If you love surround sound but don't love connecting speakers, Dolby has just the tech for you – and it could help transform your home cinema experience. Dolby Atmos FlexConnect has just been announced, and it is designed to make it easier to create a really impressive and immersive sound system.
As the name indicates it's based on Dolby Atmos, the firm's object-based sound technology. The FlexConnect bit is all about how you add speakers to it, and how you optimise those speakers for the best possible audio.
The new tech is launching first in TCL's best TVs for 2024, and you can expect announcements from other manufacturers too.
So what it it and why does it matter?
Dolby Atmos FlexConnect: what you need to know
Dolby Atmos FlexConnect is a new way to pair your TV's sound system with wireless speakers. Those speakers can be put wherever suits you best, and then FlexConnect will optimise them based on the room layout and speaker placement. It does that with acoustic mapping technology that plays and analyses audio as it bounces around your room.
In theory at least that means you don't need to worry about moving furniture or running four-way extension cables to ensure the speakers are positioned perfectly; instead, you can stick them pretty much wherever you like and FlexConnect will make the musical and movie magic happen.
As you'd expect, to use the tech you'll need both your TV and your speakers to be FlexConnect compatible. But you don't need to have a full surround system if you don't want one. Dolby says FlexConnect will work with however many speakers you like, and that could mean a single speaker or several.
TCL may be first out of the FlexConnect gate but it won't be the last; for now it's limited to TVs with MediaTek's Pentonic Smart TV chipset but given the highly competitive market the best TVs are in, FlexConnect is likely to be a key selling point in a lot of 2024's best TVs.