Inside Dolby Atmos Home Theater, with Pioneer’s Andrew Jones

Inside Dolby Atmos Home Theater, with Pioneer’s Andrew Jones

It’s not everyday that one of the most recognized speaker designers and engineers in the world visits to help set up and calibrate a brand-new kind of surround speaker system they’ve just designed.

I’m talking about Pioneer’s Andrew Jones and his new Elite Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers. I got to spend a full day with the man in DT’s home theater as we talked speaker tech, design, and Dolby’s re-envisioning of surround sound in the home, called Dolby Atmos. It was pretty freakin’ sweet.

But I must cop to having entered into the meeting with a little bit of skepticism. You see, although I’ve heard enough of Andrew Jones’ speakers in the past to know the system would probably sound very good — if not damn spectacular — I had some serious doubts about this “Atmos-enabled” approach. It sounded to me like some kind of acoustic voodoo. I just didn’t think it would work very well.

I was so wrong. Turns out, not only is this Atmos-enabled approach a realistic alternative to ceiling speakers, it has its own distinct advantages, too. And it sounds great.

Read DT’s full review of Pioneer’s Elite Dolby Atmos speaker system and receiver here.

Categories: Home Theater

About Author


  1. Dr. Bilal Fazal
    Dr. Bilal Fazal 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    @3:30 does that mean that we cant use any bookshelf or satellite speaker for Atmos? it has be DOLBY ENABLED thing?

    Reply this comment
  2. Sarathi Bose
    Sarathi Bose 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Excellent setup Sony LED 32" 7.1 Mini Home theater dts surrounding sound system minimum budget evlo brother?

    Reply this comment
  3. Lucy Coe
    Lucy Coe 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Money talks

    Reply this comment
  4. Marcos Albuquerque
    Marcos Albuquerque 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Andrew is a legend.

    Reply this comment
  5. Total plonker
    Total plonker 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    I'd rather watch a movie on my soundbar with good soundtrack then watch a Atmos movie on my 5.2.4 setup with a bad soundtrack!"
    Conclusion; .
    Don't worry so much if you haven't got a full atmos setup, it's far more enjoyable to choose a movie with a good soundtrack!

    Reply this comment
  6. Adrian Barac
    Adrian Barac 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Well, I'm glad Andrew Jones personally likes it so much… but there is NO WAY a professional sound mixer or audio engineer would ever concur that it is actually better. I've heard it both ways, and upward-firing is a blurry mess, compared to proper satellites. So, treat your room acoustics and speaker placement correctly – and you will be AMAZED.

    Reply this comment
  7. carlos oliveira
    carlos oliveira 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    I've been saying for years that Atmos ceiling speakers should be diffuse.

    Reply this comment
  8. 7071t6
    7071t6 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Blarr blarr blarr, do not believe any of this shit people, look up how many blue ray players and movies come out in certified Atmos processed in the first place not many at all, so basically a total waste of cash if you ask me, till they invent how to watch a DVD player which can incode ATMOS and blue ray players ( normal blue ray players that is which the AMP/Receiver will auto incode the atmos sound and the speakers you set up which are 30 year old bookshelf type, then your on a winner, unless you have the cash to set up a IMAX 1 or 2 million home theater set up in your home, cheers 🙂

    Reply this comment
  9. 7071t6
    7071t6 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Also you only require the amp which has atmos and you could put 30 year old book shelf 2 way speakers and they would still sound the same as the 10K nook shelf powered DSP speakers, lol ) so speaker bookshelf ones which are off those portable stereos back in the late 1980's use those and a good quality atmos amp and there you go, plus a subwoofer and back you have the same shit most theaters have, but wait most blue ray players are not atmos rated or even the movies, lol:) so again getting ripped off ,next was 3D and now 4 k and next is 8k blue ray players and UHD LED TV right more for nothing only a blind or death person would buy anything more than a basic system, st a good amp and next speakers and so on, what spending even 10k which the TV for the largest one you can afford is the most expensive item, then the seating you have the size of the room and most importantly the shape of the room, lol 🙂 My god people spend millions of their home theater system with auto draw back red valour curtains and and seating full italian leather with full adjustability even for your feet and lumber and neck support with heating and massage functions with two cup holders and place to put you food as well, think of it, your main cities theater does not have that much seating quality even IMAX ?

    Reply this comment
  10. 7071t6
    7071t6 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Bose and yamaha speakers both had speakers which are Atmos certified and amps and receivers which are certified and especially that you can move the speakers and bose had them angled so facing up and to the side, now those speakers are worth a mint, now if you really want something special you need to spend around 3K for just a pair of bookshelf powered DSP yamaha speakers and then the amp which is around 20K and then the TV which is around 15K for 8K which none of the home theater amps are set for yet, only 4K so the TV would only be used as a TV and not contact the processor to the amp etc, otherwise its all just a waste of cash, so around 50K like i have said for a real good home theater system all up ?

    Reply this comment
  11. Frank Makhubela
    Frank Makhubela 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    This dolby atmos is fine, I bought an av receiver that supports dolby atmos, 4k bluray player and a 4k tv. I still don't seem to get that dolby sound, it won't even display on my receiver. I actually gave up, back to traditional 7.1 channel, byeee🖐

    Reply this comment
  12. Superdimensional
    Superdimensional 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Snake oil. You want real Atmos, put in ceiling speakers and calibrate

    Reply this comment
  13. Paul Mathewson
    Paul Mathewson 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Too soon Dolby, too soon.

    Reply this comment
  14. jordan rausch
    jordan rausch 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    I plan on getting the Samsung soundbar Q70R. The question is. How can I do the demo like this? Without the YouTube videos? An example is @0:43.

    Reply this comment
  15. Dylan
    Dylan 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Would this work with drop ceilings?

    Reply this comment
  16. Jerry Poe
    Jerry Poe 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Pioneer can't even explain how to use their own basic vsx 819h reciever, so how do they know what sound good? I'm done with pioneer!

    Reply this comment
  17. lucalone
    lucalone 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    I still love to listen to my mono vinyl lp's.

    they sound awesome, too.

    Reply this comment
  18. NeilCarr
    NeilCarr 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    You can't hear a thing less than 6ft away!

    Reply this comment
  19. József Balázs
    József Balázs 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    How to set the speakers in the receiver? I have the 5.1.4 dolby atmos config. How to set the speakers? Small or Large? THX

    Reply this comment
  20. ••
    •• 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Now put speakers in the floor and call is dolby 360

    Reply this comment
  21. netleader
    netleader 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    when i hear this BS from a chief engineer I know why Pioneer isn't a leading brand anymore 😀

    Reply this comment
  22. Anthony Perez
    Anthony Perez 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    what if I have a 20 cathedral?

    Reply this comment
  23. FURognar
    FURognar 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Except I can hear the sound originating from the base layer speakers.

    I have found speakers from the ceiling to be vast superior. Especially when the sound is supposed to be focused and localized.

    Reply this comment
  24. Evandro F Bim
    Evandro F Bim 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Boa tarde! 😎🔝🖒🖒👏👏👏👏

    Reply this comment
  25. Andyw1228
    Andyw1228 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    @2:00 I doubt that it's like that unless there is a really really intelligent decoding going on. I know you can setup you speaker setup, but can you tell the chip wheter it's in ceiling or Dolby enabled reflecting ? In the setup process the AVR would measure all speakers (level, EQ, phase, distanc e) and it will calculate a correction curve so that all speakers would be virtually the same distance and therefore the sound arrives in line and together from all speakers. I don't know how the algorithm will alter the in-ceiling or dolby enabled speakers.

    Reply this comment
    JOHN KENNEALLY 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    How about quad poles mounted above ear level for the 2 side/rears in your 5.1? There enveloped – thousands of dollars and many holes in your walls and ceilings.

    Reply this comment
    JOHN KENNEALLY 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Why not small cheap lightweight up firing speakers you can mount high on the walls and rout the base to the .1? Matched HSQ to bounce off the ceiling, sounds like a waste. Only certain frequencies are directional as he said but only certain frequencies are going to reflect off a ceiling as well. Height speaker needs to be a lightweight speaker you can hang like a painting high on the wall, otherwise few will use it and no media will provide it.

    Reply this comment
  28. Tepan Senteolt
    Tepan Senteolt 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Ningunos de e esos setups sin efectivos, ni ningún sistema de audio actúa puede desarollar algo realistico . En todos los casos, se escuchan las bocinas por todos lados , encima de eso, el cableado es una pesadilla ke casi nadie emplea. Ke si tengo la solución? La respuesta es si.

    Reply this comment
  29. Evandro F Bim
    Evandro F Bim 24 November, 2021, 12:45


    Reply this comment
  30. Evandro F Bim
    Evandro F Bim 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Muiiiiiito 🔝🎧✔🎥🔊🔉🔉🕪🕩🕩😱 😍😍😍😍

    Reply this comment
  31. cbcdesign001
    cbcdesign001 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    The only advantage up firing speakers offers is ease of installation. It certainly isn't better than down firing ceiling mounted speakers which Dolby say is the best option but recognise that for most people it's not terribly practical.

    Reply this comment
  32. R Marty
    R Marty 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Bass is only non directional under 80 Hz.

    Reply this comment
  33. Michel Linschoten
    Michel Linschoten 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    What a crock of shit, with due respect i love his designs ! And i RESPECT the man for his speaker building skills, but telling me that, that 5inch little driver will make a WORLD of difference (reflecting)….BOSE rings a bell?! Typical marketing wank people tend to fall for. Like Mr Jones is NOT being paid to stand there and sell you that audiophile blabber!

    In ceiling speakers is to me TRUE atmos, this is just a way to make a quick buck on the gullible minded guy that has to much money to spend on bullshit.

    Reply this comment
  34. IM NO ONE
    IM NO ONE 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Upfiring speakers are a scam. If Dolby told people you have to dril holes in your roof, or hang speakers and hide wires in your wall into your roof and maybe pay someone X amount of dollars very few would bother…I bought the klipsch two R14A’s to use in my 11×13 room with my AVR-X4400H to use with my others Klipsch speakers and the up fire did nothing, I called Denon, Dolby everything was set up right IT DIDN’T work bottom line. So I mounted them them as high on the ceiling as I could and angled the speakers to face me…small room so they are close together and now I have Atmos..once again upfiring should be extreme last choice…

    Reply this comment
  35. Anders Fält
    Anders Fält 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Gene Dellasala at Audioholics never recommends this kind of atmos speaker. He always says that you should always put your atoms speakers in the celing.
    I trust him way more then this guy and also Pioneer is way more behind in tec when it comes to recivers. Personaly I have Marantz SR 7012 and Emotiva BasX A-500 for my four atmos.

    Reply this comment
  36. donkeykonghero
    donkeykonghero 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    Sure but the disadvantage would be the bleeding sound from this tech as not all the sound bounce off the ceiling.

    Reply this comment
  37. Scott Hullinger
    Scott Hullinger 24 November, 2021, 12:45

    The shape and acoustics of the room, (or the theater), and the quality of the speakers used, matters more than the quantity of speakers used. 5.1 is really good enough. And besides, the overall entertainment value of the average movie these days leaves a lot to be desired.

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment