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Do I need to buy new speakers to use Dolby Atmos?

If you found this article via Google search, you already know what Dolby Atmos is. If you found it while visiting another page on our site then let's get you a brief explanation on what Atmos does. 

Dolby Atmos is designed to deliver depth of sound stage in the vertical space. Meaning it increases the height of the sound stage. Imagine the sound of rain falling from the ceiling, a helicopter hovering overhead or someone shouting from a rooftop. There is a whole bunch of tech stuff on their site which is mostly geared towards selling producers on the effect but needless to say when working well with great content, it can add a dramatic effect to your listening experience. 

What kind of speakers should I use for Dolby Atmos?

According to Dolby you can use any pair of in-ceiling speakers or special Atmos speakers that have drivers pointing UP at the ceiling. I prefer the in-ceiling configuration but some might argue the down firing sound might interfere with the soundwaves coming from your main left and right channels. Most people would not notices is my guess.

Bottom line, if you love your main speakers as they are get a good pair of in-ceiling or flat panel speakers for the height. If you're in the market for a new pair of speakers there are some really nice Atmos speakers available on the market today. Don't forget you need an Atmos enabled receiver as well. 

My favorite Atmos speaker is made by Pioneer believe it or not. No haters please. LOL (shown above)

Visit Dolby Labs Atmos page for more information. 

Do My Speakers Sound Good?

Do my speakers sound good is a question I get on a fairly regular basis from friends and acquaintances who know I once ran a speaker company. I typically respond, "What do you think?" in a typical psychotherapist manner. Usually I get a bewildered look. The friend is usually looking for support in the buying decision they made or validation that they have excellent listening skills. While there are some other friends of mine who might offer a long response to the question, I prefer to punt. Do your speakers sound good? How would i know! Heck I'm not even sure when we both look at something "blue" we're seeing the same color! my point is that sound and sound perception is subjective. Here are just a few reasons why. What are we doing? If you're chatting at a cocktail party does it really matter is there is a boombox or a two thousand dollar pair of speakers playing?

Here is a practical guide on what might sound good in different situations, at least for me personally.

  • Background music while studying, reading, cleaning around the house or cooking - spend less for these rooms/situations. Most bluetooth or small bookshelf will do.
  • Music for a party, outside or in may require a little more bass to keep people bouncing, so choose something larger that can deliver some volume and reasonable bass. This eliminates almost all bluetooth speakers within the reasonable cost range (except the Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Mini which for the money packs a punch!) But here you might want to go with nothing short of a six inch bass driver in a decent bookshelf, maybe even a subwoofer. 
  • Serious music listening. If you are lucky enough to have time where you can sit and just listen to music, really listen, then your a lucky person. This is where an investment in something YOU think sounds good. Don't worry about specs, wattage capacity (which is BS) or size. Listen too it and if you like it and it reproduces your favorite tunes the way you think they should sound, you're good.
So there you have it. The no-tech guide to buying speakers that sound good without hurting your head. BTW, I of course do have opinions on if the speakers sound good, to me that is. 

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