(Cybertech) – Dolby Atmos – the three-dimensional surround sound format – seems to be absolutely everywhere. And now, thanks to a proof of concept by Klipsch and Panasonic, it could be coming to your car stereo.
While Dolby Atmos started life in theatres – where a multitude of speakers makes the hemispherical three-dimensional output most plausible and believable – the sound technology has since moved to TVs, soundbars, laptops and all forms of setups, often using psychoacoustic tricks to deliver three-dimensionality.
However, while many movies are mixed down in the Dolby format, it’s only more recently that music has also been given the treatment. There are albums by the likes of London Elektricity that embody the surround format, by taking individual stems or sequences and placing and moving them around a three-dimensional environment for additional immersion.
Get hold of a Dolby Atmos mix, then, and an in-car setup could well be one of the best places to experience true surround from the format. After all, the position of the listeners is always a given, as are the speakers relative, providing a great opportunity to turn the in-car system into an ideal output for true surround sound.
Not that Dolby Amost in music has massively caught on just yet – with Tidal being one exception as a place to access such sources since late 2019.
And for a proof of concept like this to be accessible it’d really need to be picked up by specific auto-makers and sold as a pre-purchase package install. But there are plenty of high-end audio brands that offer similar – albeit minus the Dolby Atmos unique selling point.
All we know is that as and when this becomes a thing we totally want such a system. We might even install a telly in the garden for a lockdown drive-in experience with cinema-grade audio.
Writing by Mike Lowe.