the improvement. If the new receiver has room correction you will be able to get flatter bass with one subwoofer. Quality of bass is more important than sheer quantity.
Dolby Atmos requires at least 2 (or more) height speakers (and amps to drive them). All the other speakers need to be at ear level so it's not always practical to update an existing system. They do make upward firing speakers that you can place on top of your existing speakers but imo it doesn't really work well.
Atmos is called an object oriented system. The speakers create a 3D grid in the room. The mixer can move a sound anywhere in the grid. Allows for mixing complex motion much more easily. If you don't add speakers then you get no improvement of any kind.
For most people I think that higher quality front speakers are more important than additional effects speakers but that's just me. There are receiver that value quality of sound over numbers (Marantz, Anthem and Arcam come to mind). They have better digital to analog converter, preamp sections and power amps.
 

Maineman

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Thanks. We have a Samsung 7.1 system that we are happy with, We need to replace the receiver but don't plan to add any more speakers. Sounds like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X is not for us.

We need to stay under $500 and am looking at the Sony A/V https://www.sony.com/electronics/av-receivers/str-dh770 without Atmos or DTSX, $350 ($200 on sale).

You mentioned there are receivers that value quality of sound over numbers such as Marantz, Anthem and Arcam that have better digital to analog converter, preamp sections and power amps.

Any suggestions on what model priced at about $500 or less to get? I know of Marantz but never heard of Arcam or Anthem. Where can you get them? We plan to start using the sub-woofer again and would need one with a microphone to get best audio setup.

Just did a quick search and found most Arcam, Anthem and Marantz A/V receivers are in the $thousands. There are a few Marantz on Amazon around $500 and will look at them. My guess at that price the Marantz wouldn't be any different than a Sony, Onkyo, etc.

Thanks

 
The entry level Marantz will likely sound better than the Sony or Onkyo but offer fewer features and less power on paper. In real life the Marantz sounds more powerful than the specs indicate.
When you run a surround receiver there is usually a single power supply for all the channels so under normal conditions the receiver puts out less power when all the channels are being used at the same time.
If you are replacing the main unit from an all in one system you may not be able to use the subwoofer with a standard AV receiver. In all in ones the sub amp is in the main unit. In AV receiver they assume the sub amp is in the sub. You would need to add an amp to use the Samsung sub if that's the case. You can tell because there won't be a power cord on the sub if it's powered from the main unit.
 
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