Inside Denon

What Is 3D Sound, and Why Does Your Home Theater Need It?

Movie lovers today have the opportunity to recreate the cinema experience in the comfort of their own home theaters. Televisions have gotten larger and increasingly capable of displaying more detailed images in ultra high-definition 4K video.

Denon Staff

Perhaps the most important component of a dynamic, engrossing home theater experience is audio. Advanced audio formats allow for true surround sound unlike anything before. Arguably the most immersive surround sound formatting, 3D audio completely encircles viewers in rich cinematic soundscapes.

3D audio formats go beyond normal surround sound

Your standard 5.1-channel surround sound setup provides a pretty great aural experience when watching movies, but it doesn't come as close to capturing the full potential of a home theater. The primary issue is the lack of verticality. Sound comes from the left and right and a bit from behind, but that's still a fairly basic layout due to the lack of height channels.

If you want to achieve more nuanced and detailed sound, you need two things: a more complex speaker setup and the right audio format to get the most out of that equipment. That's where 3D audio formats like Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D come into the picture.

The difference between 3D audio formats and less sophisticated options starts at the sound mixing stage. In a standard environment, sound engineers use faders to pan sounds across the different channels. With a format like Auro-3D, however, this process becomes much more refined and accurate, allowing for aural sensations like thunder to boom over the viewer's head.

The addition of height into the soundscape is where 3D audio formats really set themselves apart. Imagine watching Independence Day and actually hearing the alien spaceships moving into position over your head. Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro-3D and other members of this new class of audio formatting continue to pave the way for a more immersive home theater experience.

To take full advantage of the latest audio formats — especially from Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, which allow for more robust surround and height channel setups compared to Auro 3D — you need high-quality equipment that supports 3D sound. State-of-the-art Denon AV receivers like the AVR-X8500H feature anywhere from 9.2 (can be set up as 5.2.4 or 7.2.2), to 11.2 (can be set up as 7.2.4 or 9.2.2), to 13.2 (can be set up as 7.2.6 or 9.2.4) surround sound channels, and includes 4K Ultra HD video capabilities. That combination of audio and video superiority gives you the solid foundation needed to build the best home theater experience possible.

Find the right setup for your home theater by checking out Denon's entire line of products.

Products featured in this article