Dolby Atmos in the Cinema, at Home, and on the Go
Up to now, cinema sound designers have had to mix independent sounds together into channels for soundtrack creation. If a scene required, say, a helicopter taking off, that sound had to be assigned to an individual channel and mixed together with other sounds.
While that helicopter could move across channels, it couldn’t go above you. You wouldn’t hear it as you would in real life.
Introducing Audio Objects
Dolby Atmos is the first audio format based on audio objects rather than channels. In Dolby Atmos, any sound—the helicopter, a blaring car horn, a yelling child—can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. It can be placed and moved anywhere, including anywhere overhead.
Filmmakers can now focus on telling the story. They can place sounds where they would occur naturally in a scene, rather than compromising the artistic intent by having to place them into channels. Sounds move in three-dimensional space—flowing above and around you in step with the visuals to bring a new sense of height and reality. Dolby Atmos puts you in the middle of the action—in ways you have never before experienced. And it adapts to any playback environment—in the cinema, at home, or on the go.
- Supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound.
- Descriptive metadata captures all the director’s intent and provides customized playback for the cinema, home theater, and mobile device.
In the Cinema
- Scales easily to any size cinema, with up to 64 independent speaker outputs.
In the Home
- Advanced Dolby® codecs and our sophisticated rendering process scale and adapt the original cinema experience to your home theater, from seven speakers to as many as 34, recreating the intent of the filmmaker.
On the Go
- The Dolby Atmos renderer on the device takes the spatial information from the audio objects created for the cinema and renders them in three-dimensional space over headphones. Combining the object-based audio with binaural headphone rendering, which relies on outer ear and shoulder cues, Dolby Atmos reconstructs a natural, immersive sound experience.
- Dolby Atmos content is fully compatible for playback on conventional stereo and on 5.1- and 7.1-channel systems.
Dolby Atmos Speaker Setup
With Dolby Atmos® technology, you have two basic options for overhead sound:
- Ceiling speakers
- New Dolby Atmos enabled speakers
Dolby Atmos enabled speakers are specially engineered to direct sound upward, where it reflects off the ceiling to produce an incredibly lifelike re-creation of overhead sound. Dolby Atmos enabled speakers come in two versions:
- Integrated units that also include traditional forward-firing speakers
- Add-on modules, containing only the upward-firing elements, that you put on top of your current speakers or on a nearby surface
Whichever you choose, our guide will show you the recommended placement for the best possible experience.
The Essential Dolby Atmos Layouts
The Reference Dolby Atmos Experience
Enhanced Effects Particularly Suited for Larger Rooms
Dolby Atmos has revolutionized cinema sound. Now you can enjoy the same multidimensional experience in your home theater.
Dolby Atmos speaker layouts parallel the 5.1 and 7.1 setups for surround sound. A 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 system uses two ceiling speakers, or two Dolby Atmos enabled speakers or modules. A 5.1.4 or 7.1.4 system uses four ceiling speakers, or four Dolby Atmos enabled speakers or modules. A 9.1.2 system adds a pair of front wide speakers to a 7.1.2 layout.
Ceiling speakers and Dolby Atmos enabled speakers (or modules) deliver equivalent performance. While using two speakers of either type will provide a convincing and powerful effect, using four speakers will offer the optimum sense of audio movement and precision in most rooms.