Science & Tech

Dolby Atmos: A Revolution in Sound

Imagine experiencing the Super Bowl in person—hearing the bark of the quarterback coming right at you before the ball is snapped, feeling the pyrotechnic “boom!” exploding overhead during the halftime show, being surrounded by the roar of the crowd when your team makes the winning touchdown. With Dolby Atmos, broadcasters will soon be able to deliver this kind of sound experience to audiences at home and on their mobile devices.

BT Sport takes Dolby Atmos live
Sports fans in Great Britain are already enjoying the breathtaking you-are-there feeling of this next-generation audio. In January, BT Sport became the first U.K. broadcaster to offer Dolby Atmos, airing a Premier League soccer game between Chelsea and Liverpool with this new technology. Twelve microphones captured sounds all around the stadium—from the field to the crowds in the stands to the public address system overhead—and delivered them to broadcast trucks where they were mixed in Dolby Atmos. Broadcasters took that multidimensional sound and delivered it to viewers who experienced everything from the thud of a foot kicking the ball to a referee’s whistle moving around them, as if they were in the middle of the action. This is not just an update of 5.1- or 7.1-channel surround sound: this is a revolutionary new way of delivering audio.

Breakthrough technology
Rather than confining sound to a channel associated with a speaker on a two-dimensional plane, Dolby Atmos treats each audio element as a distinct object, that can be precisely placed, and moved through three-dimensional space. Dolby Atmos moves these sounds up and around a viewer at home like they move around a fan at the game (even overhead), creating a sound atmosphere that’s truly immersive. The speed, direction, and even the quality of the sound can be finely controlled, made louder or quieter, more focused or diffused to recreate the way people experience sound in real life—a pitch whizzing by, the sounds of fans screaming in the bleacher seats overhead—all captured and delivered with a clarity, richness, depth, and detail never before possible.

Personalizing how you hear the game
Dolby Atmos not only revolutionizes the audio experience, it also gives audiences the power to shape the way they hear the game. With the push of a button, they can amplify sound from the field and the fans, eliminate announcers, change the color commentary language, and even choose their hometown announcer for an away game.
With Dolby Atmos, broadcasters will bring the game home like never before.