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Getting started with Dolby Atmos

27th April 2020

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Dolby Atmos provides an immersive evolution for movies, music and gaming. We’ve created this guide to tell you what it is and how to integrate it into your home entertainment system.


What is Dolby Atmos?



Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology that expands upon traditional 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound set ups developed by Dolby Laboratories for use in cinemas and the home. It uses additional speakers of a home cinema creating a wholly immersive surround sound experience.


What do I need?



As a starting point there are two routes you can go down when choosing a 5.1 or 7.1 system, either using Free Standing / On-Wall speakers, Custom Install speakers or a mixture of both.

If you’re looking at Free Standing speakers, you could use a range like our Bronze Series for your ear-level surround speakers then add Bronze AMS Dolby Atmos® enabled up-firing speakers. Alternatively if you want your system more integrated, you could use a fully integrated Custom Install system using a mixture of In-Wall, On-Wall and In-Ceiling speakers.

You’ll also need a media player (like a Smart TV, Blu-Ray® Player or Xbox One ) capable of outputting in bitstream, an AV amplifier capable of decoding the Dolby Atmos signal and of course a movie, TV show or game that’s mixed using Dolby Atmos.


What speakers do you recommend?



With the advent of our Bronze AMS Dolby Atmos® speaker, you can acheive Atmos certified sound that can fit neatly atop our Bronze 50 and Bronze 200 speakers. Alternatively

Any of our Custom Install In-Ceiling speakers (except the T2 and FX models) can be used for Atmos, the better options being those with the IDC module in them. In the vast majority situations the best speaker we would recommend is the C265-IDC. The reason being is that it provides a wide dispersion characteristic (as recommended by Dolby) from its use of an inverted mid-range and isn’t too big or imposing. 

The larger 8” models and especially the CP 8” models can look a bit unsightly when there are 4 of them in the ceiling unless you have a large ceiling space to locate them in. Additionally, since Dolby Atmos channels are playing effects audio with more atmospheric sounds and reduced low frequencies, the extra bass achieved by a larger speaker can be seen as unnecessary.


Where can I find Dolby Atmos content?



Since it's launch in 2012, Dolby has been working with Hollywood movie studios, record labels and game developers to develop more and more content mastered in the Atmos format.

Movies and TV shows

You can find a whole load of Movies and TV shows that are available in Dolby Atmos on Blu-ray®, digital download services such as iTunes and on many streaming services such as Netflix or Disney+.


The only games console to support Dolby Atmos for games at this point is the Xbox One, where a selection of games support the format such as Forza Horizon 4 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The selection of games supports Dolby Atmos on compatible PCs also.


Fairly new to the Dolby Atmos world is music that's mastered in the format. Dolby have been working with big artists such as Coldplay and Lizzo. Currently it's only available through Tidal on compatible Android devices.


Explore our range of speaker products to create the perfect Dolby Atmos system.