US audio pioneer who founded Dolby Laboratories has died in San Francisco.

Ray Dolby

Ray Dolby, the US engineer who founded Dolby Laboratories, has died in San Francisco aged 80.

Dolby, whose name became synonymous with home sound systems and cinema, and who won numerous awards across a pioneering career, began his career in the Ampex Corporation, helping to develop early videotape recording systems while he was still a student.

He went on to complete his PhD at Cambridge University in England and in 1965 founded Dolby Laboratories in London.

The company grew to be an industry leader in audio technology, cutting unwanted background noise  in recordings and later bringing out “surround sound”.

Dolby moved his company to San Francisco in 1976 and in 1989 received an Oscar for his contributions to cinema. He shared the award with Dolby executive Ioan Allen. He also received a Grammy award in 1995 and Emmy awards in 1989 and 2005.

Kevin Yeaman, president of Dolby Laboratories, described Dolby as a “true visionary”.

Dolby had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years and was diagnosed with leukaemia this summer.