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What’s Dolby Atmos? All the pieces You Must Know

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A decade in the past, Dolby Atmos was an up-and-coming know-how. It was hailed because the evolution of cinema sound and launched 3D immersion in a world the place stereo reigned supreme.

Then, the know-how jumped off the silver display into households and onto cell units by way of streaming. It’s now accessible throughout TVs, cinemas, smartphones, soundbars and headphones.

However what precisely is Dolby Atmos? How does it work? The place are you able to get it? And is it the way forward for immersive sound? 

We now have the inside track on the whole lot it is advisable learn about this revolutionary sound know-how.

What’s Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos expands 5.1 and seven.1 setups to incorporate audio system which can be positioned in a room to create an all-enveloping, 3D audio expertise.

In a cinema setting, you possibly can place as much as 64 audio system above, in entrance and round you. This setup provides a top dimension to sound and creates a hemisphere of audio system that lets filmmakers and sound designers direct particular sounds to specific places..

The important component to learn about with Atmos is the idea of audio objects.

Traditionally, sounds had been despatched by way of particular channels. Parts of the sound had been directed to specific audio system.

With Dolby Atmos, sound designers don’t need to route sound to a particular channel.

As a substitute, Atmos permits designers to specify the origin of a selected sound and the place it strikes to. In the meantime, the Atmos system intercepts that knowledge and performs it again in a digital 3D house.

The result’s audio that appears to come back from inside the room you’re sitting in. You’ll be able to hear raindrops falling round you, and helicopters sound like they’re flying above you.  

Atmos makes use of ambient, static sounds that don’t have to be directed to a particular placement.

This know-how helps as much as 128 audio channels. Ten of those are used for the bottom layer, whereas the remaining 188 channels go to audio objects.

Leveraging object-based sound additionally permits the scaling of sounds throughout a number of codecs.

One of the simplest ways to render a Dolby Atmos soundscape is to make use of a 64-speaker setup. That mentioned, much less elaborate audio system can ship the same expertise.

With Atmos, the variety of audio system doesn’t actually matter. As a substitute, the precept of audio objects and the copy throughout a number of programs is vital.

So, whether or not you’re listening to a 64-speaker setup in a cinema or seven audio system at house, you possibly can take pleasure in correct, immersive sounds. 

The place is Dolby Atmos Used?

You want three issues to expertise Atmos.

These embrace:

  • Content material with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack
  • A tool that helps that join
  • An audio system able to reproducing Atmos audio

When you’ve got these three issues, you possibly can take pleasure in Dolby Atmos within the following eventualities.

Content material

Through the years, Dolby Atmos has infiltrated the movie business. Motion pictures like Avengers, Roma, Dune and Mad Max had been produced utilizing this know-how.

In flip, this has led to the emergence of theaters that help Atmos. Over six thousand film theaters world wide help Atmos.

Dolby Atmos titles are even accessible on main streaming providers. These embrace Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus.

Common Atmos titles on Netflix embrace The Dig and Military of the Lifeless. Amazon Prime Video consists of the Jack Ryan TV collection, whereas Disney Plus gives Star Wars.

As well as, most Apple Originals help Atmos, making the Apple TV retailer top-of-the-line locations to purchase or hire or purchase Atmos titles.

You’ll be able to even get Dolby Atmos content material on sports activities broadcasts. Plus, a number of Xbox and PC titles like Horizon 4, Battlefield 1, Gear 5x and Name of Responsibility help Atmos for gaming.


To expertise Dolby Atmos on cell, you have to join your gadget to headphones.

Doing this permits Atmos to operate by way of object-based rendering and binaural headphone rendering.

The 2 applied sciences work as follows:

  • Object-Based mostly Audio: Every sound has data that tells it the place it must be positioned within the speaker configuration. 
  • Binary Headphone Rendering: Makes use of heat-related switch features (HRTFs) to create encompass sound by way of headphones. 

Dolby merges these two applied sciences to ship a digital, enveloping sound expertise on cell. 

A number of the cell units that help Dolby Atmos embrace:

  • Amazon Kindle Hearth HDX 8.9
  • Amazon Hearth HD 10
  • OnePlus 8T and eight Professional
  • Sony Xperia OnePlus 7 Professional, 5 II and eight Professional 
  • iPhone 11, 11 Professional, 11 Professional Max, 12 , 13 and 13 Professional Max
  • Samsung Galaxy S21, S20, S10+, S10 and Notice 9 
  • Huawei P20, P30 and P20 Professional 

You may also get Dolby Atmos on:

  • JVC XP-EXT1 headphones
  • Xbox Wi-fi Headsets

Moreover, Apple Music’s new Spatial Audio means that you can take heed to Atmos content material with any headphones


Atmos isn’t for movie fans. It’s also accessible for the music business.

Dolby Atmos Music just about does the identical factor as Atmos does for cinema. It delivers music in a 3D soundscape.

Presently, Amazon Music, Tidal and Apple Music provide essentially the most intensive assortment of Dolby Atmos Music.

Is Dolby Atmos Costly?

How a lot you’ll spend for Dolby Atmos primarily will depend on your units.

Headphones and cell units supporting the know-how aren’t as costly. Nonetheless, Atmos-enabled audio system and TVs have a hefty price ticket.

Most Dolby Atmos soundbars from Bose and Sonos, for example, value round $900. Excessive-end choices value greater than that.

Dolby Atmos devices are costly for 2 causes:

  • Licensing for the Atmos certification is expensive
  • Atmos requires extra audio system to obtain immersive sound know-how

Over the previous few years, Dolby has made efforts to make Atmos appropriate with as many merchandise as potential. It needs to make the know-how as widespread as Stereo sounds, which implies it goals to be rather a lot cheaper. 

The right way to Get Dolby Atmos in Your Dwelling

Dolby and residential theater manufacturers have stepped as much as introduce extra merchandise that help Atmos.

Soundbars, for example, have gotten more and more appropriate with Atoms movie soundtracks. Some now embrace upward-firing audio system designed to direct sound towards the ceiling.

Different soundbars reproduce the Atmos impact just about utilizing digital processing.

When you’ve got a encompass speaker setup in your house, one of the simplest ways to expertise immersive, object-based audio is so as to add up-firing audio system. These Atmos-enabled audio system rebound pontificate the ceiling to ship the identical impact as overhead audio system.

The great thing about that is that you simply gained’t need to drill holes in your ceiling because of Atmos top virtualization.

You’ll additionally want an AV receiver that may decode Atmos recordsdata so to expertise Atmos from a encompass speaker setup. Thankfully, many AV receivers help Dolby Atmos.

Whilst you gained’t recreate the complete 64-speaker theater setup with these AV receivers, you possibly can nonetheless take pleasure in Atmos in your house.

Most house Atmos AV receivers can reproduce 128 audio objects with as few as seven audio system. Plus, if you wish to go all out, you possibly can go for an AV receiver that helps as much as 34 audio system.

Would you like to not add up-firing audio system to your present setup? If that’s the case, you possibly can go for speaker modules to rework your present setup into an Atom-enabled system.

You’ll solely want to position the modules on prime of your present speaker so as to add the overhead performance.

Alternatively, you possibly can mount the precise overhead audio system in your ceiling.

Needless to say two overhead audio system will ship a robust and satisfying impact. Nonetheless, 4 audio system offers you one of the best sound high quality.

Dolby states that for one of the best Atmos expertise, you shouldn’t use greater than 12 audio system.

Suitable Units

Thankfully, most units with an HDMI connection are Atmos appropriate.

Audio system

For starters, there are several types of Dolby Atmos audio system. These embrace reflective, up-firing or add-on audio system and ceiling-mounted, down-firing audio system.

A number of the most sought-after Dolby Atmos audio system embrace:

  • Elac Debut 2.0 A4.2
  • Sony SSCSE
  • Pioneer SP-T22A-LR
  • NHT Atmos Mini
  • Klipsch RP-140SA
  • Onkyo SKH-410


Atmos-enabled soundbars provide a extra inexpensive means of experiencing this know-how in your house.

A number of the greatest Dolby Atmos soundbars embrace:

  • Sonos Beam Gen 2
  • Sonos Arc
  • Bluesound Pulse Soundbar+
  • Sony HT-A7000
  • Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar
  • Sony HT-A9 speaker system

TVs and Media Gamers

For one of the best Atmos expertise along with your tv, you’ll have to direct the sound output to an AV receiver or soundbar.

To do that, you’ll want an HDMI ARC connection and Dolby Digital Plus audio help.

Most newer TVs will work completely, however any mannequin earlier than 2018 might have issues.

Prime-rated Dolby Atmos TVs embrace:

  • LG CX
  • Vizio V-Sequence
  • Vizio OLED
  • LG GX
  • Sony X950G

One of the best Dolby Atmos-enabled streaming media gamers embrace:

  • Apple TV 4K 32GB (2nd Era)
  • NVIDIA – SHIELD Android TV Professional – 16GB
  • Chromecast with Google TV – 4K
  • Roku Extremely 2022 4K/HDR/Dolby Imaginative and prescient streaming Machine
  • Sony – UBP-X700/M streaming participant

Top Virtualization

Virtualization, at its core, means the act of making a digital model of one thing.

With this know-how, it refers back to the potential to create a digital Atmos expertise with commonplace, non-Atmos enabled {hardware}.

Dolby Atmos top virtualization is an revolutionary know-how. It makes use of digital sign processing to create the sensation of overhead sound in audio system at a listener’s top.

The know-how makes use of state-of-the-art top cue filters. These simulate the pure spectral data a listener’s ears obtain from audio coming from over.

For that reason, you don’t need to mount Atmos-enabled audio system in your ceiling.

Atmos top virtualization helps a number of configurations. As an illustration, the know-how means that you can use two to seven listen-level channels to create the feeling of two or 4 overhead audio system.

Top virtualization makes it potential to expertise Atmos with out burning by way of your pockets for high-end soundbars and Atmos-enabled audio system.


The way forward for house audio is immersive, and Dolby Atmos is opening up new potentialities for sound designers to create a extra real looking audio expertise.

Higher but, Atmos top virtualization know-how is making Atmos extra inexpensive.

All it is advisable do is get the appropriate gear to expertise immersive sound as you have got by no means earlier than.


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