Uses Bluetooth technology
Up to two channels of compressed audio (stereo)
Ideal for headphones, earbuds, and portable speakers
Uses a standard Wi-Fi network
Up to two channels of high-definition audio (stereo)
Ideal for smart speakers, multiroom speakers, and speakers that expand soundbar-based systems
Creates a dedicated wireless network, specifically for the sound system
Up to eight channels of ultra high-definition uncompressed audio; supports Dolby Atmos®
Highest globally-recognized standard for wireless speaker systems
Ideal for true cinema surround-sound systems
In the fourth and final step in our series, How to Make a Sound Investment, we’ll explore the benefits that cinema sound brings to home entertainment. Let’s dive into a few recent releases—movies that maximize sound design to deliver truly unique and immersive viewing experiences.
When building the sound design for the recent sequel to the 1986 classic, lead sound designer, Al Nelson, and FX recordist, Benny Burtt, from Skywalker Sound partnered with GE Aviation to record, mix, and build a dense portfolio of jet-engine sound. They even placed mics in test cells of the world’s most powerful commercial aviation engine, the GE9X, recording from the moment it purred to life to its maximum capacity. They did this with the express intent of making the audience feel as though they were inside the cockpit of the F/A-18 Super Hornet jet, featured in the film. With a 5.1 surround-sound system, you can hear the roar of powerful engines and feel the turbulence of aerial combat from the comfort of your living room.
In Baz Luhrman’s recent biopic on the legendary singer and superstar, Elvis Presley, sound designer Wayne Pashley had the difficult task of creating a “sonic glue” for the film as a whole—not only comprised of Presley’s music, but the roar of the enormous crowds who came to listen to it. Throughout Presley’s career, his fans gathered in unprecedented numbers and showed incomparable enthusiasm for his performance. Incorporating this element into the soundscape enabled the production to reflect the sheer scale and intensity of the in-narrative audience, making the viewer feel immersed in the crowd. To convey a more subjective perspective—one from Elvis’s point of view during performances—the audience is muted to engender a greater sense of loneliness and isolation. Multichannel audio drops you in the middle of this exciting and turbulent moment in music history.
Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic, which won the Academy Award for Best Sound earlier this year, has been lauded for the way that it combines both visual and auditory texture and detail to present its epic space-faring saga. Dune practices world-building through sound design, investing mood and tone into its soundscape to put the viewer in the minds of its characters, while also conveying detail through the textured and layered sound design of its strange devices, vehicles, landscapes, and especially its creatures, culminating in an auditory experience that is simultaneously familiar and utterly alien. A subwoofer in particular is practically necessary to experience the true depth of sound present in the depiction of the enormous sandworms, whose presence is felt in the soundscape of the film even when not present on screen.
These are just a few examples of the ways that sound design plays a pivotal role in our most popular films. Invest in a multispeaker sound system and experience movies, television, sports, and games the way they’re engineered to be heard—in stunning immersive audio.