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Old 06-23-2014, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Pioneer's Dolby Atmos-Compatible AVRs and Speakers



Today's news included a slew of announcements about Dolby Atmos, an object-based surround sound format. Pioneer is ready to unleash both AVRs and speakers that support it.

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Pioneer is ready to unveil a complete Atmos-compatible collection of AVRs and speakers. The only problem is that the full unveiling will be on Wednesday, June 25th in NYC, so I don't even have a photo to share with you, nor do I have model names or prices. However, the company issued a press release confirming its entry into the world of object-based surround-sound.

Pioneer says it will have its line of Atmos-capable Elite-branded receivers and Atmos-compatible speakers—designed by Andrew Jones—on display at CE Week in NYC. Scott Wilkinson and I will be there to get the scoop on Pioneer's new Atmos-compatible products, so stay tuned for that.

Here's the full press release Pioneer sent out today:

"LONG BEACH, Calif. (June 23, 2014) – Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today brings an incredible multi-dimensional audio experience to consumers with a dedicated line of Dolby Atmos®-enabled Andrew Jones-designed Elite speakers and Elite SC series home theater receivers that will be Dolby Atmos upgradable via a firmware update available by the end of the year. With Dolby Atmos, sound comes alive from all directions, including overhead, to fill the home theater with astonishing clarity, power, detail, and depth. The new 2014 flagship Elite SC receivers with Dolby Atmos will provide the critical multi-channel processing and necessary power required to fully create the Dolby Atmos effects while a new line of Andrew Jones designed Elite speakers will produce exceptional sound quality that brings the technology to life.

“We’ve been at the forefront of every technology available for the home theater environment and we’re making a point to have the Dolby Atmos technology into the latest products that will captivate and transport audiences with multi-dimensional sound,” said Chris Walker, director of AV product planning and marketing for the Home Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “To ensure the best Dolby Atmos experience possible, Pioneer not only produced a series of ultra-high end receivers dedicated for the task, but also appointed Andrew Jones, our top speaker engineer, to design a speaker system worthy of the Elite brand and that can reproduce the sound quality that only Dolby Atmos can deliver.”

First established in the cinema, Dolby Atmos transports audiences into the middle of the movie action with a multi-dimensional sound experience that heightens emotions. Pioneer’s years of experience and expertise in home theater gave them the opportunity and advantage to develop a complete Dolby Atmos system with both receivers and speaker products. The availability of a single Pioneer branded system provides better control of the Dolby Atmos experience and the advantage in delivering the technology.

“Dolby Atmos is the next step in home entertainment and it’s really something you have to experience for yourself to understand how truly amazing it is,” said Michael Crane, Senior Director of Merchandising for Magnolia Home Theater and Design Centers. “We’re looking forward to demonstrating the technology in our Magnolia locations through Pioneer’s complete Dolby Atmos-enabled system.”

There are more than 340 Magnolia Home Theater locations within Best Buy stores nationwide that offer customers a premium home electronics shopping experience. There are also more than 40 Magnolia Design Centers which are the flagship of the Magnolia brand and provide the finest brand names, greater depth in product categories, as well as highly-trained system designers, project managers, programmers and installers." - Pioneer


Are you excited about Atmos? Whether the answer is yes, no, or maybe, let me know in the comments.


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Last edited by imagic; 06-23-2014 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:06 PM
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Looks like DD planned that really really well.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:14 PM
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Good to see Pioneer not out of the game yet. If those rumors were true. Does DTS have something similar to Atmos? I imagine they want to make sure they continue to dominant the codecs on bluray.

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Old 06-23-2014, 01:21 PM
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Finally, the AUDIO portion of this industry is getting a revival.. For years it was the Visual side which got all the news.. HD, 720, 1080p, 3D, UHD... Now, the home audio world is expecting to see some sale increases, More speaker sales; More Receiver/Pre-pro sales..
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:29 PM
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What signifies Atmos-compatible speakers? Is that a THX style certification?
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
What signifies Atmos-compatible speakers? Is that a THX style certification?
That's the big mystery. I gather that there are special speakers that don't need to be ceiling-mounted but are able to create the effect of sound coming from above. It sounded fishy to me at first, but it's possible that those speakers bounce sound off the ceiling or something like that. I'll have the full scoop on Wednesday.

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Old 06-23-2014, 01:37 PM
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i don't think they need really special speaker. it's not like the wall in front of you works different from your roof or your floor.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
What signifies Atmos-compatible speakers? Is that a THX style certification?
This is my question as well. It really does sound a little bit fishy, but I guess we'll have to wait a few days to see.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:47 PM
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Cant believe how quick that happened! Dolby is still rolling out Atmos in the cinemas.

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Old 06-23-2014, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
That's the big mystery. I gather that there are special speakers that don't need to be ceiling-mounted but are able to create the effect of sound coming from above. It sounded fishy to me at first, but it's possible that those speakers bounce sound off the ceiling or something like that. I'll have the full scoop on Wednesday.
Interesting. If that's the case, I wonder how it will work for those of us who have sloped ceilings.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:51 PM
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Can you use D Atmos with 5.1?
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:06 PM
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Can you use D Atmos with 5.1?
Yes. You probably won't get much benefit, but in theory it should work with everything from soundbars on up.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
That's the big mystery. I gather that there are special speakers that don't need to be ceiling-mounted but are able to create the effect of sound coming from above. It sounded fishy to me at first, but it's possible that those speakers bounce sound off the ceiling or something like that. I'll have the full scoop on Wednesday.
Years ago, I read an article that SRS Labs was developing object-oriented audio for the home. One of SRS's specialties is utilizing "reflection" effects built into TV's and soundbars to create the illusion of surround speakers. Something tells me SRS licensed this technology after it completed development, and this may be the brainchild.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:14 PM
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Seems like Pioneer rushed to get that one out today. No details at all on the new receivers?
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post
Years ago, I read an article that SRS Labs was developing object-oriented audio for the home. One of SRS's specialties is utilizing "reflection" effects built into TV's and soundbars to create the illusion of surround speakers. Something tells me SRS licensed this technology after it completed development, and this may be the brainchild.
SRS Labs was acquired by DTS, Inc. and the technology you are referring to became MDA, which DTS has submitted to the motion picture industry for use as a file format for creating object-based mixes. The consumer implementation of MDA will be branded by DTS as DTS-UHD.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post
Seems like Pioneer rushed to get that one out today. No details at all on the new receivers?
All additional info and photos have to wait until Wednesday, when there will be a hands-on for the press at CE week in NYC.

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Last edited by imagic; 06-23-2014 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
What signifies Atmos-compatible speakers?
The ability to project sound so that you hear the reflection as the source of the sound rather than the speaker.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddig View Post
Cant believe how quick that happened!
They're actually a year late.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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The ability to project sound so that you hear the reflection as the source of the sound rather than the speaker. They're actually a year late.
That's what I figured.

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Old 06-23-2014, 02:28 PM
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The ability to project sound so that you hear the reflection as the source of the sound rather than the speaker. They're actually a year late.
Year late according to what?

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Old 06-23-2014, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Reddig View Post
Cant believe how quick that happened! Dolby is still rolling out Atmos in the cinemas.
Might not be that quick -
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... Elite SC series home theater receivers that will be Dolby Atmos upgradable via a firmware update available by the end of the year.
That's sounding like they won't be coming with it, and who knows if the update will be available on time.

Quote:
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The ability to project sound so that you hear the reflection as the source of the sound rather than the speaker.
This is the first I've heard of special speakers for Atmos; I thought the effect was the result of the processed signal fed to the speaker, not the speaker itself.

How are they different?

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Old 06-23-2014, 02:41 PM
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The ability to project sound so that you hear the reflection as the source of the sound rather than the speaker.
Is the idea that 1 set of speakers could handle both front and height channels? That could be pretty useful for people with limited rooms for placing additional speakers.

How would the reflective quality affect non-Atmos content (say music, or regular DTS-HD), I wonder. Would that part of the speaker just not function?
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:44 PM
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Year late according to what?
At this point it's no secret that consumer Atmos was demonstrated at CES earlier this year. What did surprise me was company reps telling me that those demos were supposed to have happened the year before.

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Old 06-23-2014, 02:45 PM
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Is there any chance Atmos will be implemented into this generations receivers and pre-pros via a firmware update?
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:49 PM
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At this point it's no secret that consumer Atmos was demonstrated at CES earlier this year. What did surprise me was company reps telling me that those demos were supposed to have happened the year before.
Ok I gotcha.

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Old 06-23-2014, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
I thought the effect was the result of the processed signal fed to the speaker, not the speaker itself.
Might be a combination of both: virtual height speakers + height content processed through a virtualizer. We'll have to see how different manufacturers handle it.

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Old 06-23-2014, 02:51 PM
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According to Pioneer, Onkyo, and Dolby: NO. This is not only Atmos needs more powerful processor, but also a more detailed calibration capabilities.

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Old 06-23-2014, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

This is the first I've heard of special speakers for Atmos; I thought the effect was the result of the processed signal fed to the speaker, not the speaker itself.

How are they different?
My understanding is a standalone speaker, passive or active, that would receive two channels of input. The second channel would be for the height speaker input and would be aimed or directed to bounce the height speaker signal from the ceiling; a two in one if you will. This is an option for WAF or for rooms where it is not practical to install ceiling speakers.

There are also "Dolby Atmos module speakers", height speakers, coming to market that can be wall mounted but are primarily designed to set on top of your existing LR units.

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Old 06-23-2014, 03:12 PM
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There are two bestbuys in my area that tore down their magnolia area and have been remodeling it with signs posted stating, " a new magnolia experience is coming soon." I wonder if they are buildung a dedicated room for dolby atmos.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:15 PM
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Finally, the AUDIO portion of this industry is getting a revival.. For years it was the Visual side which got all the news.. HD, 720, 1080p, 3D, UHD... Now, the home audio world is expecting to see some sale increases, More speaker sales; More Receiver/Pre-pro sales..
I was thinking this is proof i'll always be an audio guy at heart. even if I can't really afford the best stuff(in my theatre now my video is WAY superior to my audio) I'm just so much more interested in new audio tech.


UHD, meh, who cares. the more I read about this atmos stuff, the more I NEED TO HAVE IT, haha. my hang up for a few years has been the limbo of moving. now more than ever, I can't wait to get a new space and just go to town with speakers.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
Is the idea that 1 set of speakers could handle both front and height channels?
The idea is to use one cabinet to replace more than one speaker. For the moment, a top mounted driver on the front speakers or on the surround speakers can create virtual height speakers for those that don't want to drill holes in the ceiling.

Down the road, they might put a rearward facing driver, so that a pair of surrounds at your sides creates virtual height speakers and virtual rear speakers. We're coming up on a creative period for the loudspeaker industry.
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