It’s easy to commonly know one or two brands when they’re on the consumer front lines the most. Some would know that brand as the originator or creators of anything it makes or promotes but that’s not always the case. A great example is how Dolby Atmos being seen as the first consumer codecs to offer atmospheric sound. Many don’t know that Auro 3D was actually the originator of it and while they haven’t really made a foothold on the consumer market, they’re looking to change that but is it something to invest in?
Lets start with something not everyone knows which is for the past few years a big thing to be in certain movie theaters is atmospheric sound. This is not only speakers from the front, back and sides but also speakers on the ceiling firing down which give the effect of speakers being all around you. Auro 3D was the first to do this then Dolby with Dolby Atmos and then DTS with DTS:X. Dolby Atmos made a splash by being the first to release the codecs on consumer level receivers and certain blu-ray movies. All three have their own algorithms to try and give you that same immersive sound even if the content is not specific to the codecs.
The main difference with the codecs is that while Dolby Atmos and DTS:X mostly take advantage of having 1-2 pairs of height speakers Auro 3D set its sites on maximizing how many speakers to use. 11.1 is their sweet spot with a channel they only use that is a speaker directly above the listening position which they call “The Voice of God” giving consumers the ultimate immersive experience. You don’t need 11.1 channels to enjoy their algorithm as it does a great job with as many or little speakers as you have in your setup.
Auro 3D has different listening experiences depending on the content and some sound better then others. We’ve found that the best experience is with live music as it opens up every speaker just right and makes you feel like you’re in the middle of a concert hall! The same works for concert shows which we’ve tested. Streaming also works pretty well with Auro 3D and Auro-Matic as it takes the basic 5.1 track and disperses some pretty good balance across your other channels. This seemed to be on par with Dolby’s algorithm as it might be a preference thing but found ourselves enjoying the listening.
a good sense of where things were coming from. Forza Horizon 3 sounded a bit too muddy for our taste. However Halo 5 and Gears of War 4 sounded like it was doing a great job at hitting particular speakers for separation. We also know soon their will be certain games that will have Auro 3D native for people to take advantage of. Blu-ray movies as well will be change by movie and user. Some movies like Batman V Superman sounded ok while Transformers sounded better then I thought it would have.
Our big takeaway is that Auro 3D seems to do great with older content or tracks that have a limited number of channels in it to begin with, it somehow knows where to place sound in the right areas better then Dolby and DTS. Channels that are 7.1, Dolby Atmos or DTS:X might sound better in their respective codecs if you have it but testing it to see which one is better is your best bet. It’s worth taking the plunge if you have a system that supports Auro 3D as they are only looking into more ways in approving the algorithm and implementing them into more movies and content to take advantage of.
Great article, I agree with your input to a point. I bought a Onkyo receiver with Atmos when it first hit the market and I thought it was impressive, but at that time movies were limited. I have a nice list of Atmos movies now, but I a few years later I ran into some information about immersive sound and Auro3D. I did some research and I was intrigued by it. So I saved a little money sold my Onkyo and went with the Marantz SR 7009 and purchased the Auro3D upgrade, WOW it just blew me away, it was worth the speaker setup change to me. All of my movies (Bluray and DVD) came to life, even my Atmos movies. I bought Redtails, Pixels, and Ghostbuster from the UK in native Auro3d format; super impressive. Auro3D turns football games, track and field; anything I watch is converted through Auro-Matic. I don’t change formats now is the Auro3D setting, I believe it is superior to Atmos because unlike the Atmos codec you don’t have to have native Atmos movies to enjoy immersive sound. With Auro3D you are in the scene of the movie, Atmos places some sounds into space, but it is still basic surround sound. Auro3D is another animal. Thanks for your review.