How to Achieve Discrete Object-Based Audio

Assembling a surround sound system that features discrete object-based audio unlocks exciting new capabilities for fully immersing yourself in home entertainment.

If you want the most nuanced and powerful sound for your home theater, look to object-based audio. Formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D turn films, TV shows, video games - and in some cases, even sports - into multidimensional audio experiences. With the right equipment and media mixed in the appropriate format, you get a whole new level of sonic immersion from your favorite entertainment.

Opening up dimensions for surround sound systems

Object-based audio is different from older surround systems, which send audio signals through a set number of channels to the speakers that are positioned at particular points in a room. It's also distinct from simulated object-based audio formats like DTS Virtual:X, which use just a few speakers to give listeners the sense that sounds are coming from different directions.

3D audio formats instead create discrete audio objects, drawing on as many surround sound speakers as your AVR can support to immerse you in rich sound from all directions, including overhead. The result is a highly flexible approach to a home theater layout that provides exact positioning of sounds and a far deeper level of detail than previously possible.

Optimizing your home theater for object-based audio

The speakers you choose are a crucial aspect of getting the best results from object-based audio, as Craig Eggers, the senior director of home theater at Dolby Laboratories explained. Bipolar speakers, which create a wide soundstage with two sets of drivers firing in-phase with one another, are preferable to dipole speakers, which produce a more diffused sound through drivers that fire out of phase from one another. Where dipole speakers can make it harder to localize sounds, the high-performance tower speakers in the Definitive Technology BP9000 series, for example, feature a forward-focused bipoloar array that's ideal for precisely situating audio objects within a wide field of dispersion.

Multiple subwoofers are a major advantage for an object-based audio setup, allowing for an even distribution of lower frequencies throughout the room. The integrated powered subwoofers within BP9000 speakers make it simple to incorporate two or more subwoofers into your home theater. That way you get the full benefit of deep, forceful bass no matter where you sit.

Since the vertical placement of sound is one of the greatest advantages of object-based audio, overhead speakers are a key part of your setup. One option is to install speakers directly into the ceiling. Products in the Definitive Technology DI or DT architectural audio series are designed to offer exceptional sound while blending in seamlessly with your decor. For equally superior results with simpler installation, opt for the A90 height modules. They insert directly into the top of BP9000 tower speakers, and reflect object based audio  off the ceiling into your listening area.

With speakers from Definitive Technology, you can create a home theater system that captures the incredible possibilities of object-based audio. To learn more about the varying object-based audio formats, read this article.