Is Dolby Atmos Worth It? What is Dolby Atmos? (2023)

The advancements in audio equipment and software have been astounding in the last few years. Dolby Atmos, a new 3D audio format, has surpassed the capabilities of traditional stereo systems. Slowly but surely, this audio format is changing the way we watch movies, listen to music, and play video games in the comfort of our own homes.”

Dolby Atmos is well worth the investment to get a movie, video game, or film recording to sound as real as possible. By creating a ‘bubble’ in which sound can be heard from all directions, this object-based audio system takes surround sound to a whole new level.

With the help of this article, we’ll explain exactly what Dolby Atmos is and what you need to get started with it. As well as soundbars, home theaters, headphones, and gaming, we’ll focus on Dolby Atmos to see if it’s worth the time and money you’ll invest. Let’s get started now.

What is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is an audio format that utilizes specialized speakers in a home theater setup to provide a cinematic experience like no other. While other audio systems use all speakers to provide recorded sounds, Atmos utilizes just certain speakers to deliver audio tailored to a single object, simulating how that thing would appear in real life.

An aircraft or helicopter is a wonderful example that you may have heard about. It’s as if a jet is flying directly over your head when you use Dolby Atmos technology to listen to an audio track.

This audio format provides a totally immersive experience. Furthermore, the immersive experience creates a “360-degree sound bubble,” in which the sound appears to be coming from all sides.

It is necessary for you to have a Dolby Atmos-enabled movie, a Dolby Atmos-enabled player, and speakers with Dolby Atmos capabilities in your home entertainment room to enjoy Dolby Atmos.

History of Dolby Atmos

For this sound format, Dolby Laboratories was responsible. Initially, it was designed for the theater and the movie theater. In June 2012, Dolby Atmos was installed in a Dolby Theater in Los Angeles for the first time ever.

Dolby Atmos

About 25 further installations were made throughout the globe in the year after the original release. In 2013, there were more than 300 sites. There were 4,400 locations by 2019.

In a Dolby Atmos cinema, a scene may have up to 128 different sound objects represented by it. It is then possible to send these sounds to 64 speakers. Dolby Atmos’ ability to generate a sound bubble that wraps around the listener in all directions may be explained by the sheer size of these figures.

With the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction on Blu-ray in 2014, Dolby Atmos made its Blu-ray debut. AV receivers began to include Atmos in 2015. Around this time, Atmos was first exposed to the general public. With the release of the 2016 Blu-ray edition of Game of Thrones, the program became the first television series to be mixed in Atmos.

Since its inception, Dolby Atmos has grown and spread around the globe. Atmos recording and mixing has been supported on a wide range of electronic devices since 2016. After 2017, smartphones joined the bandwagon.

Naming System

There is a standard nomenclature for home theaters. Dolby Atmos uses the same technique as Dolby Atmos in order to identify or comprehend the components.

For example, 5.1.2 is a Dolby Atmos home theater system. The first digit indicates how many speakers are involved. Second, how many subwoofers are there, and third, how many overhead speakers are there.

Atmos audio systems are easily identified by their use of height-adjustable speakers. Most Dolby Atmos home theater systems use two or four-height speakers to produce the best 3D sound and create a sound bubble that surrounds the listener.

For example, any home theater system that has a three-digit number in its name is likely to incorporate Dolby Atmos speakers.

How Does Dolby Atmos Work?

It is possible to create object-specific audio using Dolby Atmos speakers by mixing information with surround sound. Two formats work with Dolby Atmos: Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus. Dolby Atmos technology has a unique capacity to employ object-specific sounds rather than overall surround sound that combines a variety of sound effects together.

Take a look at this Dolby video to see how Atmos differs from other sound systems. One additional important characteristic of Dolby Atmos is that it can only be used in a home theater environment if all of your system’s components are compatible with this audio standard. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to do in order to get the most out of this incredible sound technology.

Dolby Atmos Content

Atmos-ready material is becoming more and more accessible. Films and video games are also included. Look for an Atmos emblem next to the movie title to identify Dolby Atmos-enabled titles. Dolby Atmos is compatible with over a hundred titles on 4K Blu-ray.

You may also hunt for Dolby Atmos-compatible material on streaming services and apps. It’s possible to watch movies and TV shows on all of these services at the same time. Dolby provides many alternatives for those who aren’t sure where to begin their search for suitable film material.

Dolby Atmos is still an uncommon commodity when it comes to gaming. Dolby Atmos games include Overwatch and Star Wars Battlefront. The Dolby Access app for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs allows players to access more of their gaming material. You can now upmix stereo and 5.1 to Dolby Atmos using this program, which Dolby released recently.

Dolby Atmos Hardware

Atmos requires that the sound equipment you use be compatible. It should be able to either decode Dolby Atmos or send it along to a Dolby Atmos-capable audio system without creating any changes.

The speakers are an essential part of the Dolby Atmos arrangement. An AV receiver or self-powered soundbar must support Dolby Atmos, or your audio won’t sound as good as it might.

Disk players and movie projectors are also essential components of this setup. Xbox One and Dolby Atmos-enabled Blu-ray players are two examples of Dolby Atmos-capable devices.

The cables are also very important. Dolby Digital Plus’s greater bandwidth needs necessitate the use of HDMI ARC rather than optical wires to link two devices. Examine each of these devices in further detail.

Discrete Dolby Atmos Speakers

It is possible to utilize the same speakers for Dolby Atmos if you’re willing and able to rearrange and rewire your current surround sound system.

An Atmos configuration may be readily accommodated by rearranging surround sound speakers such as 7.1 and 9.1. In order to get surround sound, you only need five speakers, and the other speakers (two or four from the 7.1 and 9.1, respectively) may be put upwards into the ceiling.

The overhead speakers may also be supplemented with two or four extra speakers if you have a 5.1 system. Using Dolby Atmos with surround sound speakers is explained in this video:

For the most genuine Atmos experience, choose Dolby Atmos speakers that are discrete. One drawback is the expensive price of the speakers, as is having to rewire and put them in the ceiling. You’ll need a Dolby Atmos-enabled AV receiver for this setup.

Dolby Atmos-enabled Speakers

If you don’t want to deal with cutting and fishing wires in your ceiling, your best bet is to invest in speakers that support Dolby Atmos. These are the speakers that shoot sound upwards, bouncing it off the ceiling to the point where you can hear it. You’ll also need a Dolby Atmos-capable AV receiver to use these speakers.

This setup may be accomplished in one of two ways. Alternatively, you might get a set of integrated speakers. The Atmos modules are placed on the right and left speakers in the front or back.

With this method, you simply need to install “Atmos modules” that sit on top of your current front or rear right and left speakers, as well as ones that stand alone. Speakers like the Sony SSCSE and Klipsch R-26FA Dolby Atmos Floorstanding Speakers are excellent examples.

Sony SSCSE Dolby Atmos Enabled Speakers, Black (Pair), 4 Inch (Pack of 2)
  • Dolby Atmos enabled speaker perfect to provide an extra dimension to your home theater setup
  • Create a robust 5.1.2 home theater setup perfect for Dolby Atmos with the complete range of CS speakers from Sony with 2 SSCSE Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, 2 SSCS3 tower speakers, 1 SSCS8 center channel speaker, 2 SSCS5 bookshelf speakers, and the SACS9 subwoofer
  • Experience breathtaking cinematic sound from audio that flows all around you by adding the SSCSE Dolby Atmos speakers to your home theater
  • Add to any floor/bookshelf speaker by simply placing on top; no mounting required. Perfect fit to be placed on top of both the Sony SSCS3 Floor Standing Speakers and Sony SSCS5 Bookshelf Speakers
  • Perfectly angled so they can be easily mounted on the wall and used as surround speakers

Klipsch R-26FA Dolby Atmos Floorstanding Speaker - Each (Black)
  • Built-in Elevation Channel for Dolby Atmos
  • 1" Aluminum Diaphragm Compression Tweeter
  • Dual 6.5" Copper Spun Magnetically Shielded IMG Woofers
  • 90x90 Square Tractrix Horn
  • Dimensions: 39” x 7.8” x 16.25”

Dolby Atmos-Enabled Soundbars

If you don’t have a lot of room or don’t want to deal with a lot of wires, soundbars are a terrific solution.

Like Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, soundbars with Dolby Atmos support use upward-firing drivers. They act as ceiling speakers, while the rest of the drivers are used as surround sound speakers. The Sony ST5000 7.1.2ch 800W Dolby Atmos Soundbar is an example of this soundbar. Soundbars such as the Sony HT-X9000F Soundbar are affordable.

Sony ST5000 7.1.2ch 800W Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer (HT-ST5000), Surround Sound...
  • Bring powerful, theater-like quality home: Experience Dolby Atmos in a 7.1.2ch, 800W soundbar
  • Maintain quality from source to screen with 4K HDR support and HDCP 2.21
  • Enjoy the rich, detail of Hi-Res Audio in a stylish design
  • Google Home compatibility and wireless multi-room listening.Bluetooth:A2DP (SINK); A2DP (SOURCE); AVRCP; LDAC; AAC, SBC
  • Receiver-like connectivity with 3 HDMI inputs, HDMI ARC and more

275 Reviews
Sony HT-X9000F Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer: X9000F 2.1ch Dolby Atmos Sound Bar and Subwoofer -...
  • SOUNDBAR & SUBWOOFER: Sony 2.1 channel sound bar system with wireless subwoofer for optimized audio
  • VERTICAL SOUND ENGINE: Upscale audio to immersive surround with a max of 7.1.2ch with a single click
  • MATCH YOUR ENTERTAINMENT: 5 unique sound modes for enhanced movies, music, gaming, news, and sports.Bluetooth version 4.2
  • VOICE ENHANCEMENT: Isolates voices and amplifies them over the background noise for greater clarity
  • 4K HDR QUALITY: Made for the latest home theatre formats to provide content with crystal clear audio

In comparison to specialized speakers, these soundbars may create Dolby Atmos sound, but they fall short in terms of sonic quality. However, they are still an excellent option.

Dolby Atmos AV Receivers

AV receiver manufacturers have widely accepted Dolby Atmos, making it simple to find an Atmos-capable receiver on the market today. In most cases, receivers with at least 7.2 channels can play Atmos.

You can easily choose a receiver that matches your budget because of the wide range of prices offered by different models. Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A680 7.2CH Dolby Atmos 145 W RX-A680 (Amazon).

Dolby Atmos TVs

Dolby Atmos TVs are few and far between. Few OLED TVs are equipped with Dolby Atmos, but LG’s OLED65C9PUA is one of them. Due to the lack of upper speakers, Dolby Atmos TVs employ a virtualized version of the Atmos system.

LG C9 Series Smart OLED TV - 55" 4K Ultra HD with Alexa Built-in, 2019 Model
  • Your purchase includes One LG OLED TV of 55”, OLED55C9PUA model, One Magic Remote with batteries, One Power Cable, and One Start Guide
  • TV dimensions: Without Stand – 48.3” W x 27.8” H x 1.8” D. With Stand – 48.3” W x 29.1” H x 9.9” D. TV Weight: 41.7 lbs. VESA Mounting – 300 W x 200 H
  • Advanced image and sound technologies inspired by the cinema optimize picture and sound for a spectacular, more lifelike experience in every scene. Experience Dolby Atmos in a 2.2 Channel Speaker System
  • LG TVs are the first to integrate both the Google Assistant and Alexa with LG ThinQ AI technology
  • Inputs & Outputs: HDMI Input (HDCP 2.2): 4 (1 rear, 3 side) | HDMI Audio Return Channel: eARC (HDMI 2) | USB Ports (v 2.0): 3 (2 rear, 1 side)

Streaming Boxes

Blu-ray players don’t have to support Dolby Atmos, but streaming boxes must. For example, Roku Ultra, Apple TV 4K, and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, among others, already support 4K.

Dolby Atmos streaming boxes are great, but you still need the exact app you’re using to support this technology if you’re utilizing it.

Streaming boxes and apps have a few extra drawbacks. Dolby Atmos can only be accessed by certain devices while using certain applications. Netflix, for example, restricts access to Atmos soundtracks to devices capable of decoding the format.

Disney+ is another app that has such strong limitations. For example, the Apple TV 4K can only play Dolby Atmos material.

The Verdict

The usage of headphones and soundbars, as well as a basic home theater setup, are all examples of how Dolby Atmos has made its way into the world of home entertainment. What do we make of this new technology now that we’ve had a chance to see and hear what it can accomplish?

If you’re still undecided about whether or not to make the leap, keep reading.

Is Dolby Atmos Worth It for Home Theater?

A subwoofer is required for the bass output of standard surround sound home theaters, with five or seven speakers positioned on a flat (or level) plane. On the other hand, the extra height channels in Dolby Atmos may be used with ceiling-mounted speakers or up-firing Dolby Atmos speakers.

Adding a Dolby Atmos-enabled home theater system is a worthwhile investment since the extra height channel provides a truly immersive listening experience. It’s almost like going to the cinemas when you watch movies this way at home.

In-home theaters, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Blu-ray players support Dolby Atmos, while AV receivers that support Atmos are becoming increasingly widespread. A wide variety of speaker choices is also readily accessible.

There will be more devices available to enjoy Atmos sound as a result of this. Atmos-capable material for home theaters is becoming more and more common these days, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding something you’ll appreciate. However, there is potential for improvement here.

Is Dolby Atmos Worth It for Headphones?

You may be especially interested in Dolby Atmos for headphones if you often use headphones to view movies or play video games. With Atmos, your headphones’ audio output might sound like a slew of speakers playing music from above and behind you.

Dolby Atmos headphones show that it’s worth the extra money for many different reasons. It’s a format that lets you listen to surround sound with any pair of regular headphones. Free trials are available on Microsoft Store, so if you enjoy it, just download and pay to unlock it for good!

One of the greatest and most realistic virtual surround sound systems today is Dolby Atmos for headphones. It’s probably better than the free Windows 10 Sonic spatial surround sound, which is what you’ll receive with Windows 10. Additionally, Atmos for Headphones may also be used with a smartphone if you’re interested.

Many Xbox One and PC gamers use headphones to save space, while others enjoy the sound quality. In any case, most people are likely to be open to the idea of wearing headphones that can mimic a complete surround sound system. If nothing else, it’ll be for the sheer sake of it.

In the end, it’s definitely preferable to try out the technology before investing in Atmos headphones.

Is Dolby Atmos Worth It for Soundbars?

The built-in stereo speakers in TV sets are a nice step up for soundbars. This is a simple approach to improve the sound quality of your television. Upgrade to Dolby Atmos-compatible soundbars, such as the Sonos Arc or Sony HT-Z9F, for even greater sound.

The soundbar version of Dolby Atmos is one of the finest. You may enjoy 3D surround sound with this little gadget. The soundbars include drivers that fire upwards to hear the sound coming from all directions.

Soundbars with Atmos support can play both Atmos-enabled and conventional audio files. One of the major advantages of this flexibility is that it may be used in various ways. Then then, if you want to enjoy the Atmos sound, you’ll need all other Atmos-enabled devices.

Is Dolby Atmos Worth It for Gaming?

The ability to hear sound in three dimensions may enhance the gaming experience for many people. There are games where sound may make or break your chances of winning or losing, and it’s important to know which ones. If you find yourself in a situation like this, Dolby Atmos may prove to be an asset.

To put it simply, Dolby Atmos for gaming enhances the game’s enjoyment by providing an optimal acoustical setting. Dolby Atmos gaming headphones are simple to set up. All you need is the Dolby Access App to get started. On the other hand, Dolby Atmos surround sound for gaming needs Atmos-enabled speakers and AV receivers.


It’s fair if you’re still unsure whether you should update Dolby Atmos or not since this is a relatively new technology.

This is probably just what you need in your house if you’re an audiophile who is always on the lookout for the newest and greatest sounds. Also, if you can afford it, make the switch. There are various ways to enjoy Dolby Atmos audio in your home, like installing the Dolby Access app on your mobile device or purchasing Atmos soundbars.

Dolby Atmos is, without a doubt, fantastic. Atmos sound, even if you’re not a huge fan of technological breakthroughs, will blow your mind when you see it in action. Dolby Atmos is gaining traction in the home entertainment market, and that’s a solid incentive to get on board.

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Last update on 2024-07-12

With an impressive 15-year track record in the world of blogging, I have established myself as an expert in this field. The passion for home entertainment and electronics shines through in work, providing readers with valuable information and guidance on creating the ultimate home theater experience.