Dolby Atmos is a great surround sound extension that you can enjoy with your home theater setup. When it is hooked up correctly, movie watching is more immersive and fun, almost like you are right there in action.
You do not need a Dolby Atmos TV to Get Dolby Atmos. This is an addition that is found in your receiver and speaker system for a home theater setup. With the right accessories and enough speakers, it is possible to get the Dolby Atmos experience on any TV.
This article will take a closer look at Dolby Atmos and how it works, the benefits of using this surround sound feature, and a look at some of the receivers you need to bring this into your own home theater.
Also read: Can Any Speaker Be Used for Dolby Atmos?
Is a Dolby Atmos TV Required to Use Dolby Atmos?
No, you do not need to work with a Dolby Atmos TV to get this feature. While that model of TV will provide you with Dolby Atmos, and many consumers purchase it for that reason, it is also possible to enjoy the benefits and features of Dolby Atmos without this model of TV.
In fact, most TV sets themselves don’t support this Dolby Atmos anyway. The reason for this is because Dolby Atmos is more of an extension of surround-sound using more than one speaker. Your TV will only have one pair of speakers on it, and it doesn’t make much sense to have the Dolby Atmos support.
Instead of having Dolby Atmos inside the TV, it is found in other extensions when you decide to create your own home theater. The additional soundbars, speakers, and receivers you add to the TV to create the home theater will be the parts that contain the Dolby Atmos.
If you want to include the Dolby Atmos extension into your home theater, double-check that the accessories you add in are compatible with it first. If they have compatibility with Dolby Atmos, and with your TV set, then you are good to go with this.
What Is Dolby Atmos?
To understand better why you don’t need the Dolby Atmos TV in order to enjoy the features of Dolby Atmos, we need to look more at what Dolby Atmos is all about.
Dolby Atmos is able to take the idea of surround sound but is able to add some extra height channels. This helps make a better sound effect in the room, almost like the sound is enveloping you as you watch the show.
For example, instead of having the sound of a helicopter moving right at the height of your ears, Atmos will be able to take that same sound and make you feel like it is moving over your head. There are several different settings that you could choose depending on the type of movie and where the sound should come from.
It is possible to add in an extra subwoofer to all of this to get those really low sounds as well. While there are some channels that help make up Dolby Atmos, this isn’t the main part of using it. Instead, Dolby Atmos is more about delivering a sound experience that is more immersive than traditional speakers.
Also read: Is Dolby Atmos Actually Worth It?
Going to the Movies While Being Home
It can change the way that you watch movies and shows in your home. Imagine that you are watching a movie in the theater. You can feel the cars move, the thunder quake, the helicopters over your head. This is part of the experience of going to the movies instead of watching at home.
When we watch that same movie at home, the sound effects fall a little flat. Most regular TV sets only have one set of speakers, and without extra features going along with it, the sound is not as impressive as we may like.
This is where Dolby Atmos will come in. It can take the noises and sound effects of our favorite movies, and make the experience more immersive. Any TV will work for this so you can use the model and brand you like. But you do need to choose the right speakers. Several speakers are usually ideal to help get the true immersive experience that you want.
Imagine what it will feel like to watch your favorite movies and shows from the comfort of your own home while feeling like you are at the movie theaters. With the right setup and the help of Dolby Atmos, this is possible.
What Can I Watch With Dolby Atmos?
When Dolby Atmos was first launched, there wasn’t a lot of content you could enjoy with this fun extension. In fact, one of the first movies that were released with Atmos in it was Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Technology has come a long way since that time, and many films are using Dolby Atmos now. In fact, most of the Blu-ray films out there have the Atmos soundtrack, so you may already have the ability to watch several things with this.
In addition to many of your favorite new movies, some sports channels can be done with Dolby Atmos as well. You will need to have the BT YouView + 4K Ultra HD set-top box to make this happen. Over time the offerings with this one will expand, and you will find more options for live sports as well.
Netflix is getting into the games well. You can enjoy some content with Atmos, but you are a bit limited. The LG OLED TV (see it on Amazon) allows for this as long as you have a version that comes from no later than 2017. Windows 10 and Xbox One offer Atmos through Netflix as well.
The Apple TV 4K offers Dolby Atmos as well. It has the added bonus on many of its titles of offering not only Dolby Atmos but also Dolby Vision to the mix, which makes viewing much more immersive and enjoyable.
Can I Use Dolby Atmos on My Phone or Laptop?
In the past few years, there have been more computer and phone companies that claim they offer Dolby Atmos audio on them. This can help you watch some of your favorite live sports, sows, and movies on these devices and get a better experience.
Keep in mind that for the best Dolby Atmos experience, you need high-quality speakers. And you often need several of these around a room.
Your laptop or phone may be amazing, but it can’t have speakers in front, beside, and behind you all at the same time. The Dolby Atmos experience is impressive on your phone or computer, but it will still lack compared to using Dolby Atmos on your home theater system.
Also read: Does Dolby Atmos Work With Bluetooth Headphones?
The Benefits of Using Dolby Atmos
There are a lot of great options on the market you can choose for your home entertainment needs. So what makes Dolby Atmos the one that you want to choose? Some of the benefits of using Dolby Atmos include:
The Equipment Is Affordable
To get the most out of Dolby Atmos, you will need to purchase a few pieces of equipment. Remember that we mentioned earlier in this article that the TV set itself does not have Dolby Atmos. It is the extra equipment and accessories you purchase to go with it will have the Dolby Atmos surround sound features.
The good news here is that the additional equipment is affordable. To get this sound, you first need to pick out a new receiver to use.
There are a lot of models out there to choose from, and many of them (like the ones we list later on in this article), are affordable and nice to use. There are exceptions, and you can find high-priced receivers that cost thousands of dollars, but most of these are much lower and can fit your budget.
The Content You Love
The content that now works with Dolby Atmos is growing, and you can enjoy a sound, unlike any other when you choose to use it.
When this feature came out in the Fall of 2014, it was new, and by the end of that year, there were only a few releases that could even support the feature. It was nice to have, but it wasn’t able to provide a lot of options.
This has changed dramatically, though. Because of how well this technology works and the great surround sound you can enjoy out of any TV, there is a lot of content that you can listen to with this feature.
There is a good combination of re-releases done in this sound and new releases, along with live sports, so you are sure to find the exact thing you want to watch each time.
The Sound Is Really Good
As you are doing some of your research, it is natural to feel like this is not necessarily as big of a deal as others make it out to be. Isn’t the sound system already found on your TV system good enough to give an enjoyable experience to any show or movie you want to watch?
Dolby Atmos can take your viewing experience to the next level. Sure, it is fine to plug in a few speakers to your TV and set up a home theater system without it, but you are missing something pretty amazing in the process.
Instead of just hearing the noises and getting a clear sound, this feature allows you to feel like you are actually in the scene. If the people in the movie are dealing with rain, then you will get a sound that makes you feel like rain is falling down on you.
If there is a high-speed car race in the movie, you will feel like you are in the car and notice all the other vehicles rushing around you. Dolby Atmos is that good.
Many Different Types of Equipment Work With It
As we mentioned earlier in this article, you do not need to have a Dolby Atmos TV in order to enjoy Dolby Atmos. This makes it a lot more enjoyable to work with overall. Most newer TV’s are compatible with this feature and will work with the soundbar and other speakers you need to get the best sound.
Even some older sets can work if you get the right receivers and speakers. With the right home setup, it is possible to use a combination of the technology you already have, like your own television, with a few other components to make your own home theater.
Dolby Atmos works with many different types of receivers and products, so it is easy to find the ones that work for you.
Which Receivers Should I Consider for the Best Dolby Atmos Experience?
There are a number of different receivers that tend to do better with Dolby Atmos compared to others. A few of these (with Amazon links) include:
- Denon AV AVRX1500: This is a good size for home theaters. It is a bit smaller compared to the other receivers you can choose, but it also provides 80 watts for each channel at 8 ohms.
- Onkyo TX-NR787 Network AV: This receiver not only works well with Dolby Atmos it is THX certified. This means that all the specifications inside will meet the standards that are used inside professional movie houses. And all of this can be found in your own home too with the help of this receiver.
- SONY TR-ZA810ES 7.2 Channel Hi-Res: While some companies want to make a model that doesn’t have much of a facade to it, this one is able to include many controls right on the front to make it easier to use. In fact, you can find all the controls you need for Bluetooth pairing, tuner presents, and zone switching that you need.
- Yamaha RX-V685 AV: This is able to combine all of the innovation you expect from the company, including the MusicCast wireless speakers that this company released. These run as a type of satellite through Bluetooth, which helps you cut down on how many cables are needed in this space.
Should I Make the Leap to Dolby Atmos?
There is a lot to enjoy when it comes to using Dolby Atmos. It gives a fully immersive experience while you are in your own home, and makes watching movies and shows more enjoyable than watching without this addition.
However, there are some drawbacks that you need to consider when using Dolby Atmos, and they may influence your decision one way or another.
Too Many Speakers
The first issue is that to really get the most out of this system, you would need to have 24 speakers that are on the floor and another 10 that go overhead.
This is pretty excessive to most people, and you most likely won’t have the space to do this. Add in that most theater equipment for the home is not able to hold onto more than 30 speakers, and it can be a problem.
It is possible to enjoy Dolby Atmos without all those speakers, and most home theaters choose to limit down from 30. But for the truly immersive experience, all those speakers are required, and that is often too much for the consumer and their home theater setup.
An Upgrade Is Necessary to Use Dolby Atmos
To experience all that this surround system has to offer, you will need to go through an upgrade. Some receivers, if they are newer, can get this with a simple software upgrade if you are willing to put in the time to do this. If your system is a bit older, then it is likely you will need to do a much bigger upgrade to get this feature.
This can be a big hassle for those just starting out with Dolby Atmos. Only the new equipment is really set up to work with it. Since most people do not want to go out and purchase all new equipment just for a better listening experience, especially when the sound is not that bad on their system, it is often better not to make the switch.
The Content Is Still Limited
Because of the popularity of Dolby Atmos, more shows and movies are being made with this additional feature. But the number of shows and movies made with this feature is still relatively small. It is harder to find content with this feature, and you will have a limited selection if you choose to do this.
For some consumers, it is not worth the cost to get started. They may enjoy the sound when hearing it with a friend or somewhere else. But due to the costs and the time it takes to set the home theater up with Dolby Atmos, and the limited content available right now, many consumers may choose not to mess with it.
Dolby Atmos is a great addition to have in your home theater setup. There are a lot of great shows and movies that rely on this feature, and it provides a truly immersive experience during viewing.
You do not need to have a Dolby Atmos TV to get started, and it is pretty simple to set up with the right accessories and speakers. With Dolby Atmos, you can sit down and enjoy some of your favorite movies and shows in a way like never before.
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.