• Dolby Atmos Cinema Sound

    • Dolby Atmos creates powerful, moving audio by introducing two important concepts to cinema sound: audio objects and overhead speakers.

    • Dolby Atmos creates powerful, lifelike sound that flows all around you. 

    • Dolby Atmos for Cinema: Benefits

      • Fills the Cinema with Breathtaking Sound

        Sound comes from all directions, including overhead, to fill the cinema with astonishing clarity, richness, detail, and depth.

      • Puts Sounds into Motion All Around You

        The sounds of the onscreen story move all around you in three-dimensional space, so you feel like you’re inside the action.

      • Creates a Powerfully Moving Entertainment Experience

        It's sound that excites your senses and inspires your emotions to deliver the full impact of entertainment.

      • Conveys the Artist's Intent

        Dolby Atmos® gives artists amazing new capabilities to tell their stories, accent their games, or perform their music—so you can experience the power of the artist's vision. 

      • Freeing Sound from Channels—the Dolby Atmos Concept

        Dolby Atmos creates powerful, moving audio by introducing two important concepts to cinema sound: audio objects and overhead speakers. Together, these completely change how soundtracks are created and heard.

        Traditional surround soundtracks confine all sounds to a small set of channels that can deliver sound to you from only a few perceived angles. They cannot put sound above you. Further, sounds exist only as part of a channel mix. If one sound is emphasized in a traditional mix, another must be diminished.

        In Dolby Atmos, by contrast, sound can be freed from channels. It enables artists to treat specific sounds as individual entities, called audio objects. These can be precisely placed and moved by the soundtrack creator anywhere in the cinema's three-dimensional space—they are not confined to specific channels—though the artist can continue to use channel capabilities as desired. The Dolby Atmos cinema processor then determines which of a cinema's huge array of front, back, side, and overhead speakers it will use to recreate this lifelike movement.

        As a result, a Dolby Atmos soundtrack brings alive the onscreen story as never before possible. The movie's sounds flow all around you to completely immerse you in the action, heightening the impact of the story and creating a powerfully moving cinema experience.

      • Dolby Atmos Cinema Accented Logo Gutter
      • How Dolby Atmos Works Its Magic

        A More Effective Speaker Setup

        The most immediately noticeable difference in a Dolby Atmos system is the use of overhead speakers, but that's just part of the story.

        A typical surround sound system consists of left, center, and right discrete channels with the speakers behind the screen. The surround channels are handled by wall-mounted arrays of speakers, divided acoustically into two or four zones. All speakers within a zone receive the same audio information.

        In a Dolby Atmos theatre, every speaker—as many as 64 total—is powered independently and gets its own separate audio feed. In effect, each speaker is its own zone. In addition to the overhead speakers, Dolby Atmos typically adds more surround speakers and screen speakers.

        The improved speaker layout is a key to implementing the dramatic audio improvements of Dolby Atmos.

        Sounds Gain Their Independence

        Imagine sitting in a restaurant. There's a general buzz of conversation and music all around, yet you can pick out an individual voice behind you or a clink of silverware from the terrace above youand you can tell exactly where each sound is coming from.

        Now you're watching that same restaurant scene in a movie. With conventional surround sound, you'll get the ambience, but the voice and clink come from vague locations—if you can pick them out at all. That's because channel-based sounds—particularly surround effects—have to be assigned to a general zone, not a specific location. And because there are no overhead speakers, the sounds cannot move above you.

        In Dolby Atmos, each of those sounds can be created as an independent entity—an audio object. Put all the objects together, and you'll feel like you're actually in the restaurant, not just watching a scene.

        Any sound can be a single audio object, placed and moved independently anywhere in the theatre. The filmmaker decides exactly where the sound should come from and where it should move. So you hear the roar of a plane flying overhead from above you, or a door closing to the left. Sounds can originate from a single speaker or sequence of speakers, or from any number of speakers simultaneously.

        Audio objects empower filmmakers to focus on the story and put the sounds where they belong, rather than compromise the artistic impact to fit a fixed channel or zone.

        Making the Bed

        Some elements of a movie soundtrack, however, still benefit from a channel-based approach—for instance, ambient effects and music backgrounds. So a Dolby Atmos soundtrack also includes a more conventional channel-based "bed," together with the audio objects. Dolby Atmos packages up to 128 audio tracks—a 9.1 bed and up to 118 audio objects.

        Putting It Together

        The Dolby Atmos processor in the theatre intelligently assigns each audio track. It maps the bed channels to screen channels or surround arrays, and positions objects within the room. It's all reproduced in real time based on where the loudspeakers are. Dolby Atmos scales to the specific speaker complement of a theatre, so the effects will be the same regardless of the auditorium's size.

        Sound placement is consistent throughout the audience. Thanks to audio objects originating from specific locations rather than general areas, you'll hear the exact same effect no matter where you sit in the theatre—every seat is the "sweet spot."

        Even More Audio Improvements

        Having independently powered speakers improves the sound in other ways as well. For instance, tonal quality sometimes suffers when a sound is reproduced by an array of loudspeakers. Being able to direct that sound to single speakers makes the reproduction much more accurate and realistic.

        Also, in traditional surround setups, a sound moved from the screen to the surround zones drops in volume. Dolby Atmos, using improved room equalization and better bass management along with the independently powered speakers, avoids this problem. Sounds maintain the right volume as they move, adding to the realism.

        The complete Dolby Atmos system also includes authoring and distribution tools. For the full story in detail, check out our white paper.

      • Movie Finder Gutter Tout

        Dolby Atmos Movies and Showtimes

        Find movies playing in Dolby Atmos at a theatre near you.

      • Dolby Atmos Industry Momentum

        Dolby Atmos Title Momentum

        • Dolby Atmos is supported by ALL major Hollywood studios and countless international distributors.
        • 400+ titles have been mixed in Dolby Atmos, with 152 titles mixed worldwide in 2015.
        • 73 percent of the top 30 grossing movies worldwide in 2015 were mixed in Dolby Atmos.

        Worldwide Reach

        • Dolby Atmos is installed in over 60 countries worldwide.
        • Over 100 mix facilities worldwide use Dolby Atmos.

        Screen Count Dominance

        • The Dolby Atmos footprint has grown 60 percent since CinemaCon 2015—from 1,000 to 1,600 screens installed or committed worldwide.
        • Since September 2015, Dolby Atmos has installed over 400 screens worldwide—more than the entire footprint of competing immersive audio formats combined.
  • Dolby Atmos for Professionals

    Dolby Atmos provides a complete platform for cinema sound. It offers powerful solutions for creators, distributors, and exhibitors alike.

    Content Creators

    Tell your story more powerfully, with unprecedented control over the placement and movement of sound within the theatre.


    Greatly simplifies your operations by eliminating multiple format inventories. With Dolby Atmos, the same file will play in any theatre.

    Cinema Exhibitors

    Delivers a compelling experience that your audiences can get only at the cinema and optimizes playback for any speaker configuration.