What is Dolby Atmos and why do I need it?
If you’re looking for that immersive cinema experience, Dolby Atmos could be the answer…
04 Apr 2019
Dolby is a brand best known for bringing amazing audio experiences to the cinema, and for the last few years the company has been developing Dolby Atmos, which takes everything they’ve learned about delivering great sound to movie audiences and puts it in your living room.
A lot of people probably just rely on their TV’s internal speakers to pump out all the sound and for every-day watching, this is usually fine. But if you want to feel like you’re right in the middle of the action, you’ll need a dedicated sound system - and this is where Dolby Atmos brings everything together.
How does Dolby Atmos work?
TV sound systems come in all shapes and sizes, from a single sound bar to more elaborate multi-speaker setups. And cinemas have huge (and very expensive) sound systems made up of lots of speakers all around the room, so they can put the sound exactly where it needs to be. Dolby Atmos is able to do the same sort of thing in your home, without the need to fill your room with speakers.
Home Atmos systems are able to support up to 34 speakers, but unless you’re lucky enough to have your own movie theatre, installing 34 speakers in your living room might be a bit over the top - the good news is, you can get the Dolby Atmos experience with a standard surround sound system, or even a sound bar.
Dolby Atmos sound bars work in a very clever way, they use powerful speakers in the top to bounce the sound off your ceiling and walls to simulate extra speakers and create the effect of surround sound.
If you’d like to experience Dolby Atmos in all its glory, there are around 50 cinemas across the UK that have been upgraded to support Atmos audio. You can enter your postcode at dolby.com to find your closest one.
What about DTS:X?
If you’ve heard of Atmos, you might have come across DTS:X too.
Much like Dolby, DTS is a company that specialises in the high-quality audio most commonly found in cinemas. One of the main benefits of DTS:X is that it’s extremely flexible; it doesn’t need a particular speaker layout so you can arrange your home theatre system however you like.
In the real world, sound passes by in all directions and DTS:X replicates this by placing sound where it would naturally occur in space. But be warned, this heightened immersion does make horror movies a whole lot scarier.
So now that we know what’s what, let’s take a look at some of our best sound bars that feature Dolby Atmos and DTS:X…
LG SL9YG – hi-res audio for studio quality sound
LG has teamed up with British audio specialists Meridian to create a sound bar that delivers crystal clear, hi-res audio, while also looking super-stylish.
Exclusive to Currys PC World, the SL9YG comes with Google Assistant built-in. Turn up the volume, play your Spotify playlists or turn on your smart lights all with a simple voice command.
You also get top-notch sound thanks to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technology, combined with the up-firing speakers that put the sound right where it’s supposed to be.
- Google Assistant built-in lets you control your sound and other smart devices with your voice.
- Top performing audio techfrom specialist company Meridian Audio.
- Up-firing speakers create an immersive surround sound experience.
- Automatically adjusts to your room layoutfor optimum sound.
Samsung Q90 – true multi-dimensional sound
The Q90 offers the latest in-home cinema tech and comes with both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X built-in, so you know you’re going to get incredible sound whatever you’re watching. It’s also compatible with Samsung SmartThings, meaning you can connect it to other Samsung smart speakers around your home.
- Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatible for superior sound quality.
- Two wireless rear speakers delivering a fully immersive experience.
- Link other Samsung smart speakers to fill your entire home with music.
LG SK8 – get the Atmos experience at an affordable price
With the SK8, you get high resolution, three-dimensional sound thanks to Dolby Atmos. The SK8 also has the ability to upscale standard audio to give you a much more immersive experience.
- Hi-Res audio thanks to Dolby Atmos built-in.
- Adaptive sound control adjusts the sound to match what you’re watching (bass is reduced during heavy dialogue scenes and beefed up when the action gets going).
- Wireless connectivity lets place the subwoofer anywhere in your room without having to worry about wires trailing everywhere.
- Bluetooth connectivity lets you play music straight from your phone or tablet.
Sony HT-X8500 – and all-in-one sound bar with Dolby Atmos built-in
The Sony HT-X8500 is the first sound bar to launch as a single bar with Dolby Atmos included. You don’t need an extra subwoofer thanks to the built-in dual woofers delivering impressive bass.
- Sony’s ‘Virtual Surround Engine’ puts you right in the middle of whatever it is you’re watching, whether it’s a high-octane action movie or the roar of the crowd on match day.
- Dolby Atmos and DTS:X offer crystal clear dialogue as well as deep rumbling explosions.
- Bluetooth connectivity lets you play all your favourite music from your smartphone, tablet or computer.
- Easy, one-cable setup lets you control your sound bar and TV from the same remote.