My first Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 home theater experience was a brief video clip of a rainforest with birds flying around and rain falling from overhead. It sounded like someone was throwing a bucket of water on top of my head. It became clear at that very moment that Dolby Atmos was an entirely different home theater surround sound experience than anything I had ever experienced.
Unlike traditional 5.1 surround sound which associates a sound with a particular speaker on a horizontal plane, Dolby Atmos sound moves overhead and all around you in three-dimensional space so that you are inside the sound field. Sound can be localized with a specific speaker or panned around and above you creating a truly multi-dimensional and immersive sound experience.
To enjoy Dolby Atmos, you will need in-ceiling speakers overhead or Dolby Atmos upward-firing speaker modules that sit atop your front floor standing speakers. You will also need an AV receiver that supports Dolby Atmos. Currently, you may view Dolby Atmos titles with a Blu-ray player or with a Roku Ultra 4K streaming media player. A common concern is how much it will cost. The truth is the cost to add Dolby Atmos object based surround sound is marginal compared to the initial investment most have already made in their 5.1 surround sound home theater system.
One requirement to successfully deploy Dolby Atmos is a flat ceiling. It is best to have in-ceiling speakers so that the sound emanates directly from above. If you use upward-firing speakers, a flat ceiling allows the sound to bounce off the surface of your ceiling and back down to your ears. A vaulted ceiling will not properly reflect the sound back down to the listener.
Compared to your standard 5.1 speaker system, Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 surround sound when set up correctly provides a much richer and greater sound enveloping immersive experience. Dolby provides official speaker placement guidelines on its website. To learn more about adding Dolby Atmos sound to your home theater system, please contact us for a free consultation.