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Reviewed on Mar 15, 2019 , Marc Henney, Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Dolby Dimension Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.9
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.9
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.1
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.1
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.4
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.9
TV
Score components:
5.2
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Dolby Dimension are decent, mixed-usage, over-ear headphones that are fairly versatile for everyday casual use and can also be used for watching TV if you have the appropriate low-latency (aptX-LL) dongle. These headphones are comfortable to wear for hours and feel very solid. They look and feel like premium headphones, but their ANC feature is disappointing when compared to similar high-end headphones. They have nice virtualization and head tracking features, but if you don’t care much for this, they might not be worth the investment.

Test Results
Design 7.7
Sound 6.6
Isolation 7.0
Microphone 5.8
Active Features 7.0
Connectivity 4.1
Pros
  • Great build quality.
  • Comfortable wireless design.
  • Virtualization and head tracking features.
Cons
  • Disappointing noise isolation.
  • Mediocre battery life.
  • Lackluster app with few customization options.
  • Bass delivery varies across users. Sensitive to glasses.

Check Price

7.7

Design

Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Design Picture

The Dolby Dimension are very well-built headphones that have a high-end look and feel. They are very comfortable to wear for hours, and their overall build feels solid. They also have a responsive and accurate touch-sensitive control scheme that is easy to use. Unfortunately, like most over-ears, they aren’t very breathable and won’t be the best option for sports, although they have a stable fit. They come with a charging dock that you can put next to your main power source for aesthetic purposes, but you can also only use the micro-USB cable to charge the headphones.

Style
Dolby Dimension Wireless Design Picture 2

The Dolby Dimension are sleek-looking headphones. They are mostly made out of metal and covered in leather, which gives them a high-end look. The backing of the ear cups is flat and acts as a touch-sensitive surface with the Dolby logo. The padding on the cups isn’t that thick, but the leather covering the cups makes it look like it is. The headband is well-padded, and a thin sheet of metal covers it, finishing the whole design with a premium look.

8.5 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dolby Dimension Wireless Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.76 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.7 lbs

The Dolby Dimension are very comfortable headphones that you can wear for hours without feeling any soreness. They are on par with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and feel very lightweight once on the head. The cups are well-padded, large enough to fit most ears without them touching the drivers. The headband has great padding as well and helps distribute the weight evenly on your head, without applying too much pressure.

6.8 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Dolby Dimension Wireless Controls Picture
Ease of use : Great
Feedback : Great
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
No
Noise Canceling Control : No
Talk-Through : Yes
Additional Buttons : Bluetooth Sync + Presets

These headphones have a touch-sensitive control scheme on their right ear cup. It is one of the most responsive and accurate touch-sensitive surfaces we’ve used so far. You can easily swipe up and down to control the volume and swipe left and right to skip tracks. A single tap plays/pauses your music and lets you answer calls as well. You can also double-tap the surface to enable transparency mode, which is basically talk-through, and triggers your device’s voice assistant. Unfortunately, you don’t have any control over the ANC level. On the upside, you also have access to 3 physical buttons that can each be mapped to 3 different devices to easily switch between sources. Note that, like the Sony WH-1000XM3, their touch-sensitive control scheme is hard to operate in cold and freezing conditions.

6.5 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.6 C

Like most over-ear headphones, the Dolby Dimension trap heat under the ear cups and aren’t very breathable. Their design creates a decent seal around your ears and doesn’t allow much airflow, and you might notice a difference in temperature. This means you will most likely sweat more than usual if you work out with these headphones.

6.0 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Portability Picture
L : 5.3 "
W : 6.0 "
H : 2.9 "
Volume : 92 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : No

Over-ear headphones are usually not very portable, and the Dolby Dimension are no exception. They don’t fold into a more compact format and the cups don’t swivel to lay flat and wear around your neck. They also don’t come with a hard case to protect them when you’re on the move, which is disappointing at their price point.

5.5 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dolby Dimension Wireless Case Picture
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

They don’t come with a hard case, which is disappointing. Their pouch won’t protect them against physical damage and water exposure but is thick enough to prevent small scratches.

8.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dolby Dimension Wireless Build Quality Picture

The Dolby Dimension are very well-built headphones. The materials used feel high-end and heavy, giving a premium feel to the headphones. They feel very sturdy when in your hands, yet lightweight when you put them on. Most of the build is made out of metal, and the cups are covered with leather, which gives them a high-end finish. However, the headphones feel so heavy that an accidental drop on the ground could be damaging. Overall, everything about these headphones feels well-made and should last you a while.

7.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dolby Dimension Wireless Stability Picture

These over-ear headphones are quite stable. They aren’t too tight on the head, but the fit is stable and secure. You could wear them while jogging or at the gym without too many issues. However, more intense physical activities or lots of head movement will make them sway around and they could come off your head, especially when tilting forward or backward. On the upside, since they are wireless, you won’t have to worry about a cable being in your way, or accidentally yanking the headphones off if it were to get hooked on something.

Cable
Dolby Dimension Wireless Cable Picture
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

These headphones can’t be used passively with an audio cable. They come with a micro-USB cable that plugs into the dock or directly to the headphones. They also come with a power outlet adapter.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.6

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Dolby Dimension Wireless Frequency Response

The Dolby Dimension are decent-sounding closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a punchy bass and a well-balanced mid-range, but the treble range lacks detail and brightness. Their bass is a bit inconsistent across users and doesn't have the deep rumbles of similarly designed headsets like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or the Sony WH-1000XM3. Their mid-range is also a bit cluttered and forward, but on the upside, they have virtualization and head tracking features that help give them a more speaker-like and spacious soundstage. However, we don't have a test for DSP-created soundstage in our current test bench. Overall, these headphones will be versatile enough for a wide variety of music, but they lack a bit of detail and are on the darker side.

8.6 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.98 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
25.57 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.88 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.2 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.85 dB

The Dolby Dimension have very good bass. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 25Hz is great. Low-bass is underemphasized by almost 2dB, which means these headphones slightly lack thump and rumble, so their bass may not be heavy enough for fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM, hip-hop, and dubstep. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums, is within 1dB of our curve, which is good. High-bass, responsible for warmth, is overemphasized by about 3dB, which will add a bit of boominess to the sound.

8.2 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.4 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.22 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.26 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.24 dB

The mid-range performance of the Dolby Dimension is great. The response throughout the range is slightly overemphasized, but it is flat and well-balanced. The 3dB of overemphasis in low-mid is the continuation of the high-bass, meaning vocals and lead instruments will sound cluttered and thick. Also, mid-mid is over our target curve by about 2dB, which will slightly nudge the vocals forward in the mix. These headphones might sound a bit too “mid-rangy” for some, especially if you have virtualization enabled.

6.2 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.96 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.01 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-5.75 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.23 dB

The treble of the Dimension is mediocre. The range is fairly flat, but there is a broad and deep dip between 4kHz and 8kHz, which negatively affects the brightness and detail of sibilants (S and T sounds). This will be mostly noticeable on vocals, lead instruments, and cymbals.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
6.1 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Consistency L Dolby Dimension Wireless Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.9 dB

The Dolby Dimension have a mediocre frequency response consistency performance. These headphones are prone to consistency issues throughout the range, especially in the bass range. The maximum variance measured across our five human subjects was about 8dB at 20Hz, which is noticeable. We also noticed that certain types of glasses could break the seal on these headphones and cause a drop in bass. In the treble range, the maximum amount of deviation below 10kHz is about 6dB, indicating that these headphones' treble delivery is rather sensitive to positioning.

6.8 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Dolby Dimension Wireless Group Delay Dolby Dimension Wireless Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.25
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.22
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.44
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
16.06

The imaging of these headphones is okay. Unfortunately, they show audible amounts of group delay in the bass range which results in slightly soft and loose bass, but this might not be audible for everybody. On the upside, the L/R drivers of our test unit were well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

3.7 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Dolby Dimension Wireless PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
5.86 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.92 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.99 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.2
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0 dB

The soundstage is poor. The PRTF graph shows a limited amount of pinna interaction and activation, and there is no 10KHz notch present either. Since creating a speaker-like soundstage is dependent on an accurate and adequate pinna interaction, their soundstage will be perceived as relatively small and located inside the listener's head, as opposed to in front, and will be less open-sounding than open-back headphones.

Like the Audeze Mobius, we measured the soundstage of the Dolby Dimension without their virtualization feature. This is a limitation of our test bench since we currently don't have a test to accurately measure DSP-aided soundstage. However, we perceived their soundstage to be noticeably better with virtualization ON and it adds a good amount of crossfeed.

6.2 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
18.727
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
15.226

The harmonic distortion performance is average. The overall amount of harmonic distortion produced is relatively high, especially in the bass and mid-range. This could make the sound of these headphones a bit impure. However, there is not a big rise in THD under heavier loads, which is good. The peaks at 5kHz could make the treble of these headsets harsh and brittle, which might be fatiguing during a long listening session.

7.0

Isolation

Score components:

The isolation performance of the Dolby Dimension is decent, but disappointing when compared to other high-end ANC headphones. They only do an okay job at blocking out lower frequency noises like bus engines, which would be useful while commuting. They'll be a decent option at the office, although they can be slightly leaky at higher volumes. You can mask more ambient noise by playing audio and raising your volume a bit without disturbing the people surrounding you too much.

6.8 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-21.63 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-10.06 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-16.62 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-38.6 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
22.7 dB

The Dolby Dimension have passable noise isolation that isn't as good as competing models like the Sony WH-1000XM3, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, or the Microsoft Surface Headphones. The active noise cancellation of the dimension achieves 10dB of isolation in the bass range, which means they're okay at cancelling out airplane and bus engine rumbles. However, they achieve 16dB and 38dB of isolation in the mid and treble ranges respectively, both values being quite good. This indicates good isolation performance for speech and sharp sounds such as S and Ts and fan noises like A/C systems.

It should be noted that we had difficulty getting a tight seal on our dummy head, so we had to use elastic bands to hold them. This amount of isolation is pretty close to what we measured on human subjects, but some people may experience an even better isolation performance.

7.3 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people to hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
38.39 dB

The leakage performance is decent. The significant portion of the leakage is between 500Hz and 5kHz, which is a relatively broad range and mostly concentrated in the treble range. This means that the leakage will sound quite thin. The overall level of the leakage is not loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away, averages at 38dB SPL and peaks at 50dB SPL, which is the same as the noise floor of an average office.

5.8

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The Dolby Dimension have a sub-par integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic sounds noticeably thin, muffled, and lacking in detail. In noisy situations, this microphone is able to separate speech from background noise in moderately loud places, like a busy street, but it may struggle in louder places.

4.8 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
232.91 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
4.57 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
1708.6 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
225.645
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
19.58 dB

The integrated mic of the Dolby Dimension has poor recording quality. The LFE of 232Hz results in recorded or transmitted speech that is noticeably thin. The HFE of 1.7kHz suggests speech that lacks a lot of detail and presence. This result is worse than most Bluetooth headphones and will make speech recorded sound even more muffled.

6.7 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Dolby Dimension Wireless SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
18.56 dB

The integrated microphone has okay noise handling. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of about 19dB, indicating it's best suited for quiet and moderately loud environments. However, it will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in loud situations.

7.0

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The battery life of the Dolby Dimension is disappointing when compared to other premium over-ear ANC headphones. On the upside, they have unique virtualization and head tracking features but we only measured 10 hours of battery life when not using them. With virtualization enabled, the Dolby Dimension have about 9 hours of continuous playback. This should last you a full workday at the office, but they might need daily charging if you listen to them all day long. They come with a sleek but lackluster app that doesn’t offer much control and customization options.

7.1 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
9.0 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
1.6 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when you're relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

The Dolby Dimension provide 9 hours of continuous playback with virtualization on and about 10 hours without it, which is lower than the advertised 16 hours. We tested the battery life without virtualization twice and got the same result of 10 hours despite 16Hrs being shown in the app. When compared to other high-end ANC headphones, this result is lower than expected and slightly disappointing. This should still be enough for a full workday, but you’ll have to charge them daily, especially if you want to use them while commuting as well. You can enter a standby mode by pressing the power button once or hold for 4 seconds to completely power off. Unfortunately, they don’t have a jack to plug in an audio cable to use while wired so you won't be able to use them passively like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or the Sony WH-1000XM3 when the battery dies. However, you can enable a Low Power Mode to turn off all active features and LifeMix to slightly extend their battery life.

6.5 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dolby Dimension Wireless App Picture
App Name : Dolby Dimension
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : No
Windows : No
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
No
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
No
Mic Control : No
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
Yes
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
No
Button Mapping : Yes
Surround Sound : Yes

The Dolby Dimension mobile app is a very nice looking and sleek app, but it lacks features and is slightly disappointing. You have control over the virtualization and head tracking features, and you can also control the amount of ANC and talk-through. You get battery life information, and you can also map the 3 physical buttons on the right ear cup to previously synced devices. Unfortunately, this app is lacking an EQ. You can’t customize their sound to your liking, but you can completely turn off ANC by enabling Low Power Mode.

4.1

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Dolby Dimension are Bluetooth-only headphones and can’t be used passively with an audio cable, which is disappointing. On the upside, they have an amazing wireless range and are the first headphones we’ve reviewed that can connect to 3 devices simultaneously. However, their latency may be a bit high for some as they use the Bluetooth protocol, but you can reduce these delay issues by using an aptX-LL dongle. They also come with a charging dock, but you can also use a normal micro-USB cable and plug it directly in the headphones to charge them. Unfortunately, the dock doesn't act as a proprietary transmitter, which is disappointing considering these headphones are advertised for entertainment at home.

7.9 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
3 Devices
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

These are the first headphones we’ve reviewed that could connect to 3 devices simultaneously. You can easily switch between the connected devices by using the physical buttons on the right ear cup. Unfortunately, the Dolby Dimension don’t support NFC for a quicker and easier pairing procedure. On the upside, they provide a clear voice prompt that lets you know which source you’re listening to.

0 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : N/A
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4 controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

Unfortunately, the Dolby Dimension are Bluetooth-only headphones that can’t be used with a wire.

2.1 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
No
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
No
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
USB
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes

The Dolby Dimension come with a small circular USB charging cradle. The dock isn’t very portable, but you can still charge the headphones with a normal micro-USB cable, so you don’t have to carry it around. You can put the dock next to your TV for aesthetic purposes, but it isn’t mandatory to charge the headphones. Also, the charging station doesn’t act as a proprietary wireless transmitter, which is disappointing.

9.7 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. We test our obstructed range with a Moto E4 Plus. Results may vary depending on your phone model or Bluetooth source.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
69 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
210 ft

The wireless range of these headphones is excellent. We got an impressive 69ft of range when the source was obstructed by walls. This means you should be able to walk around a small apartment or office without too many problems. However, wireless range is dependent on many factors such as your device’s signal strength, the thickness and material of the walls blocking the signal, interference, etc., so your results may vary.

3.5 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
225 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
198 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
77 ms

If you don’t have an aptX-LL dongle, these wireless headphones have 225ms of latency, which is average for Bluetooth headphones. You might notice a delay when watching video content on your phone meaning that what you will see won’t be in sync with the sound, but some devices and apps offer some sort of compensation. We also measured 170ms with an aptX-LL dongle, which was surprisingly high. We measured 77ms delay with another dongle, which is lower, but still a bit high for this codec.

In the box

Dolby Dimension Wireless In the box Picture

  • Dolby Dimension headphones
  • Charging dock
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Power outlet adapter
  • Carrying pouch
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

Dolby Dimension Wireless Compare Picture

The Dolby Dimension are decent over-ear headphones that set themselves apart thanks to their virtualization and head tracking features, on top of being one of the most well-built and comfortable headphones we’ve tested so far. Unfortunately, their ANC isn’t on par with other high-end headphones we've tested and they have a relatively short battery life. If you’re looking for headphones for your commute, we suggest looking at our best noise cancelling headphones recommendations. See also our recommendations for the best wireless over-ear headphones and the best closed-back headphones

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are more versatile headphones than the Dolby Dimension. Their isolation performance is noticeably better, and they have a better audio reproduction, on top of having customization options inside their great app. They are slightly less comfortable and well-built than the Dimension, but most people should be satisfied with the Sonys. They can also be used wired, even if the battery is dead, which you can’t do with the Dimension. On the other hand, the Dolby have virtualization and head tracking features that the XM3s don’t have, and they support aptX-LL for watching video content.

Audeze Mobius

If you’re in the market for head tracking headphones, then the Audeze Mobius are a better pick over the Dolby Dimension. Their frequency response is noticeably flatter and more neutral. They are also very versatile since you can use them wired, and their detachable boom microphone is great for gaming. However, the Mobius don’t have an ANC feature to block ambient noise like the Dimension and aren’t as comfortable and well-built as them. The Dimension are one of the most comfortable and best-built headphones we’ve reviewed so far.

Sennheiser RS 185 RF Wireless

For watching TV at home, the Sennheiser RS 185 are a better option than the Dolby Dimension if you don’t want to purchase an aptX-LL dongle. Their dock acts as a transmitter, which gives you lower latency for watching video content. However, they are open-back and won’t isolate against your household noise, which the Dolby Dimension ANC feature can help with. The Sennheisers have great audio reproduction, but you’ll need batteries to power them and they aren’t as well-built and comfortable as the Dimension.

Microsoft Surface Wireless Headphones

The Microsoft Surface Headphones and Dolby Dimension perform quite similarly in most categories. The Surface Headphones have one of the most complete control schemes we’ve reviewed so far and their ANC feature is better than the Dimension’s, which makes them a better option for commuting. On the other hand, the Dolby Dimension have head tracking and virtualization features to enhance your listening experience, but don’t have an EQ like the Surface Headphones have. The Surface Headphones also have great wireless range and can also be used wired, even if the battery is dead.

Conclusion

6.9Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Okay for mixed usage. These headphones have okay audio reproduction for critical listeners but have nice virtualization and head tracking features which may enhance your listening experience, especially when watching video content. The Dolby Dimension have decent isolation performance to use while commuting or at the office. On the other hand, their bulky and full leather-covered design won’t be ideal for sports and is not sweat-resistant. Also, they have average Bluetooth latency, so they might not be the best option for watching videos or gaming unless you get an aptX-LL dongle, which still doesn’t give great results.
6.9Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Decent for critical listening. The Dolby Dimension have a punchy bass and a well-balanced mid-range, but the treble range lacks detail and brightness. Their bass is also a bit inconsistent across users, and their mid-range is a bit cluttered and forward. On the upside, they have virtualization and head tracking features that help give them a more spacious and speaker-like soundstage, but we don't have a test to measure this accurately in our current test bench. They also don’t have an EQ inside their app, which is disappointing.
7.1Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Decent for commuting. Their isolation performance is suitable for your daily commute. The Dolby Dimension don’t isolate low-frequency noises like bus engine rumbles very well, but when playing audio content it should be fine. You’ll also be able to wear these during long flights or car rides thanks to their comfortable build and 9-hour battery life.
7.1Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Decent for sports. While the Dolby Dimension are fairly stable for over-ear headphones, they might be too bulky for physical activity. Their leather-covered build won’t be the most breathable and sweat might degrade the coating.
7.4Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Decent for the office. They isolate a good amount of ambient chatter and A/C noises, and they are comfortable to wear for a few hours. They can also connect to three devices simultaneously so you can easily switch between your PC, tablet, and phone. Their battery life will be long enough for a full work day and they don’t leak too much as long as you don't blast your music at very high volumes. However, you might have to charge them more frequently than other similar headphones.
5.9TV
Score components:
Sub-par for watching TV if you don’t have an aptX-LL dongle to reduce the latency issues. They are comfortable enough to wear during a long movie or while binge-watching a show, and their great wireless range means you can use them from the comfort of your couch. You can also enable the virtualization feature to help you get more immersed in what you're watching. However, the fact that they are advertised as home entertainment headphones but don’t have a proprietary wireless transmitter in their dock is disappointing. Also, they can't be used with an audio cable to fully eliminate latency, or for passive playback when the battery dies.
5.2Gaming
Score components:
Poor for gaming. The Dolby Dimension headphones have too much latency for gaming. Their microphone is sub-par and isn’t suitable for online games. However, if you’re playing casual solo player immersive games and have an aptX-LL dongle, these headphones could be an interesting option thanks to their virtualization and head tracking features, similar to the Audeze Mobius gaming headset.

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