Dolby Atmos Cinema Sound

Authentic Cinema Sound by Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos: A Revolutionary New Cinema Sound Technology

Dolby® Atmos™ represents a completely new platform for cinema sound. It provides full creative freedom for filmmakers and ensures that you’ll hear the soundtracks exactly as their creators intended.

Watch Dolby Atmos Video

Employing overhead speakers as well as surrounds, Dolby Atmos can create realistic and natural sound experiences that envelop and involve you in the stories.

See the complete list of movies released in Dolby Atmos. Find a Dolby Atmos theatre near you.

Benefits of Dolby Atmos

Delivers a powerful and dramatic new cinema sound listening experience

Allows sounds to move around the theatre to create dynamic effects

Reproduces a natural and lifelike audio experience that perfectly matches the story

Adds overhead speakers for the most realistic effects you’ve ever heard

Reflects the artist’s original intent, regardless of theatre setup

Employs up to 64 speakers to heighten the realism and impact of every scene

Artistic Freedom

For filmmakers, details matter—a lot. And Dolby Atmos gives filmmakers full creative control over the placement and movement of sound around the audience. This completely new level of artistic freedom enables precise matching of audio to onscreen action.

Dialogue follows characters. Sound effects track with camera pans. Ambient sounds envelop you. For the first time, you’ll hear the whole picture.

Where You’ll Find Dolby Atmos

Find Dolby Atmos theatres.

Are you a content creator, distributor, or exhibitor? Learn how Dolby Atmos is reinventing the traditional surround sound methodology and offering a complete platform for cinema sound.

A Whole New Reason to Go to the Movies

Dolby Atmos is the most significant development in cinema audio since surround sound, taking a unique layered approach to sound design.

Check out the theatre setup diagram.

Technical Information

Creates clearer, more accurately positioned cinema sound; uses object-oriented mixing to layer independent sound elements over channel-based audio content

Captures all the director’s intent as descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for each theatre

Automatically generates optimum soundtracks for theatres with 5.1- and 7.1-channel setups

Delivers a rich, realistic sound experience through support for up to 128 simultaneous and lossless audio elements in a mix

Scales easily to any size theatre, with up to 64 independent speaker outputs

Technical Design

Dolby Atmos uses an innovative layered approach to building a soundtrack. A base layer consists largely of static ambient sounds, which are mixed using the familiar channel-based method. Layered on top of these are dynamic audio elements that can be positioned and moved precisely to correspond to the images onscreen.

Metadata records how these elements should behave during playback—behavior that best matches the director’s intent, regardless of theatre configuration. This dual-layer approach gives film creators greater power and freedom while ensuring you a consistent experience in any theatre.

Theatre Configurations

Dolby Atmos speakers are all individually controlled to create precise sound placement and natural, realistic movement of sound. Surround speakers in 5.1 and Dolby Surround 7.1 theatres are grouped to create zones. Representative setups are shown here.

Dolby Atmos Theatre Configuration

How It Compares

While traditional surround sound offers a high degree of audio realism to help pull the audience into the story, Dolby Atmos takes realism to a whole new level with its ability to place sounds at precise locations and move them anywhere in the theatre–even overhead.

Here’s how Dolby Atmos compares to 5.1-channel and Dolby Surround 7.1 cinema sound, and the differences you can expect to hear.

Dolby Atmos

5.1 and Dolby Surround 7.1

Overhead Sound

True overhead sound

Natural and lifelike, matching what you hear in real life

Perfectly coordinated with onscreen action

"Phantom" overhead sound

5.1 can create overhead effect in center; 7.1 widens and improves the effect

Less localized and distinct than true overhead sound

Sound Quality

Powerful and consistent

Maintains tonal quality as sounds move around theatre

Sound elements can be assigned to individual speakers to maintain purity

Smaller surround speakers with more limited response

Some loss of clarity and sharpness

5.1 has limited movement effect; 7.1 improves spatial separation and fidelity

Sound Placement

Each speaker is individually addressable

Allows precise placement, powerful sense of motion

Consistent experience from any seat in the theatre

Limited to two (5.1) or four (7.1) surround zones

5.1 limits placement precision; 7.1 adds precision and movement

Ideal for static ambient sounds; discrete sound not as realistic


You become part of the story

Completely natural and realistic soundtracks

Seamlessly envelops you in the action

Adds to your involvement in the story

Brings impact and drama

Great experience, just not to Dolby Atmos level