Dolby To Add Height Information To Mobile Soundtracks

By Joseph Palenchar On Feb 13 2014 - 4:35pm

New York – Dolby Laboratories is developing an audio technology that adds height information to specially mixed surround-sound soundtracks played back on mobile devices and delivered through any pair of headphones.

The unnamed technology, not yet available to Dolby customers, would use movie and game soundtracks mixed via object-based mixing technology. Dolby has developed a version of that technology, called Dolby Atmos, for movie theaters.

The company will work with game developers to add height to their soundtracks, added Emmanuel Delorme, Dolby senior product manager for devices.

During a demonstration here of the technology, Delorme said the technology would be added to Dolby’s current suite of mobile-audio technologies. The suite incorporates Dolby Digital Plus surround decoding, surround virtualization of stereo and multichannel content through headphones and embedded stereo speakers, dialog enhancement to ensure dialog is loud and clear, and volume-leveler technology to deliver consistent volume levels when different content or media players are selected.

Several features optimize audio playback through small low-power speakers to deliver more balanced sound with more bass and treble, reduced noise, and reduced distortion, the company said.

In the U.S., the suite appears in the Kindle Fire HDX tablet, Microsoft Surface and Surface Pro tablets, Lenovo Yoga convertible laptop, Galaxy Tab 3 and ZTE Moost Max smartphone. The suite is native in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 wireless chipset with 2.3GHz quad-core CPU and 4G LTE, and it appeared this year in MediaTek chips for lower-cost mobile devices, said Delorme.

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