Dolby Atmos was introduced in commercial theaters around the world in 2012. Since then, almost every blockbuster movie has been produced with the biggest advancement in cinema sound in over a decade. Now, Dolby Atmos is in the home, transporting you from the ordinary to extraordinary as breathtaking, immersive sound flows all around you.
Want to experience Dolby Atmos for yourself? Visit us at Century Stereo to demo the future of sound and see if Dolby Atmos is right for your home theater. You’ll be surprised at the array options available to bring incredible sound into your home.
From Channel Mixing to Dolby Atmos
Prior to the arrival of Dolby Atmos, cinema sound designers mixed independent sounds together into channels for soundtrack creation. Channels were essentially pockets of sound in the room, designated by speaker locations. More speakers meant more channels, but as cinema sound continued to evolve, the engineers at Dolby Digital predicted that adding more channels wasn’t enough to make sound truly immersive. Sound could move through channels and around the audience, but not overhead, and not with smooth, natural movement as you would experience in real life.
Taking a hybrid approach of static and dynamic audio objects, engineers redesigned cinema sound by allowing content creators to use X, Y, and Z coordinates to place sound anywhere in the theater, even overhead. This gave the content creators greater creative freedom while providing moviegoers with lifelike sound experience.
Dolby Atmos supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects, creating rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. Its descriptive metadata captures the director’s intent and provides customized playback for cinema, home theater, and mobile devices. In the home, Dolby Atmos utilizes a sophisticated rendering process to scale and adapt the original cinema experience into your theater with as few as seven speakers to as many as 34. Dolby Atmos content is fully compatible for playback on conventional stereo and on 5.1- and 7.1-channel systems.
Dolby Atmos Setup and Compatibility
Because Dolby Atmos adds new dimension in sound, it uses new nomenclature to better indicate the speaker setup. For example, a 5.1.2 speaker configuration in your living room would mean that you had five traditional speakers (including surrounds), one subwoofer, and two upward-firing speakers or overhead speakers. This is the minimum recommended setup to use with Dolby Atmos. While you can technically add as many as 34 speakers in-home, Dolby Atmos and Century Stereo recommend a 9.1.2 setup for a rich, engaging setup that won’t overpower your system.
Even if you live in an apartment or another space where you can’t install overhead speakers at this time, consider using Dolby Atmos enabled upward-firing speakers, which typically sit at the front of the room, firing sound upward into your ceiling and creating the same effect as overhead speakers. If you are able to do overhead speakers, ceiling height between eight and fourteen feet is recommended for best performance.
Varying configurations: In-ceiling overhead speakers vs. Upward-firing speakers
A number of brands carry Dolby Atmos-compatible receivers and speakers. Check with your Century Stereo sales rep to see if the equipment you already have will work with Dolby Atmos, or if you need to upgrade your system.
Experience Truly Immersive Sound
Check out this interview with Greg P. Russell on Mixing “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in Dolby Atmos. In the video touches on the way the integrity of sound transfers from the cinema to home theater experience. The result is spine-tingling, hair-raising sound in your home!
Try Dolby Atmos yourself in Century Stereo’s showroom. You’ll be blown away at what is possible for your home theater! Contact us to make an appointment or just come on in during our showroom hours.