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Marantz and Denon offer more immersive experiences with new Auro-3D upgrades

Surround sound has come a long way since its inception, but for the most part it has remained relatively “flat” in that while you’ll hear sounds from in front, left, right, and behind you, in real life, sounds come from above and below you, too. In recent years a number of solutions have sought to add this level of immersion — Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for example — but the technology behind the scenes can vary.

At a basic level, Auro-3D technology simply adds height information to traditional 2D surround sound, but this is handled in a unique way. This format adds a height layer that can be encoded within 5.1 surround sound, and decoded by a capable receiver, adding both height-specific sound and height reflections.

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Most of the time, when it comes to new surround sound technologies, users are looking at buying a new piece of equipment, but that isn’t always the case. And today, upgrades were announced for receivers from both Marantz and Denon, allowing owners to add Auro-3D capabilities to their setups with a simple paid firmware upgrade.

Marantz is one of two companies adding the capability though an upgrade today, for owners of its SR7010 9.2-channel network A/V receiver and AV7702mkII network pre-processor. Both units should see the upgrade available starting today through their built-in feature upgrade functions.

If this seems like an advanced feature, the units are pretty advanced themselves, and neither of them is especially cheap. Both the SR7010 and AV7702mkII sell for $2,200. More details on the upgrade will be available soon on the company’s website.

Denon also announced the upgrade today for two of its 9.2-channel A/V receivers, the AVR-X4200W and AVR-X6200W. As with the upgrade for the Marantz receivers, this upgrade is supposed to be available starting today, with more information coming soon on the Denon website.

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The products from both companies support both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, with the latter available as a firmware update. “We are excited to see the Auro-3D format being integrated in even more consumer electronics, making the 3D Audio experience more widely available than before,” Auro Technologies Wilfried Van Baelen said.

For more information on Auro-3D, see the company website.