What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

Dolby Atmos is one of the newest technologies that has come out in recent years, and many people are wondering what it is. 

It's an audio system for movies, TV shows, music, and video games. Dolby Atmos is also important because it provides listeners a more realistic sound experience than other systems do. 

This article will go over everything you need to know about Dolby Atmos.

How Dolby Atmos works

Dolby Atmos is a sound format that includes information about the height of sounds, giving you a sonic experience unlike any other. 

Imagine if every time Godzilla walked by in your movie, his footsteps were booming and reverberating off all surfaces as he went past you; 

Dolby Atmos creates this same sensation for audio. You’ll hear it first when The Avengers come to life with immersive surround sound effects at their fingertips. 

Hawkeye lets loose an arrow from his bow, followed by its whistle through the air. They take on different shapes depending on where they hit something - such as concrete or metal. 

If Tony Stark has trouble catching Loki or battling Captain America while flying through New York City streets clad in Iron Man suit armor, then these.

Dolby Atmos soundtracks create a more natural, lifelike audio experience so you can enjoy the physical and emotional content of entertainment. 

The Dolby Access app remaps up to 64 speakers for 9.1 or 7.1 layouts without new wiring. 

It lets your pre-existing 5.1 or 7.1 setups play any mono or stereo soundtrack from apps like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and YouTube with immersive surround sound when paired with an appropriate speaker layout (calculated automatically). 

Features like dynamic spatial music mixing deepen the listening experience by placing listeners in specific locations within the environment created around them.

One of the first things you notice when watching a film in Dolby Atmos is that it sounds like footsteps, rain, bubbling water; these natural effects seem to be happening all around you, not just coming from one speaker location. 

And while Dolby Atmos makes any sound event more immersive and authentic than standard 5.1 or 7.1 audio systems can provide - it also creates a rich 3D music experience with astonishing clarity and quality for both studios' recorded sources. 

It lives performances without sounding artificially processed or adulterated as heard on lesser systems.

Sure, you can still experience Dolby 5.1 or 7.1 with your home theater system, but it's not like going to the cinema where every seat is an armchair in the best seats in the house. 

With Atmos-enabled systems, movie lovers get a seventh sense that heightens and places sound around them at precise locations so that they feel like they are part of their favorite film. 

So what’s the catch?

The Atmos height speakers produce higher-resolution sound, which gives your ears the feeling that sounds are coming from all around you. 

This allows for a much richer and more dynamic listening experience, transporting you into the scene with greater realism than ever before. 

The Atmos height speakers work together as part of an immersive audio system alongside Dolby’s object-oriented surround sound technology to create captivating mixed reality experiences with super clear dialogue and lusciously detailed soundtracks that fill every room in your house with cinematic 3D effects. 

However, it’s essential to know that not all Atmos content is the same. There are two main categories of Dolby Atmos that are important to differentiate.

  • Dolby Atmos for streaming video

With Dolby Atmos content, you, the listener, can hear sound coming from not only front and rear speakers but above your head as well - like in a traditional theater. 

With our technology, you get engrossed in your favorite movie or TV series with sounds balanced to encompass all of your senses. 

Not every Atmos-enabled setup is equally immersive, so be sure to research what kind of equipment is needed for more significant savings. 

  • Dolby Atmos for Blu-ray

With a Dolby Atmos for Blu-ray physical disc, you can experience the height speakers in your home theater system. 

This sound format has been used on some standard Blu-ray movies and most 4K Blu-rays for the superior quality that blu ray discs have over streaming movies. 

With complete lossless audio content available with high fidelity to immersion, Dolby Atmos is the ultimate way to hear your favorite movie or TV show's soundtrack.

Dolby Atmos does many things: it adds sound all around you, using speakers that are mounted in the ceiling and on top of your TV. 

It sounds excellent as headphones but even better when you use Dolby Atmos to simulate a lossless audio file or stream from your favorite service.

What you’ll need to enjoy Dolby Atmos?

If you want to experience Dolby Atmos, you’ll need three components: a playback device, a set of speakers or soundbar, and an AV receiver. 

Well-known brands like Denon have units that put out loud enough audio for your space without any distortion at volume levels -perfect if your living room is as stuffed with the furniture as mine is. 

And it pays off in spades: Not only does Dolby Atmos make every action feel louder and more intense when mixed right, but it also immerses you in footage unlike anything else from games to films. 

Even live-streamed theater performances can be transformed into full 360° scenes which react realistically. 

Playback Devices

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

Speakers & Amplification

There are three main categories you'll need to explore when outfitting your Dolby Atmos home theater: Speakers, Soundbars, and Amplification. 

You may have the best speakers and amplification on Earth- but if they’re not appropriately matched with each other, the amplified sound can cause audio distortion. 

To ensure that everything is perfectly balanced in your sonic environment, talk to an expert for a consultation on what will work best for your needs- and go set up some surround sound in your living room.

  • Multi-speaker set-ups paired with an audio-video receiver 

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

Clear your headspace with a full range of sound that fills any room. Introducing the best speakers for Atmos setups paired with an AV receiver to power and decode the audio signal before sending it to a system of surround sound speakers (and Atmos height speakers). 

They are also the priciest options, including a receiver, a powered subwoofer, and nine to eleven separate speakers. Still, when you want only the best-quality experience, these will be your go-to.

  • Soundbars enabled for Dolby Atmos

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

They are introducing the newest device that will turn your living room into a cinema experience while giving those close to it some peace and relaxation. 

Soundbars come with incredible Dolby Atmos-enabled sound, which bounces off walls to create the illusion of height speakers from up above. 

And unlike products that rely on multiple speakers for an audio experience more immersive than you thought possible - there are no wires needed - soundbars take up less space. 

Hence, they're perfect if you live in small apartments or don't have enough money set aside for pricey surround setups. 

Plus, they have innovative features like voice commands and remote controls built right into them. 

  • Headphones

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

Gaming enthusiasts start your engines. Dolby-Atmos enabled headphones are designed to create the object-based audio effect directly to your ears.

You’ll feel like you and the car have exploded onto the racetrack or in flight as missiles rain down on you from above - Dolby Atmos makes for a truly immersive experience.

No room for distractions (or nasty background noise) with these headphones; they do best when paired with video game consoles that support Dolby Atmos, an advanced sound technology that has dominated theaters over this past decade.

Our Dolby Atmos picks

Ready to design your own Dolby Atmos home theater? Here are our top picks for the most common setup types.

For the Home Theater Purist

  • Audio Video Receiver

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

With 112 channels, 140 watts per channel, and the ability to drive two subwoofers for a more immersive audio experience, no space will be left without the fantastic sound when using your Denon AVR-X6400H

With 12 available channels for Dolby Atmos (which can then be converted to 16 with two extra speakers) and Dolby Vision, HDR10+ pass-through support for ultra high definition video performance, this Audio Video receiver offers features that make it perfect from any room in your home. 

From movies at night to streaming on morning runs thanks to Apple AirPlay 2 multi-room functionality, there is an experience waiting for everyone.

  • Speakers

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

Klipsch's RP-250 reference premiere surround sound speaker package is perfect for those who want to feel like they're right in the middle of it all. 

Whether you use them as a system extension or on their own, Klipsch speakers elevate every minute of your entertainment experience with immersive audio and detail-rich dialogue reproduction. 

The seven incredible speakers and massive subwoofer make for an astonishing tangle of wires when set up, but that's nothing worth worrying about once you hear how good these little guys are. 

  • Streaming box

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

The NVIDIA Shield TV is the only box that supports more audio formats and streaming apps than any other box on the market. In addition, it’s got Google Home built-in: our hero of consumer electronics. What do you want? Just ask it. 

  • Blu-ray Player

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

Sony's players are known for their killer contrast and picture quality. The Sony UBP-X800 is a Blu-ray player that will blow you away, from its breathtaking images to its sleek design. 

It supports high dynamic range (HDR) content and has built-in WiFi, making sharing your favorite media more convenient and even includes Babbel. 

So the entire family can get to know each other during those long Netflix binges with foreign movies. 

For the Soundbar Fan

If you have a soundbar or want some great surround sound without the need for an extra receiver and subwoofer, this selection of speakers can help.

  • Soundbar

The SK9Y soundbar may not be cheap, but it is worth every penny if you want the best Dolby Atmos experience from a soundbar. 

And while it only delivers incredible audio through its multiple speakers and includes a potent subwoofer, it also features Chromecast functionality built-in, which means you can use your smartphone to play music without messing around with complicated wires or adapters. Don't wait for another second order. 

For the gamer

  • Game Console

Microsoft's Xbox One has Dolby Atmos integration, making it a much better choice than a Sony Playstation or Nintendo Switch. 

Best of all, it directly supports Dolby Atmos headphones. All you need is an Xbox One and the $15 app to unlock object-based surround sound for games, bringing gaming audio to an entirely new level thanks to crisp detail and realistic 3D sonic images.

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

  • Headphones

Plantronics, everyone’s favorite brand for great office headsets, just released the RIG 600s

You put these headphones on and create your virtual reality! So next time you are playing an Overwatch game on Xbox One, feel like you are not sitting in from of a screen but rather right in the thick of it all with a gun clenched tight in your hand. 

The sound quality is unbelievably crisp and clear, so even if Ravaged Countdown does not start until midnight at night and you have to work early tomorrow morning - do not worry about getting anything but sleep. 

What is Dolby Atmos, and why is it such a big deal?

And because we know how boring some games can get after a while, we added hinges that make putting these bad boys away easy peasy lemon squeezy - no need to unplug. 

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James Andrews
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