Will Dolby Atmos take home theater enthusiasts by storm ?

Dolby Atmos is the new home theater system. Designed initially for film, Atmos is another milestone in sound reproduction. This system can use several speakers in the ceiling to create a three dimensional effect. In addition, the reproduction of sound is able to create a realistic sound experience that “moves” along the entire room. We will talk about all the details on this new platform to enjoy it on your home theater, that is if you can afford it.

Some trivia regarding Dolby Surround, it was originally released in 1982, and now more than 32 years later Dolby Surround gets released.

Atmos is a Dolby surround sound system that works in all directions. One of the differentiating key to this system is that it is also able to use speakers attached to the ceiling so that the audio is sent to users at different heights. For movie theaters, is capable of using up to 128 audio tracks and up to 64 different speakers. A whole a sound universe in its home version reaches a maximum of 34.1 different channels, consisting of 24 speakers and 10 foot ceiling speakers (placed at different heights to enhance the surround effect). Of course it is normal that in your house you may not have this type of setup. The Dolby Atmos system can be used from a 5.1 audio system. However, in this case you may not get good audio quality.

Atmos Speaker setup


To get a realistic sound effect, we recommend starting with at least a 7.1.4 audio system that combines a traditional 7.1 audio layout with four ceiling speakers. To enjoy this experience you can use older speakers, but it is necessary to have an A/V receiver with a Dolby DSP Atmos engine. In addition, there are currently about 100 titles already released that come incorporated with a soundtrack in Dolby Atmos format. The way to enjoy this experience will be with a Blu-ray compatible movie. The producers are also working to adapt previous titles so as to incorporate this technology, which will mean you will have to fork over more money for the same movie you may have already purchased.

When it comes to setting up an Atmos system, keep in mind you will need to rewire new speakers in the ceiling, something that not many will be able to do, can you imagine convincing your wife that you will be adding speakers in the ceiling!

In short, its a new advanced way to enjoy the best home theater sound. And one of the keys to Dolby Atmos is in its ability to create object-oriented effects. Thus, when objects move across the screen the system will give the idea of a real sound. Currently, there are several movie theaters where we can experience the full potential of Dolby Atmos.

In conclusion only time will tell if Atmos will indeed leave its foot print in the world of audiophiles, however not all say it will make it, take for example this article by Audioholics where they mention top 5 negative reviews about Atmos, such as its high cost, not enough wow factor to name a few. It is clear that those who have the means to afford this technology will no doubt use it but not sure if it will be wide spread at first, we need to wait for an affordable “Atmos” audio kit sold at your local best buy that will really push the everyday user to this technology


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