A few weeks ago I was invited to hear some new technology from the audio geniuses at Dolby Labs. It was a bit of improved software/technology they called Dolby Digital Plus.
As cool as today's tablets are (whether running Android, iOS or anything else you can think of) audio wise they all stink. It's simply a matter of physics.
As devices get smaller and thinner so do the speakers inside. Big speakers don't fit. Little speakers make little sounds. And the tiny slots to let the sound “out” don't really support hi-fi sound. Or medium-fi. Not even low-fi. Just squeaky.
That's where the sound pros at Dolby come in. They've figured out a way to boost the sound coming from small, thin, portable devices.
I could spend lots of time trying to explain, technically, how it's done. But, suffice it to say – it's magic.
In the pre-production version I was allowed to hear, an older Android tablet went from barely audible to enjoyable just by switching on Dolby Digital Plus. It was not only louder but dialog was easier to understand. Quite impressive, actually.
So, why am I telling you this today? Because the first devices to include the new Dolby Digital Plus feature have just been announced: Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD tablets.
Don't take my word about what it can do. Check out the video on the Dolby site to see for yourself.