Dolby Atmos FlexConnect Intelligently Optimizes TV Speakers

Dolby Laboratories wants to make it easier for viewers to experience immersive TV sound with Dolby Atmos FlexConnect, a new product that enables seamless pairing of accessory wireless speakers with the TV’s onboard sound system to heighten the Dolby Atmos surround-sound technology. TCL is the first to announce it is adding Dolby Atmos FlexConnect to its 2024 television lineup and says it will also launch a line of purpose-made accessory wireless speakers to complement its FlexConnect TV offerings. With FlexConnect, a soundbar isn’t mandatory to optimize TV sound.

“There’s no long setup required; Dolby will use the TV’s built-in microphones to locate and calibrate each wireless speaker in the room,” writes The Verge. Dolby says that the audio will be “intelligently spread from the TV speakers to each wireless speaker, dynamically optimizing the sound signal based on the capabilities and location of all available speakers.”

That translates to the Dolby Atmos FlexConnect performing diagnostics and configurating on the fly. “So, if your TV’s speakers aren’t all that capable when it comes to bass — and most aren’t — Dolby Atmos FlexConnect will know to leave those frequencies to the wireless speakers instead of pushing the integrated drivers too hard,” The Verge observes.

Ars Technica asked Dolby for a deep dive on how the new technology works and found that after each speaker is placed, the TV will undergo an automatic calibration using acoustic mapping, [using TV microphones], to understand the location of each speaker.”

FlexConnect then ensures sound data is apportioned appropriately to each speaker. The system effectively ensures every TV viewer gets the same sound quality, no matter their location in the room, “transforming any seat into the best seat in the house,” Dolby says in a news announcement.​

Although TCL is first out of the gate, Dolby indicates more manufacturers plan to integrate FlexConnect, explaining that since the technology lets you put speakers anywhere in a room, without worrying about ideal placement, “the solution is also easily adaptable when more device types are added, which will allow TCL and other manufacturers to innovate with how they bring together different device combinations and form factors to meet the needs of their consumers.”

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