What is Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos, until a few years ago, was known for being one of the most recognised technologies in cinemas. It was the only place you could experience that genuinely magnificent sound, the type of sound that vibrates through your very being and fully immerses you in a movie. But Dolby’s Atmos iconic surround sound technology has quickly transitioned to home cinema and can now be enjoyed by everyone, at home.

In Dolby’s own words, Atmos is: “…the most significant development in cinema audio since surround sound.” And the company is not wrong.

Originally developed in 2012, Atmos is a surround sound technology with channels that send sound from overhead. This surpasses the current 5.1 and 7.1 set-ups and allows sound to really come alive, enveloping you in a ‘dome of sound’ and giving you a magnificent 3D audio experience.

This immersive, 360-degree audio experience has been made possible through incredible advancements in acoustic technology and developments in sound editing software, producing ‘object-based’ sound that places and moves audio around to bring the sound alive from every direction, including from above. This is a mighty achievement and allows for outstanding clarity, depth and detail, not to mention a remarkable experience for you, the audience.

How does Dolby Atmos Work?

The more traditional surround sound formats such as Dolby Digital deliver sound through a 5.1 or a 7.1 channel set-up. The ‘5′ set-up consists of a left front, right front and centre speaker plus left and right surround sound speakers, and the ‘point 1’ refers to the subwoofer. The ‘7’ set-up is the same except for two extra speakers, usually positioned behind you. When a soundtrack is produced, different sounds are assigned to different speakers, creating the ‘surround sound’ effect. Typically, the centre channel is used for dialogue, dramatic music and sounds are to the front left and right channels and the ambient sounds are usually mixed between the left and right surround channels. All the low frequency effects are sent to the subwoofer. 

Does this all sound familiar? Of course it does, and this set-up does indeed make for stunning surround sound, but Dolby Atmos goes further with an even greater sound achieved by the addition of overhead or elevated speakers to your set-up.

Because sounds are encoded as ‘objects’, rather than sending an audio track to a specific channel, for example, a front left or front right speaker, sound designers can assign an audio track to a specific location. This includes assigning a sound to ‘overhead.’ This gives sound designers huge flexibility with the audio, and by adding another audio source, the sound becomes three dimensional, totally immersing and surrounding you with the highest audio quality possible. 

How to Set up Dolby Atmos at Home

It’s unlikely that you will have the space to accommodate in your home, the same number of speakers most cinemas use for their Dolby Atmos sound! This is typically up to 400 speakers in the most modern of venues. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a similarly immersive experience with the correct equipment.

As with your traditional surround sound system, the basic set-up for Dolby Atmos is your starting point. From there you can add at least two overhead/elevation speakers making the system a 5.1.2 system.

Crucially, you will need a Dolby Atmos receiver to recognise the sound sent to your surround speakers. To this end, you must ensure your AV receiver offers Dolby Atmos. The receiver is a critical part of your home entertainment system. Hence, you must have a receiver that can efficiently power your speakers and decode a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

To efficiently bring Dolby Atmos cinema sound into your home, just add two or four ceiling speakers to your system. A second option is to install add-on speaker modules on top of your existing bookshelf or floor standing speakers. Alternatively, consider the purchase of a purpose-built Atmos Speaker System.

When a Dolby Atmos system is installed, each speaker has its own discrete feed, enabling new front, surround and ceiling-mounted height channels. The room thereby is calibrated, which allows sound mixers to precisely ‘place’ sounds and voices at exact points in the sound field rather than just to specific channels.

This entertainment system set-up, when used to play a pure Dolby Atmos mix, allows you to hear the sound as it was always intended, so your source material must be encoded in Dolby Atmos technology. You are then guaranteed the best, most immersive sound and a truly unforgettable listening experience at home.

Dolby Atmos Speakers

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    Atmos Speakers

    Elac Debut 2.0 A4.2 Dolby Atmos Speakers

    The sound quality, unique design, and efficient features of Elac Debut 2.0 A4.2 provides a whole new experience in your Atmos world. The Dolby Atmos technology provides a true 3D space, expands the sonic landscape that makes it stand out to other similar models. Just add the Debut A4.2 to the top of your floorstanding or bookshelf speakers to enjoy the amazing music and action.

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    The sound quality, unique design, and efficient features of Elac Debut 2.0 A4.2 provides a whole new experience in your Atmos world. The Dolby Atmos technology provides a true 3D space, expands the sonic landscape that makes it stand out to other similar models. Just add the Debut A4.2 to the top of your floorstanding or bookshelf speakers to enjoy the amazing music and action.

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    Atmos Speakers

    Dali Alteco C-1 Speakers

    The DALI ALTECO C-1 is truly a multi-purpose speaker. The perfect fit for adding height information to a surround setup or taking the role as an out-of-the-way stereo speaker. By designing the crossover for stereo use and by keeping a strict focus on DALI sound design principles, we have created a speaker that delivers believable height information from Atmos, DTS-X and Auro-3D movies.

    £289.00
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    The DALI ALTECO C-1 is truly a multi-purpose speaker. The perfect fit for adding height information to a surround setup or taking the role as an out-of-the-way stereo speaker. By designing the crossover for stereo use and by keeping a strict focus on DALI sound design principles, we have created a speaker that delivers believable height information from Atmos, DTS-X and Auro-3D movies.

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    Atmos Speakers

    Klipsch RP-500SA Reference Premiere Atmos Elevation Speakers

    Enhance your home theater system with the incredible, overhead sound effects of the Klipsch RP-500SA Dolby Atmos® speaker. By leveraging Klipsch proprietary horn-loaded controlled directivity technology, the RP-500SA bounces sound off the ceiling to create an astonishing, immersive listening experience. The RP-500SA can also be utilized as an on-wall elevation or surround speaker via its easy-to-use keyhole mounting system - delivering the perfect angle for enhanced sound effects.

    £575.00
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    Enhance your home theater system with the incredible, overhead sound effects of the Klipsch RP-500SA Dolby Atmos® speaker. By leveraging Klipsch proprietary horn-loaded controlled directivity technology, the RP-500SA bounces sound off the ceiling to create an astonishing, immersive listening experience. The RP-500SA can also be utilized as an on-wall elevation or surround speaker via its easy-to-use keyhole mounting system - delivering the perfect angle for enhanced sound effects.

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    Atmos Speakers

    KEF R8a Surround Speakers

    The R8a works as a surround or rear speaker and can bounce sound of the ceiling to create truly cinematic scale with Dolby Atmos.

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    The R8a works as a surround or rear speaker and can bounce sound of the ceiling to create truly cinematic scale with Dolby Atmos.

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    Centre Channel Speakers

    Dynaudio Contour 25ci Centre Speaker

    Dynaudio’s Contour 25Ci integrates seamlessly with your entertainment system for a fantastic surround-sound performance. Add the Contour 25Ci along with the Contour 20is, 30is and 60is, and you’ll achieve a seamlessly integrated multichannel system on which you can enjoy a more defined bass, perfect for blockbuster movies and stereo music.

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    Dynaudio’s Contour 25Ci integrates seamlessly with your entertainment system for a fantastic surround-sound performance. Add the Contour 25Ci along with the Contour 20is, 30is and 60is, and you’ll achieve a seamlessly integrated multichannel system on which you can enjoy a more defined bass, perfect for blockbuster movies and stereo music.

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    Bookshelf speakers

    Dynaudio Contour 20i Bookshelf Speakers

    Designed for smaller listening rooms, the Contour 20i is Dynaudio’s stand-mount speaker. It offers a beautifully clear midrange and taut, dynamic bass response, and with its simple 2-way design and Esotar2 soft-dome tweeter that has been a legend in its own right for years, the Contour 20i is equipped to deliver stunning sound.

    £3,999.00
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    Designed for smaller listening rooms, the Contour 20i is Dynaudio’s stand-mount speaker. It offers a beautifully clear midrange and taut, dynamic bass response, and with its simple 2-way design and Esotar2 soft-dome tweeter that has been a legend in its own right for years, the Contour 20i is equipped to deliver stunning sound.

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    Floorstanding speakers

    Dynaudio Contour 30i Floorstanding Speakers

    The Contour 30i is a natural step up from the 20i and perfect for a medium size room. Dynaudio’s mid-size speaker offers audibly better sound performance and oozes honesty, transparency and entertainment. Redesigned inside and out, the Contour 30i delivers open and detailed mid and high frequencies for a remarkable sound and memorable performance.

    £6,199.00
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    The Contour 30i is a natural step up from the 20i and perfect for a medium size room. Dynaudio’s mid-size speaker offers audibly better sound performance and oozes honesty, transparency and entertainment. Redesigned inside and out, the Contour 30i delivers open and detailed mid and high frequencies for a remarkable sound and memorable performance.

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    Floorstanding speakers

    Dynaudio Contour 60i Floorstanding Speakers

    If you like your entertainment loud, or you have an ample listening space, the Contour 60i is perfect. With its unique midrange driver, Dynaudio’s Contour 60i shares the same redesigned crossover and components as the rest of the family, and like all Contour i models offers audibly better sound performance.

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    If you like your entertainment loud, or you have an ample listening space, the Contour 60i is perfect. With its unique midrange driver, Dynaudio’s Contour 60i shares the same redesigned crossover and components as the rest of the family, and like all Contour i models offers audibly better sound performance.

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The new Dynaudio Contour i Series – updated from the multi-award-winning 2016 Contour range – has officially launched!

Audiophiles everywhere have come to expect nothing less than top quality, high-performance products from Dynaudio. As one would expect, the whole Contour i range was extensively optimised in Dynaudio’s world-leading Jupiter measuring facility before being subjected to countless hours of listening and fine-tuning by the experts in Dynaudio Labs before release.

World-famous for crafting high-end loudspeakers for living rooms and professional recording studios, Dynaudio’s updates to their latest series include a new Esotar tweeter with the ingenious Hexis resonance defeating inner dome, plus a new larger rear chamber combined to reduce distortion and give a flatter frequency response.

The Contour family has been subject to a total revamp! If you thought Dynaudio couldn’t top their Confidence range, think again, because the talented team have managed to take audio technology to new heights once more with advanced acoustic technology and materials – and the results are plain to hear!

Never a brand to shy away from new technologies, materials and innovations, as Product Manager Otto Jørgensen says;

“We didn’t do it because we had to, we did it because we wanted to.”

So, what’s new?

Although the Contour 20i, 30i and 25Ci all have the same structural design as the 2016 Contour, with varying-width corrugations for finer excursion control, the new material sounds better. This is the result of hours of listening!

The Contour 20i, 30i and 25Ci have updated crossovers and the woofers all gain an upgraded Nomex spider. In fact, because of the driver tweaks providing an inherently flat frequency response, Dynaudio has been able to remove the impedance correction circuitry to make an even simpler board.

For a tighter bass, even at high volume, the Contour 60i has new woofers with a bigger magnet system, a different voice-coil design and a glass-fibre voice-coil. There’s no change to the driver itself, but it does sit in a new moulded, resonance-damping enclosure developed from Core, Dynaudio’s flagship professional reference monitor range.

Contour 60i has an entirely new crossover because of the new woofers and Esotar 2i tweeter, and the effect of the moulded midrange cup and the Nomex spiders has allowed Dynaudio’s engineers to shift the crossover frequency up. It now works better at higher frequencies – up to around 300Hz. The frequency curve in this area is also flatter, giving better midrange performance from a more straightforward crossover. Lessons have been learned from the earlier Evoke and Confidence series as even the internal damping is brand-new.

Once again, Dynaudio has excelled with their new additions as audiophiles around the world have come to expect! 

You can see the new range here