Even though its designer has long since moved onto greener pastures, Pioneer has finally released its budget line of Andrew Jones Atmos speakers.
While the company released some frankly excellent high-end Atmos speakers earlier in the year they have now been supplemented by the budget SP-BS22A-LR compact speakers and SP-T22A-LR add-on modules.
Dolby Atmos is a surround sound standard that incorporates height information and is available on some new Blu-ray disks. It requires a new receiver and either add-on modules or ceiling-mounted speakers for fronts, rears or a combination of both.
The SP-BS22A-LR speakers incorporate a top firing concentric driver which includes 4-inch woofer and 1/2-inch tweeter in addition to a traditional front-mounted 4-inch woofer and 1-inch soft dome. They are available now for $299.
If you already have a pair of the excellent SP-BS22-LR speakers, then you should be interested in the SP-T22A-LR. These are add-on modules designed to sit flush on top of Pioneer's budget speakers, or even those of another brand.The SP-T22A features the same 4-inch woofer and 1/2-inch tweeter of the standalone speakers and likewise are designed to bounce information off the ceiling. They are more expensive than the $129 stand mounts, likely due that concentric driver, at a suggested retail price of $199.99 a pair.
At the moment Klipsch, Onkyo and Pioneer are the only high-profile companies to announce Atmos speakers but if you're looking to add an Atmos receiver to your setup then the SP-T22A add-ons might be the cheapest way -- and possibly the best based on Andrew Jones' track record -- to upgrade your existing speakers.
Australian and UK pricing and availability have yet to be announced.