Since it first appeared in theaters in 2012, Dolby Atmos has been bringing some of the most immersive sound yet to blockbusters. As of last year, this technology became available for anyone looking to purchasing new home theater gear, but with a very few exceptions, most of those options came at a significant cost.
Pioneer knows this is an issue, so following the release of its affordable VSX-1130 Atmos-equipped receiver, it is releasing two new sets of speakers to complement it in the SP-BS22A-LR compact and SP-T22A-LR add-on speakers. With this release, the company is aiming at two separate types of customer: those who are looking to build an inexpensive Atmos setup from scratch, and those looking upgrade to Atmos while keeping their existing speakers.
The SP-BS22A-LR can be used along with a subwoofer and center channel speaker to form a complete Dolby Atmos-ready setup, complete with the requisite connections on the back. Inside is a 4-inch structured-surface front woofer, 1-inch soft dome front tweeter, and concentric top-firing driver, capable of handling 80W of power.
If, on the other hand, you’ve got a functioning 5.1 surround setup and simply want to add Atmos to it, the SP-T22A-LR should be exactly what you’re looking for. These speakers are meant to sit directly on top of a standard flat-surfaced speaker and feature a 10-degree tilt to allow them to function as the top driver for a Dolby Atmos system when combined with a compatible receiver.
Both speakers are constructed from the same RF-molded laminated MDF cabinet and feature gold-plated connectors. Pioneer intends for the speakers to be used with its VSX-1130 or Elite VSX-90 receivers, though any Dolby Atmos-capable receiver with the proper specs should work fine.
Notably absent from the speakers is the name of well-reknown speaker designer, Andrew Jones, which graced the last two series of speakers Pioneer produced. Both series of speakers were widely considered to offer outstanding performance at a shockingly low price. The SP-BS22A-LR do appear to use Jones’ signature concentric driver technology, however, which Jones personally introduced to Digital Trends last year.