Getting 3D surround sound with Dolby Atmos may not cost the proverbial arm or leg, as Hisense builds a soundbar with upward firing speakers.
When it comes to finding 3D sound in soundbars, there are two approaches, one of which is more common than the other.
The main approach you can find is to use psychoacoustic sound, an approach we saw in the Sonos Beam Gen 2, and that you can find in TVs and other speakers touting 3D sound made without upward firing speakers.
Atmos being a 3D sound concept needs speakers angled up so they can bounce sound around you, but because not every speaker has speakers positioned in this way, the speaker can rely on timed sound, tricking your brain using psychoacoustics. It’s an effect that creates the sensation of dimensional sound, but without it actually happening, often arriving in Atmos-capable soundbars below the thousand dollar mark.
On the other hand, there are speakers that fire up and out, creating a sound that can bounce around the room. They can get expensive, such as the $1399 Sonos Arc or the $4K Sennheiser Ambeo, but they’re typically long soundbars with lots of speakers.
Hisense is giving the proper Atmos-style soundbar speaker a good whack in 2022, though, using CES to launch the U5120G, a 5.1.2 soundbar with subwoofer that fires three speakers in the centre, two on the left, two on the right, two on the ends, and two up on each side, plus a subwoofer. That’s a total of 12 speakers for a 3D surround sound system, with support for HDMI and eARC, handling Atmos and DTS:X, as well.
“Australians are increasingly seeking to enhance their at-home entertainment experience, so we are thrilled to be expanding our local soundbar offering here to continue delivering our customers the very best in audio,” said Nick Peters, Head of Marketing for Hisense Australia.
Locally, the Hisense U5120G 5.1.2 Atmos soundbar is set to be available shortly, found at retailers across Australia for $799.