Klipsch Demos Atmos as Dolby Charts its Progress

In a joint press event held at Dolby’s New York headquarters yesterday, Klipsch demo’d its new Atmos-enabled Reference Premiere speakers series as Dolby delivered its latest Atmos update.

Brett Crockett, Dolby’s vice president of sound technology research and development, commented that there are now more than 40 Atmos Blu-ray titles announced globally (20 in the U.S.), with new titles to include recent blockbusters such as Mad Max, San Andreas, and the first two seasons of Game of Thrones (the format’s first TV series). Some classic new reissues (including The Fifth Element) will carry Atmos soundtracks as well, and the first Atmos video game—EA’s Star Wars Battlefront in the PC version—will appear this fall.

Crockett said 31 new Atmos-compliant speaker or receiver models have been announced so far in 2015, double the number in Atmos’s 2014 inaugural year. Notably, he also reported that Atmos has been a success theatrically and can now be heard in more than 1,200 auditoriums. More than 300 Atmos titles have been released for cinema to date and more than 100 post facilities are equipped to mix Atmos titles—thus insuring a steady supply of content for Atmos Blu-ray and streaming titles as the format matures.

The Klipsch demo, featuring a flagship suite of Reference Premiere speakers including Atmos-enabled RP-280FA towers and two 15-inch subwoofers, was among the best we’ve heard—powerfully dynamic, highly detailed, and ultra clean. High-action clips from Insurgent, Unbroken, and Game of Thrones superbly showed off how Atmos can be used to create an immersive surround experience that is natural and realistic as shards of glass, bullets, and flaming arrows traversed the listening space. An audio clip of falling rain played back to back in 5.1 and Atmos 5.1.4 stood out as a night and day demo as rain descended from above when the Atmos mix was engaged. Both the Atmos hardware and software seem to be improving with time.

In the video below, Klipsch senior VP of global product development Mark Casavant presents highlights of the new RP-280FA ($1,200 each) towers and RP-140SA ($499/pair) add-on elevation modules.

More information is available at klipsch.com.