Dolby Atmos will use your TV to expand living room speaker setups

The FlexConnect technology will debut on TCL's 2024 television lineup.


Some companies allow you to use the speakers in your TV to augment the drivers in a soundbar or other speakers in order to enhance overall audio quality. Samsung has Q-Symphony and Sony has Acoustic Center Sync, for example. Today, Dolby has announced a new Atmos feature that will function similarly, pairing TV speakers with any wireless speakers you have in the room. Officially dubbed Dolby Atmos FlexConnect, the tech will debut first on 2024 TCL TVs.

Dolby explains that FlexConnect "intelligently optimizes the sound" based on the layout of the room and location of any speakers. The company says the technology will free users from the sonic limitations of room size, furniture positioning or the location power outlets. FlexConnect will allow speakers to be placed anywhere in a room and calibrate each of them to the TV speakers. This creates a customized Dolby Atmos sound profile unique to each user's home.

Dolby says setup is quick and easy as acoustic mapping is done using microphones inside the TV. Those components locate each speaker before performing the aforementioned audio calibration. The company explains that the result should be more consistent immersive sound no matter where you're sitting in the room.

FlexConnect isn't just boosting the center channel either. Instead, the feature is adjusting the sound for each speaker, even the ones inside the TV. If the system notices that a pair of speakers are at the front of the room, for example, it can tweak the audio so that the TV handles the bulk of the dialog and the speakers take on the rest of the front soundstage. If there are two speakers near the back of the room, the TV then handles dialog and those sounds that need to come from the front of the room.

One item that could play a key role with Dolby Atmos FlexConnect is interoperability. Samsung's Q-Symphony and Sony's Acoustic Center Sync both require you to have a compatible soundbar and TV made by those companies. LG's Wow Orchestra works the same way. If this new technology is open to manufacturers to integrate in their products like Dolby Atmos as a whole, it would great if users could pair a TCL TV with a Sennheiser soundbar — just as one example. As you might expect, TCL plans to debut wireless speakers to accompany its upcoming FlexConnect-compatible TVs.

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