Home Theater

16 Immersive Audio Products for Great-Sounding Home Theaters

Now that we have at least three good immersive audio platforms -- Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D -- there's no excuse for a good home theater to skip object-oriented sound. Here are 16 components to choose from.

16 Immersive Audio Products for Great-Sounding Home Theaters
Sony STR-ZA5000es 9.2-channel AV receiver makes a great anchor for a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X home theater.

Photos & Slideshow

Robert Archer · December 13, 2017

Home theater is back, and there are a whole lot of immersive audio technologies to go with it, including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D.

Dolby ignited interest in immersive audio when it launched Atmos for the residential market a few years ago.

Pulling the format from its commercial division, Dolby introduced the term object-based audio to describe the process in which “objects” are placed within a soundfield. This approach Dolby explains differs from the standard methods, which assign sound elements to channels, and it enables mixing engineers to create audio experiences that surround listeners in a more realistic fashion.

A Closer Look at Dolby Atmos’ Competition DTS:X and Auro-3D

Following the release of Atmos, similar formats from DTS and Auro 3D were introduced.

After some delays DTS’s DTS:X format is now readily available. Available as a firmware upgrade or as part of new A/V receivers and processors, DTS:X is showing up on a growing number of home video releases, including the new Harry Potter series of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, as well as other movies such as Jason Bourne and London has Fallen.

DTS also offers its DTS Virtual:X and DTS Headphone:X formats.

DTS Virtual:X works with all of DTS’ codecs and a range of speaker system configurations to deliver an immersive listening experience regardless of the speaker layout. 

The DTS Headphone:X format provides users, including gamers, smart device users and computer users with an immersive audio experience from the privacy of their headphones.

Rounding out today’s era of immersive audio formats is Auro-3D.

With roots in commercial audio like Dolby’s Atmos format, Auro-3D has gained traction in the European home theater market. Auro says that Auro-3D adapts to a variety of audio systems, and like the other immersive audio technologies available to consumers, Auro-3D utilizes height channels to create a more enveloping listening experience.

In addition, unlike the other formats, Auro also places an emphasis on music. Auro works with music production community to provide music encoded with Auro-3D.

Here’s 16 Products to Help Build Immersive Audio Systems.

  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]

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  Article Topics

Home Theater · Speakers · Loudspeakers · Architectural · In-Ceiling/In-Wall · Floor/Shelf · Object Based Surround Components · Audio/Video · Products · Media · Slideshow · Atlantic Technology · AudioControl · Auro 3D · Bowers & Wilkins · Datasat · Dolby Atmos · All Topics
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