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Definitive Readies Dolby Atmos Speaker Module

Baltimore – Definitive Technology is throwing its drivers into the Dolby Atmos ring with the announcement of the A60 Elevation speaker module for its existing BP-8060ST floorstanding tower speaker.

The module, shipping in August at $499/pair, operates as a dedicated Atmos-enabled “height speaker” that reflects sound off a ceiling to project sound effects above listeners.

The A60 can be placed on top of the BP8060 towers and connected by speaker wire to an A/V receiver or preamp processor equipped with Dolby Atmos decoder. A wire-management guide holds the speaker wire tight against the back of the tower, the company said.

Definitive joins a growing roster of companies announcing Atmos-decoding AVRs and preamp processors as well as Atmos-enabled speakers and Atmos add-on speaker modules. They include Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Integra and Pioneer.

Atmos, launched in 2012 in cinemas, will come to home theaters this year when, as Dolby announced yesterday, Atmos-enabled Blu-ray discs and streaming services come to market for playback through Atmos-enabled home-theater components.

Atmos places individual sounds within a listening space to create a more life-like experience in which multiple specific sounds can be placed precisely in three-dimensional space at any given time so they can be heard clearly and distinctly, Dolby said. Sounds also pan more smoothly around you, and the surround experience is improved no matter where you sit.

To achieve the goal, sound studios attach specific X, Y and Z coordinates to each sound to describe that sound’s location in three-dimensional space at any given time. That frees movie studios from the limitations imposed by cramming many sounds into a limited number of discrete channels, Dolby explained.

Atmos places sounds overhead if consumers install two to four in-ceiling speakers, but if consumers don’t want to install in-ceiling speakers, they can add Atmos speaker modules to two to four of their existing in-room home-theater speakers or replace two to four of their existing speakers with Atmos-enabled speakers.

Atmos supports 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 7.1.2, 7.1.4, and 9.1.2 speaker configurations, according to Onkyo.