Science & Tech

Dolby AC-4: Creating the Future in Sound

The long wait for next-generation audio experiences is over. Dolby® AC-4 revolutionizes the capabilities and delivery of audio experiences for creatives, broadcasters, and consumers alike.

“It’s a fun time to be working in sound,” says Sripal Mehta, Senior Director, Consumer Entertainment Technology, referencing the broad, new frontiers in audio experiences. “The industry has had codecs for the living room, codecs for mobile, and now it has a single codec in Dolby AC-4 that provides the best experience at the best bit rate for every device.”

Anticipating what’s next
From concept, Dolby AC-4 was designed to anticipate and respond to the needs of stakeholders from across the entire spectrum of sound, from creation to consumption. Dolby Atmos® delivers a whole new surround sound experience to moviegoers everywhere, and the industry looked for the capability to deliver that same rich, immersive sound experience to the living room and mobile devices.

Additionally, Dolby wanted to support personalized audio in AC-4 so that consumers could customize their listening experiences, and to enable the delivery of immersive and personalized experiences at the lowest possible bit rates. Dolby AC-4 delivers on these goals—and more. “AC-4 is the most efficient codec that Dolby has ever built,” says Mehta, “and it unlocks the consumer’s ability to tweak, tune, and tailor their viewing experience.”

Watch the video to learn more about the genesis and development of Dolby AC-4. Then read on to learn more about how it delivers next-generation audio experiences.

Delivering the future in audio
Dolby AC-4 solves a wide array of systems issues: automating loudness control, bit rate efficiency, enhanced streaming audio quality, and immersive audio experiences on headphones and home speakers. It even “smoothly steps down,” says Mehta, “when your bandwidth shrinks.”

Perhaps most exciting of all, though, is the future in sound that Dolby and its global partners across the spectrum can, collaboratively, imagine, create, and deliver.

“They’re starting to do things with audio,” concludes Mehta, “that we hadn’t even thought of.”

With Dolby AC-4, the future is going to sound completely different and support experiences we can’t even imagine. That’s a tremendously exciting prospect, indeed!