The progress towards wireless home theater takes another leap forward with new technology from Dolby Labs that brings Dolby Atmos to a wider consumer base. WiSA has been dominating the fully wireless home theater landscape and DTS Play-Fi and Sonos are also significant players.
In a similar fashion to Samsung and LG, it looks like Dolby has introduced its own entry into the wireless home theater landscape with Dolby Atmos FlexConnect. To get things rolling, TCL has been tapped to launch the first TVs equipped with this new system.
What Dolby Atmos FlexConnect Is
Dolby Atmos FlexConnect is designed to seamlessly pair a TV’s sound system with additional wireless speakers to unlock a more extensive and immersive Dolby Atmos sound experience. It then intelligently optimizes the sound for any room layout and speaker setup. This enables any seat in the room to get an immersive surround sound experience.
As part of the implementation of this new system, TCL will also provide a line of wireless speakers compatible with its upcoming 2024 lineup of Dolby Atmos FlexConnect-enabled TVs (more details to come).
Dolby Atmos FlexConnect provides the flexibility to place one or more wireless speakers anywhere in a room without having to worry about whether they are placed perfectly. It is also easily adaptable when more device types are added. This will allow TCL and other manufacturers to determine how they bring together different device combinations to meet consumer preferences.
Dolby Atmos FlexConnect intelligently combines each accessory device and speaker with the TV’s speakers to provide the best sound performance and deliver an optimized Dolby Atmos listening experience.
From John Couling, Senior Vice President, Entertainment, Dolby Laboratories: “Consumers shouldn’t have to move their furniture to experience better audio, but rather audio should adapt to them,…Dolby Atmos FlexConnect is an entirely new category of experience that offers consumers the freedom and flexibility to choose how they want to arrange their devices while still getting a great immersive Dolby Atmos experience.”
From Frédéric Langin, Chief Commercial Officer, TCL Europe: “We are very proud to take a significant step forward on the future of immersive audio with our latest partnership with Dolby. Delivering great experiences for our customers is at the forefront of what we do,…With Dolby Atmos FlexConnect, users can unlock incredible immersive sound no matter how they arrange their audio devices. We can’t wait to introduce the world to this new tailored sound experience with our upcoming lineup of TVs and accessory wireless speakers.”
Dolby Atmos FlexConnect Benefits
Elevate The Dolby Atmos Experience: Dolby Atmos immerses users in a multi-dimensional sound environment. Dolby Atmos FlexConnect provides the ability to add accessory wireless speakers to a Dolby Atmos-enabled TV to improve audio performance.
Flexible Speaker Placement: Dolby FlexConnect provides the flexibility to place speakers anywhere it’s convenient and make the best use of room dimensions, power outlet locations, and furniture arrangements as desired without compromising audio quality.
Simple Setup: Setup requires no additional equipment or cables. Dolby acoustic mapping leverages microphones in the TV to locate each wireless speaker in the room, calibrating the system automatically to ensure optimal audio performance.
Dynamic Audio Balancing: Audio is intelligently sent from the TV speakers to each wireless speaker. This optimizes the sound signal based on the capabilities and location of all available speakers. This also allows the sound image to be adjusted to ensure listeners enjoy the best possible listening experience.
Dolby and TCL will be showcasing Dolby Atmos FlexConnect at IFA being held in Berlin Germany from Sept 1 – 5.
Tip: TCL TVs compatible with Dolby Atmos FlexConnect are forthcoming, most likely to be released on select TV models in Asia and Europe first, followed by other markets, including the U.S. We will have a better idea of U.S. models at the next CES to be held in January 2024. In the meantime, check out TCL’s preview presentation for IFA 2023 (there is no mention of Dolby FlexConnect in the video):
Although TCL will be the first to implement Dolby Atmos Flex Connect, Dolby’s intention is to line up other TV brands to adopt the system.
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