Beginning in December 2014, Denon and Marantz will release firmware upgrades to bring Auro-3D sound to their latest A/V Receivers. The upgradable models are the Denon AVR-X4100W and AVR-X5200W, Marantz SR7009 A/V Receivers, and Marantz AV7702 A/V Preamplifier.
By fully immersing the listener in a cocoon of life-like sound, Auro-3D creates the sensation of actually ‘being there’. Thanks to a unique configuration of ‘Height channels’, acoustic reflections are generated and heard naturally due to the fact that sounds originate from around as well as above the listener. Depending on the size of the room, either 1 or 2 additional layers (HEIGHT and TOP – a.k.a. “Voice of God” channel) with speakers are mounted above the existing Surround layer at ear-level to produce Auro-3D’s defining ‘vertical Stereo field’. The height information, captured in recording or created during the mixing process, is mixed into a standard 5.1 PCM stream that comes with a regular Blu-ray. Then the Auro-Codec Decoder decodes the original Auro-3D mix.
Auro-3D delivers uncompressed audio quality with an unrivaled level of flexibility. The height information, captured in recording or created during the mixing process, is mixed into a standard 5.1 PCM stream. Any device that contains the Auro-Codec Decoder will be capable of decoding the original Auro-3D mix, which will conveniently playback on any Auro-3D compatible speaker system (Auro 9.1/Auro 10.1/Auro 11.1 etc.).
Each component is firmware upgradeable via a built-in online upgrade function. For those that can’t wait for Auro-3D, the Auriga A/V Receiver is available right now for about $17,000 (US). On second thought, might be better to wait.