Overview Of The PSB XA Dolby Atmos Add-On Speaker Module

PSB Imagine XA Dolby Atmos Speaker Module
PSB Imagine XA Dolby Atmos Add-On Speaker Module. Images provided by PSB Speakers

Original Publish Date: 02/09/2016
How Speakers Fit Into A Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Environment

Dolby Atmos continues to make inroads into home theater, with an increasing number of Blu-ray Discs and Streaming sources providing Dolby Atmos-encoded content and home theater receivers and AV preamp/processors that can decode the included meta-data.

However, in addition to source and decoding, you also need the right speaker setup, which means for those that have a traditional 5.1 or 7.1 channel home theater speaker setup, you will need to add either two or four additional speakers to get the full immersive effect of Dolby Atmos.

One way is to put speakers in the ceiling. However, for many, cutting holes in the ceiling is more than they bargained for, so several speaker companies (examples include Onkyo, Klipsch, Martin Logan and SVS) have come up with a solution, compact speaker modules that can fire vertically, reflecting sound off the ceiling and back down into the room. The result is easier installation and setup, as well as reduced installation time and cost.

Examples Of Dolby Atmos Speaker Configurations

5.1.2 - 5.1 refers to a traditional 5.1 channel horizontal speaker arrangement, and the .2 refers to two Dolby Atmos vertically firing speakers or speaker modules. In a 5.1.2 setup, the Dolby Atmos modules are placed on top of the left and right front speakers.

5.1.4 - Same as above except with 4 Dolby Atmos speaker modules, placed on top of both the front left and right, and the surround left and right speakers.

7.1.2 - Same number and placement of the Dolby Atmos speaker modules as in a 5.1.2 setup, but with surround back speakers.

7.1.4 - Same number and placement of the Dolby Atmos speaker modules as in a 5.1.4 setup, but with surround back speakers.

Enter The PSB Imagine XA Dolby Atmos Speaker Module

To address the needs of Dolby Atmos setups, PSB is now offering their solution, the Imagine XA (shown in the photo accompanying this article).

Although primarily designed to complement their own Imagine Series speaker line, they can be used with other branded speakers, provided the top surface of your current speakers is the correct size for you to set the Imagine XA on top. The cabinet dimensions of the XA modules are 6-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 6-3/4 inches and weight 6.5 pounds each.

Depending on channel configuration a specific Dolby Atmos-enabled home theater receiver supports, you can use either two or four of the XA Dolby Atmos speaker modules.

Each Imagine XA speaker module consists of a 4-inch mid-range/woofer and 1-inch tweeter combination that points vertically at a slight angle within a compact, sealed (Acoustic Suspension) speaker enclosure.

The bass /midrange driver has a clay/ceramic reinforced injection-molded polypropylene cones construction, while the tweeter has a ferrofluid-cooled titanium dome construction. The speaker module also provides gold-plated speaker terminals.​

The Imagine XA adheres to Dolby's specifications for use a part of an Atmos speaker setup, and have an 8-ohm impedance, with 10-80 watt power handling capability.

The PSB XA Dolby Atmos speaker modules come in a black finish and include anti-slip strips on the bottom surface for more secure placement on top of existing speakers.

However, if you desire, you can also mount them on the wall (with vertical drivers facing up, of course) with an included wall mount bracket.

The PSB Imagine XA Dolby Atmos Speaker Modules are expected to be available beginning in March of 2016 at authorized dealers and online retailers with a suggested price of $499 per pair.