Dolby has brought its fancy new surround technology first to the cinemas and then to mobile devices. Now the audio experts are bringing Atmos back to a bigger screen again, but this time, the kind that fits in your living room. You heard that right, pun unintended. Dolby is bringing Atmos to your home so that you can enjoy all the audio goodness that the technology has to offer, right from the comfort of your couch.
Dolby has been pushing its new surround sound technology to cinemas around the world, which numbered 300 by 2013. Using a combination of recording software and stereo hardware, Atmos allows an unlimited number of audio tracks to be distributed to different speakers located at different parts of the theater in order to more closely approximate the source of the sound and give moviegoers a more immersive and believable audio experience. Although not all films employ this technology, many high-profile ones have taken advantage of Dolby Atmos to deliver this particular kind of sound processing to enabled theaters around the world, the latest of which include blockbusters like Noah and Godzilla.
Dolby has actually sought to bring Atmos to a smaller scale by making it available to smartphones. In this case, it uses a combination of algorithms and the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 to produce sounds through earphones that practically tricks the brain into thinking that it is actually listening to 3D audio. Not an insignificant feat considering that, unlike a cinema or even a home entertainment system, you only have a total of two speakers when using earphones on a mobile device.
Now Dobly is going back to a more mundane goal by venturing into the living room. The best part of this new enterprise is that there are various options available for those looking into bringing Atmos to their homes, depending on their budget or hardware constraints. Most likely to be favored by Dolby's partners is the option to buy a complete new set of Atmos-enabled speakers to replace those dingy old one. But if you're on a tighter budget and, not or, you already have quality speakers you'd hate to part with, there is also another option. You can just opt to buy Dolby Atmos speaker modules to put on top, or beside, your existing sound system. And lastly, you don't need a new video player, as any standards-compliant Blu-ray player will be well equipped to handle Dolby Atmos discs.
At the moment, Dolby has not named yet who these enterprising partners are that will help bring Atmos to your home, for a price of course. Those names, their hardware, and their prices, will be revealed in the months ahead.