• Dolby Atmos

    In the cinema, at home, and on the go, Dolby Atmos transports you from an ordinary moment into an extraordinary experience with breathtaking, multidimensional sound that flows all around you to move your mind, body, and soul. Feel every dimension in Dolby Atmos.

    Dolby Atmos Benefits

    • Produces Breathtaking, Multidimensional Sound

      With a Dolby Atmos® system, sound comes from all directions, including overhead, to create an immersive experience with astonishing clarity, richness, detail, and depth.

    • Delivers the Full Impact of the Artist's Work

      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.

    • Puts Sounds into Motion All Around You

      The specific sounds of people, music, and things move around you in multidimensional space,so you feel like you are inside the action.

    • Moves Your Mind, Body, and Soul

      Dolby Atmos sound excites your senses and inspires your emotions to create a more profoundly moving entertainment experience.

    Dolby Atmos in the Cinema, at Home, and on the Go

    Up to now, cinema sound designers have had to mix independent sounds together into channels for soundtrack creation. If a scene required, say, a helicopter taking off, that sound had to be assigned to an individual channel and mixed together with other sounds.

    While that helicopter could move across channels, it couldn't go above you. You wouldn't hear it as you would in real life.

    Introducing Audio Objects

    Dolby Atmos is the first audio format based on audio objects rather than channels. In Dolby Atmos, any sound—the helicopter, a blaring car horn, a yelling child—can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. It can be placed and moved anywhere, including anywhere overhead.

    Filmmakers can now focus on telling the story. They can place sounds where they would occur naturally in a scene, rather than compromising the artistic intent by having to place them into channels. Sounds move in multidimensional space—flowing above and around you in step with the visuals to bring a new sense of height and reality. Dolby Atmos puts you in the middle of the action—in ways you have never before experienced. And it adapts to any playback environment—in the cinema, at home, or on the go.

    Technical Details

    • Supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound.
    • Descriptive metadata captures all the director's intent and provides customized playback for the cinema, home theater, and mobile device.

    In the Cinema

    • Scales easily to any size cinema, with up to 64 independent speaker outputs.

    In the Home

    • Advanced Dolby® codecs and our sophisticated rendering process scale and adapt the original cinema experience to your home theater, from seven speakers to as many as 34, recreating the intent of the filmmaker.

    On the Go

    • The Dolby Atmos renderer on the device takes the spatial information from the audio objects created for the cinema and renders them in multidimensional space over headphones. Combining the object-based audio with binaural headphone rendering, which relies on outer ear and shoulder cues, Dolby Atmos reconstructs a natural, immersive sound experience. 

    Compatibility

    • Dolby Atmos content is fully compatible for playback on conventional stereo and on 5.1- and 7.1-channel systems.

    View the Dolby Atmos trailer

    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.

    Distributors

    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.

    Dolby Atmos: A Revolution in Home Theater

    The cinema, with its giant screen and massive sound system, will always be the reference for the ultimate entertainment experience. Dolby Atmos cinema systems have up to 64 independently powered speaker outputs. While home theaters have fewer speakers, Dolby Atmos provides an extremely powerful experience. It continues to convey the full, original artistic intent, far beyond what has previously been possible in home audio reproduction.

    Technical Background

    Audio Objects

    With Dolby Atmos, any sound can be rendered as a single audio element, an object, independent from the rest of the soundtrack. A child yelling, a helicopter taking off, a blaring car horn—the filmmaker can decide exactly where the sound should originate and where it should move as the scene develops.

    This approach allows the filmmakers to concentrate on the story. For channel-based audio, filmmakers must determine which speakers should reproduce which sounds, an approach that could compromise the artistic intent. With Dolby Atmos, filmmakers simply determine where the sound should be located, and the system intelligently makes the speaker-assignment decisions. Audio objects originate and move anywhere in multidimensional space, including anywhere overhead. You will experience a soundtrack as you would in a natural environment.

    Dolby Atmos supports up to 128 simultaneous audio objects in a cinematic mix. These include stationary sounds that are reproduced through all the speakers, such as a music background. Content mastered for home reproduction includes all the audio objects from the original film, placed in multidimensional space just as in the cinema.

    Optimal Playback Everywhere

    Descriptive metadata accompanies every Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Using this metadata, the rendering block in an A/V receiver (AVR) adapts the soundtrack to the home environment and its specific speaker setup.

    Content Delivery

    For home theaters, Dolby Atmos will initially be delivered via Blu-ray Disc™ or through streaming video services. All decoding, rendering, and processing is managed by the Dolby Atmos enabled AVR. Dolby Atmos content plays through standard Blu-ray™ players and streaming media players connected to the AVR via HDMI® and with the bitstream output function engaged. As with the cinema, Dolby Atmos content for the home enables compatible playback through conventional 5.1- and 7.1-channel systems.

    Your Dolby Atmos Home Theater Setup

    Dolby Atmos combines traditional home theater speaker layouts with additional speaker positions. These include either ceiling-mounted speakers or new Dolby Atmos enabled speakers designed to reproduce the overhead height layer of objects and sound.

    The good news: if you already have a 5.1, 7.1, or greater surround sound system, you'll most likely be able to build on it. And it need not take up any more space than your current system.

    What You'll Need

    For more comprehensive information, see the Home Theater Setup Guide and the Dolby Atmos Speaker Setup Guide.

    Playing Dolby Atmos Content

    Dolby Atmos content is delivered on Blu-ray Disc or through streaming video services. To play it back, you'll need any of the following equipment:

    • Blu-ray player. Current and recent products that fully conform to the Blu-ray specification are advised.
    • Streaming media player, or a Blu-ray player or game console with streaming ability.

    Whichever you choose, set the player to bitstream output and connect to the receiver via HDMI. (Be sure to also disengage the secondary audio feature on your Blu-ray player.)

    Dolby Atmos is compatible with the current HDMI specification (v1.4 and later).

    A Dolby Atmos A/V Receiver

    You'll need an AVR, preamp/processor, or home theater in a box (HTIB) that supports Dolby Atmos. This component handles all of the necessary signal processing and rendering. Leading AVR manufacturers are introducing these products now, with more to come.

    Check out our Dolby Atmos Home Theater Products page, and watch for announcements throughout the year.

    Speakers

    Overhead sound is an integral part of Dolby Atmos. Adding this capability to your home theater system is key to your multidimensional experience. You have two options for overhead sound: 

    • Ceiling speakers. Full-range speakers with wide dispersion characteristics, plus timbre and power matched to your primary speakers, are ideal choices here.
    • New Dolby Atmos enabled speakers. This is the more practical alternative for most setups. Dolby Atmos enabled speakers are specially engineered to direct sound upward, where it reflects off the ceiling to produce an incredibly lifelike re-creation of overhead sound.

    Dolby Atmos enabled speakers come in two versions: 

    • Integrated units that also include traditional forward-firing speakers.
    • Add-on modules, containing only the upward-firing elements, that you can place on top of your current speakers or on a nearby surface. Dolby Atmos enabled speakers are designed to work best in rooms with ceilings that are from eight to 14 feet (2.4 to 4.3 meters) in height and that have acoustically reflective surfaces, such as drywall or plaster.

    Basic Setup

    You will need at least two speakers, either overhead or Dolby Atmos enabled, that can generate overhead sound and objects. For the best reproduction of Dolby Atmos, we recommend four speakers.

    Dolby Atmos home theaters can be built upon traditional 5.1 and 7.1 layouts. For Dolby Atmos, the nomenclature differs slightly: a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos system is a traditional 7.1 layout with four ceiling or Dolby Atmos enabled speakers.

    The AVR automatically optimizes the Dolby Atmos playback for your speaker complement and layout. 

    A Note on Compatibility

    We designed Dolby Atmos to be backward-compatible, so it will play on both new and existing channel-based systems. You'll always hear the optimum mix for your system, from stereo to 5.1 or 7.1.

    Your Dolby Atmos Home Theater

    Equip your home theater with the latest Dolby Atmos A/V receivers, speakers, and home theater systems.