Did you recently purchase a Sonos Soundbar and want to configure it for accessing the best audio effects while watching your favorite movies? Well, you’re not alone. There are many people who have tried that as well. The big question is — can Sonos play Dolby Atmos surround sound?
The only Sonos Soundbars that work with Dolby Atmos surround sound are the Sonos Arc and the Gen2 Sonos Beam. To stream Atmos surround sound, you’ll also need to ensure that your TV, media device, and selected content are all compatible with Atmos.
Read on to find out more about which Sonos Soundbars you can use to listen to Dolby Atmos and how to determine the compatibility yourself. We’ll also cover the detailed process of configuring the devices to create surround sound effects and get the most from your Sonos Soundbar.
What Sonos Soundbars Support Dolby Atmos?
To check if your videos have Atmos surround sound, go to the Sonos app and confirm the detail on the ‘Now Playing screen. Alternatively, you can also check this from the app’s menu, where it says ‘About My System.’
You must use an HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC port to get Dolby Atmos on either of these soundbars. That said, your TV must feature one of these two ports for you to be able to stream Atmos audio.
How to Get Dolby Atmos Audio While Using a Sonos Soundbar
For starters, make sure your Sonos soundbar has the latest firmware version. Fortunately, this process is a breeze. Simply go to the settings on your app and look for ‘System Updates’ under ‘Systems’. Sonos will also alert you inside of the app if a firmware update is available or not.
With the firmware up to date and everything connected properly, you should be able to see a Dolby Atmos logo when looking at certain movies and TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, and HBO Max.
When you start watching one of these movies or TV shows, you should now be getting Dolby Atmos audio! Again, you can check this by going to the System page, tap on the room you are listening in, then at the bottom, it should say “Dolby Atmos”.
Why Isn’t Atmos Working With My Soundbar?
It is easy to listen to Atmos sound when all the devices are in sync and compatible. However, if they’re not, it can get a bit more complicated. Let’s review some of the possible reasons that streaming Atmos sound on the Sonos Soundbar might not work as you had hoped.
The TV Doesn’t Support Atmos Sound
You probably don’t have to worry about this if you bought your TV within the last few years. However, if it is much older, it might not support Dolby Atmos.
If your TV has an HDMI eARC port, this shouldn’t be an issue. But, if your TV has HDMI ARC, not eARC, and was made before 2017 or 2018, then it’s possible that it doesn’t support Dolby Digital Plus.
Dolby Digital Plus is the audio codec that all streaming platforms use to send Dolby Atmos audio. So if your TV doesn’t support this audio codec, it can’t send Dolby Atmos audio to the connected soundbar.
So in short, HDMI ARC can send Dolby Atmos audio, BUT not every TV with an HDMI ARC port can send Dolby Atmos. It depends on what audio codecs the TV can actually support and pass through.
If you are using the HDMI to Digital Optical adapter, then you also won’t get Dolby Atmos audio because Digital Optical doesn’t support the bandwidth needed for Atmos.
So in either of these cases, you won’t be able to stream this sound format, even if you’ve got an Atmos-enabled Sonos Soundbar.
Because the Sonos Soundbar doesn’t have an HDMI IN port, it’s impossible to connect the streaming devices directly to your audio system without an adapter like the HDFury Arcana.
The Media Device Doesn’t Support Atmos
Similar to your TV, every media output device must also support Atmos. Therefore, if you are connecting a gaming console or an Amazon Fire Stick, you might want to confirm compatibility beforehand.
If the media player doesn’t support Atmos, then it can’t output Dolby Atmos audio no matter what.
The Streaming Services Is Not Compatible
It may seem crazy, but streaming services offer different compatibilities when paired with various devices. For instance, Apple TV 4K offer Atmos content with Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Vudu.
On the other hand, Roku supports Atmos on Amazon Prime and Vudu. It can be overwhelming to figure out which device supports Atmos on which streaming services. Sometimes, the subscription you choose for the services will also matter.
The Content Doesn’t Support Atmos
Last but not least, you need to find content that supports Atmos. You might have to put in some extra time to find the best options that offer this sound format.