3 Immersive Audio Demo Tips for Dealers

As immersive audio formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D come to home theater, dealers should be prepared to demo the new formats to customers. PRO Audio Technology president Paul Hales offers a few pointers.

Paul Hales

With the development of immersive audio formats, there is a significant opportunity to reinvigorate client's interest in home theater and audio. The evolution from 5.1 to 7.1 was incremental and to many listeners, negligible. However, the step from 7.1 to immersive audio — especially high-channel-count Dolby Atmos — is massive and easily heard.

The best thing a dealer can do is to help the client understand just how much better (and different) the new formats are, not just in terms of audiophilia, but in terms of genuinely making the movie and music experience more exciting and more rewarding.

The goal of the discussion should be to compel the client to want to hear a system firsthand, because by far the most valuable tool a dealer has is exposing the client to a well-engineered immersive system.

We do this routinely at the PRO Experience Center in Southern California and the results have exceeded all expectations. Potential clients hear the difference, become genuinely excited about audio again, and most importantly want to own it.

Home Theater Demo Guide: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro 3D

Here are three immersive audio demo tips from us to you.

1. Play to Their Emotions

As audio professionals, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the audio is there to serve the movie or the music, and not the other way around.

It’s not about the sound, it’s about communicating emotional content – making the listener feel as if they are in the movie or at the concert.

Choosing the right demo material can make or break a listener’s decision, so it’s important to have a conversation with the listener to find out what they want to hear in order to stimulate their sense of emotion.

2. Prepare the Listener for the Experience

Before beginning a demonstration, I like to start by describing the equipment and what I am going to play. If it’s an immersive audio format, I also describe how it works using analogies and tell them what to listen for.

It is extremely valuable to ensure listeners understand what is happening in the audio mix, as well as how it’s happening, so that they can draw from that knowledge during the demonstration and truly appreciate even the most minute details.

3. Mix It Up!

If the listener is able to take their time and enjoy the experience, I find it incredibly effective to play a few different samples of well-recorded music, concert videos and movie clips.

The more you can show them what the system is capable of, the more they will want it in their home. I also find it helpful to pay attention to the listener’s reactions and body language to the clips you select.

Truly understanding what they are enjoying, or the opposite, should play into your next selection.

Author Paul Hales is president and product designer of PRO Audio Technology.