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Dolby Atmos A/V Receivers, Speakers On Tap

NEW YORK — A/V receivers with Dolby Atmos decoding will be available from a suggested $699 to $2,399 based on pricing disclosed to date for new AVRs that will ship out of the box with Atmos and for AVRs that will get an Atmos firmware upgrade.

In the third quarter, at least six audio brands will offer Atmos AVRs and preamp processors, and at least three companies will offer Atmos-enabled speakers, based on announcements to date.

Here’s what dealers will be selling in time for the holiday selling season.

Definitive Technology’s A60 Elevation speaker module for the company’s current BP-8060ST floorstanding tower speaker ships in August at $499/pair. It 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 $999-each BP8060 towers, available since 2011. The A60 is 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.

Denon’s first AVRs with Dolby Atmos will be the AVR-X4100W and AVR-X5200W. Both are 9.1-channel models due in September. Pricing was unavailable.

Marantz’s Atmos AVR will be the 9.1-channel SR7009, due in September. The brand also plans October availability of its first Atmos-equipped preamp processor, the 11-channel AV7702. Prices weren’t disclosed.

The products will be available in late summer through the fall.

The 9.1-channel Denon and Maranrz AVRs are capable of driving 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 speaker configurations, and with the addition of a two-channel amp, they’ll drive a 7.1.4 or 9.1.2 configuration, the company said. Marantz’s 11-channel preamp processor will also drive 7.1.4 and 9.1.2 speaker configurations.

Existing Denon and Marantz AVRs and preamp processors are not firmware upgradable to add Atmos because all-new DSPs with more memory are needed, said D+M’s Kevin Zarow.

Integra said Atmos decoding will be incorporated in the 9.2-channel DTR-60.6 and 11.2-channel DTR-70.6 networked A/V receivers and in the flagship 11-channel DHC-80.6 networked preamp processor. The three new components will ship in the third quarter at prices that weren’t disclosed.

The 9.2-channel DTR-60.6 AVR features 11.2-channel preouts for add-on amps to drive a 7.1.4 or 9.1.2 speaker configuration.

The brand also plans September availability of a firmware update to add Dolby Atmos on its previously released midrange 7.2-channel network A/V receivers. They are the DTR-30.6, DTR-40.6 and DTR-50.6. They retail for a suggested $1,000, $1,300 and $1,700, respectively.

Onkyo will ship three components in August with builtin Dolby Atmos decoding. They are the $1,699-suggested TX-NR1030 and $2,399 TX-NR3030 A/V receivers and the $2,499 PR-SC5530 preamp/surround processor.

The company will also bring the technology to lower price points with a firmware update, targeted in September, to add Dolby Atmos decoding to the midpriced TX-NR636, TX-NR737 and TX-NR838 networked A/V receivers, which are already available at suggested retails of $699, $899 and $1,199, respectively.

The three midpriced AVRs are 7.2-channel models that drive a 5.1.4 Atmos speaker setup.

The $1,699 NR1030 is a 9.2-channel that drives a 5.1.4 Atmos speaker configuration, but it has 11.2-channel pre-outs to add amplifiers to drive a 7.1.4 and 9.1.2 configuration.

The $2,399 NR3030 is an 11.2-channel receiver. The PR-SC5530 preamp/processor is an 11-channel model.

To further expand its Atmos selection, Onkyo plans to incorporate Dolby Atmos decoding into two receiverbased home theater receiver/speaker packages, the HTS7700 and HT-S9700THX. The company will also offer two home-theater speaker packages designed to meet Dolby Atmos specifications.

Ship dates for the receiver/speaker packages and the speaker packages were not disclosed.

Pioneer reported three of five new Elite-series receivers will be Dolby Atmos upgradable via a firmware update. The three Atmos-upgradable AVRs ship in late August along with an Atmos-enabled 5.1 speaker system that delivers a 5.1.4-channel Atmos soundfield. The Atmos firmware upgrades will be available “soon after” the AVRs are available.

The Atmos-ready AVRs are the $1,600-everyday SC- 85, $2,000 SC-87, and $3,000 SC-89 AVRs. All are nine-channel models

Two other Elite AVRs lacking Atmos, available in June, are the $1,000-everyday SC-81 and $1,300 SC-82. Both are seven-channel models.

The Atmos-enabled 5.1 speaker system delivers a 5.1.4-channel Atmos soundfield. The speakers include a $749-everyday bookshelf pair and a $699-each tower speaker. They incorporate a height driver on top, angled up, crossed over at a Dolby-specified frequency, and driven by its own amplifier channel to place individual sounds overhead sounds by reflecting them off a ceiling.

The speaker selection also includes a $399 center channel and a $599 10-inch subwoofer.

The company’s current Elite and Pioneer AVRs can’t be firmware-upgraded to Atmos because their DSP processors don’t have the speed to handle Atmos decoding.

Yamaha unveiled five audio/video receivers in its topend Aventage line include two of the company’s first AVRs with Dolby Atmos surround decoding.

The two Atmos receivers are the $1,699-suggested RXA2040 and RX-A3040 at $2,199. They will be available in August, and Atmos firmware upgrades will be available later in the fall for the two components. Both are 9.2-channel models, but the top model can be upgraded to 11.2 channels by adding a two-channel amp.