Skip to main content

What is a Dolby Atmos System?

A Primer on Immersive Surround Sound for Your Media Room or Home Theater

What is a Dolby Atmos System?

The name Dolby Atmos is often mentioned when looking at almost any audio and video system for your home. While you may know that it refers to surround sound, perhaps you don't know too much more. What do you need to know if you're interested in a Dolby Atmos system for your Freeport, FL, home?

We’re glad you asked! We’ll try to demystify Dolby Atmos in this post; what it is and what it isn’t. Let’s dive in!

SEE ALSO: The 5 Essential Elements of an Exceptional Home Theater Experience

What is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is the latest evolution of Dolby surround sound formats. Would you believe that Dolby surround sound has been around since the 1990s? In the past three-plus decades, it has evolved from analog sound to a digital format, with each successive iteration being more immersive than the last. 

Dolby Atmos brought object-based audio as its major innovation. Prior to Atmos, film sound engineers would assign sounds to emanate from specific channels. For example, bullets flying might pan from the left to the right speakers and from the front speakers to the rear surround ones. With Atmos, film engineers can create 128 sound objects in the soundtrack. These can come through many speakers, and the engineers have sophisticated ways to make them sound like a holistic soundscape. For you, it means a more immersive experience, with sounds coming from all around in a three-dimensional way. 

What’s in a Dolby Atmos System? 

We’ll simplify this as much as possible. Many systems – even smart speakers – claim Dolby Atmos compatibility, but the true effects are only felt with a system with many discrete speakers. At the most basic, you need a processor that can decode Dolby Atmos soundtracks and send the right signals to the right speakers. That means that, at a minimum, you will need a speaker front stage composed of left, right, and center speakers, a surround sound set of left and right speakers, and at least two overhead or up-firing speakers. The overhead speakers are crucial to achieving that immersive, 3D soundscape. Of course, the most impactful systems add many more speakers for surround and overhead effects. How many speakers you’ll need will depend on the level of immersion desired and the size and layout of your room.

What Should You Look For? 

Many products will claim to reproduce Dolby Atmos sound, but you need to understand that the results will vary depending on the implementation. Some products, like soundbars, rely on digital sound processing to simulate the effects of having many speakers. But if you want the real level of immersion that feels like something exceptional and recreates the feeling of being at the cinema, you will want a system with separate components, like an AV receiver and individual speakers – freestanding or architectural – properly positioned around your room and professionally calibrated. 

What’s the best way to get a Dolby Atmos system for your Freeport home? Work with a local expert like GHT Group, who have been installing Dolby surround sound in home theaters and media rooms for over three decades. Contact us here or click the chat box below to connect with one of our experts quickly. We look forward to working with you!  

No video selected.