Without a doubt the most mind-blowing surround demo at CES combined Auro-3D height-enhanced surround technology with gear from CAT, ATI, and Theta.
Auro-3D, in case you hadn't heard, is fascinating entry in the race toward height-savvy surround sound. The Venetian demo deployed the California Audio Technology speakers you see in the photo with three side-surround pairs (floor, near ceiling, in-ceiling) and three more back-surround pairs (ditto). Amps included two ATI AT6007 (seven times 300 watts each) plus additional support from Theta's Dreadnaught multichannel amp and, for the subs, two of the Theta Prometheus mono-blocks. Total cost of the system was $160,000: $85,000 for the speakers, $75,000 for the amps.
What made the demos still more interesting (as if all that weren't interesting enough) was that it wasn't just the two-layer floor/height combination we've come to enjoy with Atmos. Some parts of the demo had not one, but two, layers of height above the floor speakers. The height effects really made the orchestral and organ music come alive - they were thrillingly, deliciously airy - and made the bludgeoning tractor and helicopter effects more interesting as well. This is a demo we won't soon forget.
Click here to hear what Scott Wilkinson from Home Theater GEEKS and editor of AVS Forum had to say after listening to the ATI AT6007 amplifiers at the Auro-3D demo at CES 2015.