AVS Addicted Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Monterey Park, CA
Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4261 Post(s)
I'd seen a prototype of those height modules at CES back in January. At the time they really matched the 4400, including matching grill cloth in the front (even though the driver was on top). Since then, the look has been changed to make it a universal height module that can be placed atop any speaker and even as a stand-alone height module that can be placed nearby (within 3 feet of the main speaker) on a shelf or TV/equipment stand.
Though there wasn't much info about these "virtual height" speakers at CES, I recently asked Atlantic about them. Apparently they had been quietly working with Dolby for a couple of years on these (talk about early Atmos licensee!).
In fact, when Scott Wilkinson interviewed speaker designer Andrew Jones from Pioneer on his podcast about Atmos-enabled speakers, Jones mentioned that he was skeptical until he heard the CEDIA 2013 Atmos demo, which impressed him enough that it started him on the path to his own version. What he heard at that 2013 demo that convinced him was an early prototype of these Atlantic height modules. I think they were even used by Dolby to demonstrate home Atmos to all their international offices.
The ones I saw at CES in January had a small single driver pointing up. Apparently that's been changed to a larger coax in order to have better bass response and a wider dispersion (larger ceiling spot) than other manufacturers have.