Since 2012, one name has been synonymous with high-quality surround sound: Dolby Atmos. This should come as no surprise, of course. Dolby was founded in 1961and has been a powerhouse in the world of home audio for decades.
Dolby Atmos and Brave
Although you can now enjoy the power of Dolby Amos in the comfort of your own home, the surround sound technology was first leveraged for the premiere of Pixar’s “Brave” at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.
During the rest of 2012, the technology was part of a limited release that only included about 25 installations around the world. By 2013, that number got closer to 300. Within two years, it was up to 2,100 theaters.
Dolby Atmos in the Home
This powerful surround sound technology was eventually adapted for home theaters and released to the public in 2014. The first DVD to support this improvement in audio was Transformers: Age of Extinction.” Star Wars: Battlefront” was the first videogame to have this distinction.
The Main Features of Dolby Atmos Home Theaters
There are two features that make Dolby Atmos stand out from other home theater installations.
The first is what is known as “moving audio.” In simplest terms, this effect is similar to surround sound, except that you’ll feel as though the audio outputs are moving all around you during your film. This “3D” effect is meant to make you feel as though you are inside the movie with the action happening nearby.
Up to 128 audio outputs can be played at the same time with Dolby Atmos. This gives an effect that is exactly like the kind you’d experience at most theaters.
The Helicopter Effect
Another cool feature of Dolby Atmos is what’s known as the “helicopter effect.” One problem with traditional versions of surround sound is that they can’t possibly mimic the sound a helicopter makes when it’s above you (or any sound happening overhead, for the matter).
While they may be able to reproduce the audio, generally, the speakers can’t make you feel as though the sound is coming from above.
With Dolby Atmos, sound happens as individual entities, which are referred to as audio objects. This means helicopters and other noise producers onscreen are not restricted by channel assignments.
This is pretty cool all by itself, but because you can place the audio overhead, it means that unique effects like the sound of a helicopter can now be enjoyed in 3D space. Dolby Amos is the first audio format to provide this type of cinematic experience.
Of course, you can also add overhead speakers to further the effect of this new sort of surround sound. Common installations for these purposes include:
- Ceiling Speakers
- Dolby Atmos Enabled Sound Bar
- Dolby Atmos Enabled Speakers
Even the speakers that you have standing on the floor are designed to aim sound up so it reflects off the ceiling and, again, produces the helicopter effect.
If you treasure home entertainment, it’s worth considering adding Dolby Atmos speakers to your setup. You’ll feel like you’re at the theater.
Note: The picture used for this post is courtesy of one of our customers, whose installation The Temple of BOOM can be found on our Wall'o'Fame. Got a picture of your own to share? We love seeing your creative installations!