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DTS:X vs. Dolby Atmos

The latest surround sound formats

DTS:X vs Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are two new popular surround sound formats. Both add overhead sound effects to deliver surround sound with greater realism than older formats. How do they compare? 

Dolby Atmos Illustration

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X add overhead sound effects for an immersive home theater experience.

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks are recorded and mixed using a technology known as “object-based” surround sound. This means that the filmmaker can place individual sounds anywhere in your listening space and move them around in three dimensions. With older surround formats, sounds can move front to rear and left to right, but not up and down.

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is already in use in hundreds of movie theaters. It’s also supported by a wide selection of home theater components. There are Atmos-compatible receivers and Atmos-enabled speakers available. There are even sound bars equipped with Atmos technology.

We set up an Atmos system in the Crutchfield Labs for some first-hand listening and came away very impressed. To learn more about how Atmos works, check out this video.


In early 2015 DTS launched DTS:X, and it quickly gained a foothold in some movie theaters. Soon thereafter, it began to appear in home theater receivers.

Onkyo TXNR757 7.2-channel home theater receiver

Many A/V receivers offer both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing. The speaker wiring is the same for both formats.

What do I need to play Dolby Atmos and DTS:X?

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are quite similar in their object-based approach to surround sound. The two formats are also pretty close when it comes to the gear you need to enjoy them in your home:

  • Both formats require an A/V receiver or a preamp/processor with built-in decoding. Many receivers offer both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing. So in most cases that means there’s no need to make a choice. Simply get a receiver that decodes both formats and you’re all set.
  • Blu-ray player or streaming device (like the Apple TV 4K) that supports your desired format. Some streaming devices may support Dolby Atmos without offering support for DTS:X. Give us a shout if you want help matching up gear.
  • Two HDMI cables. One to connect your A/V source to your receiver, and another to go from your receiver to your TV. Learn more about choosing HDMI cables here.
  • A surround sound speaker system.

Dolby makes specific speaker recommendations for Atmos to achieve optimum performance. This includes a standard 5.1 or 7.1 surround speaker system, plus at least one pair of “height” speakers. The height speakers can be either in-ceiling, or upward-firing Atmos enabled speakers.

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-140SA

Upward-firing speakers bounce sound effects off of the ceiling and down to your listening position. They're an easy add-on to an existing speaker system.

DTS:X has no official requirements for the number of speakers or their locations in your room. Simply arrange your speaker system to best fit your space. Then let the receiver’s auto-calibration and object-based surround processor sort out the details. It will determine where to best send dialogue and sound effects.

DTS:X also lets you manually adjust sound objects. You can boost hard-to-hear dialogue above other sounds in your center channel. That’s a big plus over simply turning up the center channel volume.

Do you plan to enjoy both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X within the same speaker system? If so, you'll want to align your speaker setup according to the Atmos specs.

What content is available with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks?

Here’s a list of Dolby Atmos releases available on Blu-ray and through streaming services. Here are the latest offerings for DTS:X.

Want to breathe new life into your existing movies, video games, and music? Both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X can “upconvert” your content. The improved sound will play through all of the speaker channels in your system. The effect is not as dramatic as a true object-based soundtrack, but it’s a lot of fun!

Which way to go?

So which of these new surround formats should you pick? We recommend you get a receiver that has both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X capability. Then you will enjoy the widest variety of movies with the best surround sound available.

Need help finding one that's right for your needs? For free one-on-one shopping advice call, email, or chat with an expert Crutchfield Advisor today.

  • Monty from Melbourne

    Posted on 12/2/2020

    Hey guys, hope you all are well. Have you guys had the chance to check out the new HT receivers and new processor and power amps from Anthem?

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 12/3/2020

    Hi Monty, I have indeed! They look to be extraordinarily well-built, and I'm looking forward to trying them out once they're in house. I'm particularly excited by the new ARC (Anthem Room Correction) Genesis room calibration system.
  • Monty from Melbourne

    Posted on 8/9/2020

    G'day guys, hope you all are C19 free and well. I wanted to know your thoughts on Triad 18" Platinum Subs. I have 2 of them in my media/family room. How do they compare to the SVS 16 Ultra Subs, supposedly new sensation in the current market? Want to know your thoughts. I have a setup of Yamaha Pre/Pro of 1st gen CXA5000/MXA5000. My speakers are: Fronts = Paradigm Studio 100 V5 Center = Paradigm Studio CC 690 V5 Primary Surrounds = Mission MX-4 Rear Surrounds = Mission Di-Pole and 2 Subs Triad Platinum 18".

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 8/10/2020

    Hi Monty, thank you for your well-wishes — they're appreciated!

    I'm not familiar with your Triad subs, but I imagine that dual 18" woofers deliver quite the bass experience. That said, SVS is worth a look if you're considering trying a different configuration. The SVS PB16-Ultra is one of the best subs we've ever heard, and our customers have loved it.
  • Ron from Mesa

    Posted on 7/1/2020

    Thanks for the crash course on these 2 awesome surround sound types. My wife says that,"you have a problem, look at all this stuff. When are you going to use it!". I turned a bus driver, from the school that I work at,to some small Klipsch. He won't part with them now!

  • JOHN SALTER from Herndon

    Posted on 11/26/2019

    Hi Monty: Thanks for the info, but it seems to me that DTS:X and the new DTS:X Pro decoder might be worth a mention; since the latest pre-pros are now supporting it with 16 or more audio channels, including up to 6 in-ceiling speakers and up to 4 sub-woofers. It seems to me that this is becoming the future for Home Theater - so long as you have a fat wallet to pay for it!

  • Dean from Port St Lucie

    Posted on 10/15/2019

    Love your article! Quite informative. I recently purchased the Beatles 50th Anniversary Abbey Road Box. As I write, I'm listening to it (and loving it!). My question is, I have 3 options on the screen; PCM Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio & Dolby Atmos. What, in your opinion, is my best listening option? I would say that with the DTS-HD, the front is more subdued and I can actually hear sound from my surround speakers. In the Dolby Atmos, the front is significantly louder. For equipment, I have an Onkyo TX-RZ610 reciever; an OPPO UDP-205 Blu-Ray Player; GoldenEar Triton 2's, A GoldenEar Supercenter speaker and 4- GoldenEar Invisa HTR 7000 surround ceiling speaker. In both of these listening options, I am amazed at the sound of this DVD! The clarity is amazing! Giles Martin did a phenomenal job on this. I'm hearing things I never heard before! And I've been listening to Abbey Road in many formats since I was a teenager in the late 60's.

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 10/17/2019

    Hi Dean! What a treat it must be to have a totally new listening experience with a record you've been enjoying for so long. As for which format will sound best, I suspect the Atmos version on Blu-ray will yield the fullest sound and the most detail.

    You might want to adjust the overhead speaker levels up (and your front speaker levels down) to balance things out. I bet it sounds incredible with your GoldenEar system!
  • Kevin from Wenatchee

    Posted on 9/29/2019

    Hello Kramer. Currently running a semi-budget surround setup. 4 Polk towers for the four corners. Polk center. 2 Polk 10" subs. Powered by an Onkyo TR-RZ620. Looking to go Atmos now. I have a set of Polk OWM3 and a set of Sony SS-CSE Atmos speakers to work with. On both sides of my TV I have 2 7ft tall book shelves. Am I better off placing the OWM3's up there for forward facing, height I better off utilizing the Sony Atmos speakers for upward firing Atmos speakers? Or do you think I'd notice much of a difference? Also, if it matters: my ceilings are slightly vaulted (not a harsh angle, but it's there) and from the top of the shelves they'll be on, to the ceiling is about 3.5-4ft. Any and all info would be really appreciated. Thanks!

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 10/8/2019

    Hi Kevin, thanks for reaching out! My apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

    That's a pretty sweet setup you have there. I'll be honest: I'm not a huge fan of upward-firing speakers. Especially since you have a vaulted ceiling, I'd go with the OWM3s facing forward from up on the bookshelf. Of course, you can try both arrangements and see which you prefer, but I think you're more likely to hear more impactful overhead effects from the Polks.

    Be sure to re-run your Onkyo's calibration system after you install the height speakers, and let me know which speakers you end up liking better!
  • Patrick from Arlington

    Posted on 9/14/2019

    Hello, I have a question on the difference in the low end between the two formats. On all movies I've watched, from all Marvel movies in ATMOS to all Fast & Furious movies in DTS:X, I have noticed a lot more low end on ATMOS than on DTS:X. It used to be the opposite with Dolby Digital HD and DTS HD. Why is this? I have a Klipsch setup most of the way around with the R-115SW Subwoofer, fronts are RP-280F, center is RC-62 II, rears are RP-250S, and Atmos speakers are R-41-SA (2). Receiver is a Denon AVR-X4200W with a Parasound HCA-1206 THX certified amp. (Also have Polk Audio Monitor 30s for the side surrounds for now.)

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 10/8/2019

    Patrick, thanks for the question! It somehow slipped through the cracks on my end. My apologies for the super-late response.

    If you're hearing a consistent difference in the performance of your subwoofer, it may be worth seeing if its output level is changing based on which format is selected (not likely, but worth double checking).

    That said, we also used to hear more bass from DTS than Dolby. It might be that Atmos is gearing their playback toward a ".2" system given how many of their customers go with two subs. That might explain the bass-heavy playback. I'll ask our rep the next time I speak with him and see if I can get you a more definitive response. Thanks!
  • Chris Herrington from Cairns

    Posted on 3/25/2019

    Hi again Kramer, While I would love to buy more Focals, it would likely result in a divorce. That high of a budget is unfortunately out of the question. Even purchasing the 605's was quite the stretch. Had to empty the piggy bank for those. That's why I've been looking at the Polks. They are a bit more budget friendly, especially because I'll be purchasing 4.

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 3/25/2019

    Hi Chris, I totally understand man. Then yes, the Polks will do just fine for you as overhead effects speakers. And I don't think the 8" woofers are overkill for your 7' ceiling.

    Best of luck — I'd love to see a photo of the system once everything is installed!
  • Chris Herrington from Cairns

    Posted on 3/25/2019

    Hi Kramer, I hope you aren't sick of Atmos questions yet! I have a 5.1 setup with a Marantz SR6013, Focal Chorus 726 front L&R, Focal Chorus CC700 center and Focal Chorus 605 rear surrounds plus a REL T7i sub. I'm looking to expand to 5.1.4 using in-ceiling speakers. My depth space is limited to 120mm so I've been looking at the Polk Audio MC80. Any comment on those? My ceiling height is only 7ft, are the 8 inch Polks an overkill?

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 3/25/2019

    Hi Chris, that's a pretty sweet system you have! The Polk MC80s are decent speakers, but I strongly recommend staying with Focal so that all of your speakers are voice matched to each other. The Focal 100 ICW 6 or the Focal 100 ICW 8 is an excellent choice for each overhead location.
  • Daniel from Sacramento

    Posted on 2/23/2019

    Are the height or ceiling speakers in an Atmos/DTS-X/Auro 3-D set up "mono"? Is there independent directionality with respect to (for instance) four ceiling speakers? The reason I ask is because if I buy a 5.1.2 receiver for two ceiling speakers, and want to add another pair of ceiling speakers, do I need to buy a whole new receiver to decode the added channels? Or can I just add a stereo amplifer to a 5.1.2 receiver to get increased channels? Thank you in advance for answering my questions. Dan

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 2/25/2019

    Hi Daniel. For Atmos-encoded content, each speaker does produce discrete information based on how the soundtrack was mastered. If you buy a 5.1.2 receiver (which has seven channels of amplification), and want to add an additional pair of surround speakers, you'll need a receiver that has pre-amp outputs for nine channels and also supports the audio formats you want.

    If you think you'll likely want to eventually go to 5.1.4, I recommend buying a receiver that has nine channels of amplification built-in for the best performance, and easiest setup and operation. The Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A2080 is an excellent choice for what you're looking to do.
  • Louis Cucci from Orland Park

    Posted on 12/24/2018

    Why do you say you need a Blu-ray player to experience full dolby or DTS? Are you aware that Netflix has been streaming 4K and even Dolby Atmos Compatible programming? Is Netflix lying or am I misunderstanding your article?

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 12/24/2018

    Hi Louis, it's true that Netflix supports Dolby Atmos, but currently they don't support DTX:S (I'm not aware of any streaming service that does). So while you can get Atmos-encoded content through a streaming device like the Apple TV 4K, to get DTS:X you need a Blu-ray player that supports the format. I suspect we'll see more streaming gear in 2019 that supports both platforms, but for now, a Blu-ray disc is still the best way to go.
  • Monty from MELBOURNE

    Posted on 11/4/2018

    G'day Kramer, Hope you are well. I have the CXA5000 and MXA5000. Would upgrading to CXA5200 and MXA5200 improve much. The below mentioned is my speaker setup. My speakers are as follows: Fronts = Paradigm Studio 100 V5 Center = Paradigm Studio CC 690 V5 Primary Surrounds = Mission MX-4 Rear Surrounds = Mission Di-Pole Sub 1 = Mission MS10 Sub 2 = Yamaha YST SW225 Would like to know your thoughts on the system. I believe its a great combo. I have had this for around 3 years or so. What are your thoughts on upgrading the processor to CXA5100 simply for Atmos/DTS-x sound format and wifi capability and few other gimis. What are your thoughts?? I did watch a demo movie at a display centre and I couldn't really feel any difference. Tested with Transformers-Age of Extension movie. Anyways what are your thoughts on ATMOS/DTS-X formats??? Look forward to your reply. Thanks, Monty

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 11/6/2018

    Hi Monty, you have one of the best home theater setups I've come across recently — I bet it sounds fantastic! Though the object-based surround sound formats are nice, I see no compelling reason to upgrade your pre-pro or amp at this point since the CX-A5000 offers presence channels which would let you add overhead effects if you wanted. In your shoes I'd stick with what you have. Happy listening!
  • Jarek from St. Louis

    Posted on 9/4/2018

    If I have Atmos speaker setup with 4 speakers that include up-firing ones and receiver that can handle both Atmos and DTS X: will DTS X utilize these up-firing speakers?

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 9/6/2018

    Hi Jarek, yes your upward-firing speakers should work just fine in both formats. Happy listening!
  • Monty from MELBOURNE

    Posted on 6/8/2018

    G'day mate, Hope you are well. Wanted to know what will be the best crossover frequency for sub-woffer in Home theatre? Thanks for your help.

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 6/11/2018

    Hi Monty, generally you'll want to set your sub's crossover to "LFE," which lets your receiver automatically take care of frequency distribution. But if you're setting it manually, 80-100 Hz is a good ballpark starting point (then you'd dial it to taste).
  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/9/2018

    Good to hear from you again, Monty. I'm passing along your questions to one of our advisors, who will reach out soon to help with your setup.

  • Monty from MELBOURNE

    Posted on 1/8/2018

    Hello Kramer, Thanks for your reply. I was just wondering if I have my system wired on balanced XLR cables plugged in rather than unbalanced cables, which is what I have done at the moment. Also I am in need of some help on what would be great speaker cables connected to the power amp. Is it the thicker the cable wire the better or it doesn't matter. Thanks I await for your reply.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/3/2018

    Hey Monty, Dave isn't available to respond, but my recommendation is to stick with what you have. Though adding the two overhead effects channels would be nice, you wouldn't see a substantial upgrade over the (pretty terrific) system that you have in place now. I'd wait a few years before upgrading your pre-pro if I were in your shoes. Thanks for the great question!

  • Monty from MELBOURNE

    Posted on 12/30/2017

    G'day Dave Bar, How are you? I have a setup of Yamaha Pre/Pro of 1st gen CXA5000/MXA5000. What a great combo I believe so anyway. My speakers are as follows: Fronts = Paradigm Studio 100 V5 Center = Paradigm Studio CC 690 V5 Primary Surrounds = Mission MX-4 Rear Surrounds = Mission Di-Pole Sub 1 = Mission MS10 Sub 2 = Yamaha YST SW225 Would like to know your thoughts on the system. I believe its a great combo. I have had this for around 3 years or so. What are your thoughts on upgrading the processor to CXA5100 simply for Atmos/DTS-x sound format and wifi capability and few other gimis. What are your thoughts?? I did watch a demo movie at a display centre and I couldn't really feel any difference. Tested with Transformers-Age of Extension movie. Anyways what are your thoughts on ATMOS/DTS-X formats??? Look forward to your reply. Thanks, Monty

  • Rik from Meriden

    Posted on 5/20/2017

    I own the fabulous PIONEER SC-95. I t has both Atmos and DTS-X. It is like Apples and Oranges. Atmos soundtracks sound great when properlya mixed and not just amped up 7.1. Good Examples of Atmos are UHDs of OBLIVION and ARRIVAL. Bad Atmos is Game Of Thrones Steelbook Edition. But it is more like sound from the F L speaker then sound from the Left Rear IE: different discreet sounds coming at you from 9 different speakers. Cool Eh? Yes, for sure...but it is nothing like DT-X - this give you more of a 360 feel or being in a dome with audio coming not at you but round you. I recently bumped into audio Nirvana when I put on a DTS - CD (remember those?). Specifically it was Dark Side OF The Moon purportedly mixed from Alan Parson's original Quad Mix, via Neural-X setting in the Pioneer S-95. the disc played onincredible OPPO-203, The rigjt Disc on the right player on the right Hardware with the right settings (crank the SB [or TB] and S and TMid). For what it's worth I have a cheat 5.2.4 on a 7.2.2 setting. Speakers are 4 Klipsch Towers, Klipsch Center, Klipsch SW, Mirage SW and 4 venerable Mirage Omnisats (great Atmos speakers people). What I heard was life-changing. DTS-X is the bomb. And NEURAL-X is AMAZING what it does to Stereo is jaw dropping. And People most Blu rays are in DTS-HD! DTS-/Neural X improves on other surround formats too. In my opinion DTS-X is a must If you are serious about great audio. IMHO DTS-X is no gimmick. Truly immersive people Get it now.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/20/2017

    Drew, I'm not familiar enough with that receiver to know definitively. If you bought it from us, please give our tech support a call. Alternatively, you can reach Onkyo's tech support at 800-229-1687.

  • drew787

    Posted on 1/15/2017

    I just wired up a pair of height (in ceiling) speakers, bringing my system to 5.1.2. I have an Onkyo TX-RZ810. I played a few blurays (Deadpool,gravity, The martian), all of which have DTS-HD-MA (7.1) capable audio tracks. This was via a PS3. The PS3 was set to bitstream output. The receiver did not indicate use of any height speakers in the normal DTS or DD listening modes. When switching to either DTS:Neural:X or Dolby Surround, the receiver then began outputting audio from the heights. Are these modes the "correct" listening modes to be in or should I have been getting something from the base DTS-HD-MA tracks? Read the entire onkyo manual, but that left a little to be desired. I could repurpose the rear ceiling speakers for rear back speakers, although that's probably not the best due to placement. Thanks!

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/30/2016

    Hi Bor, DTS:X format is indeed specific to encoded movie soundtracks. If you want to play music through all of your speakers, simply switch your home theater to an all-stereo mode (sometimes called multi-channel stereo). That way you'll get room-filling sound regardless of where the audio source is coming from.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/30/2016

    Hi Todd, check out the Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A860. It has everything you're looking for, and does an amazing job with HDR, 4K, and DTS:X.

    Your current speaker setup with work nicely with DTS:X. One of the big benefits of this surround format is that is doesn't require any particular speaker placement or arrangement. And Yamaha's on-screen menu and mobile app are terrific. Let us know if you have any questions during the setup!

  • Bor from Nova Gorica,Slovenia

    Posted on 11/28/2016

    hi, I'd like to get one thing straight. A film needs to be formatted (or whatever) to DTS:X or Dolby Atmos for this system to have the desired effect. Right? But what about music? Does it also need be in DTS:X format to be played all around the place or does the receiver do the job anyway? I'm referring to youtube on tv or streaming mp3s from phone . Thank you!

  • Todd from Clearwater,Fl

    Posted on 11/27/2016

    I currently have a 7.1 setup with a Denon X4100 avr. However I am wanting to upgrade the AVR to be able to utilize DTS X since Denon didn't give hdcp 2.2 and DTS X capability to the X4100W. I have kind of an odd setup because my left /right mid surround and both rear surrounds are down firing from ceiling due to space restrictions(and my wife mostly haha). My front towers and center channel along with 15" SVS sub are at normal level. Would DTS X sound encoding be able to take advantage of ceiling mounted speakers like I have in a 7.1 setup and what AVR would you recommend for FULL 4K/HDR AND DTS X support that is under $1000 dollars. Thanks Crutchfield!!

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/22/2016

    Hi Dillon, great questions! I've passed them on to our Advisors. They'll be in touch with a detailed recommendation for your new system.

  • Dillon from Watertown, SD

    Posted on 11/21/2016

    I am looking at upgrading my entire home theater system as I recently had a couple speakers die on me including my subwoofer. I have roughtly a $1,500 budget for speakers and receiver and wondering if there is anything you might recommend for a speaker system and receiver?

    I am currently looking at the Onkyo TX-NR757 with Onkyo SKS-HT993THX and SKH-410. I have never owned Onkyo products before have used plenty of Yamaha in the past and love the products. I currently have a Yamaha RX-A2000 from 2010, will the TX-NR757 be a good upgrade from the A2000?

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/1/2016

    Hi Lon, from what I can find the Oppo BDP-103D doesn't support DTS:X natively. But if you're using a disc that is DTS:X encoded, try setting the Oppo's audio output to bitstream. That should let the receiver do the DTS:X decoding. Let me know if that works!

  • Lon Ramey from San Antonio

    Posted on 10/29/2016

    Dave. I have the Pioneer SC97 with the recent firmware DTS-X update. I play my movies on the oppo 103-d. When i tried the xmachina bluray on DTS-X, the receiver auto corrects to DTS-MHD? It plays atmos fine, but im not sure if OPPO is supporting DTS-X. Do you know?

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/17/2016

    Hi Robby, here is a list of receivers that have both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X built-in and ready to go out of the box.

    Blu-ray discs can only be encoded with one or the other because the soundtracks take up so much space. Your system should automatically recognize which you have for a given movie, and default to that mode.

    Because the wiring is the same, you can certainly set your system up for both Atmos and DTS:X. Feel free to give us a shout if you have any more questions, or need a hand picking out the right gear!

  • Robby from White Plains

    Posted on 10/15/2016

    Hi hope all is well. Sorry hope this isn't redundant or remedial by any means; question is as of this wiring are there are any receivers that straight or of the box are Atmos and DTX:X compatible? And just to be certain I understand do these two co exist at the same time while watching a movie (if you have the right set up of course) or are they two different modes you can switch between...?

  • Joshua Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/6/2016

    jbug, DTS:X will work beautifully with your 7.1 system. That's one of the big advantages that it has over Dolby Atmos; no height channels are required for high-quality object-based surround sound.

    If you run into any issues, let me know!

  • jbug from Chicago

    Posted on 9/3/2016

    I have Onkyo's 646 receiver and a 7.1 set up. I don't have the ceiling height for ceiling speakers and there is a ceiling beam that would block up firing signals from speakers placed on top of my front left and right speakers. If I understand this right, DTS: X will be compatible with that set up, right? I downloaded the DTS: X update yesterday.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/2/2016

    Hi Alex, Yamaha was on top of things early on by including DTS:X in many of their new receivers. However, there are some other manufacturers that have released DTS:X firmware. The links in the article above will show all of the available options. Please give us a call if you need any help deciding on a new receiver!

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/2/2016

    Hi Alex, you are right that regular in-ceiling speakers can serve as Atmos speakers when wired to the height channel outputs of a receiver. For your stated layout, I would connect your ceiling speakers to the surround or surround back channels of your receiver. That would give you a 5.1, with surround info coming through those overhead speakers.

    If you add another pair of ceiling speakers to your existing setup, you would then have a 5.1.2 (the .2 being the Atmos speakers). If you're sticking with your existing speaker system for now, I don't recommend connecting the ceiling speakers to the Atmos channels. They won't sound as good that way as they will when connected to the surround channels. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions!

  • Alex from Bethesda, MD

    Posted on 8/31/2016

    Am I correct in that the only maker of AV receivers that supports the DTS:X is the Yahama? (At least among those you carry?)

  • Alex from Bethesda, MD

    Posted on 8/31/2016

    Am I correct in understanding that I don't need certified Atmos speakers to enjoy Atmos sound so long as I have ceiling speakers? Currently I have a 5.1 system with a center and two front speakers (all Speakercraft) and two speakers to the rear side in the ceiling plus a subwoofer (all Klipsch).

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/24/2016

    Mark, I'm sorry to hear you're having difficulty getting DTS:X to work. If you purchased this receiver from Crutchfield, give us a call and our tech support folks can help. If it was bought elsewhere, you'll want to contact Denon directly at (201) 762-6665. Their tech support department is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and on Saturday from 12 PM to 8 PM EST.

  • Mark shortall from Greenville

    Posted on 8/20/2016

    I have a Denon Avr-X 6200w receiver. I downloaded the DTS X via firmware but when I pull it up in the menu it does not list it? Also will I be able to use DTS Neutral:X when watching directv? Thank you

  • rob saunders from swansea uk

    Posted on 8/1/2016

    kef t series speakers make good atmos speakers if you don't want holes in the ceiling. I can't seem to find a dts-x blu ray film that actually as a dts-x sound track on it all they have is 7:1.

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/23/2016

    Rusty, I sent your question to our advisors for the best answer. They'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • Rusty Russell from Arlington, TX

    Posted on 5/22/2016

    I just had an Onkyo TXSR-805 die and need to replace it. I am running a 7.1 setup with Jensen E855 towers in front, Jensen 10.5" 4-way in ceilings for surrounds and rears, with Mirage center and 200 amp sub in a rectangular room that is 17.5' x 24' x 10'. I am looking for a receiver with both Atmos and DTS-X capability with lots of inputs and a realistic price. What would you recommend?

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/18/2016

    Glad to hear you figured it out, Leland. It's usually something simple like an overlooked setting that trips us up most often. (Of course today's receivers seem to have a million of them, so it's very easy to overlook one!) I hope your system sounds fantastic.

  • Leland from Portland

    Posted on 4/17/2016

    Ha! Yes I did! I finally read somewhere on the interwebs that I have to have my DSP in straight mode not surround decoder. Not sure if that's a bonehead mistake or not but now I and whoever else sees it knows!

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/17/2016

    Hey, Leland. One suggestion/question that seems almost too obvious to even mention (but I will 'cause that's just me): Have you actually downloaded the DTS:X firmware from Yamaha's website? This receiver did not ship with the firmware installed, and Yamaha only recently released it on 4/1/16. (Check the support tab for your receiver on their website for firmware download instructions.) If that isn't it, you can check with our tech support if you bought your receiver from us. I hope that helps.

  • Leland from Portland

    Posted on 4/14/2016

    Dave, I have a PlayStation 4 and a Yamaha RX-A 3050, I can get Atmos to work but I can't get DTS X to show in the display when watching Ex machina. Any suggestions?

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/13/2016

    Sorry, Roberto. The VSX-90 was released before DTS:X capability was available, and it seems unlikely that Pioneer could engineer a practical way to retro-fit it.


    Posted on 4/13/2016

    Hey Dave, is the Pioneer Elite VSX-90 DTS-X upgradeable?

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/10/2016

    That's a great question, Mitch. Generally speaking, the number of channels a receiver will "support" is the same as the number of speakers it can power. The Onkyo 'NR838, for example, has a 7-channel amplifier that can power up to 7 speakers. It will support a standard 7.2 surround sound setup, or a 5.2.2 Atmos system. But sometimes, the number of channels a receiver's surround processor supports can actually be greater than the number of speakers it can power on its own. The Yamaha RX-A3050 for instance can "support" up to a 7.2.4 Atmos system, but the receiver has only 9 channels of power. That means that an external 2-channel amplifier must be connected to it to power all 11 speakers. I know it can be confusing. Please give our advisors a call if you need help choosing a receiver.

  • Mitch Tallungan from Lake in the Hills

    Posted on 4/7/2016

    Hey Dave, this may seem like a fairly basic question BUT when i am looking at receivers that are dolby atmos or DTS:X they all seem to be listed as 7.2 or 9.2 question is, When seeing a dolby atmos receiver that is listed as 7.2 (such as the onkyo tx-nr838...does this mean that it will support 7.2.2, or does it mean that it will only support 5.2.2?

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/21/2016

    7.1.2 it is, Bart. That should work fine for Atmos and DTS:X. Good thinking on the Yamaha.

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/21/2016

    Anthony, If you calibrated the Denon with your Atmos-enabled speakers hooked up, your receiver should automatically switch to "Dolby Digital" whenever you play a non-Atmos disc in your Blue-ray player. This surround format allows your receiver to synthesize the effects Atmos.

  • Bart from Burlington, vt

    Posted on 3/21/2016

    I have 2 Klipsch towers and a center. 2 rear surrounds (I think that's how they are referred to) right behind the couch, but since the couch is against the back wall they are slightly higher and pointed down, then 2 rear side surrounds, same height but pointed right at the listening position at the sides. Then I put 2 8-inch Klipsch ceiling speakers up in the ceiling just in front of the couch. with one sub would that be a 7.1.2 setup? And will that work just as well for both Atmos and DTS-X? Waiting for the new Yamaha 2060's to come so I can grab a 2050 at a discount.

  • Anthony from Racine

    Posted on 3/20/2016

    I purchased denon avrs710 and have dolby atmos enabled front speakers. What playback format do I use to up convert old 5.1 formats?

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/15/2016

    Hi, Raj. For a brief time last year, Denon was upgrading their top-of-the-line AVR and AV pre/pro models with Dolby Atmos (not DTS:X), but you had to send the unit in for modification. As far as I'm aware, your receiver was not part of that program. As a rule, receivers that didn't originally include built-in Atmos or DTS:X decoding are not capable of being upgraded.

  • Raj from SOHAR

    Posted on 3/15/2016

    Hi Dave, I have Denon AVR (model-2113), is it possible to upgrade to dolby atmos/dts:X..?

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/2/2016

    Tony, Dolby Labs has an Atmos demo disc, but I'm not certain it's readily available to "civilians" outside the industry. Here's a list of Atmos-enabled Blu-ray discs from Dolby. Of the ones I've seen, American Sniper and Mad Max: Fury Road seem to have more than their fair share of Atmos sound effects.

  • Tony from Cleveland

    Posted on 3/1/2016

    Are there any Atmos demo blu rays that you can play to really show the power and effects that atmos has?

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/29/2016

    Hi, Rajeev. Your '2040 came out the model year before DTS:X was available. It's still a great receiver, but I'm afraid there is no way upgrade the firmware to accommodate the newer surround format. Sorry.

  • Rajeev Gidwaney from Milton, Ontario

    Posted on 2/28/2016

    Hi Dave I have a Yamaha 2040 aventage Avr supporting Dolby atmos. Will it support DTS X in the future with a firmware upgrade or there is no way to fix it as its a hardware modification?

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/22/2016

    No word from Onkyo yet, Howell. I sent them an inquiry over a month ago, and unfortunately they haven't responded. On a positive note (for some, at least), Yamaha just announced that firmware updates will be available in early March for their Aventage A/V receivers/processor and late April for the YSP-5600 soundbar.

  • Howell Atkinson from Manchester

    Posted on 2/22/2016

    Hi Dave, any news on the Onkyo 646 DTS-X Firmware rollout date - still waiting? Thanks.

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/4/2016

    Srinivas, I don't currently have any receivers with Atmos and DTS:X that have 11 channels of built-in power. However, both the 9-channel Yamaha RX-A3050 and Marantz SR7010 support 7.1.4 Atmos and DTS:X decoding, but you'll need to add a 2-channel power amp to drive the extra two speakers. Both receivers are outstanding, and I could happily live with either.

  • Srinivas from dallas

    Posted on 2/3/2016

    Dave, Could you please recommend me a 7.1.4 receiver which supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/1/2016

    Gene, Things can get a little squirrelly when it comes to Blu-ray player compatibility and Atmos/DTS:X playback. Basically, you'll still want a player that supports True HD and Master Audio (which is almost all of them), along with bitstream output. Here is a link to an article that explains compatibility in greater detail.

  • Gene Sheerin from Lake Jackson

    Posted on 1/29/2016

    Dave: The article suggests that, to enjoy Atmos and DTS X , one needs a bd player that supports True HD and HD Master Audio, but if the receiver is doing the decode then the bd player is just a transport, so surely the only bd player requirement is bitstream support, which I think almost every bd player meets. Am I missing something? Thanks, -gene

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/27/2016

    Hi, Daniel. Your receiver does not support DTS:X. Currently, the first receiver in the Yamaha lineup to offer that capability is the AVENTAGE RX-A1050.

  • Daniel L from Irvine

    Posted on 1/26/2016

    Hi I just bought a Yamaha Vx 577, does it support dtsx? Thanks

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/26/2016

    Hi Ricardo, The only folks I've heard from concerning DTS:X firmware updates are Denon and Marantz. No news yet from Yamaha. As for Yamaha's "presence speakers", they certainly add a bit of ambiance to the overall sound in a DSP sort of way. But I don't see them as being a direct replacement or alternative for discrete Atmos or DTS:X front-channel speakers. They are two very different technologies.

  • Ricardo from Long Beach, Ca.

    Posted on 1/25/2016

    Hello, Dave. I'm waiting for DTS:X firmware for my Yamaha RX-A2050 and I wonder when it will come. My Atmos/X setup are Def Techs Monitors 800 speakers and are placed right above my head pointing straight down to the couch and the the other two all the way up on the front wall as FPR and FPL for a 5.1.4 . What is your take on the Front Presence right and left form Yamaha as ceiling alternative?

  • Carlos Tomato from Irving

    Posted on 1/15/2016

    Just received and installed my new Onkyo RZ800 and WOW such an improvement from my older 805. Running 7.2 surround and no height speakers figured not worth it yet since not many movies out there to justify rearranging my current setup. Inputs galore although just utilizing 1 hdmi and 1 optical which is plenty for me. Sound is unbelievable very much alive I'd say. LFE is like a beast when they come alive (klipsch SW-115 two of these) with gains set at about only 30%. Thank u Crutchfield only my first day with the Z800 and can already tell it's going to be one heck of an experience for sure! Will keep u guys posted!!

  • Elliott from San Francisco

    Posted on 1/12/2016

    Thanks Dave! Elliott

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/12/2016

    Thanks, Elliott. We have forwarded your question to Onkyo. I'll let you know what they say as soon as I hear back from them.

  • Elliott from San Francisco

    Posted on 1/11/2016

    Hi Dave, Love your site. Any word on Onkyo's DTS-X firmware update for the TX-NR 646 AVR? They promised it by Fall 2015 and clearly missed that deadline. Any information would be greatly appreciated! Regards, Elliott California, USA

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/11/2016

    Hi Vicky, It looks like your system pre-dates Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, so I'm afraid there is no way to update it. It also appears that it was designed to function only as a complete system, so it would be inadvisable (if not impractical) to use the speakers by themselves with another receiver. Sorry.

  • Vicky from Newyork

    Posted on 1/11/2016

    Hi Dave, I have LG bh9430pw home theater system, this system has upward firing speakers both front and rear. Does this system has capability of supporting Dolby atmos and DTS X. If not if I get a new AV receiver whether I can use the same speaker? Please help to clarify. Thanks.

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/30/2015

    Ray, if by "forward" you are referring to the promised firmware updates, that depends. D+M Brands (Denon and Marantz) recently announced updates on select Marantz models starting in February and March, and select Denon models beginning in January and February. No word as of yet from other manufacturers. Of course, this could be different from planned release dates in Australia, where I believe you are located.

  • Ray Penney from Encounter Bay

    Posted on 12/30/2015

    When is the DTS:X forward to become available?

  • Rajini from Lusaka,Zambia

    Posted on 12/20/2015

    Hai Dave, which technology works better, Is it Dolby atmos or DTS X? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both decodings?

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/1/2015

    Doug, The Marantz SR7009 is not DTS:X upgradable. For that, you should check out the SR6010 or SR7010.

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/1/2015

    WT, Given the large size of your room, your power requirements will be significantly greater than they would in a smaller, more typical sized home theater, especially if you intend to listen at reference levels (which can sound overly loud to many people, usually but not always including myself).

    One of the real keys to a great-sounding system is having enough high-quality power (and headroom) to fill your listening space with the desired volume without having to push your amp(s) to distortion levels. A receiver or power amp does not have to be THX certified to meet this requirement. There are plenty of high-end receivers out there that can blow the lid off of most rooms, but a THX Ultra2 certified receiver (or possibly even a pre/pro with a separate power amp) would certainly be a good place to start looking.

  • Doug from N. Grafton MA

    Posted on 12/1/2015

    I am considering the Marantz sr7009 for my projection based home theater. I won't be upgrading to a 4K projector due to their 10K prices. Will the sr7009 upgrade to DTS:X ?

  • WT Clark from Spartanburg, SC

    Posted on 11/30/2015

    Hi Dave. I have a room that is 16x36' with a 9' ceiling. I'm wanting a DTS-X receiver and prefer Atmos. I THINK I want THX certification, specifically Ultra2 since the room is so large. The rear surrounds are located about 23' from the main seating area. The seating area is 13' from the screen. The question nobody has answered yet is, do I need THX certification or rather will I be rolling the dice if I buy one not certified? THX Select2 is for rooms of 2000 cubic feet. Mine is closer to 5000. Thanks!

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/23/2015

    Anthony, Up to a point, room correction and surround processors can overcome poor speaker placement and room acoustics. But I believe the more optimally you can position your speakers in the first place, the better the overall sound will be. I think your best bet would be in-ceiling height speakers in front, with Amos enabled add-on speakers a close second. Since there are no DTS:X theaters in my area, and the DTS:X firmware update for home receivers hasn't been released, I haven't had a chance to hear it yet. But I will say that Dolby Atmos sounds pretty awesome.

  • anthony o neill from waterford

    Posted on 11/22/2015

    i have just bought the denon avr x 2200 w and i would like to know will i be better off just running it with dts -x rather than putting in atmos speakers or ceiling speakers as i have got 7-1 speaker set up at the moment it would mean that i would have to take out 2 of my existing speakers and buy either atmos speakers or ceiling speakers ..and i would also like to ask you have you heard both of these sound systems and is there much difference in there performance

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/18/2015

    Aaron, I believe the answer to your first two questions is yes. Since your receiver's auto calibration is keyed to your specific room and speaker combination, not what type of surround sound you're using, you won't need to recalibrate when switching between surround formats. As to your last question, the last time I looked, all of our AVRs have the ability to upmix soundtracks in order to use all of the speakers connected to it.

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/18/2015

    Hi Kim. Having owned both Marantz and Onkyo receivers, I can honestly say that both are excellent products. The '6010 and 'rz800 are very evenly matched when it comes to features and performance, so either would make a great choice for up to a 5.1.2 system. However, I don't believe either will support a 5.1.4 system with four height channels. For that, you'll need to get a nine-channel receiver such as the Onkyo TX-NR1030, Marantz SR7010, or possibly a Yamaha RX-A2050.

  • Aaron C. Ols from Milwaukee

    Posted on 11/17/2015

    If you have a 5.2.4 setup that was initially intended for Atmos, with the "set speakers anywhere" philosophy of DTS:X, does that mean it will essentially work with either? So if I have BluRays with Atmos I can use the Atmos selection, and if there are any mixed with DTS:X, I can just switch to that instead? Would you have to calibrate for each every time that you intend to use either? There's really no way to tell what sound engineers are going to lean towards. Do any of the AVR's have upmix capabilities to utilize all of the speakers in one's setup?

  • Kim from Los Angeles

    Posted on 11/16/2015

    Hello Dave! I plan to set up a 5.1.2 (or perhaps 5.1.4) for my screening room ( which is a little on the small size). What's your take on the marantz sr 6010 vs the onkyo tx-rz800? Thanks!!

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/13/2015

    Luke, I've forwarded your question to our sales team for the best options and choices for your Atmos system. They'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • Luke from Rochester

    Posted on 11/13/2015

    I plan to set up a 7.2.4 system which support Dolby Atoms and DTS:X. Could you please recommend some receivers? Thanks.

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/12/2015

    Hi Jim, It sounds like you've got a lot going on there. First, I would go ahead and run the setup calibration with whatever speaker configuration you decide to start with. You can always run it again whenever you make any changes. I'm not that big of a fan of synthesized "front height" channels so I would leave the rear surround speakers in place.

    If you are using Definitive Technology BP-8060ST towers for your front and back speakers, then by all means, use the A60 Atmos modules atop both pairs of towers. You'll need to connect a stereo amp to your SC-99 to power either the front or rear height channels since the SC-99 can only power up to nine speakers on its own. You'll now have a perfect 7.1.4 system.

  • jim from Lynnfield

    Posted on 11/12/2015

    Hello Dave, I purchased a pioneer sc-99 and was wondering if I should wait until I have all my height speakers installed before I use the set up microphone? I was wondering if i could take my 7.1 rear surround speakers and move them to the front high up on the walls for effects speakers or should I put them on stands on each side of the room along with using the def tech a60 atmos speakers front and rear? Thanks for your help.

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/6/2015

    Hi Tim, I believe the SC 85 was introduced before DTS:X processor hardware was available, so it would take more than a firmware update to make it DTS:X capable. As far as I know, Pioneer has no plans to make that hardware upgrade for this model.

  • Tim from Sunland

    Posted on 11/6/2015

    Hi Dave. I just purchased the Pioneer Elite SC 85 to use Dolby Atmos and was hoping that a firmware update would support DTS-X. Do you know if this receiver will be supporting DTS-X in the future? Thanks!!!

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/5/2015

    Great questions, Paul. All of the receivers you mention provide on-board processing capable of supporting a full 7.2.4 Atmos or DTS:X system configuration. But since they are each limited to 9 channels of internal amplification, an external 2-channel power amp would have to be added to drive that setup. This is a fact we list for the Denon, but neglect to mention for the others. I'll see if we can't add that information to our other receivers to make it clearer in the future. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Paul from Raleigh

    Posted on 10/4/2015

    I currently have a 7.2 setup with an older Yamaha Aventage AVR. I am looking to implement a 7.2.4 Atmos / DTS-X setup next year. Most of the receivers I see only list support for 7.2.2 or 5.2.4 but not the full 7.2.4, except for the Denon X7200. Is this an internal amp limitation? I.e. can the Yamaha 3050 or Pioneer SC-99 do the full 7.2.4 with an external amp? (The X7200 only has 9 amp channels so I'm not sure.) Or is it a processing limitation?

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/25/2015

    Michael, Sorry for the delay. My Yamaha guy got back to me and has verified that the RX-A3050 will support Neural:X when the DTS:X firmware update becomes available. I hope that helps.

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/15/2015

    Michael, that's a great question. We know the RX-A3050 will support DTS:X with a firmware update that's expected to be released by Yamaha sometime this Fall. I believe that Neural:X is built into DTS:X and will also be available on the '3050, but I'm not certain. I have forwarded your question to my Yamaha Rep who is checking with his engineers. I'll let you know as soon as I hear back from him.

  • Michael Barfi from West Palm Beach

    Posted on 9/13/2015

    I want to purchase the Yamaha RX-A3050,will this receiver get both DTS X and NEURAL X ? Their previous models did not support DTS NEO X.

  • Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/25/2015

    Eric, The Onkyo TX-NR3030 is an awesome Dolby Atmos enabled receiver, to be sure. Right now, it doesn't appear as though it will support DTS:X (at least it's not on Onkyo's list of DTS:X capable receivers). Whether that will change in the future with a firmware update remains to be seen. Because of when it was released relative to the announcement of DTS:X, I suspect it may be more of a hardware incompatibility than a firmware issue.

  • eric love from El Dorado Hills

    Posted on 8/24/2015

    I was considering the 'nr3030 because it seems it is the only 11 channel receiver that doesn't require an additional amp. It is atmos supported. Can I expect an update to support dts-x? Is it even a possible firmware update?