Joey is a huge music fan and he thinks that Apple's new lossless high res audio is awesome. Leo says that 99% of the audience won't really be able to tell the difference, frankly. But those who can are enjoying it. Spatial Audio is Apple's version of surround sound, and it's been around for decades, steadily getting better and better. But it's never really taken off. The spatial component, however, really opens up the sound quality, to be sure, but users need to have an Apple device that supports it, though Apple claims it'll work with any headphones.
Dolby Atmos at home
Scott is back to talk about a listener question that could affect all of us. He's been looking at the Denon AVRX4700, and it's supposed to have Dolby 5.1.4 or 7.1.2. What's the third digit for? Scott says that the third digit tells you how many speakers you can use overhead. It's a Dolby Atmos at Home Specs.The first mask is the number of surround speakers you can have, the middle number is the subwoofer. But if you want an Atmos system, the third number is the one you want to pay attention to.
Rick wants to get a 77" LG OLED TV for his home theatre. His problem is that he needs a soundbar system that supports Dolby Atmos at home, and must have wireless speakers. Scott says there are a variety of soundbars that will do what Rick needs, including one he's reviewing right now from LG (the SL8YG). You can also buy a separate surround speaker package. But it's not cheap. Cost is $850 plus $200 for the wireless surround package. Vizio also makes a wireless soundbar system with up-firing Atmos speakers: Model SB46514.
Doug just bought a new, two story house and he needs a mesh router. What's the best? Leo says that mesh routers have taken over because Wi-Fi congestion causes devices to drop off. It's not uncommon to have over 50 devices connected to Wi-Fi! And that doesn't include neighbors. So Doug will need a better router to handle that traffic. Leo says the three best mesh routers for his money are the Netgear Obi, the Plume, and the Eero.
This week, the topic is the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Scott hasn't tried the Fire TV ecosystem yet, but the Cube looks pretty interesting. Scott also says he's hesitant because it listens to your every word. It uses Alexa to operate, and it supports 4K, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos at home. Scott says that HLG, or Hybrid Log Gamma, is the latest HDR codec. Leo says that the Cube is cool because it will work off your voice. So you tell it to watch a title, and it will search to find it.
Should he use LastPass on his phone? Does he need the app? Leo says that the app is just a convenience, but it's not really necessary. Android will autofill apps with LastPass, iOS not so much.
Manny also wants to know if Sonos will adopt Dolby Atmos at Home as a standard. Leo says they haven't. Atmos has that upward firing speaker design for the home, but so far, Sonos hasn't adopted it.
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David has a home theater system and the speakers are already built into the house, but he needs surround speakers. Leo says he can do that and then just wire them into his home theater system. It'll be the rear surround in a 7.1 Dolby system. Or, if he doesn't want to do that, he should just go with Dolby 5.1. He'll be just fine with that. He'll need to re calibrate, too. Of course, he could go all in and do Dolby Atmos at home, too.
Scott was in a big box store with a listening room and listened to a Dolby Atmos at Home demo and he was blown away. But is it worth thousands to outfit his home theater with it? Leo says no. Many modern AV Receivers now support Atmos. It's a standard like Dolby 5.1 was. The main difference is that Atmos at Home bounces sound off the ceiling for a more immersive audio experience. Leo says he can use dual HDMI outputs that would give him the ability to create a similar experience.
Scott went to a recent LG TV event and he saw some really great TVs that LG calls darn near perfect. And they're super thin too, with Wallpaper TV is 4mm from the bezel to the wall. So it's almost like a painting. So thin, that it requires a separate box for all the electronics, and the W7 model incorporates a sound bar into that electronics box package. Leo says he'd rather have a monitor that he can bring his own party to. Scott does says to be fair the Soundbar does sound pretty good though.
Diego is going to transform one of his bedrooms into a home theater. He's budgeting about $30,000 to $40,000. Leo says his first decision is between direct view or projection. Projection can go bigger by just moving it back. If he can darken the room, it's the ideal option. He will want a projector that can handle the distance (called 'throw') to get it as large as he wants. Then he'll want to get a screen. One option is to paint his wall with special paint that reflects.