Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Coming to More Soundbars

Onkyo-owned Integra and Pioneer Home Entertainment went to CEDIA 2016 with their first soundbars equipped with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround decoding.

An Onkyo-brand sound bar with Atmos and DTS:X is also in the works. The products will join a Yamaha soundbar equipped with the two surround technologies. Other companies are offering, or have announced plans to offer, soundbars featuring only Dolby Atmos. Samsung currently offers two Atmos-equipped soundbars, and Gibson Innovations has announced plans for a Philips-brand Atmos-equipped soundbar. Creative Technology also plans an Atmos soundbar.

The Onkyo-, Integra- and Pioneer-brand soundbars take a radically different form compared with their competitors. The new models consist of a slim-line 5x50-watt A/V receiver that drives a passive soundbar with three front-channel drivers and two upward-firing height drivers. The receiver uses virtual-surround technology to deliver the surround channels. An 8-inch wireless subwoofer is included.

The Integra DLB-5 soundbar system will be available in November at a suggested retail of $1,200, said marketing director Kevin Brannan. It will likely be available with DTS:X out of the gate, so you won’t have to wait for a firmware update. You will have to wait, however, for firmware updates to add three wireless multiroom-audio technologies: Fire Connect, DTS Play-Fi and Google Cast. The system also features Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Tune In internet radio, Pandora, Tidal, Spotify, and HDMI 2.0a inputs with high dynamic range (HDR) and HDCP 2.2 copy protection.

The Pioneer model is the Elite series FS-EB70, due in the first quarter of 2017 at an unspecified price with Fire Connect, Google Cast, and DTS Play-Fi.

The Onkyo-brand bar was not on display but is expected to be available in the fourth quarter. Details were unavailable.