Do Dolby Dimension Headphones Offer Unique Features Over Competition?

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
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4,530 22 9
#1
Dolby’s legacy has always been tied to technological advancements licensed and used by other hardware manufacturers — first in recording studio gear, then in movie theaters, and later in home entertainment products like AV receivers and blu-ray players. Now for the first time in Dolby’s 54-year history, the company has launched a consumer electronics product, the Dolby Dimension wireless headphone. With virtualization surround sound, adjustable DSP noise cancelling and headtracking, do the technological advancements of these headphones justify their $599 price tag in a highly competitive and saturated headphone marketplace?

dolby.jpg


Read: The Dolby Dimension Headphones: A Personal Home Theater On Your Ears
 
VonMagnum

VonMagnum

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176 2 41
#2
Unless they can image true Atmos outside my head (like customized binaural can reportedly do),I'm not really interested. For that price, they should, IMO, but I don't think they do based on a review I read a few months ago, despite having head tracking.

The customized binaural system I read about (sadly forget the name and I'm having trouble locating it again) is supposed to sound like real studio monitors and can supposedly mimic different brands with sampling or something to that effect, but I think it was priced closer to an entire 11 channel home theater sound system.
 
GrimSurfer

GrimSurfer

Senior Audioholic
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221 9 11
#3
Dolby’s legacy has always been tied to technological advancements licensed and used by other hardware manufacturers — first in recording studio gear, then in movie theaters, and later in home entertainment products like AV receivers and blu-ray players. Now for the first time in Dolby’s 54-year history, the company has launched a consumer electronics product, the Dolby Dimension wireless headphone. With virtualization surround sound, adjustable DSP noise cancelling and headtracking, do the technological advancements of these headphones justify their $599 price tag in a highly competitive and saturated headphone marketplace?
Not sure what to read into this... A company with a long history in audio, but never actually manufactured a product, is marketing a set of relatively expensive headphones?

My guess is that they're not actually manufacturing, but outsourcing a design that is built elsewhere. Not unusual to see this in the audio business... in this case it could be a positive sign.

I'd need to know more about the technological advancements, as well as read reviews and try them out before commenting on their price.

Value, in my mind, is a function of price and performance. I know what they cost, so what are their specs? Taking a glance at cnet's review, I see that the claim output down to 20 Hz, which is impressive for a small driver. Not sure what the loss rate is at this frequency... one would think that DSP is used to soften the slope. So I'd be interested in seeing a more complete spec, such as 20-20kHz +/- "n" dB.

They receive signals via Bluetooth, which has been reported to be lower resolution -- so fidelity could be an issue. But there's also aptx, which is said to be better.

The battery life specs and recharge rate sound good. Knowing if there is a way for users to replace the battery would be nice because, as good as batteries have become, they ALL have a finite recharge lifespan.

Worth an audition, I suppose...
 
davidscott

davidscott

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225
#4
Dolby’s legacy has always been tied to technological advancements licensed and used by other hardware manufacturers — first in recording studio gear, then in movie theaters, and later in home entertainment products like AV receivers and blu-ray players. Now for the first time in Dolby’s 54-year history, the company has launched a consumer electronics product, the Dolby Dimension wireless headphone. With virtualization surround sound, adjustable DSP noise cancelling and headtracking, do the technological advancements of these headphones justify their $599 price tag in a highly competitive and saturated headphone marketplace?

View attachment 28682

Read: The Dolby Dimension Headphones: A Personal Home Theater On Your Ears
Don't forget the noise reduction system(s) that made cassette decks a viable listening option. I had decks with both or either b, c, and HX pro.
 
VonMagnum

VonMagnum

Full Audioholic
Ratings
176 2 41
#6
The one I read about was being marketed towards professionals in the studio (including mixing soundtracks),but this is closer to what I'd look for at home, I think. Still a sky high price when you consider it doesn't come with any headphones and appears to only support two listeners (I'd need six to support all the seats in my home theater). It's possibly cheaper to do a high end room. I can see that working for someone living in an apartment, though if they only need two listeners.
 
Joe B

Joe B

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
435 1
#8
If you turn your head to the right, the software shifts the perceived sounds so it appears you have moved your head in the 3 dimensional field being created.
Example:
With headphones on, sound X appears to come from a 12:00 position right in front of you. Now you turn your head 45 degrees to the right. Sound X now appears to be coming from 45 degrees to your left, or the 10:30 position. Without headtracking, the sound would still appear to be coming from your new 12:00 position. The headtracking is an attempt to make the wearing of headphones the same as standing in a surround sound environment with no headphones. I know, a little too much for me.
 
S

Schrodinger23

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
9
#9
What a half baked product this is. When I saw the title of the preview and the pricepoint, I was immediately ready to almost say, "yes, sign me up." Imagine the money you would save if you were the only one in your house interested in audio. You could get a good pair of speakers and a subwoofer for a 2.1 channel setup for when everyone is watching TV together, for more casual stuff. But, if you yourself spend most of the time watching movies and TV and would like to enjoy Atmos on a tiny budget, you could get out these headphones.

The problem is that they don't even accept a Dolby Atmos signal! They are going to take a downmixed version of the audio and then apply the Dolby upmixer and they trickery with the phase to try to position things where the upmixer says they should go. If it sounds any better than just a stereo mix of the sound through these headphones, I would be shocked. The fact that this is coming from Dolby, as in they created Dolby Atmos, is what is most surprising about this.
 
B

ByeLaw

Audiophyte
#10
Head tracking? Ok, I can understand a limited appeal for this but generally if you're watching a movie you'll be looking straight forward at the screen so your head won't be moving that much at all.... except for picking up that biscuit you dropped on the floor.... 5 seconds rule, it'll be ok to eat again :)

A headphones that takes a Dolby Atmos signal and creates a virtualization it... reality: it doesn't take a Dolby Atmos signal, uses a downmix instead and approximates it using a decoder. Doesn't sound HiFi to me.

It's expensive, I mean it's really expensive... and with all that technology I have to wonder if it's actually any good at playing music?

The review (is it a review, not sure?) reads a little like a marketing exercise, but seems to miss the most important thing about buying headphones... do they sound ok?

Like Dolby reflective up firing speakers, I'll put this firmly in the Gimmick category.
 
P

Paul Lane

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
3
#11
I have had a number of "Dolby Headphones" and the were about $200..
They were cheapo gaming types from Turtle Beach and Tritton all worked but the volume was too low, wasn't real Dolby, needed charging sometimes while watching a movie, and a lot of batteries and WiFi running next to your brain!!
My TCL 4K TV has a headphone jack and Earbuds work way better..
$699 seems expensive for not actual Dolby Surround..
 
P

Pottscb

Audiophyte
Ratings
2
#13
I agree, they've created an extremely complicated and expensive solution to a simple problem...just don't wear headphones. The least expensive floor speakers or sound bar will "move the sound 90 degrees to the right when you turn your head to the left." So will any person talking to you. These would have to be seriously talented in surround and 2 channel to justify half this price...I can see Sony and Bose coming out with a much better option, and at $600 they might want a piece of that market (they already have serious EQs, active noise cancelling and all day batteries built in to their WH-1000XM3 and QC 35ii)
 

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