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Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

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Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Old 02-09-10, 07:46 PM
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Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Ive done a fair bit of research on the basics of Blu Ray audio formats and the common questions about decoding, HDMI pass through and the pros/cons of 5.1/7.1 setups. What I was not able to readily find was the answer to what I think is a pretty straightforward question- Do you need a 7.1 setup to take advantage of TrueHD or DTS HD or can they be well implemented in a 5.1 setup? I have a smaller home theater area and am leaning towards a 5.1 setup given lack of space, but want some guidance on whether or not those audio formats are wasted in a 5.1 configuration.

Can any forum members offer their perspective on my question?

TIA
Old 02-09-10, 08:06 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by Thespian68 View Post
Ive done a fair bit of research on the basics of Blu Ray audio formats and the common questions about decoding, HDMI pass through and the pros/cons of 5.1/7.1 setups. What I was not able to readily find was the answer to what I think is a pretty straightforward question- Do you need a 7.1 setup to take advantage of TrueHD or DTS HD or can they be well implemented in a 5.1 setup? I have a smaller home theater area and am leaning towards a 5.1 setup given lack of space, but want some guidance on whether or not those audio formats are wasted in a 5.1 configuration.

Can any forum members offer their perspective on my question?

TIA
Although my lossless receiver is capable of 7.1, I'm only set up with 5.1. I don't have room for 6.1 or 7.1 and I can tell the difference between lossless and lossy tracks.

So in short, go get yourself a lossless receiver, the sound is awesome
Old 02-09-10, 08:24 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA are worth it on a 5.1 system. I have a small apartment and 7.1 wouldn't be worth it.
Old 02-09-10, 08:46 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Since most movies and TV shows are still going to be 5.1 anyway, the difference between the two isn't all that much. Your speakers and receiver are much more important in determining whether lossless audio is going to make a difference.

The quantity of speakers isn't that important, but the quality of the speakers and receiver are. I have a 7.1 setup, but I usually only get sound from the back 2 when I spread my music to all channels, the backs are on either side of my bed so I get a nice close stereo sound from them.

Last edited by TheKing; 02-09-10 at 08:50 PM.
Old 02-10-10, 05:21 AM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

I have a 7.1 setup and love it. Size of the room shouldn't matter, if the system is calibrated properly. My rear surround speakers are just behind my head. 7.1 soundtracks from blu ray movies are very good so far, and I have my receiver set to Dolby Pro Logic IIx, so I watch tv with 7.1 surround. Some commercials are better than the programming in 7.1.

Your speakers and hearing is the most important things as to whether or not you'll notice any difference in the HD audio. An HTIB system probably won't show the differences. But to answer your question, yes, 5.1 sounds great too, in HD audio.
Old 02-10-10, 08:36 AM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

With the exception of a few US Blu Ray releases from New Line (ie. Pan's Labyrinth, Shoot Em' Up) and many Asian action flicks, most movies are 5.1. I have a 7.1 setup and love it for those few movies with a 7.1 track. If you have the space and the cash for those extra 2 speakers for the back, I say go for it. But in short response to your question, a good 5.1 setup will do just fine. I don't think it would be a waste to have the extra 2 speakers, but it sounds like you lack the space for now. Not sure if you have the receiver yet or not, but if you're looking to buy one, most have 5.1/7.1 capability. Maybe get something like that to plan for a future setup so you can expand your theater.

Last edited by E Unit; 02-10-10 at 09:33 AM.
Old 02-10-10, 08:53 AM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Absolutely yes. These HD audio formats are really about less compressed sound quality, not more speakers. And as trespoochies said, there are very few Blu Rays that even have 7.1 soundtracks anyway.
Old 02-10-10, 12:51 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Thanks everyone for the feedback so far. The comments above are all valuable. Now I need to start researching receivers and speakers factoring in cost and future upgrades I might want.
Old 02-10-10, 01:12 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Well, IMO it is all about the quality of your set up.

Don't get a $200 Sony POS receiver and Sony $99.00 speakers just because it has lossless. Please, please, don't look at this feature FIRST.

Look for nice quality equipment and than let this one single feature help you make a final decision.

Meaning, quality speakers will have a significantly bigger impact on overall sound quality than lossless. Meaning, don't get a crappy sounding receiver only because it has lossless.

Do you have a budget? Is there something you have looked at you like?

There have been some nice deals on Denon receivers that are generally well recommended. I personally like H/K, and a "value" favorite is Onkyo. For speakers don't skimp. This is where it is all at. Check out the usual suspects from SVS, Definitive Technology, B&W, KEF (a personal favorite), Klipsch, Maggies, and a few others I'm sure I'm missing. For a sub, check out SVS or HSU....
Old 02-10-10, 01:26 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

I'll second the Denon, as well as Sdallnct's comment on not skimping on either receiver or speakers. I spent the better part of last year building up my system and the results are astounding. In regards to receiver's, I also agree that H/K's are really good. My last receiver was an H/K before the Denon. Both are pretty great IMO. My decision came down to really nitpicking small stuff. Speakers are way harder IMO to get, if only because you will hardly ever get to hear the differences from showroom to your place. Of course, all depend on how much your funds allow. I think when it was all said and done, I spent just under $4K.
Old 02-10-10, 04:17 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Once I upgraded my system everything sounded better, even DVD-r's with 5.1 DD so it was tough to tell precisely what the major factor was. As I was adding the Blu-ray and HD DVD players I was also replacing my old Yamaha receiver with a Pioneer Elite capable of HDMI 1.3 and all the HD audio decoding. I also upgraded my left and right front speakers along with a dedicated sub instead of the built in subs of my previous front speakers. Can I honestly tell you I can tell the difference between a lossless and lossy track just by listening? No. When I switch between the 2 formats in the menu I can tell but I can't guarantee it's not a placebo effect from knowing what I'm switching to.

So with quality equipment everything will sound better but yes, the HD audio will absolutely kick ass on a good calibrated system.
Old 02-10-10, 04:34 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Well, IMO it is all about the quality of your set up.

Do you have a budget? Is there something you have looked at you like?

There have been some nice deals on Denon receivers that are generally well recommended. I personally like H/K, and a "value" favorite is Onkyo. For speakers don't skimp. This is where it is all at. Check out the usual suspects from SVS, Definitive Technology, B&W, KEF (a personal favorite), Klipsch, Maggies, and a few others I'm sure I'm missing. For a sub, check out SVS or HSU....
Some great recommendations. Im probably limited to $1000 to start given some other priorities with the budget. I may consider the Onkyo HT-S7200 package, or go with the Polk RM705 speakers and add a decent 7.1 receiver.

I'd welcome any comments on those options, or any other component recommendations that would meet my price range. I'll be pairing the system with a 52" Sharp AQUOS 120hz TV (which I love..)
Old 02-10-10, 04:36 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by trespoochies View Post
I think when it was all said and done, I spent just under $4K.
I can spend $4K and be divorced..or $1K and just get yelled at a little....

Decisions...decisions....
Old 02-10-10, 08:35 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by Thespian68 View Post
Some great recommendations. Im probably limited to $1000 to start given some other priorities with the budget. I may consider the Onkyo HT-S7200 package, or go with the Polk RM705 speakers and add a decent 7.1 receiver.

I'd welcome any comments on those options, or any other component recommendations that would meet my price range. I'll be pairing the system with a 52" Sharp AQUOS 120hz TV (which I love..)
No...don't get a HTiB. Yes, Onkyo is the best of the HTiB systems, but that is a dubious honor at best. Onkyo makes a nice receiver for the money but one would never, NEVER buy their speakers on their own.

With careful shopping you can do just as good and get a better set up. Especially with regards to speakers.
Old 02-10-10, 08:57 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

A quick look led me to these speakers that IMO would be better than anything by Onkyo,

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...procinema-60-6

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ge-nanosat-5-1
Old 02-11-10, 10:23 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

IMO like some mentioned on here already speakers are going to make thee biggest difference when it comes to SQ. I would not bother with 7.1 not much out there now to really take advantage of it.
I'm gonna assume this is mostly for movies? If so, and if you already have a AVR. I would use that for now,use the $1K to get L/R fronts and maybe a center. I would then save up for a good sub(another biggie for HT),if you couldn't get a center at 1st then get the matching center next,finally the rears. Once your done with the speakers you can go after the AVR then BD player.
It will go quicker than you think and you will end up with a system that's 100 times better then spending $1K all at once on all of it.
If you have speakers now,just use them as you go and take them out as you upgrade.
As far as what speakers, no one can tell you what sounds good to you so you'll have to go listen to as many as you can and find out what you like. Once you know that we may be able to suggest others you might like and consider.
Just my two cents.
Old 02-12-10, 11:07 AM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

So, is it safe to say that someone with just an average speaker setup will NOT notice a difference if they upgrade their receiver from a non DTS-HD (Next Gen audio formats) to one the supports it?

I'm in the same boat currently. I have an older Sony STR-DA1000ES receiver and I continue to look at upgrading to something with HDMI and next gen audio formats. Although, my speakers are a JBL Home Theatre set. I upgraded the sub, but that is it.
Old 02-12-10, 03:13 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by DJ_Longfellow View Post
So, is it safe to say that someone with just an average speaker setup will NOT notice a difference if they upgrade their receiver from a non DTS-HD (Next Gen audio formats) to one the supports it?
I have heard some people claiming they can hear the difference on TV speakers... but i personally believe you need at least a decent to good set of speaker to notice the difference.
Old 02-12-10, 03:25 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by cpgator View Post
I have heard some people claiming they can hear the difference on TV speakers... but i personally believe you need at least a decent to good set of speaker to notice the difference.
Has this even been done? Who in their right mind would use tv speakers in a 5.1 environment connected to a receiver capable of DTS: MA/TrueHD?
Old 02-12-10, 07:31 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by DJ_Longfellow View Post
So, is it safe to say that someone with just an average speaker setup will NOT notice a difference if they upgrade their receiver from a non DTS-HD (Next Gen audio formats) to one the supports it?

I'm in the same boat currently. I have an older Sony STR-DA1000ES receiver and I continue to look at upgrading to something with HDMI and next gen audio formats. Although, my speakers are a JBL Home Theatre set. I upgraded the sub, but that is it.
Well would you hear a difference,yes you would but most likely gonna be minimal depending on your speakers.
I'm not trying to knock anyone's set up but if your trying to improve the SQ and you have a "average speaker setup" then upgrading those speakers is going to give the biggest upgrade in SQ.
In your case you already upgraded a crucial part of it,now just save up for the fronts then the center. Just go audition as many speakers as you can and see what you like.
Old 02-12-10, 09:39 PM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by DJ_Longfellow View Post
So, is it safe to say that someone with just an average speaker setup will NOT notice a difference if they upgrade their receiver from a non DTS-HD (Next Gen audio formats) to one the supports it?

I'm in the same boat currently. I have an older Sony STR-DA1000ES receiver and I continue to look at upgrading to something with HDMI and next gen audio formats. Although, my speakers are a JBL Home Theatre set. I upgraded the sub, but that is it.
It's not just about "if you will hear a difference". BTW, I personally think you "might" but on lower speakers it will be just that, different. Not better/worse.

However for the sake of argument lets say you could hear a slight improvement. The point I always try to make is that if you have lowish or even mid level speakers you will hear a much, MUCH more increase in sound quality by upgrading your speakers and staying with "lossy" than by keeping your lowish end speakers and going lossless.

If you already have pretty nice to really nice speakers that you enjoy, than going lossless might be the next logical upgrade. And probably make a nice upgrade. But there are still other things I'd look at. And upgraded sub can make a significant impact (almost literally).

There are other factors of course. If you have a really crappy sounding receiver, if you upgrade to a nice sounding one that also does lossless, maybe you would hear more of an upgrade in sound. But I'll still say, nothing effects the overall quality like upgrading your speakers.
Old 02-13-10, 03:22 AM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
A quick look led me to these speakers that IMO would be better than anything by Onkyo,

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...procinema-60-6

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ge-nanosat-5-1
Hey just wondering what everyone thinks of Def Techs subs. I have all def tech speakers except for my sub. Thinking about upgrading.
Old 02-13-10, 07:47 AM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by SUPERMANROB View Post
Well would you hear a difference,yes you would but most likely gonna be minimal depending on your speakers.
I'm not trying to knock anyone's set up but if your trying to improve the SQ and you have a "average speaker setup" then upgrading those speakers is going to give the biggest upgrade in SQ.
In your case you already upgraded a crucial part of it,now just save up for the fronts then the center. Just go audition as many speakers as you can and see what you like.
I would like to upgrade my Center and Fronts; however, the way my setup is I only have limited space for my center speaker. It would have to a lowprofile as it sits in the shelf directly below my Sony LCD RPTV. I cannot really mount it about also, as the TV is in a corner. I'll admit it is not an ideal setup, but it works for me.
Old 02-13-10, 11:01 AM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
A quick look led me to these speakers that IMO would be better than anything by Onkyo,

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...procinema-60-6

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ge-nanosat-5-1
Thank you for the great suggestions. I see some great choices on Vanns and may decide to hit the Crutchfield store as its only a few hours from me.
Old 02-13-10, 11:04 AM
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Re: Is TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio worth it on a 5.1 setup?

Originally Posted by SUPERMANROB View Post
IMO like some mentioned on here already speakers are going to make thee biggest difference when it comes to SQ. I would not bother with 7.1 not much out there now to really take advantage of it.
Just my two cents.
You (as well as other members) have made excellent points about speaker upgrades making the biggest difference when starting from a budget system assuming the receiver is not some bare bones model. I'm thinking of heading this way...I have an old Pioneer receiver from circa 2000, but it decodes DD and DTS, and isnt half bad sounding. I will probably dump my $$ into better speakers and upgrade the receiver itself later.

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