Dolby Atmos's long-awaited arrival into living rooms is nearly upon us, with Onkyo the first AV receiver manufacturer to announce a range supporting the overhead cinematic sound format.
From August, Onkyo will be selling the compatible TX-NR1030 and TX-NR3030 network receivers, with the PR-SC5530 Network A/V controller following in September, as well as complete "home theatre in a box" bundles, including speakers. Receiver prices range from £2,000 to £2,500. Onkyo will also be pushing out a firmware update to its existing TX-NR636, TX-NR737, and TX-NR838 receivers, adding Atmos compatibility for free to the older gear.
5.1, 7.1 and 9.1 configurations are all supported, though for the full Atmos effect you'll need ceiling-height speakers for overhead sounds. Alternatively, Onkyo suggests home cinema enthusiasts "augment an existing speaker setup with Dolby Atmos-enabled loudspeakers". Dolby has yet to reveal its own Atmos hardware, but it's expected to use "virtual" overhead speakers by bouncing sound off the ceiling to make the listener believe that is where the audio is originating from. [Onkyo]