WiSA’s wireless audio technology gains support for Dolby Atmos

The Wireless Speaker and Audio Association is going to add support for Dolby Atmos height channels. This means that users who use a WiSA transmitter can also use height channels, provided they have suitable speakers.

The organization will release new firmware for the transmitter and speakers in the second quarter of this year, adding support for Dolby Atmos. According to the WiSA, existing WiSA products can also use this, but it is also intended for speaker manufacturers to develop products that can use Dolby Amos.

Users will be able to add height channels located in the front, side and back of the listening position after the update. Speakers certified by WiSA are required for this. According to Tony Ostrom, the director of WiSA, this Dolby Atmos support is a much sought-after addition from consumers and members of the organization.

The system works by means of WiSA transmitters in the form of USB dongles, in combination with WiSA certified speakers. Users can plug such a USB transmitter into a USB port of, for example, a television to use the WiSA-certified wireless speakers. This makes surround sound possible, without pulling cables and with a relatively low or negligible delay on paper.

WiSA’s wireless audio technology uses frequencies from 5.2 to 5.8 GHz, which in practice should yield a maximum of 5 ms latency when playing 24 bit uncompressed audio sources. High-end audio standards with height channels, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, can also be decoded, but DTS:X is not yet supported.

LG’s televisions from this and last year, among others, support the WiSA technology. In addition to LG, Microsoft Xbox, Bang & Olufsen, Harman Kardon and TCL are members of the organization. Sound United is also a member; this company is known for making receivers with the brands Denon and Marantz. The technology is still relatively new, so members of the organization do not always offer support in their products. The number of available certified WiSA speakers is also still relatively limited.