I saw the new Pixar Animation Studios’ film “Brave” last week in a theater equipped with the new Dolby® Atmos™ sound system. Only 14 theaters in the U.S. are currently equipped with the Dolby Atmos system. “Brave” is the first feature film to use the new sound format.
Dolby states that its new Atmos system is “a revolutionary approach to sound.” According to the Dolby website:
“The most significant development in audio since the arrival of surround sound is here. Dolby® Atmos™ delivers audiences a more natural and realistic soundfield, transporting them into the story with a lifelike sensory experience. Developed with input from professionals throughout the movie industry, Dolby Atmos represents a dynamic shift in audio, reinventing the traditional surround sound methodology and offering a complete platform for sound now and well into the future.”
The first thing I noticed when I arrived in the theater was the increased number of speakers in the room, including two long bays of speakers installed across the entire length of the theater ceiling. The Dolby Atmos trailer gave us a preview of the sonic treat that awaited for us. Instead of being just loud and overpowering, watching “Brave” with the Dolby Atmos sound mix made the all the sounds, voices and music in the film incredibly clear, refined and targeted. I was really impressed with the subtlety and clarity of the sound as well as the sheer power and depth that it provided the movie-going experience.
It will be interesting to see where this new technology goes in the future and how widely adapted it will be over time. I personally will jump at the chance to see a film in Dolby Atmos again. I hope you get to experience it and enjoy it soon, too.