Immersive Audio Makes Your Home Theater Sound Like a Megaplex
Formats like Dolby Atmos sound bigger than life. But they also change the rules of home theater design acoustics.
Immersive audio is one of the most exciting developments to hit home theater design in decades. With a system as small as 5.1.2, your San Diego, CA, private cinema can sound like the local megaplex. But formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X rely on audio reflections to achieve the desired effect. How does that impact traditional acoustic design, speaker placement, and other factors? Find out below.
How Immersive Works
Traditional surround sound is simple. Speakers are placed around the viewer, and specific sounds are assigned to each. The front-center speaker, or channel, will accommodate the dialogue. The front-side speakers will feature important sounds, and the rear-side speakers will feature less important ones that help fill in the gaps. The overall effect is directional audio that leads you get lost in a movie.
Immersive is different. First of all, it features additional, overhead channels. Secondly, sounds aren’t assigned to channels. Rather, they’re treated as individual objects that can move from channel to channel freely. So, instead of a fixed and flat experience, you’re immersed in a three-dimensional sphere of sound.
Small System. Big Sound.
What’s incredible about immersive systems is that they promise the same sound quality that you’ll get at the megaplex in systems as small as 5.1.2 channels. In other words, you don’t need a large room and a 60-speaker configuration to enjoy the professional-quality sound. But you do need the right sound staging and room acoustics to create the perfect listening environment.
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X achieve bigger-than-life playback by leveraging natural audio reflections of a room. That means you’ll need a space with a lot of hard, flat surfaces. Vaulted ceilings and plush carpeting won’t help. To make a small system sound big, you’ll need to embrace the echo.
Acoustic treatments are a standard element of home theater design. They help absorb soundwaves that hit the walls and ceiling and prevent echoes. If you’re listening to a surround sound system or two-channel music system, they make it sound more robust and impactful.
However, with an immersive system, you’ll need to approach it differently. The echo is a cornerstone of the 3D effect. That means, to get the desired results, you’ll have to consult a professional installer who can strategically plan the acoustics, speaker placement, and room calibration.
And it may impact more than just your wall panels. Flooring, furniture, and more can influence the way your system sounds. But when you work with an expert home theater designer, you don’t have to worry about the complications.
At One Touch Living, we use the latest technology and proven design techniques to craft the home theater system of your dreams. From versatile media rooms to traditional private cinemas, we can meet your needs with professional support and service.
Ready to get started? Click here or give us a call at (858) 798-9130 today!