Surround sound is one of the key components of home cinema, using dedicated speakers to create a true 'cinema at home' experience as good or better than the surround sound experience in theatres.
Until recently surround has been limited to 5.1 or 7.1 channels on the horizontal plain. This causes problems for sound design. For example, when a scene involves an aircraft taking off in front of and going over the audience, the sound can't actually go overhead. Instead, it essentially goes 'around' the listener, with the sound effects assigned to specific channels as the aircraft is moving from front to back.
This is where Dolby Atmos comes in. Dolby Atmos completely changes the way in which we listen to surround sound by freeing sound from individual channels. This means that any sound can be created as an object that can be precisely placed and moved, including overhead, delivering what Dolby calls ‘moving audio’.
The effect is ‘audio from all directions’ and in our opinion, the best ever home theatre experience. It is totally immersive and succeeds in justifying the description of putting the viewer ‘inside all the action’.
Dolby Atmos also includes ‘Up-mixing’ technology, which means that historical content gets an upgrade, similar to how DVDs are upscaled on HD televisions and displays.
So is Dolby Atmos the leap forward home cinema has been waiting for? In our opinion, it is the biggest evolution in home cinema sound yet, and because audio is such a critical component of an enjoyable movie experience, it fully justifies the hype.
If you’d like to experience Dolby Atmos, please click the button below to arrange a demo.