Meet Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is the first new surround sound technology in twenty years that actually matters, in our opinion. Most of us have heard of Dolby Digital or DTS, both of which are digital surround sound formats. Almost every home theater receiver built in the last fifteen years supports both, and you can hear these surround sound formats when watching almost all TV programs, and certainly all DVD or Blu-ray movies. So what is this Atmos, and how is it different?

Surround sound hasn’t really had a revolutionary leap since 1994 when Dolby Digital came onto the scene. While you might have heard such terms as 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, 9.1 (you get the idea), all that happens is an increase in the number of speakers around your room, either on the side walls or behind you. While the sound did get a bit more immersive, it wasn’t dramatically different than your normal 5 speaker setup. Atmos changes all of that.

Dolby Atmos is commonly referred to as a 3D surround sound. In a movie theater that has Atmos, there are actually 64 speakers in the auditorium, many rows of them on the ceiling, which allows for placing sound not just around you, but above you in specific spots. While we don’t expect that many of us will outfit a room with 64 speakers, you can get the same Atmos experience with different speaker and placement options that fit into a home.

Upgrade Your Experience

What you will need to get started is a new Dolby Atmos receiver or preamp/amplifier combo. If your speakers are all in-wall or in-ceiling you will need to add more speakers. If you have free-standing tower speakers around the room, they can be replaced the Atmos-capable speakers that have extra channels built-in. Finally you will need a current-generation Blu-ray player such as an Oppo.

We sell Atmos products and would love to discuss upgrading your existing system to Atmos or helping you build a new spectacular movie room of your own!