What is Dolby Atmos?

By Mike Atherton 15 Mar 2018
Dolby Atmos

Dolby are best known for bringing amazing audio experiences to cinema screens, and for the last few years they’ve been developing Dolby Atmos, which takes everything they’ve learned about delivering great sound to movie audiences, and puts it in your living room.

Most people probably just rely on their TV’s internal speakers to pump out all the sound, which for every-day watching, is usually fine. But if you want to feel like you’re in the middle of the action, that’s when a dedicated sound system comes in - and this is where Dolby Atmos brings everything together.

How does it work?


The most popular TV sound setups come in the form of soundbars, 5.1, and 7.1 surround sound systems. Dolby Atmos builds on these to direct sound to every corner of your room. Cinemas have huge (and very expensive) sound systems made up of lots of speakers all around the room so they can put the sound exactly where it needs to be. Dolby Atmos can do exactly the same thing in your living room - and you don’t need to fill your room with speakers.

Home Atmos systems can support up to 34 speakers, but unless you’re lucky enough to have your own movie theatre, installing 34 speakers in your living room might be a bit over the top - the good news is, you can get the Dolby Atmos experience with a standard surround sound system, or even a soundbar.

Soundbars that are compatible with Dolby Atmos have speakers in the top that bounce the sound off your ceiling to create the effect of surround sound.

Take a look at our range of Dolby Atmos soundbars here.

What can I watch in Dolby Atmos?


Because it’s a relatively new technology when it comes to home systems, there isn’t a huge amount of content available with Dolby Atmos audio yet - but it’s growing fast.

There are already a few hundred of the latest movie titles available in 4K Blu-Ray with Dolby Atmos, and you can also get it if you watch Sky Cinema on a Sky Q box. Netflix are rapidly increasing their range of content that comes with Dolby Atmos too, and we expect this trend to continue across other streaming services.

If you want to experience what Dolby Atmos feels like, there are currently around 40 cinemas in the UK that have been upgraded to support Atmos audio, you can find your closest one here.

Hopefully, that’s given you a better understanding of what Dolby Atmos is and how it works. If you have any other queries, you can contact one of our Team Knowhow experts here.

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