what is dolby atmos

What is Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Many people are familiar with the soundbar product. This is a product that integrates multi-channel speakers and amplifiers into a strip-shaped cabinet. It basically retains the characteristics of traditional “power amplifier + speakers” and can simulate home theater audio. The multi-channel soundbar is mainly characterized by simple installation, simple connection, simple operation, and very space-saving.But what about “Dolby Atoms soundbar”? I have heard of Dolby Atoms who have paid attention to audio development in recent years.

But what is it like to combine with the echo wall? What is the difference with the conventional soundbar system? Also, should consumers buy one? Let’s briefly talk about this latest Dolby atmos soundbar.

What is Dolby Atmos?

Let’s first briefly talk about what Dolby Atmos is, if you know it, you can skip it. Dolby Atmos corresponds to DTS: X. The former technology came out earlier, but both are a brand new surround sound technology. The traditional surround sound track will limit all sound effects to a few channels, so it can only emit sound effects from a few perceived angles. Such surround sound cannot apply sound effects on top of your head.

However, Dolby Atmos once again frees the sound from the channel. On the basis of continuing to use the original channel functions (front, rear, side), a new top speaker channel is added, allowing content creators to deploy and move channel objects more accurately at any location in 3D space (For example, a fighter flying in the sky, a helicopter flying over the sky). Rather than restricting it to the original specific channel, it further reproduces the lively dynamic scene. Lively display the pictures on the screen in an unprecedented form.

In layman’s terms, Dolby Atmos allows sound effects to flow in 3D space “over and around the head.” All sound effects can be accurately deployed and moved anywhere in the room (including overhead). Therefore, the arrangement of Dolby Atmos about the sound channel is completely unlimited. However, Dolby Atmos suitable for home theater is generally a combination of up to 11 channel speakers and 2 subwoofer channels, and at least a configuration of 5.1.2, that is, “3 + 2 surround +1 in front left and right “2 subwoofers + 2 top” configuration.

For most people, the best way to enjoy the cinema at home is to buy a TV with good quality and large enough size, or a projection. Then add a good power amplifier and several good speakers to form a sound system that supports Dolby ATMOS or DTS X audio format, so that you can also enjoy theater-level enjoyment at home!

But the reality is that it is subject to personal budget and the size of the house. After most people buy a TV or a projector, they want to buy a set of physical multi-channel audio systems that support Dolby ATMOS, which becomes not feasible. . So if you want to directly improve your audio-visual experience, the simplest solution is to buy a sound wall that is powerful enough!

How is Dolby Atmos soundbar different? Dolby Atmos “overhead sound effects” can be achieved through overhead speakers (minimum 2 speakers in the home), enhancing realism and further expanding the scope of sound effects. However, Dolby ’s fixed “overhead sound effects” can also be achieved through the use of special speakers. It is by sending the sound effect up to the roof and then “reflecting” down to create the overhead sound effect.

dolby atmos  ceiling reflect

The soundbar using Dolby Atmos uses the principle of “reflection”. By designing a speaker dedicated to conducting sound upwards, it reflects “from the ceiling” to create a “top-mounted sound effect.” As for the sound effects of other soundbar channels, I won’t introduce them much. At present, most Dolby Atmos soundbars also use the lowest 2 “reflection” channel settings to improve overall performance. It still has a plug-and-play setup, blending into the room decoration.

Is it necessary to buy Dolby Atmos soundbar?

No matter which Dolby Atmos soundbar, the main form of surround sound is the combination of physical speakers and virtual decentralized transmission, which can provide richer, clearer, more realistic, higher quality and more powerful home theater sound than TV speakers. But after all, the virtual is virtual, and the virtual surround sound on both sides, the rear and the top cannot be compared with the actual channel. And the effect of the echo wall is very demanding on space. If there is a little home obstruction in the room, the effect will be greatly reduced.What are the reasons for buying? First of all, people who are not satisfied with the sound of the TV. It is unrealistic to put in a good speaker system in a TV with such a thin and light appearance today.

dolby atmos

The second category is users who require the living room to be simple enough. The soundbar usually has a very compact design, so it can be easily placed in front of the TV. It saves a lot of space in the family living room and meets the needs of users who want to upgrade their equipment and have a demand for the Dolby Atmos home theater entertainment experience.

Furthermore, users who dislike installation trouble or have no conditions to arrange multi-channel speakers, they only need to purchase a simple soundbar for installation. There is no need for troublesome wiring and installation of speakers for each channel, no need to drill holes in the ceiling, and the subwoofer also uses a wireless connection, which further reduces the trouble of arranging cables or cable entanglement.

How to buy Dolby Atmos soundbar?

Choose Products with Multiple HDMI 2.0 Interfaces

Choosing a soundbar with Dolby ATMOS decoding is a basic requirement. Choosing a soundbar with multiple HDMI2.0 interfaces is actually to help users filter products. In this way, products without an HDMI interface on the market and products with only one HDMI input and one HDMI output can basically be eliminated.

Of course, if your soundbar does not support HDMI input and HDMI output, it is impossible to support Dolby ATMOS sound decoding by itself. The fiber interface can only decode general Dolby 5.1 and DTS. Dolby Atmos, Dolby HD, DTSX, DTSHD sound effects need to be transmitted through HDMI. Therefore, regular soundbar products have HDMI input and output interfaces.

What we want to emphasize here is to choose to purchase multiple HDMI 2.0 interfaces. Because there are not many HDMI ports on the TV. So at this time other devices, such as set-top boxes, high-definition players, game consoles, etc., can only be connected to the soundbar. So we say that the soundbar’s HDMI input interface determines how many devices you can connect. For example, Sony’s ST5000 has an ARC HDMI2.0 output interface and three HDMI 2.0 input interfaces, which can be connected to three devices at the same time.

dolby atmos HDMI interfaces

Choose a Soundbar with a Large Number of Speakers

Most soundbars are actually 2.1 channels, and then use virtual technology to simulate the effect of multi-channel surround. But virtual technology is never as good as physical technology. So if you really have a certain pursuit of audio effects, you must buy a soundbar with multiple speakers.

The advantage of buying multiple speakers soundbar is that when creating a surround sound effect, it is not virtualized through two speakers. It uses sound field technology (such as reflection) to make each speaker truly sound in the surround effect. For example, some current high-end products seem to have only one soundbar and one subwoofer. But the soundbar contains a center unit, two left and right front units, two left and right side units, and two top units. If the surround is installed, there are 10 speakers with the subwoofer, which can just form the Dolby ATMOS sound requirements of 7.1.2.

So the more speakers, the better the surround effect. As for those with only two or three speakers, if the demand is not high, people will barely accept it. You can only rely on virtual technology to get surround sound, but no matter how good the virtual technology is, the effect of the surround is actually very weak. From this perspective, buying a large number of speakers will obviously be better inexperience!

For example, Yamaha YSP-5600 is the World’s first soundbar with a 7.1.2-channel multidimensional sound. There are 46 speakers in total under the Yamaha YSP-5600’s grille: 44 array speakers and two woofers. It gives more spacious and immersive surround effects than any other soundbar

Yamaha YSP-5600

Select Soundbar with Automatic Test MIC

For modern soundbars, intelligent adjustment allows the speakers to adjust automatically according to the user’s home environment. The technology used by each family is different. Basically, a microphone is placed at the listening position, and the adjustment procedure is entered to automatically play the test noise. The system automatically corrects according to the signal received by the microphone, so as to achieve the best effect. Soundbar without this function can only be regarded as a speaker. Even if you can decode multi-channel, the effect will not be good. Yamaha even tested the same point in multiple directions for 4 times to distinguish the direction of the picture. The other tests are generally between 3-8 positions.

Test MIC