picture of the Hans Zimmer Soundtrack to the movie Inception

Inception Blu-ray – With 5.1 surround soundtrack

Hans Zimmer’s exceptional score to the movie Inception can be heard in 5.1 surround sound! 10 tracks can be found on the bonus Blu-ray disc of the 2 disc edition.


The name Hans Zimmer is tied to Hollywood blockbuster movies like not many others. Even though he came to fame as the keyboarder of the band The Buggles with their worldwide hit ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, Zimmer is best known for his score writing and sound designing. His credits span from ‘The Lion King’ (for which he received an Oscar) over ‘The Rock’ to ‘Pirates of the Carribean’ and ‘The Dark Knight’.

Hans and I have at least one thing in common: we both love surround sound music.

I don’t even know why anybody would want to get out of bed and make a stereo recording. There’s a thing that happens, when you can be inside the music, which is really what surround does, that is so much nicer.

Thanks to this dedication to surround sound we can now hear 10 tracks of his great score on the bonus Blu-ray disc of the Inception 2 disc edition in marvellous 5.1 surround sound.

Since this  is part of a Bu-ray movie and not a Pure Audio Blu-ray disc, you need a screen of some sort to navigate to the music.


The first three tracks ‘We Built Our Own World’, Dream Is Collapsing’ and ‘Radical Notions’ are stylistically connected and play like an orchestral end credits suite, followed by the atmospheric ‘Old Souls’ and ‘528491’ ending with those ship horn like unisono notes also heard on the trailer for the movie Inception.

Around 2.08 you can hear those notes. It sounds way more impressive on the Blu-ray disc!

Next up is ‘Mombasa’, a very pumped-up rhythm driven track that will get your feet tapping.  ‘One Simple Idea’ and ‘Dream Within A Dream’ bring the listener back to the original mood and ‘Paradox’ and ‘Time’, 2 beautiful orchestral pieces end the thrill ride.

Even though the term epic has been used to death lately (mostly due to the annoying misnomer ‘epic fail’), when Zimmer’s score shifts into full gear, epic and grand are two fitting terms.

It seems, there are two sorts of listeners when it comes to Hans Zimmer: those who love his music and those who look down on it, saying it’s too simplistic and commercial, when compared to classical compositions. I don’t completely disagree with the second group, when you are in fact comparing the music alone to classical works. But this comparison is missing a key factor: the movie that goes with it!

Hans Zimmer is a score writer, his task is to support the moods and emotions of the pictures moving on the big screen. As such he relied strongly on his sound designing skills for this score and to me, he capured the essence of the movie Inception brilliantly.

Listening to the surround mix of this soundtrack not only brings back images of the movie, it is an experience all by itself. All parts, the composition, the orchestration, the sound design, and yes, the contribution of guitar player Johnny Marr and undoubtedly many other people, make for a final product that is far from simplistic in nature. Quite the contrary, it manages to span very complex emotions and unite them in something that is best enjoyed front to back.

The Mix

First off, the mix on the Inception soundtrack in surround is very dynamic. On my personal reference listening level it starts out with a very modest volume, but the loud parts are ground shaking. Just the way I like it 🙂

The main part of the music is happening in the fronts with the center as support and occasionally featuring the synth bass lines. The surrounds are lower in level than the fronts, but are much more than just ambience parts. The mix front to back is very well balanced and especially during the louder brass heavy parts, the feeling of immersion is first class. The subwoofer gets quite a workout as well and supports the impression of size impressively.

Surround Sound Music Verdict

If you’re a fan of Hans Zimmer scores, you have to get this Blu-ray, not least for the excellent movie that comes with it. And if you don’t know him or don’t particularly like his music, you have to get it anyway! The pure fun of experiencing a well done surround mix dynamically covering soft to skyscraper huge is worth the price of admission alone. Plus you get one of the best movies of 2010 as a bonus. Highly recommended!

You can get the 2 disc edition of Inception here:


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  • Emmett Cooke

    March 6, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Very cool thanks!

  • Sung-Kyu

    March 6, 2012 at 8:07 am

    You’re welcome. This is really one of my favorite discs at the moment.

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