ABF Security: How To Bring Dolby Atmos Home

May 31, 2023 | Audio

Maybe you’ve heard of Dolby Atmos before in the realm of cinematic sound. But what does it mean? ABF Security has created a guide that explains how this audio source works and how you can use it to achieve an immersive audio experience in your home. This format is available in soundbars, game consoles, TVs, and even smaller devices like headphones, laptops, and phones. We’ll show you what content supports this format and even where you can purchase devices equipped with the feature.

The most basic definition of Dolby Atmos is that it is a proprietary audio format that offers 360-degree sound as experienced in a movie theater. In 2012, this format hit theaters with Disney’s movie Brave to grant the element of height to the soundstage. This places users in a bubble of sound that gives a realistic impression of overhead audio with subtle atmospheric and object-based locational effects. In time, the format began appearing in more consumer audio products to offer a sense of acoustic realism on the consumer’s own television screen.

How does it function?

Dolby Atmos emits audio through a 9.1-bed channel (comprised of stationary sounds like background audio and music), 128 tracks, and up to 118 simultaneous sound objects to create a fully immersive soundstage. Sound objects could be dancing steps, a bouncing ball, a barking dog, or a falling tree. With Atmos, each object has a particular position within a scene, allowing content creators to place and move these sound objects to specific locations that emulate a 3D space. This could result in audio of someone running towards you, as an example.

If you already own Dolby Atmos-compatible devices, you can bring cinema-quality sound to your living room. Whether you want a full 5.1 home theater audio system or just a simple soundbar, Dolby Atmos will produce a sound unlike anything you’ve ever heard. Based on where you’ve placed the speakers in your setup, Dolby Atmos will determine optimal playback in real-time. With more speakers, you’ll have more fine-tuned audio that increases richness and depth, allowing you to experience the audio of a plane flying overhead.

How does Atmos stack up to Surround Sound?

Both surround sound and Dolby Atmos utilize channels, but they do it quite differently. A typical home theater setup has 5.1 channels, that is five speakers and one subwoofer, or 7.1 channels, seven speakers and a subwoofer. These setups allow you to hear a dog running from the left to the right, but the system cannot recreate sound elements like a bird flying overhead. When that audio data is missing, you just fall short of the immersive experience.

Dolby Atmos can pinpoint objects to a specific location in space. If the horror movie you’re watching portrays someone frightened by a noise in a dark corner of the ceiling, then the audio can cast accurate spatial sound more than simply fixing a noise to the left speaker. This is because speakers with Atmos-compatible technology contain upward-firing drivers that achieve auditory height by bouncing sound off your home’s ceiling.

Is Dolby Atmos Necessary?

Right now Dolby Atmos is not necessary to own, but cinephiles who already own 4K or 8K flatscreens may want to improve the movie-watching experience through compatible soundbars or sound systems. As more people are interested in owning Dolby Atmos products, they will become more affordable.

However, if you want to feel like you are part of the movie action, or attending your favorite band’s concert live, then it can be well worth the investment. It’s simple to contact a professional company like ABF Security and have them install Dolby Atmos-compatible speakers.

Bringing Dolby Atmos to Your Home

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford or have the space for a full home theater setup. But Dolby Atmos is still accessible through soundbars, including a few products such as Sonos BeamSonos Arc, and Sony HT-A7000. These systems offer the surround-sound experience without fussing with too many components. Many soundbars also pair with rear speakers and subwoofers for homeowners who want to expand their sound system in the future.

To find Dolby Atmos content, there are certain Blu-rays and several streaming platforms with compatible movies and TV shows, such as Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple TV 4K, Disney+, and Netflix. It may be necessary to change your subscription plan to one supporting UHD Streaming. For Dolby-Atmos music, Apple Music, Tidal HiFi, and Amazon Music all offer a selection of songs in an audio format playable through compatible headphones.

Are you ready to bring Dolby Atmos to your home? Whether you have a few questions about compatibility or you’re ready to install a full home theater system, ABF Security is happy to help with design, products, and installation. Contact us today to get started.