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Setting up Dolby Digital Plus (Dolby Atmos)

What is Dolby Digital Plus (Dolby Atmos)?

Dolby Atmos enables height information within an audio mix so individual sound elements can be precisely placed and moved within a three dimensional space, creating a more immersive sound mix on selected Ultra HD content.

What's available?

Dolby Atmos is currently available on live Ultra HD broadcasts of English Premier League matches, selected Ultra HD Sky Cinema downloads and at times, selected Box Sets from Sky One and Sky Atlantic (if you have the Sky Signature or Sky Ultimate TV packages).

Dolby Atmos, where available, will be mentioned in the programme synopsis area as seen below:


Dolby Atmos is not available via TV apps on Sky Q, such as Disney+, Netflix etc. If you want to experience Dolby Atmos while using these, you'll need to switch to the app on your Smart TV.

What do I need to listen to Dolby Digital Plus (Dolby Atmos)?

You'll need a:

  • Dolby Atmos system
  • Sky Q 2TB or Sky Q 1TB UHD box
  • Sky Q Ultra HD add on or Sky Q experience subscription

Dolby Atmos audio services will only be available on selected Ultra HD content.

Enable the setting

  1. Press Home on your Sky Q remote, select Settings, and then Setup.
  2. Choose Audio Visual, then Digital audio output HDMI and set it to Dolby Digital Plus.

Once enabled you'll receive Dolby Atmos enabled content (where available) if you're connected via HDMI to a sound system that supports Dolby Atmos.

Possible Problems:

When Dolby Digital Plus is enabled, Optical Output will be disabled.

If your Sky Q box is connected to a system that does not support Dolby Digital Plus you may experience a loss of sound or when listening the mix may not sound as intended.

If you experience any of these issues we recommend the HDMI digital audio setting is set to Dolby Digital or Normal.

Example of Dolby Atmos sound setups


Everything on Netflix with Dolby Vision, HDR, and/or Dolby Atmos

[Updated 7/2/2021]

With 4K HDR TVs and immersive audio gaining popularity at home in the last year, streaming platforms have been racing to provide more HDR10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos content to enjoy. However, few of the many platforms currently available continue to expand their 4K HDR library with immersive audio as robust and diverse as Netflix.

With the purchase of a Netflix Premium subscription, users are granted access to the provider's own assortment of original series and movies. As of 2020, virtually all current-gen smart TVs and media players are 4K HDR compatible, and most even come with a Netflix app already installed. For non-Dolby Vision TVs, such as Samsung products, video playback defaults to HDR10, but some manufacturers like LG, Sony, VIZIO, Panasonic, TCL, Hisense and Toshiba Fire TVs support Dolby Vision on a majority of their latest models. Other devices available with Dolby Vision playback are listed below.

At the same time, Netflix Dolby Atmos playback is currently supported on most Blu-ray and Ultra HD players using the app, as well as through the TVs mentioned above via an HDMI ARC connection. The object-based audio format can also be enjoyed via Apple TV 4K with tvOS 12 or later, LG OLED TVs, Sony BRAVIA Android TVs, the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Pro, the latest Amazon Fire TV products, the 2020 Roku Ultra, the Windows 10 app (requires Windows 10 RS3 Build 16299 or later), or the Xbox game consoles from the One to the Series X

Netflix makes it relatively simple to find Dolby Vision/HDR10 and Dolby Atmos content on compatible devices directly within the platform's app. Users simply need to search for "HDR" or "Dolby Atmos" to pull up a full list of titles. With that in mind, here's our handy list of Everything on Netflix currently available in Dolby Vision and/or Dolby Atmos.

Note: Format support applies to all seasons of a show unless a specific season is specified. 

TitleDolby Vision/HDR10Dolby Atmos
13 Reasons Why Yes (Season 2, 3)No
22 JulyYesNo
6 UndergroundYesYes
A Babysitter's Guide to Monster HuntingYesYes
A Futile and Stupid GestureYesNo
A Series of Unfortunate EventsYes (Season 2, 3)No
Abstract the Art of DesignYesNo
Adam Sandler: 100% FreshNoYes
After LifeYesNo
Alexa & KatieYesNo
All About the WashingtonsYesNo
Altered CarbonYesYes
Always Be My MaybeYesNo
America: The Motion PictureYesNo
American Vandal Yes (Season 2)No
Angel Has FallenYesNo
Animal WorldYesNo
Another LifeYesYes
Army of the DeadYesYes
Arrested Development Yes (Season 5)No
Atypical Yes (Season 2)No
Behind Her EyesYesYes
Best. Worst. Weekend. Ever.YesNo
Between Two Ferns: The MovieYesNo
Bird Box YesYes
Black Mirror Yes (Season 4, 5)No
Black SummerYesYes
Blood of ZeusYesNo
Blue MiracleYesYes
Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our PlanetYesNo
Chasing CoralYesNo
Chef's TableYesYes (Season 5, 6)
Chef's Table FranceYesNo
Chilling Adventures of SabrinaYesNo
Concrete CowboyYesNo
Cosmos LaundromatYesNo
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil HotelYesNo
Criminal: FranceYesYes
Criminal: GermanyYesYes
Criminal: SpainYesYes
Criminal: United KingdomYesYes
Dancing with the BirdsYesYes
DaredevilYesYes (Season 3)
Dave Chappelle: Sticks & StonesYesYes
David Attenborough: A Life on Our PlanetYesYes
Dead to MeYesNo
Death NoteYesYes
Designated SurvivorYes (Season 3)No
The Devil All the TimeYesYes
Dirty JohnYesNo
Dolemite is My NameYesYes
El CaminoYesYes
EliteYes (Season 2)No
Ellen Degeneres: RelatableYesYes
Emily in ParisYesNo
Enola HolmesYesYes
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire SagaYesNo
Everything SucksYesNo
Falling Inn LoveYesNo
Family ReunionYesNo
Fate: The Winx SagaYesYes
[email protected]_YesNo
Fear Street Part One: 1994YesYes
Finding 'OhanaYesYes
Fire ChasersYesNo
Firefly LaneYesYes
First They Killed My FatherYesNo
Flavors of Youth International VersionYesNo
Formula 1: Drive to SurviveNoYes
Friends from CollegeYesNo
Fresh Fried and CrispyYesNo
Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias One Show Fits AllYesNo
Game Over, ManYesNo
Ginny & GeorgiaYesYes
GlowYesYes (Season 3)
Godzilla 1 Planet of the MonstersYesNo
Godzilla 2 City on the Edge of BattleYesNo
Godzilla 3 The Planet EaterYesNo
Good SamYesYes
Grace and FrankieYes (Season 5, 6)No
Hibana SparkYesNo
High Flying BirdYesNo
High on the HogYesNo
Hillbilly ElegyYesYes
Hold the DarkYesYes
How it EndsNoYes
Hubie HalloweenYesYes
Huge in FranceYesNo
I Care a Lot.YesNo
Ibiza Love DrunkYesYes
Insatiable YesNo
In the Shadow of the MoonYesYes
In the Tall GrassYesYes
Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill GatesNoYes
Iron FistYesYes (Season 2)
Jeff Dunham: Beside HimselfYesNo
Jessica JonesYesYes (Season 2)
Jupiter's LegacyYesYes
Kevin Hart: IrresponsibleYesYes
Knights of SidoniaYesNo
Knights of the Zodiac: Saint SeiyaYesNo
Life in Color with David AttenboroughYesNo
Living With YourselfYesNo
Locke & KeyYesYes
Lost GirlsYesYes
Lost in SpaceYesYes
Love, Death & RobotsYesYes
LuciferYes (Season 4, 5)No
Luke CageYesYes (Season 2)
Ma Rainey's Black BottomYesYes
Malibu RescueYesNo
Malibu Rescue: The SeriesYesNo
Marco PoloYesNo
Marco Polo One Hundred EyesYesNo
Mayday LifeNoYes
Medal of HonorYesNo
Money HeistYesNo
Move to HeavenYesNo
Moving ArtYes (Season 3)No
Mowgli: Legend of the JungleYesYes
Mr. IglesiasYesNo
Murder by the CoastYesNo
Murder MysteryYesNo
Narcos: MexicoYesYes (Season 2)
Next GenYesYes
Night on EarthYesYes
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial KillerYesNo
Nikki Glaser: Bangin'NoYes
No Good NickYesNo
October FactionYesYes
On My BlockYesNo
Outer BanksYesYes
Our PlanetYesYes
Our Planet: Behind The ScenesYesYes
Our Souls at NightYesNo
Outlaw KingYesYes
Outside the WireYesYes
Over the MoonYesYes
Pacific Rim: The BlackYesNo
Peaky BlindersYes (Season 5)Yes
Pee-Wee's Big Holiday YesNo
Penguin TownYesNo
Point BlankYesYes
Power ProjectYesYes
Prank EncountersYes (Season 2)No
Prince of PeoriaYesNo
Prince of Peoria: A Christmas Moose MiracleYesNo
Raising DionYesYes
Ready to MingleYesNo
Reversing RoeYesNo
Rilakkuma and KaoruYesNo
Rim of the WorldYesYes
Russian DollYesNo
Salt Fat Acid HeatYesNo
Samurai GourmetYesNo
Sandy WexlerYesNo
Santa Clarita DietYesNo
Selena: The SeriesYesYes
Secret ObsessionYesYes
Seven SecondsYesNo
Sex EducationYesNo
Shadow and BoneYesYes
She's Gotta Have ItYesNo
Simon Amstell: Set FreeYesNo
Sky RojoYesNo
Somebody Feed Phil Yes (Part 2)No
Space ForceYesYes
Space SweepersYesYes
Spenser ConfidentialYesYes
Springsteen on BroadwayYesNo
Step SistersNoYes
Stranger Things Yes (Season 2, 3)No
Street Food: AsiaYesYes
Street Food: Latin AmericaYesYes
Super DragsNoYes
Sweet & SourYesYes
Sweet ToothYesNo
Take Your PillsYesNo
Tales of the CityYesNo
Tall GirlYesNo
Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium TourYesYes
Team KaylieYesNo
The Ballad of Buster ScruggsYesNo
The Black GodfatherYesYes
The Chosen OneNoYes
The Christmas ChroniclesYesYes
The Cloverfield ParadoxYesYes
The CrewYesYes
The CrownYesNo
The Dark Crystal: Age of ResistanceYesYes
The DefendersYesNo
The DigYesYes
The Dirt: Motley CrueNoYes
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCannYesNo
The Do-OverYesNo
The Edge of DemocracyNoYes
The End of the F***ing WorldYes (Season 2)Yes
The Final TableYesNo
The Good CopYesNo
The Great HackNoYes
The Haunting of Bly ManorYesYes
The Haunting of Hill HouseYesYes
The HighwaymenYesYes
The House of FlowersYesNo
The I-LandYesYes
The Ice RoadYesNo
The InnocentYesNo
The InnocentsYesYes
The Innocent ManYesNo
The IrishmanYesYes
The IrregularsYesYes
The KingYesYes
The Kominsky MethodYesNo
The LaundromatYesNo
The Letter for the KingYesYes
The Mitchells vs the MachinesYesYes
The Naked DirectorYesYes
The OAYesNo
The Old GuardYesYes
The OrderYesYes
The Other Side of the WindYesNo
The PoliticianYesNo
The PunisherYesYes
The Queen's GambitYesNo
The Ranch Yes (Part 5)No
The Ridiculous 6YesNo
The RitualNoYes
The Siege of JadotvilleYesNo
The SocietyYesYes
The SerpentYesNo
The SpyYesNo
The Trial of the Chicago 7YesNo
The Two PopesYesYes
The Umbrella AcademyYesNo
The UnlistedYesNo
The UpshawsYesNo
The Wandering EarthYesYes
The Week OfYesNo
The WitcherYesYes
The Wolf's CallNoYes
The Woman in the WindowYesYes
The World's Most Amazing Vacation RentalsYesNo
Things Heard & SeenYesYes
Thunder ForceYesYes
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and MadnessYesYes
Top BoyYesYes
TravelersYes (Season 3)Yes
Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can FlyNoYes
Trevor Noah: Son of PatriciaYesNo
Tribes of EuropaYesNo
Triple FrontierYesYes
Turn Up CharlieYesYes
Unnatural SelectionYesNo
Unsolved Mysteries (2020)YesYes
V WarsYesYes
Velvet BuzzsawYesYes
Virgin RiverYesYes
War MachineYesNo
Warrior NunYesYes
We Can Be HeroesYesNo
Westside: A Music Reality SeriesNoYes
When They See UsYesYes
Who Killed Sara?YesYes
Wine CountryYesNo
Wish DragonYesYes
Wu AssassinsYesYes
Yes DayYesYes

For more HDR streaming options, be sure to also check out our handy list of Everything on Amazon Prime Video currently available in HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and/or Dolby Atmos.

See what people are saying about this story in our forums area, or check out other recent discussions.

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If you're looking for the best home theater experience, you've probably considered Dolby Atmos audio, the most cutting-edge "object-based" surround sound format available. 

If you decide you want it, your biggest investment will be the extra money for an Atmos-capable sound bar or an AV receiver with a full complement of surround speakers. But even then you're only halfway there. You also need Atmos TV shows and movies to power it.

Sure, you could invest in standard and 4K Blu-ray discs, many of which have Atmos soundtracks, but streaming is the future of home video. The good news is that the number of streaming services that deliver Atmos has gone up in the last year, and now there are four: Netflix, Apple's iTunes, Walmart's Vudu and Amazon Prime Video. 

The bad news? Not every streamer supports Atmos on every service. Let's break it down.

Wait, what is Atmos?


Dolby Atmos is a surround sound format that goes beyond the 5.1-channels of Dolby Digital to add "height" channels for improved realism. Atmos is a competitor to atmospheric format DTS:X, which has much less disc-based content than Atmos, and no streaming support (yet). 

Although some TVs have Atmos built in, for best results you'll need an Atmos-capable AV receiver and additional "height" speakers beyond the standard center, right, left, sub and surround speakers of a typical home theater setup. Some sound bars like the Sony HT-ST5000 ($1,300), Samsung N850 ($1,000), LG SK10Y ($800) and Vizio SB36512-F6 ($500) will also do Atmos. 

Do you need it? Like most high-end formats, the answer is an emphatic "no." Standard Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound delivers an awesome experience, and even a good pair of stereo speakers or a basic sound bar is enough for many people. But Atmos-capable hardware is getting more affordable, and in some cases the extra height effects and atmospherics can be really cool. 

Now playing:Watch this: Dolby Atmos comes to Apple TV 4K


The big four

Dolby says that between Blu-ray and streaming, more than 500 movies have been created for Atmos in the home. Apple's iTunes has the largest streaming selection, with more than 250 Atmos movies. Vudu also has a very large selection of Atmos movies.

Netflix has more than 100 hours of Atmos content, including Mowgli Legend Of The Jungle, Bird Box and Roma. Amazon is relatively new to the game -- currently only Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan has Atmos -- but don't be surprised if its Atmos support increases soon too.

But there's a catch. Just because a streaming device or Smart TV has Atmos support doesn't mean you can actually watch Atmos on it. Here's a look at which of the major streaming devices deliver Atmos today, on which apps.

Dolby Atmos streaming support

Netflix iTunes Vudu Prime Video
Apple TV 4K Yes Yes Yes Yes
Roku No No Yes Yes
Amazon Fire TV No No No Yes
Nvidia Shield No No Yes Yes
Chromecast Ultra No No Yes No
Xbox One Yes No Yes Yes
Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K FTW

If you want to get Atmos from the most possible services, Apple TV 4K ($160 at Best Buy) is your best bet. It's the only device to include iTunes, the largest source of Atmos movies, and it's one of only two to support Netflix in Atmos.

Coming in second is the Xbox One, with three out of four Atmos streaming sources. Note that Sony PlayStation 4 doesn't support Atmos at all.

The biggest surprise -- and frustration -- for people looking to stream Atmos is that aside from those two devices, no standalone streamer in the US supports Atmos from Netflix. I asked a Netflix representative why and was told: "We have certain product and technical requirements for Dolby Atmos support, and we've continued to add more devices over time since launching it a year and a half ago."

Note that the above list doesn't include Smart TVs. Buying a new 4K HDR TV to get Atmos is a lot more expensive than just buying a new streamer (even a $180 Apple TV 4K), but it's worth noting that many newer Smart TVs' streaming apps support Atmos too.

For example, 2017 and newer LG TVs, as well as 2018 and newer Sony TVs, support Atmos from Netflix. Whether Atmos support will be included in 2019 Samsung TVs with iTunes is unclear; we asked Samsung but did not hear back by press time.

Dolby says it's working to expand Atmos support, so expect the list above, and the number of available titles, to continue to grow. We'll keep the list updated as that happens.

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How to know if you’re actually getting Dolby Atmos sound

With its object-based sound system, Dolby Atmos is now the benchmark for at-home surround sound. Though it took some time to catch on, the format is now supported by Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. So, if you’ve got Dolby Atmos speakers, a Dolby Atmos-compatible AV receiver or soundbar, and access to Dolby Atmos content, you should be hearing Dolby Atmos sound, right?

Well, as it turns out, no, not necessarily. To understand if your Atmos system is delivering true Atmos sound — and not just really good 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 surround — you need to understand how Dolby Atmos works with all of your media sources and components. It’s a bit technical, but we’re going to make it as simple as possible.

What exactly is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos isn’t actually a soundtrack at all. It’s metadata that is used by compatible audio gear to control which speakers are reproducing certain sounds. A good example is when a helicopter flies overhead in a movie. Without Atmos information, the sound of the helicopter is embedded in one, or many, of the surround sound channels. But so are all of the other sounds you’re hearing.

With Dolby Atmos, the helicopter is treated as its own discrete object, and a Dolby Atmos receiver can use that information to separate the helicopter sound from the background sounds and move it independently from one speaker to another. The result is a very convincing 3D placement of sounds for a much more immersive movie experience.

And what about Dolby Atmos Music?

Though it’s still just getting a toehold on streaming music services, Dolby Atmos Music does for music what Dolby Atmos does for movies. It’s impressive when you hear it, but to get it you’ll need a specific combination of apps and Dolby Atmos-capable devices. Chances are good that if you’re equipped for Dolby Atmos movies, you’re ready for Dolby Atmos Music, but to be sure, check out our full Dolby Atmos Music explainer.

So if Dolby Atmos is just metadata, what am I listening to?

As we said, Dolby Atmos isn’t sound, it’s information about sound. That information piggybacks on top of existing surround sound signals. At the moment, Dolby Atmos can only do this with two types of surround sound signals:

  • Dolby TrueHD
  • Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby TrueHD is a lossless, very high-bandwidth format that is currently only available on Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray discs. It’s transmitted over an HDMI cable, from a Blu-ray player to an AV receiver, TV, or a soundbar that can pass through the video. Atmos via TrueHD is also supported by some media player apps, like Plex, that run on the Nvidia Shield TV family of streaming devices.

The combination of Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD is the best possible surround sound you can get at home.

More on Dolby Atmos

Dolby Digital Plus is a lossy, lower-bandwidth format that has been optimized for use with streaming services and features like B-D Live. It’s currently supported by a wide range of devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, and streaming boxes like Apple TV and Roku. Dolby Atmos over Dolby Digital Plus will be the way most people experience Atmos.

Not only is it the format used by Netflix and Amazon, but it’s also the only version of Atmos that is compatible with HDMI ARC (more on this later).

Files, apps, and hardware

The tricky thing about Dolby Atmos is that, for it to work, every ingredient in your home theater setup has to support Atmos. In other words:

  • The movie you’re playing — whether it’s physical, downloaded — or streamed, has to be encoded with Dolby Atmos (via Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus).
  • The hardware you’re playing it on has to be able to decode Dolby Atmos or pass it along to a Dolby Atmos-capable sound system without altering it. This is known as “pass-through.”
  • The app you’re using — e.g., Plex, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, etc. — must be capable of delivering Dolby Atmos data to your playback device.
  • And of course, your TV, A/V receiver or soundbar must be Dolby Atmos compatible, if that’s the device you’re using to hear audio.

Another potential gotcha: Just because your app of choice supports Dolby Atmos on device X, that doesn’t mean it necessarily supports it on device Y. For instance, Plex running on an Nvidia Shield TV can pass through Atmos over Dolby TrueHD, and over Dolby Digital Plus, but Plex on an Apple TV 4K will only handle Atmos over Dolby Digital Plus, and Plex on a 4th-gen Apple TV can’t pass through Dolby Atmos at all.

Until recently, the Apple TV app for LG’s WebOS smart TVs could only provide 5.1 Dolby Digital, however, a June 2020 update added Atmos support.

How to know if you get Dolby Atmos

If you’re playing an Atmos-encoded Ultra HD Blu-ray on an Ultra HD Blu-ray player that’s connected to an Atmos-capable TV, soundbar, or AV receiver via HDMI, we can pretty much guarantee you’re getting the full Dolby Atmos experience. We can’t say the same about some other device combinations.

Here are a few examples where you will not get Dolby Atmos sound:

  • Playing an Atmos-encoded Netflix movie on an Apple TV HD (4th gen, non-4K) connected to an Atmos-capable A/V receiver. In this scenario, the Apple TV is the weakest link: It doesn’t support Dolby Atmos. You’ll be limited to 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.
  • Playing any Dolby Atmos-encoded content on a Roku Streaming Stick+ that’s attached to a Dolby Atmos capable TV, with an Atmos soundbar connected via optical cable. The obstacle here is the optical connection to the soundbar. You’ve got Atmos content on a device that can support Atmos, on a TV that can pass through Atmos, but because you’re using an optical cable instead of HDMI ARC, the TV has to down-convert the audio to Dolby Digital 5.1 (otherwise known as EAC), because optical connections cannot cope with the higher bandwidth requirements of Dolby Digital Plus.
  • Using the built-in Plex client on an LG OLED TV to play a movie encoded with Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Atmos, with an Atmos soundbar connected via HDMI ARC. This is a really frustrating one — all of the sources and components are Atmos-capable, but because the Plex client on the LG TV isn’t yet optimized to handle TrueHD/Atmos, it down-converts the audio to Dolby 5.1 — even though both the TV itself and the connected soundbar could have easily handled the TrueHD/Atmos track.

Perplexed by Netflix

We recently discovered an extremely vexing situation for Netflix users hoping to enjoy Dolby Atmos sound. The Netflix app currently requires that playback devices be capable of decoding Dolby Atmos natively, instead of simply being able to passthrough Dolby Atmos to an Atmos-capable soundbar or A/V receiver.

While several TVs meet this criterion, like 2018 or newer Sony Android TV models, 2017 or newer LG OLED TVs, 2019 or newer Toshiba TVs, and 2018 or newer Vizio TVs, we only know of three streaming devices that can do it: Apple TV 4K, Nvidia Shield TV (2019) and Nvidia Shield TV Pro (2019).

Using the Netflix app on an Nvidia Shield TV (pre-2019) or select Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices  — even though they can pass through Dolby Atmos — will still limit you to 5.1 surround sound.

There’s no real logic to Netflix’s insistence on Dolby Atmos decoding, as none of these devices can output audio without the help of a device with speakers, whether that’s a TV, soundbar, or A/V receiver.

Plus, Netflix makes the task of identifying which devices natively decode Dolby Atmos very difficult, because it does not maintain a master list of these devices. The only way to know if the Netflix app for a particular device supports Atmos is to search for it within Netflix’s help pages.


Unless you are satisfied with your TV’s internal speakers, HDMI is a requirement for Dolby Atmos. Whether your Dolby Atmos content is coming from a Blu-ray disc, a streaming box, or even from a built-in app on your TV, the only way to get that signal to your AV receiver or soundbar is via HDMI. Both Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus contain more data than a digital optical connection (TOSlink) can handle.

If you want to transmit Dolby Atmos from your TV to your A/V receiver or soundbar, your TV must be equipped with HDMI ARC.

If you’re using an optical cable to connect your TV to your soundbar or your AV receiver, these signals will be converted into a simpler surround format, like Dolby Digital 5.1, before they get transmitted. The bottom line, is that while the sound you hear will still be really good, it won’t be Atmos.

Do I need Dolby Atmos speakers?

Initially, Dolby Atmos at home required the use of “height” channel speakers (the “.2” or “.4” in the middle of the speaker configuration description), but that is no longer the case. In addition to the TV speaker-based Atmos available on some TVs, you can get Dolby Atmos soundbars, which include height channels.

However, there’s also something called “virtualized” Dolby Atmos, which can create a simulation of a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos mix from as few as two front-facing left and right channels. How good is this virtualized effect? It varies based on the number of channels that are being virtualized and the quality of the speakers themselves.

It can, however, be awesome. Sennheiser’s superb Ambeo Soundbar possesses dedicated up-firing drivers for the height channels but uses its array of forward-facing drivers to simulate the surround channels. It’s pricey, but it delivers a very convincing virtualized Atmos experience.

Though still not quite as good as a system with dedicated Atmos speakers, for many folks the simplicity of a single soundbar plus a subwoofer will be worth it.

How do I know if I’m getting Dolby Atmos?

Onkyo 7.2-channel 4K AV Dolby Atmos receiver

Because Dolby Atmos systems will upmix any surround sound signals they get to use all of your speakers, it can sometimes be tricky to know if you’re getting true Dolby Atmos or upmixed 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. From an audible point of view, if you’re getting Atmos, you should be able to detect sounds as they appear to move from one area of the room to another. Rainfall, bullet ricochets, and whizzing cars are all good candidates for this.

They won’t just move from front to back or side to side; they should also occasionally sound as though they’re coming from overhead, or somewhere above the screen.

Still not certain? The one surefire way to confirm Dolby Atmos is working is to check the information panel on the front of your A/V receiver or your soundbar (if it has one, or perhaps an on-screen display). It should display the kind of audio signal it’s currently working with, which is a clear indicator. If the display doesn’t specifically say “Atmos,” or “Dolby Atmos,” then the odds are that you’re not getting Atmos. Checking the display is likely easier than queuing up the right soundtrack for a rainfall or ricochet sound check. 

One more thing …

We have one last troubleshooting trick up our sleeves for those of you who still can’t get Atmos to appear despite exhausting all the protocols mentioned above. TVs and streaming devices have different settings for their digital audio outputs. Most of the time, they’re set to “auto” by default, which is what you want.

But sometimes, they end up in PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) mode, for whatever reason. Perhaps you have troubleshot your device every way you know how and still can’t pick up Dolby Atmos. In that case, we recommend you navigate to settings to see if it’s in PCM mode. If it’s set to PCM, change it to Auto or Bitstream. Not all setups are compatible with Dolby Atmos, so if this doesn’t work either, you might have an incompatible system – for example, a Netflix configuration with a soundbar or receiver.

Achieving proper Dolby Atmos requires a bit of diligence and technical know-how on your part, but it’s totally worth it. The result is a clearer, richer sound that surpasses 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 surround. We have created the diagram above to provide you with the proper guidelines to ensure that your Atmos setup goes off without a hitch. Once you dial in your files, hardware, apps, and settings, you should be able to achieve impressive Dolby Atmos sound that’s worth all the effort.

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Atmos symbol dolby

Dolby Atmos

Object-based surround sound technology

Dolby Atmos.png

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology developed by Dolby Laboratories. It expands on existing surround sound systems by adding height channels, allowing sounds to be interpreted as three-dimensional objects.[1] Following the release of Atmos for the cinema market, a variety of consumer technologies have been released under the Atmos brand, using in-ceiling and up-firing speakers.


Dolby Atmos Monitor at SoundFirm, Melbourne, Australia

The first Dolby Atmos installation was in the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, for the premiere of Brave in June 2012.[2] Throughout 2012, it saw a limited release of about 25 installations worldwide, with an increase to 300 locations in 2013.[3] There were over 6,000 locations as of July 2020.[update][citation needed] Dolby Atmos has also been adapted to a home theater format and is the audio component of Dolby Cinema. Most electronic devices since 2016, as well as smartphones after 2017, have been enabled for Dolby Atmos recording and mixing. The full set of technical specifications for Dolby Digital Plus with Dolby Atmos are standardized and published in ETSI TS 103 420.[4]

In 2016 Power was the first television show natively mixed and broadcast in Atmos for its third season. Though in the same year, Game of Thrones up-mixed their previous 5.1 presentations for the Blu-ray reissue.[5]R.E.M.'s 1992 album Automatic for the People was the first major music release with its 25th anniversary reissue in 2017.[6]


Old Dolby Atmos logo introduced in 2012

Dolby Atmos technology allows up to 128 audio tracks plus associated spatial audio description metadata (most notably, location or pan automation data) to be distributed to theaters for optimal, dynamic rendering to loudspeakers based on the theater capabilities. Each audio track can be assigned to an audio channel, the conventional format for distribution, or to an audio "object." Dolby Atmos in theaters has a 9.1 "bed" channels for ambience stems or center dialogue, leaving 118 tracks for objects.[7] Atmos for home in films has only 1 bed channel in LFE and usually 11 dynamic objects. In Atmos games ISF (Intermediate Spatial format) is used, that supports 32 total active objects (for 7.1.4 bed 20 additional dynamic objects can be active[8]). Each object specifies its apparent source location in the theater, as a set of three-dimensional rectangular coordinates relative to the defined audio channel locations and theater boundaries.[9]

Dolby Atmos home theaters can be built upon conventional 5.1 and 7.1 layouts. For Dolby Atmos, the nomenclature differs slightly: a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos system is a conventional 7.1 layout with four overhead or Dolby Atmos enabled speakers.[10]

Dolby Atmos content is authored using compatible digital audio workstation software (Dolby supplies a plug-in for Pro Tools) or a suitably equipped large format audio mixing console such as AMS Neve's DFC or Harrison's MPC5.

During playback, each theater's Dolby Atmos system renders the audio objects in real time based on the known locations of the loudspeakers present in the target theater, such that each audio object is heard as originating from its designated set of coordinates. By way of contrast, conventional multichannel technology essentially burns all the source audio tracks into a fixed number of channels during post-production. This has conventionally forced the re-recording mixer to make assumptions about the playback environment that may not apply very well to a particular theater. The addition of audio objects allows the mixer to be more creative, to bring more sounds off the screen, and be confident of the results.

The first-generation cinema hardware, the "Dolby Atmos Cinema Processor," supports up to 128 discrete audio tracks and up to 64 unique speaker feeds.[11] The technology was initially created for commercial cinema applications, and was later adapted to home cinema.[12][13] In addition to playing back a standard 5.1 or 7.1 mix using loudspeakers grouped into arrays, the Dolby Atmos system can also give each loudspeaker its own unique feed based on its exact location, thereby enabling many new front, surround, and even ceiling-mounted height channels for the precise panning of select sounds such as a helicopter or rain.

Consumer implementations[edit]

Home theater[edit]

At the end of June 2014, Dolby Labs' hardware partners announced that Dolby Atmos would soon be coming to home theaters.[14] Dolby Atmos enabled movies are available with Kaleidescape's movie players.[15][16]

Manufacturers such as Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer, and Yamaha announced products that brought Dolby Atmos into home theaters. Products offered range from premium home cinema receivers and preamplifiers to mid-range home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) packages.[17][18][19][20][21][22] On June 4, 2018, Apple announced that tvOS 12 for AppleTV 4K would support Dolby Atmos when released in Fall 2018.

The first movie to be released on Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos was Transformers: Age of Extinction.[23][24] The first video game to use Dolby Atmos was Star Wars: Battlefront with a special agreement between EA and Dolby Laboratories.[25][26] This game uses HDMI bitstreaming from the PC to deliver Atmos audio to consumer Audio-Visual Receivers. Overwatch and Battlefield 1 for PC also have Atmos audio.[27] On the Xbox One, Crackdown 3 and Gears of War 4 support Atmos.[28]

Dolby Atmos for Music, an audio-only iteration of the format was adopted by streaming music services Tidal and Amazon Music in December 2019.[29]

Sennheiser launched a new soundbar with built-in Dolby Atmos technology named AMBEO soundbar at the 2019 CES in Las Vegas.[30] The soundbar utilizes analysis of a room's reflective characteristics to enable a single-unit 5.1.4 setup.[31]

On May 17, 2021, Apple Music announced the addition of spatial audio with support for Dolby Atmos and lossless audio.[32] The feature started rolling out to Apple Music users using Apple devices on June 7, 2021,[33] with Android and Windows support later.

Streaming services like Netflix and HBO Max (only for movies starting with Wonder Woman 1984) used Dolby Atmos.

Implementation and differences from commercial implementations[edit]

Because of limited bandwidth and lack of processing power, Atmos in home theaters is different from cinemas. A spatially-coded substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus or is present as metadata in Dolby MAT 2.0, LPCM like format. This substream is an efficient representation of the full, original object-based mix. This is not a matrix-encoded channel, but a spatially-encoded digital signal with panning metadata. Atmos in home theaters can support 24.1.10 channels, it also can do up to 118 dynamical simultaneous objects with 10 bed channels[34][35] and uses the spatially-encoded object audio substream to mix the audio presentation to match the installed speaker configuration.

In order to reduce the bitrate, nearby objects and speakers are clustered together to form aggregate objects, which are then dynamically panned in the process that Dolby calls spatial coding.[36] The sound of the original objects may be spread over multiple aggregate objects to maintain the power and position of the original objects. The spatial resolution (and hence the strength of the clustering) can be controlled by the filmmakers when they use the Dolby Atmos Production Suite tools. Dolby Digital Plus has also been updated with Atmos extensions.[7]


Dolby Atmos also has headphone implementations for PCs, the Xbox One, the Xbox Series X/S, and mobile phones. They work by using audio processing algorithms to convert the Atmos object metadata into a binaural 360° output using the usual two headphone speakers. This technique is an improvement on the previous Dolby Headphone technology, allowing for infinite channels of sound to be processed into a virtual surround experience.[37]

Windows 10Version 1703 Creators Update added platform-level support for spatial sound processing including both Windows Sonic for Headphones and Dolby Atmos for Headphones.[38] Dolby Atmos for headphones requires a license to function which can be purchased or redeemed inside the Dolby Access app.


Dolby Atmos has smartphone implementations for devices including but not limited to the iPhone XS/XR and later (when running iOS 13 or later[39]), the Razer Phone and Razer Phone 2, the ZTE Axon 7, Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+, Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+, Samsung Note 9, Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy J8, Samsung Galaxy J6, Galaxy S10 series, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Samsung Galaxy A20, Samsung Galaxy A30Samsung Galaxy A10, Samsung Galaxy M20, Samsung Galaxy M30, Samsung Galaxy M30s, Samsung Galaxy M40, Sony Xperia 1, Lenovo K8 Note, Lenovo K5 Note, Huawei Mate P20 Pro, Huawei Pro 30, Poco F3, Realme X2 Pro, Realme X7 Max, Realme XT, Realme 6 pro, Lenovo Vibe K4 note, Nokia 6, Oneplus 8 pro, Oneplus 7 pro, Oneplus 7T, and Oneplus 8T.[40] This implementation uses both the binaural headphone technology and a dual loudspeaker virtual surround sound implementation.


Dolby's first implementation of Atmos in an automobile will be the Lucid Air sedan from Lucid Motors.[41]

See also[edit]

  • A3D, a similar, HRTF-based 3D surround system
  • Ambisonics, a similar spatial sound encoding technique. Nowadays used for some games and VR Audio
  • Auro-3D, a similar, completely channel-based 3D surround system
  • DTS:X, a competing fully object-based system
  • MPEG-H 3D Audio
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi, a competing surround sound "audio holography" system for headphones tuned to ear shape.


  1. ^Morrison, Geoffrey. "Surrounded by Woods all around: Dolby Atmos explained". CNET. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  2. ^Giardina, Carolyn (May 1, 2012). "Peter Jackson Considering Dolby Atmos for 'The Hobbit'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  3. ^"Dolby Atmos Reaches 85-Title Milestone with New Films Announced at ShowEast 2013 - Dolby Laboratories, Inc". Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  4. ^"Work Programme - Work Item Detailed Report". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  5. ^Gustafson, Alice (2015-10-08). "Game of Thrones Becomes First Ever TV Show To Feature Dolby Atmos". Essential Install. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  6. ^"R.E.M.'s Peter Buck Talks 'Automatic for the People' Before 25th Anniversary Reissue: 'I Didn't Expect It to Be a Huge Hit'". Billboard.
  7. ^ ab"Dolby Atmos for the Home Theater"(PDF). October 2016. Archived from the original(PDF) on May 21, 2020. Retrieved 2021-07-06.
  8. ^drewbatgit. "Spatial Sound for Developers - Win32 apps". Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  9. ^Authoring for Dolby Atmos Cinema Sound Manual(PDF) (Third ed.). Dolby Laboratories, Inc. 2014. pp. 69–103. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  10. ^"Dolby Atmos for Home".
  11. ^Hidalgo, Jason (April 26, 2012). "Dolby's Atmos technology gives new meaning to surround sound, death from above". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  12. ^"Dolby Atmos surround sound technology could transform video games". Digital Trends. April 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  13. ^Bolton, Nick (April 24, 2012). "New Dolby Technology to Make Horror Movies Scarier". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  14. ^"Dolby Atmos for home theaters: FAQ". Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  15. ^Hunt, Bill. "Kaleidescape: A Glimpse at the Future of 4K Home Entertainment". Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  16. ^Kronsberg, Matthew (2020-05-29). "Have a Top-Notch Film Experience Without Leaving Home". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  17. ^"Denon Press Release: Denon Unveils New AV Receivers for Dolby Atmos Sound". Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  18. ^"Marantz Press Release: Marantz Unveils New AV Receiver and Preamp/Processors for Dolby Atmos Sound". Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  19. ^"Onkyo Press Release: New Onkyo High-End A/V Components Debut with Dolby Atmos, 4K/60 Hz Video, and Premium Build". Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  20. ^"Onkyo Press Release: Onkyo Unveils Dolby Atmos-Ready HTiB Packages, Speaker Systems, and Base-Model A/V Receiver with HDMI 2.0 and Bluetooth". Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  21. ^"Pioneer Press Release: Pioneer announce Dolby Atmos compatible high-end AV receivers". Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  22. ^"Yamaha Press Release: Dolby Atmos® through the new AVENTAGE RX-A3040 and RX-A2040 AV receivers". Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  23. ^"Press Release: Dolby Atmos Comes to the Home Via Blu-ray and VUDU to Transport Entertainment Enthusiasts Into a New Dimension of Sound". Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  24. ^Webster, Andrew (April 24, 2012). "Dolby Atmos audio hits moviegoers with sound from all directions". Vox Media. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  25. ^"Dolby Atmos Coming to "Star Wars: Battlefront"". SIGNAL. 5 September 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  26. ^Pendlebury, Ty. "The surround sound awakens: How Dolby Atmos makes Star Wars Battlefront a better game". CNET.
  27. ^Yuen, Ced (9 February 2017). "Dolby Atmos may make you a better gamer – here's why". Trusted Reviews.
  28. ^audio, Jon Porter 2017-06-12T02:18:05 162Z Home Cinema. "Crackdown 3 and Gears of War 4 are Xbox's first two Dolby Atmos games". TechRadar.
  29. ^May, Steve (17 December 2019). "Dolby Atmos washes over Tidal HiFi service". Inside CI.
  30. ^"Sennheiser CES 2019". Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  31. ^"Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar". Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  32. ^"Apple Music announces Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  33. ^Welch, Chris (2021-06-07). "Apple Music begins rolling out lossless streaming and Dolby Atmos spatial audio". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  34. ^"Dolby Atmos for Home Theater"(PDF). Dolby Laboratories. December 2018. Archived from the original(PDF) on May 21, 2020. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  35. ^"Dolby Atmos Home Theater Installation Guidelines"(PDF). Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  36. ^"Dolby Atmos Production Suite v3.2 Documentation". Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  37. ^"Atmos for headphones and binaural sound".
  38. ^"Spatial Sound".
  39. ^"iOS 13 - Features". Apple. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  40. ^"Mobile Phones With Dolby".
  41. ^Gartenberg, Chaim (2021-03-17). "Lucid's upcoming electric car will be the first to feature Dolby Atmos". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-04-04.

External links[edit]

Introducing Dolby Atmos Music + Coldplay - Dolby Music

dolby vision dolby atmos logosThere are quite a few movies and episodic series on Netflix that feature Dolby Atmos audio. But getting the immersive audio format on your system isn’t automatic. There are several things that need to be set up before you’ll hear Atmos kick in. But when it does, you’ll notice a huge difference between the 5.1 audio most Netflix titles use. When combined with HDR (via Dolby Vision on Netflix) the two Dolby formats provide best in current consumer home theater technology.

What Is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is an object-based audio format that brings immersive sound effects to movies that would otherwise play in 7.1, 5.1, or 2.1 channels. Mainly, Atmos brings a height element to audio environments in which sound is bounced off the ceiling (or, directly from above with ceiling-mounted speakers) so audio can be heard from overhead and behind.

Obviously, Dolby Atmos in home theaters is a watered-down version of what you would experience in Atmos-enabled cinemas, but there is definitely a noticeable difference at home.

The audio format can be found on Blu-ray Discs, 4k Ultra HD Blu-rays, and digital movies (both in 4k Ultra HD and HD resolution). Netflix,Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, and Vudu all offer Atmos with select titles. Here are some steps that should help you get Dolby Atmos playing on your audio system.

Dolby Atmos logo

A Dolby Atmos Speaker System

To hear Dolby Atmos you need to have an audio system that supports it. This means your speaker system, soundbar, and/or AV receiver can all deliver Atmos. The product box and manual for your device should have the Dolby Atmos logo on it. Note: Most TVs do not have speaker systems that support Dolby Atmos audio although a few select do (see models on Amazon).

Soundbars like the Sony HT-ST5000 and Samsung Q700A Q Series are fairly easy to set up as there are only two speakers: the bar itself and a subwoofer for bass frequencies. However, soundbars can be expanded or purchased with additional speakers. Multi-channel surround systems like the Klipsch Reference 2X R-625FA will require an audio receiver that supports Dolby Atmos, but the quality you get far surpasses that of a 2-speaker soundbar system.

Home theater audio systems can vary according to how many speakers are set up. Atmos systems are usually configured in one of three ways.

1. A soundbar with speakers that angle upward to bounce off ceilings
2. A multi-speaker system with back speakers that bounce sound off the ceiling
3. A multi-speaker system which has speakers installed in the ceiling

See Dolby Atmos sound systems on Amazon.

Connect Your HDMI Cables

First off, make sure you purchase at least 18Gbps HDMI cables for optimal video playback. Audiophiles looking for even higher quality audio should consider faster HDMI cables.

Since most TVs do not support Atmos through their built-in speakers you will need to connect the Smart TV, streaming media player like Apple TV, or Blu-ray player to the HDMI input of a Dolby Atmos-supporting AV receiver or soundbar. Those devices must be able to support Atmos passthrough.

Most audio systems have more than one HDMI input which is ideal for having more than one playback device. For example, HDMI1 and HDMI 2 can be used to connect a streaming media player and 4k Blu-ray player. If you have more devices than the provided HDMI inputs consider getting an HDMI splitter to get all your devices connected to the sound device.

HDMI-Arc is the port you’ll want to use to have your TV re-route sound through the sound system. This ensures the TV audio (from cable, satellite, or over-the-air signal) plays through the sound system and not the TV. We should mention that because Apple TV 4k uses a high bandwidth form of Dolby Atmos it will not work using ARC connections. So, use a normal HDMI port to connect Apple TV 4k separately.

It should be noted there are some Dolby Atmos sound systems that don’t support HDR (Dolby Vision / HDR10 / HDR10+).

Netflix Premium Account

You’ll need to subscribe to the Netflix Premium plan (currently $17.99 per month) that offers 4k Ultra HD resolution and Dolby Atmos audio. The Premium plan also allows streaming on 4 screens at a time and downloading to 4 tablets or phones. You should also set the Playback options to High or Auto to allow Dolby Atmos.

Find a Dolby Atmos Movie, Series or Special

Search for “Dolby Atmos” or refer to our list of 4k Dolby Atmos titles on Netflix. If a movie or show supports Dolby Atmos a small logo (pictured above) will appear under the title. It should be to the right of the icon for Ultra HD resolution. Note that if a title does support Dolby Atmos it may not also show the icon for Dolby Vision. Refer to our list for clarification.

Check Your Sound Bar or Receiver

Your soundbar or AV receiver should indicate when you are playing Dolby Atmos. For example, Samsung displays a blue light on the speaker when Atmos is enabled. Sony shows the label DAtmos or Dolby Atmos on the TV or device when pressing the Display button. If your audio device or speaker does not tell you it’s playing Atmos it probably isn’t.


We hope you are successful in getting Dolby Atmos to work on Netflix. If you still have trouble you can always call the manufacturer of the audio system you are using for help. Look in the device manual or search online for troubleshooting questions and answers.

Shop: Dolby Atmos Sound Systems on Amazon
Also Read: How To Get Dolby Atmos on Apple TV


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Although, occasionally recalling this absurdity, I could not shake off the strange pleasure of realizing that our pretty neighbor saw me naked. Having twisted this thought in my head this way and that, I decided that the atmosphere of the resort was to blame and there.

Was nothing like that here. With a slight trepidation, I thought that I might even flirt a little with Roman, if the opportunity presents itself.

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