The 4 Best Dolby Atmos Movie Scenes From The Marvel Cinematic Universe To Test Your Surround Sound System

With a flying Viking ship pulled by screaming goats, an 80s rock soundtrack and Russell Crowe trying to do a Greek accent, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Love and Thundercertainly warrants a trip to the movies to enjoy its epic soundtrack in all its bonkers, guitar-shredding, rainbow-firing, Dolby Atmos glory.

But as we eagerly await the arrival of love and thunder on 4K Blu-ray to give our What HiFi? listening room a workout, we listened to Marvel’s extensive catalog to relive some of our favorite scenes that we think really stand out sonically and are ideal for testing out your Dolby Atmos speaker system at the House.

You may already know that Dolby Atmos extends a traditional surround setup by adding channels to bring in overhead sound. But Atmos isn’t just about shoving speakers into your ceiling and waiting for Iron Man to rush in.

The technology is used by filmmakers in the mixing stage to place sounds and voices at exact points in the sound field rather than assigning them more broadly to discrete channels. Dolby Atmos is often used in Marvel movies to add heart-pounding movement to battles and fights, like the Winter Soldier’s collapse in Captain America, or to build fantasy worlds, as with the towering Warrior Falls in Wakanda. It can even let the viewer inhabit a character’s perspective for more empathetic storytelling and help direct the audience’s attention in long dialogue-less action sequences such as the bridge scene in Thor: Ragnarok.

Unfortunately, the excitement and drama of Marvel’s incredible Dolby Atmos soundtracks doesn’t always translate well to 4K-Blu-ray or Disney+ where most titles can be streamed in Dolby Atmos in its Dolby Digital Plus format.

For several years, fans have complained that the Dolby Atmos mixes of Marvel’s home releases seem to suffer from restricted dynamic range, muted aerial detail, and limited low-frequency extension compared to the cinematic experience, as well as more generally to other actions. movies on 4K Blu-ray. But not all builds are affected, and lately Marvel’s home builds have steadily improved. So we’ve picked out some of our favorite Marvel movie scenes available on 4K Blu-ray that we think show off the flexibility of Dolby Atmos and empower your home system, whether it’s a sound bar or complete AV amplifier and speaker systemreached the highest heights.

Warning! While we’ve avoided plot spoilers, this article does reference details in the movies that some people would rather not know before watching them.

Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings (2021): the fight in the forest

This cute Marvel-style encounter between Shang-Chi’s parents in the mystical and peaceful village of Ta Lo isn’t your usual “love scene” as the pair fight in the woods, each using their own discipline of arts. martial. who will continue to influence their future son.

But with its rustling leaves and mellow atmospheres, the fight gradually becomes a playful pas de deux that acts as a stylish counterpoint to typically Marvel’s explosive fight sequences. While not filled with LFEs or overhead objects, it’s a great test of your system’s ability to dig up detail as well as your overall system integration, with some great 360 camera sweeps degrees, air jumps and weapons thrown back and forth.

Beginning with Xu Wenwu’s arrival, the creaking of trees and the distant sounds of the forest canopy subtly give the feeling of an expanded soundstage before the sudden enclosure of the forest sweeps through the center of the room. After losing his car at the edge of the cliff, Wenwu then meets the village guardian Ying Li who challenges him with her Baguazhang fighting style, full of circular footwork that kicks up swirls of dust and leaves this vision of the envelope . As the fight escalates, the ethereal score gradually builds in the pitch channels towards the climax of the scene, where Ying Li takes control of the rings and throws them back at her opponent, at which point the harp music and the shimmering sound of flight the rings intertwine and ripple delicately across the room in spectacular style.

To buy Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on 4K Blu-ray at Amazon (opens in a new tab)

Flow Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on Disney+ (opens in a new tab)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017): the ferry scene

Marvel means nothing but great action, and each outing of the masked web-slinger unfolds on an epic scale with sweeping battles and high-flying adventures. Produced by licensee Sony, in association with Marvel, the Spider-Man movies don’t suffer from the main franchise’s restricted Dolby Atmos Blu-ray mixes, making them ideal for testing your system’s dynamic range.

A favorite here at What HiFi? this first mid-movie showdown between Spider-Man and the Vulture begins with fairly standard animated action – gunfire left, right, up and down; witty dialogue; an upbeat soundtrack – then quickly transitions into a full swing and flight fest of the two lead characters.

The final act is perhaps the most telling, certainly for your sub. There are wondrously unearthly groans and buckling of the hull as the ferry splits in two, and it has to be communicated through your system with terrifying weight to give that true sense of scale. Meanwhile, the height channels are busy as a malfunctioning weapon punches holes vertically through the ship. But this is also the time to reveal your system’s talents for dynamics and detail, as the soundscape becomes very bare and the music recedes, allowing you to hear real empty silences between these individual effects before ‘Iron Man joins the fun, hovering above your head and deploying flying thrusters to help hold things together.

To buy Spiderman: Homecoming on 4K Blu-ray at Amazon (opens in a new tab)

Flow Spiderman: Homecoming on Disney+ (opens in a new tab)

Venom (2018): the bike chase

What you thought Venom is either the essential story in the evolution of one of Marvel’s most enigmatic villains or a pointless spin-off that allows Sony to expand its Marvel licensing options, there’s no denying that this ode to the nemesis from Spider-Man serves up a stunning Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

From the opening credits, audiences are warned that this is sound design that isn’t afraid to bare its teeth. A spaceship carrying a sample of an alien symbiotic lifeform crashes down to earth with an incredibly crescendo wall of score and effects that somehow manages to make room to scatter the debris and radio communications, before the powerful impact morphed into an immersive rescue operation with helicopters overhead and sirens echoing all around.

But perhaps the best scene to demonstrate the strengths (and perhaps limitations) of your system is the bike chase just before the film’s halfway point as Eddie tries to shake off enemy SUVs and drones trying to kill him while running through San Francisco traffic. This scene marks the first time Eddie realizes Venom is inside him and begins to crumble. The supercharged action mirrors the turmoil inside of it, with piercing transients, meaty explosions and car flips galore. But Dolby Atmos keeps everything cohesive, distinct, and precisely controlled, preserving the amorphous sounds of Venom’s tendrils and dialogue between the oppressive under-rich rumble of Eddie and Venom. This jaw-dropping grand chase will push every speaker in your system.

To buy Venom on 4K Blu-ray at Amazon (opens in a new tab)

Flow Venom on Amazon Premier (opens in a new tab)

Deadpool (2016): the highway fight

Ok, Deadpool isn’t strictly part of the MCU…yet. Still, this first solo outing for the Merc with a Mouth makes our list thanks to an incredibly tactile and downright fun Dolby Atmos soundtrack that delivers an avalanche of action-packed sound, while still managing to make room for jokes, iconic songs and more than a touch of emotional nuance.

At the start of the freeway fight scene, sound is used to set the tone for the film. Audiences are introduced to breaking Deadpool’s fourth wall, masked on-camera monologues in time-stretched sequences, and heavy doses of bloody but enjoyable violence. Atmos immediately sets up the realism of the location with varying levels of traffic panning across the sound field, before the camera perspective shifts to the tarmac as main villain Ajax’s convoy passes overhead. . Deadpool throws out his “maximum effort” line and then falls into one of the cars, sending shards of glass raining down and proceeding with the elimination with the goons inside.

The mix is ​​every bit as clever as the film’s script, quickly cutting between small, intimate moments and big, guttural collisions with a huge dynamic range. Amid the chaos, every twist of metal and shard of glass is rendered with precision, and dialogue is incredibly clear and focused yet natural. This attention to detail and consistency allows the film to slip effortlessly into different styles and play with effects like slow motion without ever losing the audience.

To buy dead Pool on 4K Blu-ray at Amazon (opens in a new tab)

Flow dead Pool on Disney+ (opens in a new tab)

AFTER

Should you buy a Dolby Atmos soundbar?

The best Dolby Vision movies to test out your TV

Check out our list of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars you can buy

Andrea G. Henderson