How to enable and use Dolby Atmos on Windows 10

Dolby Atmos is an interesting piece of sound technology designed for some speaker systems, and Microsoft hasn’t shied away from supporting it. Interested parties can only take advantage of Dolby Atmos by installing the Windows 10 v1703, and from there, they’ll need a supported headphone.

When it comes down to headphones, so far, the official Xbox headphone from Microsoft is one of the few headphones to support the feature. If you do not have one of these headphones, Microsoft has an alternative, but we’ll talk more of that later in the article.

What is Dolby Atmos

The platform is an improved version of surround sound that isn’t mixed into several different channels. Apparently, sounds are mapped in a 3D space to virtual locations, and from there the data is sent over to your speakers. Now, a Dolby Atmos receiver then positions the sound to the right speakers.

Devices in support of this new platform don’t only include headphones, but speakers designed for the ceiling and floor. Speakers on the roof would bounce sound from the floor, while the one on the ground bounces sound from the ceiling.

As stated above, users will need a Dolby Atmos receiver because Microsoft can only provide the software If you’re using a Surface product, the Dolby Receiver won’t be present, but there’s always the chance for third-party partners to release computers with the receiver.

Note, the software giant added supported for the new sound platform on the Xbox One family of video game consoles. We expect the Xbox One X to support this as well when the console launches in November of this year.

Headphone users rejoice

Microsoft added support for “Dolby Atmos for headphones” in the Windows 10 Creators Update. It means, even if you do not have an Atmos receiver, but is the owner of any headphone, improved positional audio is still yours to enjoy. Users won’t get the same experience when compared to using a receiver seeing as “Dolby Atmos for headphones” is more software than hardware.

Enable Dolby Atmos on Windows 10

Enable Dolby Atmos on Windows 10

To do this, first, download the Dolby Access app from the Windows Store. The app will guide users through the setup process, which is quite easy. If you have a receiver and a home theater system, select “With my home theater.” However, if you’re the owner of a headphone, then choose “With my headphones” instead.

Keep in mind, the Dolby Access app is not free, but Microsoft wants the user to take advantage of a trial period before having to pay fully for the experience.

enable Windows Sonic surround sound in Windows 10

Once the trial has been activated, the app will ask to enable Dolby Atmos for headphones. To do this, click “Configure PC settings” then select the option, “Dolby Atmos for headphones” and that’s it.

Microsoft’s alternative to Dolby Atmos for headphones

In the Windows 10 Creators Update, there’s a free feature known as “Windows Sonic for Headphones.” It’s possible to enable this rather than Dolby Atmos for headphones, but at the moment, no one is capable of telling if there’s any huge difference between the two services. It makes sense since they are software base.

Hope this helps!

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Vamien McKalin possesses the awesome power of walking on water like a boss. He's also a person who enjoys writing about technology, comics, video games, and anything related to the geek world.