Dolby Atmos

Userlevel 1
Why did the new Playbase not integrate Dolby Atmos?

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62 replies

Just wanted to comment on the point made a couple months ago that if Sonos can handle 32 speakers in a system, then they would be able to handle a 7.1.4 system, or whatever it is. I don't think that's a great comparison though, as the standard wholehouse setup is a net, meaning each unit passes the stereo signal on to others without the original source having to make the connection to all the units in the group itself. It also is done over 2.4 GHz and has a nice buffer. The Home Theatre setup is different in that the playbar unit has to send the right channel of sound to the right speaker by itself. It's not a net, it's more of a master slave situation. It also has to be done at 5 GHz with no real buffer in order to keep the audio in sync with the video. So in order for a new playbar to do dolby atmos , it's got to be able to send around maybe 5- 12 separate signals to all the speakers in the atmos group, with not much buffer to work with. A lot more difficult.

Not to mention, are there going to be that many customers that want to buy that many speakers and have the ability to plug them in where they need to go. I realize that a lot of the channels can be built in to the soundbar, but it's still quite a bit.

Are you saying that the Sonos is using the 5 GHz wireless band? It only uses 2.4 GHz as far as I know.

Are you saying that the Sonos is using the 5 GHz wireless band? It only uses 2.4 GHz as far as I know.

It is using 5 Ghz for the speakers bonded in 5.1 home theatre.
Ryan, Netflix supports Dolby Atmos.

Hi Gwoodster,

Here's some details we've shared around Dolby and our decision around it.

Dolby Atmos is an attempt by Dolby to standardize cinema sound from production to theater exhibition to in-home distribution. More than just a codec, Atmos is an authoring language for cinema sound. In theory, Atmos allows a sound designer to specify the location of a specific sound in a 360 degree sphere and then render that sound ‘accurately’ whether a given room has 1 speaker or 64. You can think of Atmos like a ‘vector’ graphic format such as EPS which is a series of instructions for how to render an image vs classic Dolby Digital which is more like a GIF.

In the home context, Atmos is often described as a way to create a sphere of sound where certain sound effects appear to be located above the listeners. However, ‘ceiling sound’ is only one aspect of the Atmos format.

At Sonos, we are intrigued by the future applications of Atmos in the home context, however like most new codecs, Atmos is only as good as the content which is encoded and mastered for the format. Today, native Atmos content is very limited. Like DTS, most Atmos content is found on Blue-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray physicals discs. Only a limited amount of streaming content from VUDU uses Atmos. As Sonos is focused on modern listeners who predominantly steam, we have decided not to support Atmos at this time. We will continue to monitor the state of home entertainment to determine if Atmos is a feature that will improve the experience for the majority of our owners.
Userlevel 5
Badge +7
There may be some hope yet

A question about the Beam posed to a Sonos rep recently, the reply mentioned that the Product Manager at Sonos loves Atmos and would like to see it implemented in future products but they had no further announcement to make at this time
The new Beam speaker has an HDMI input so I am hoping that Dolby Atmos is going to be supported starting with the Beam.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
About DolbyAtmos and SOnos

Sonos talks Dolby Atmos, DTS, sound quality and Beam soundbar
Oversimplifying: Prior to Dolby Atmos all that Dolby did over and above 2-channel stereo sound was to add additional channels.
Dolby Atmos is different. It's a paradigm-shift. Also it's not just a trend I'd think. Who knows, maybe we'll be able to stream Dolby Atmos audio tracks at some stage? Recordings of classical orchestras would certainly sound very different.
The Beam falling short on Atmos support is not encouraging. Missing out on paradigm-shifts can be deadly for vendors. Just think of Nokia and Blackberry.
Being relatively new to Sonos and having read this thread, I just hope Sonos will not miss the boat here.
Userlevel 3
Badge +6
Atmos doesn't even make sense in a soundbar, let alone a cheaper one like the beam. The ones that remotely have decent quality are quite expensive and are still not true Atmos. If one really wants that experience they're better off with a receiver based system
I disagree, a have Dolby Atmos built in to my phone (Razer), and it's mind blowing, the phone only has 2 front facing speakers so the amount of speakers is not a limitation.

The phone with its relatively puny speakers is able to to produce sound whereby it sounds like either a helicopter or an insect is actually behind your head or above or whatever.

I have only experienced Dolby Atmos on my phone (and the cinema but that's different) and it is the most incredible sound experience ever definitely the future of audio.

+1 from me for working out a way to support Dolby Atmos
Userlevel 3
Badge +6
That would be using software to emulate and no different from the bars that give virtual surround. While it sounds better than stereo it is nowhere near the real thing. Sonos have themselves stated that they wouldn’t do it just for the sake of adding it, they would want to do it right. Even the most expensive sound bars that have Atmos, plus the upfiring speakers, are heavily reliant on the room it’s placed in and how it can bounce the sound. You really need in ceiling speakers to have true Atmos.
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
apparently there is a survey being pushed out for Atmos:
I think you missed some key words...."to gauge interest in"....