Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound

Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound for Digital Entertainment

Dolby Digital Plus Overview

Dolby® Digital Plus, or Enhanced AC-3 (E-AC-3), is an advanced surround sound audio codec designed specifically for evolving media. From home theaters and PCs to mobile phones and online streaming, Dolby Digital Plus defines high-fidelity audio. You’ll get the renowned Dolby cinema experience from all your entertainment.

Dolby Digital Plus Demos

Dolby Digital Plus is based on core Dolby Digital technologies, the established standard for cinema, broadcast, and home theater surround sound. As mobile devices proliferate, Dolby Digital Plus is also emerging as the standard for mobile entertainment. Its advanced new technologies for audio enhancement deliver even better sound quality and additional bandwidth savings. You get great content with fewer interruptions, even when bandwidth is limited.

Dolby Digital Plus Benefits

Up to 7.1 discrete channels of clear, high-fidelity surround sound

Ideal audio codec match for HD video codecs

Dolby cinematic audio experience for content across all media

Full 5.1-channel interactive experience for Blu-ray™ BonusView™ and BD-Live™

Full 7.1-channel support for primary Blu-ray soundtracks

Easily converted to Dolby Digital, enabling compatible playback through current Dolby Digital equipped systems

Additional Benefits for Mobile Devices

When incorporated into a mobile device, Dolby Digital Plus adds postprocessing technologies that dramatically improve the device’s audio capabilities and your whole entertainment experience.

Files download or stream faster and more reliably.

Device-specific tuning of mobile speakers gives you natural and louder, distortion-free sound.

Surround Virtualizer creates a surround sound experience through headphones or built-in speakers.

Dialogue Enhancer ensures that every word is heard.

Volume Leveler maintains constant volume across all content and applications.

Intelligent Equalizer dynamically adjusts the audio to achieve the desired tone.

Dolby Digital Pass-Through allows direct home theater connections for a full multichannel experience from mobile devices.

Why Dolby Digital Plus?

Equipment with Dolby Digital Plus technology ensures that you’ll be ready for the future. HD programming with surround sound is now widely available across all media—broadcast, online, PCs, games, and mobile.

Dolby Digital Plus enables cinematic Dolby surround sound for all of it. You’ll be able to download content. Transfer it from one device to another. Take advantage of 7.1-channel programs when they’re offered.

Meanwhile, you’ll get the same Dolby surround sound you enjoy now. See the How It Works tab for more info.

Where You’ll Find Dolby Digital Plus

See our Products tab for the range of equipment and programming, along with specific examples.

Easy Connections

Dolby Digital Plus is supported by HDMI® 1.3 and higher, enabling transmission together with high-definition video through a single cable connection. It is also fully integrated in the DLNA® and UltraViolet™ standards.

Are you a Dolby licensee or looking for more technical details? Learn more about Dolby Digital Plus.

How Dolby Digital Plus Works

Dolby® Digital Plus employs exclusive compression algorithms to efficiently reduce the file size of digital audio programs. This allows easier transmission and storage. It also brings multichannel capability to bandwidth-constrained applications including mobile networks and Internet-delivered entertainment.

On playback, our decoder applies the inverse of the encoding algorithms. Metadata, added during the encoding, instructs the decoder on such control parameters as channel configuration and loudness consistency. Dolby Digital Plus has a variety of features that add versatility while retaining exceptional clarity and fidelity.

Compatibility with Current Equipment

Because Dolby Digital Plus content is easily converted to a traditional Dolby Digital signal, you are assured of the best performance your equipment is capable of, regardless of when you purchased it. If your system includes a Dolby Digital decoder, you'll still get 5.1-channel surround sound, with the highest quality Dolby Digital signal possible.

Equipment with Dolby Digital Plus will unlock its full feature set, including 5.1- and 7.1-channel capability (depending on the program).

Dolby Digital Plus Technical Features

Scalable, allowing efficient surround sound delivery at lower bit rates for broadcast and mobile networks; higher bit rates for high-capacity media

Metadata that describes the content and in effect talks to your playback system

Sophisticated encoding and decoding technology for clear multichannel sound

Automatic stereo downmix for two-channel systems

Capability to support up to 16.1 channels, should future media require that

Products with Dolby Digital Plus

Home Theater Receivers and Systems
Blu-ray Disc Players
Mobile Phones 

Featured Products

To help give you an idea of what’s out there, we feature a number of select products from our partners. You’ll find Dolby® Digital Plus in many more products than we can show here.

Our product listings aren’t meant as specific recommendations or ratings.

Pioneer VSX-1120-K A/V Receiver
LG LHB977 Home Theater System 
Marantz UD8004 Blu-ray Player

Content with Dolby Digital Plus

Select Netflix Streaming Movies and TV Shows
Vudu™ Streaming Movies  
Select Blu-Ray™ Titles  

Dolby Digital Plus is part of the DVB standards, and is increasingly specified by the standards organizations for countries worldwide.

Dolby Digital Plus Specifications

Channels: 1.0 to 7.1 for current media applications; extensible to 16 channels; discrete

Data Rate: 32 kbps–6 Mbps, scalable; typically 768 kbps–1.5 Mbps on HD optical discs; 256 kbps for broadcast and online

Sample Rate: 48 kHz

Bit Depth: 20 bits

Supports Dolby Metadata: Yes

Connections: HDMI 1.3 or higher, IEEE 1394

Mixing/Streaming Capabilities: Yes; provides for audio descriptive services

Backward Compatibility: Yes; S/PDIF at 640 kbps to systems with Dolby Digital

Connector Types

Line Output: Two-, six-, and eight-channel analog (decoded inside player)

S/PDIF: Two-channel PCM or converted to Dolby Digital

HDMI 1.1/HDMI 1.2: Two-, six-, and eight-channel PCM and Dolby Digital

HDMI 1.3 and later: Two-, six, and eight-channel PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby TrueHD bitstreams

Want more-detailed specifications? Check out Dolby Digital Plus professional tech specs.

Compare Dolby Digital Plus Features

Dolby Digital Plus is one of several Dolby technologies that deliver surround sound. We’ve engineered each for specific applications.

Dolby Digital Plus is the established standard for 5.1-channel surround sound on DVDs and HD broadcasts. It is also part of the mandatory Blu-ray standard.


Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby Digital

Competing Technologies

Dolby TrueHD

7.1 Channels


5.1 Channels

Streaming/download support


Multiple BonusView support for Blu-ray



Automatic stereo downmix

Support for mobile networks




Scalable for bandwidth-constrained applications







Data rates supported: Mono–multichannel

32 kbps–6 Mbps

32–640 kbps


Up to 18 Mbps