The smart and ef­fec­tive way to get Dolby Atmos into your home

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

In­cred­i­ble 3D sur­round sound in your liv­ing room, with­out the has­sle of floor­stand­ing speak­ers

Dolby Atmos, the next-gen au­dio sys­tem, is here. It’s fast be­com­ing ubiq­ui­tous on Blu-ray, is gain­ing sup­port from stream­ing ser­vices, and even fea­tures on Xbox One X games. How­ever, if you want to hear it at home, you’ve been limited to ex­pen­sive floor­standers and faced adding Dolby En­abled speak­ers to ex­ist­ing sys­tems, or buy­ing an Atmos sound­bar.

This Focal sys­tem changes all that. A 5.1.2 sys­tem, the pack­age com­prises three ba­sic Sib Evo satel­lites (two for rear de­ploy­ment, one to sit hor­i­zon­tally as a cen­tre), two larger Sib Evo Dolby Atmos speak­ers for left/right, and the cute Cub Evo Sub­woofer. Neatly, the Sib Evo Atmos speak­ers com­bine front-fir­ing speaker drivers, with full-range up-fir­ers for au­dio.

All satel­lites can be wall-mounted, parked on op­tional match­ing floor stands, or placed atop tee­ter­ing tow­ers of old T3s. Just add a Dolby Atmos AV re­ceiver and you’re good to go.

The good news is that once in­stalled, they sound con­vinc­ingly cin­e­matic. The cool thing about Dolby Atmos is that it has a re­mark­ably ef­fec­tive up­mix func­tion for non-en­coded con­tent; so the full driver com­ple­ment is al­ways in use. Even with reg­u­lar sur­round mixes, you get a sense of height­ened im­mer­sion.

The com­pact sub and satel­lites seam­lessly in­te­grate, and gen­er­ate a huge sound­stage. There’s a de­li­cious sense of spa­tial move­ment, around and over­head. When the War Boys give chase to Max in Mad Max Fury Road, there’s a gut­tural roar from the pur­su­ing V8s, di­rec­tional steer­ing around and over­heard is su­perb.

The speak­ers also boast a nice mid-range which of­fers rounded, clear di­a­logue. The bass per­for­mance of the cute Cub sub is pro­found, too - that lit­tle box can sure slam.

The Sib Evo set isn’t just about movies. The sys­tem can hold a tune. Tight and melo­di­ous, there’s no ob­vi­ous dis­con­nect be­tween the sub and satel­lites.

Over­all, we rate Focal’s Sib Evo as a crack­ing so­lu­tion to the co­nun­drum of 3D au­dio. It leads in a class of one (for the time be­ing), a real way to get proper height-fi into your liv­ing room.

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