With three-dimensional audio flowing all around, Dolby Atmos® can transport movie viewing into a realism never before experienced in a home.
It is a giant step forward in the home theater experience. And what is the experience of a Dolby Atmos speaker system? Steve Colburn of Triad Speakers based in Portland, Oregon, tries to explain.
There you are, cozying up to watch a World War II bombing mission on a Pacific run, and you hear the creaks and groans of the airborne tin can with its engines droning in chorus with the others in formation around you and the crew chattering, and you are there. You are in that plane and part of the crew.
The concept sounds great; in fact it seems incredible. But like some who admit it and many more people who won’t, I don’t always grasp technology. I confess to Russ Vukonich, one of three highly technically skilled principals at Eyehear Technology Group in Kalispell, that it’s over my head, and he gives me a surprising response. “Exactly right. You’ve got it—it’s over your head. With Dolby Atmos®, the sound flows above you. Look at it this way. With early televisions when many of us were kids, sound traveled from the TV back to us: front to back. With the advent of Surround Sound, it amazingly travels front-to-back, back-to-front, and from each side. Now with Dolby Atmos®, the sound is additionally configured on a vertical axis, so it is above the listener and for the first time truly three-dimensional. It’s an amazing breakthrough.”
“Sound can’t be easily explained; it has to be experienced.”
Eyehear’s ability to master complexities and its willingness to simply and directly explain technology makes people comfortable with electronic systems of all types, and it has earned the firm many friends and loyal clients over its 15 years of business. Eyehear also provides the opportunity to experience equipment first-hand in its showroom. “People can come in and listen to this amazing sound experience. Sound can’t be easily explained; it has to be experienced,” says Russ Vukonich.
Steve Colburn also encourages everyone to pursue this cinematic sound experience. “Atmos immerses you in sound all around, and then it can also create sound objects as large as a helicopter or as small as a buzzing bee that are precisely positioned and move in three-dimensional space. Because sound objects mirror the real world, they provide movie directors and sound engineers important new tools in their quest to create worlds both familiar and foreign.” Colburn makes an additional point when he references something director George Lucas said, “Sound is half the movie experience.”
According to Colburn, it’s not just loud action films that benefit from Dolby Atmos®, nor do only the movies recorded in Atmos profit from being heard in Atmos. “Even romantic comedies and television shows engage you more fully in the on-screen action with Atmos by immersing you in their world through sound.”
Triad Speakers & Eyehear, a Close Collaboration
Eyehear’s Kalispell showroom features Dolby Atmos®–enabled Triad speakers, and as a trained Triad dealer, the two businesses work closely together. Colburn explains. “At Triad Speakers, we build high–performance music and movie speakers that get built into homes, but with a twist. As Dolby Labs’ development partner for home Atmos speakers for almost four years, we learned how to do Atmos right. We pass on that Atmos knowledge and experience to the professionals at Eyehear through training about Dolby Atmos® and by helping them design and engineer Dolby Atmos® into their customers’ homes.”
“Triad combines the efficiencies of a lean high-tech company with the beauty of old-world craftsmanship.”
With almost 400 Dolby Atmos home system designs installed, Triad’s considerable experience working with homeowners directly benefits the projects that Eyehear designs. “We have learned how Atmos can accommodate virtually any decor and rooms varying from big to small, and that includes dedicated home theaters and multi-purpose family rooms,” Russ Vukonich comments. He makes the point that Eyehear tackles projects in a range of budgets, and they frequently work with interior designers and the building trades in addition to working directly with homeowners.
When Russ Vukonich talks about Dolby Atmos® speakers from Triad, the word “custom” frequently pops up. This specific focus on custom products makes Triad Speakers an unusual speaker manufacturer. Located in Portland, Oregon, they build products to order. “This approach lets us offer a much broader array of speakers. Each of our speakers is designed and engineered to perform its best exactly where and how it is intended,” says Steve Colburn. “I like to think that Triad combines the efficiencies of a lean high-tech company with the beauty of old-world craftsmanship.”
It’s exciting new technology that brings sound to home entertainment as it never has been experienced before. Eyehear has it in the showroom ready for demonstration, and through the dynamic partnership between Eyehear and Triad, it’s simple to bring it home.