Optimizing Rooms Acoustically for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X

Adding more speakers to a room can confuse the human brain, so manufacturers discuss the best way to acoustically treat a home theater for object-based surround sound.


According to Rob Sample, western regional manager for Paradigm Electronics, studies reveal that the more loudspeakers you add to a room, the more it can confuse the human brain. So if that's the case, does it mean integrators that create object-based surround sound home theater setups for their clients are sending them to the funny farm?

Not necessarily. The same room equalization principles that apply to a 2-channel listening room or a 5.1-channel home theater will still apply for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D applications.

Sample made those comments during an impromptu panel discussion organized by CE Pro at the recent Pacific Northwest Consumer Electronics Expo (PNWCEE) in Seattle. He, along with Brian Sandifer, product manager at Integra, and Brandon Cook, director of technical services at AudioControl, discussed the impact on room design from having an object-based surround sound system. 

“Electronic room EQ is going to be an integrator's best friend [when setting up a object-based system],” says Sample. He adds that good room correction can align everything. All the room variables of ceiling height, furniture, wall surfaces, room size and doorways can be taken care of using the Room EQ power in today's processors. 

“Geometry is more important today than ever,” adds Sample.

Sandifer notes that the beauty of the new formats and room EQ systems is that it offers integrators more flexibility than ever before in where they can place individual speakers. 

Also, See: Dolby, DTS and Auro: Is Another Format War on the Way?

About the Author

Jason Knott
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.