Sound Off: What’s Your Auditory Weapon Of Choice?
We’re lovers of all types of auditory experiences — with the exception being papal oratories — but our favorite just so happens to be films. Go figure.
In particular, we especially love demo discs with which we can fully crank up our home theater systems, simultaneously enveloping ourselves in the heavy hitting sound field and liquefying our insides.
Listed below are just a few of our favorite auditory delights. Feel free to disregard, backup, or serve up your own list of demo discs to aid the masses in their search for their very own demo disc of choice.
1. Transformers – HD DVD – DD+
– Every time we introduce newcomers to our HC4900, this disc always happens to find it’s way into the HD DVD player. It’s no surprise that this track was awarded the best next-gen audio track for 2007, and it really makes a case for DD+. If you’re looking for demo material, jump to any of the scenes in which the Transformers clash, and you’ll be equally pummeled and mesmerized by the films sound design.
2. Beowulf – HD DVD – DD+
– Aside from being an incredible feast for the eyes, this disc packs an incredible punch as well. Without question, it’s the end of the film that steals the show. As Beowulf struggles to take down the dragon as it descends upon his castle, your ears will be assaulted at every turn and you’ll be loving every second of it.
3. Across The Universe – Blu-ray – TrueHD
– Accompanying the lush, and highly detailed picture, the audio elements within the film sound quite extraordinary. Jump to any one of the musical numbers in the film, and prepare to be wowed. The film has subsequently polarized the Beatles fan-base, but we feel that few could argue with the sonic quality presented here.
4. NIN Live: Beside You In Time – Blu-ray/HD DVD – TrueHD
– We can’t recommend this concert disc enough. Even if you only end up renting this disc, you will surely revel in the sheer transparency of the auditory experience, as well as the massive impact the audio track throws your way. In truth it’s awfully hard to go wrong with a concert disc — as most of them are presented/mixed to ensure the highest fidelity/quality — but this disc in particular really stands apart from the others when it’s fully cranked up. Of course, NIN isn’t for everyone, but if you’re only renting the disc there’s no harm in checking it out, right?
5. Hot Fuzz – HD DVD – DD+
From beginning to end the films sound design never fails to impress. There is a sufficient amount of deep thumping bass, and highly active surround effects throughout the film that keep the viewer submersed and, more often than not, highly entertained. The film deftly mimics the auditory experience of the films it parodies, simultaneously earning it’s place amongst the top tier audio presentations of today.
Disclaimer: Not all audio presentations are created equal, and it is inherently wrong to expect every film to deliver ear-shattering audio, such as the films listed above. Fidelity is truly of the greatest importance, but when you’re looking to "wow" your significant other or your office buddies, a demo disc is surely your best weapon of choice.
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