Dolby Atmos is becoming mainstream with its great surround sound technology. Thanks to the cinematic experience the sound format offers, almost all the latest hardware and streaming services offer support for Atmos. This brings the question: can you get Dolby Atmos on YouTube videos?
You can’t get Dolby Atmos on YouTube videos. Every YouTube video that is uploaded is encoded to 2.0 stereo sound. YouTube videos do not support any surround sound formats, probably because requires more bandwidth and storage space per video. YouTube TV does support 5.1 channels of audio though.
Even though you can’t get Atmos with YouTube videos, you can still use 5.1 surround sound with movies and TV shows on YouTube TV. All you need to do is pair your streaming device with audio devices that support surround sound audio. In addition, many other streaming services host massive databases of Atmos content.
What is Dolby Atmos?
Dolby Atmos provides an immersive 3D sound that creates an enveloping effect, making individuals feel like they are on the other side of the TV screen. It brings the images on the TV to life.
You can hear the sounds in the movie the way you would in reality. Everything from the low buzzing sound of a bee to a loud explosion feels real and crystal clear.
The placement of sound also plays an essential role in Atmos technology. The producers control every detail of the audio environment, including the volume of the sound and the placement. That’s what makes it so realistic.
Audio engineers can add up to 118 unique sounds to create an entire soundscape that you hear in a Dolby Atmos Movie.
There are kind of 2 different types of Atmos as well. There’s Dolby Atmos for movies and TV shows, then there’s Dolby Atmos Music which is the same concept as normal Atmos, but for music tracks and certain albums.
Can Normal YouTube Videos Have Dolby Atmos Audio?
As mentioned before, YouTube doesn’t support Dolby Atmos currently. For now, standard YouTube videos can only play stereo (2.0 channels) audio.
There are quite a few reasons why YouTube doesn’t support Dolby Atmos, we’ll list some of them below:
It Would Require More Bandwidth and Storage Space
Looking at YouTube’s business format, the platform depends on the content generated by its users to make a profit. Because most YouTubers don’t have more than a few hundred or a thousand subscribers, the majority of videos on YouTube aren’t profitable for the company at all.
Also, support for Dolby Atmos would require higher storage space along with more bandwidth needs. It wouldn’t be worth it for YouTube to pay for all videos to be Atmos-compatible when so many of them aren’t profitable at all.
Not Sufficient Demand from YouTubers
Simply put, the creators of YouTube content don’t feel a huge need for including Dolby Atmos sound in their videos.
With so many people uploading content on YouTube, there are only a few creators who could fully use Atmos sound.
And that’s not just because of the added complexity of creating content that could support Atmos sound. Most video themes are set perfectly with the stereo audio available on YouTube.
After all, would a video featuring a cake recipe require better sound with 3D sound effects and extra overhead speakers? Simply answered, no.
Does YouTube TV Support Dolby Atmos?
YouTube TV does not currently support Dobly Atmos. However, they recently updated their technology to support 5.1 surround sound through the Dolby Digital audio codec.
Apart from that, YouTube TV also offers add-on features to support 4K movies and TV shows. It is also possible to download and save Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound content to DVR for offline access.
However, this is not included in the standard monthly YouTube subscription. Users must pay extra to enjoy this feature.
Does YouTube Music Have Dolby Atmos Music?
Unfortunately, YouTube Music is not compatible with Dolby Atmos Music. There are rumors stating that YouTube may implement Dolby Atmos Music to YouTube Music, but unless there are any official statements released from the team, it’s better not to jump to any conclusions right now.
YouTube Music currently maxes out at 256kbps AAC. This is actually relatively low compared to Tidal, Amazon Music Unlimited, and Apple Music.
Hopefully, after making 5.1 streaming available on YouTube TV, we may soon experience quality upgrades to YouTube Music as well.
Until then, you can use other streaming platforms to listen to Dolby Atmos Music, such as Tidal, Amazon Music Unlimited, or Apple Music.
Where Can You Play Dolby Atmos Movies, TV Shows, and Music?
Thankfully, many streaming options do host Dolby Atmos content. However, before you start exploring those options, make sure you have the right gear for it.
For instance, connecting your TV to an AV receiver that supports Atmos audio tracks is essential. What’s interesting is that you don’t need high speakers for this. You know, the kind that end up making holes in your ceiling?
On the contrary, you can find budget-friendly AVRs that create sound experiences from the listener’s height. You can even get Soundbars that have upward-facing speakers that create a similar experience to overhead speakers.
Here’s a great Dolby Atmos soundbar comparison video if you’re interested in soundbars!
Streaming Platforms to Watch Dolby Atmos Content
Since the release of Dolby Atmos in 2012, there has been a lot of content released featuring this new audio format. Modern audio technology and gear make it possible to achieve near cinematic sound at home.
And as the demand for immersive sound experiences keeps gaining momentum, streaming services are leaving no stone unturned to bring them as close as possible to their users.
Here are some of the most popular platforms that stream Dolby Atmos’ content.
Undoubtedly, Netflix is loved by almost everyone. The app is available to users from various countries and has a huge fan following. The platform hosts tons of movies, shows, documentaries, and other types.
It would be hard to believe if we said that Netflix didn’t support Dolby Atmos. Luckily, that’s not the case. Netflix does support Atmos sound. However, you must purchase a top-tier service plan to use it.
Another popular streaming app, Disney Plus also has tons of different Dolby Atmos movies and TV shows.
While there are plenty of videos to watch on Disney Plus, it doesn’t support a lot of operating systems. Typically, the experience is inconsistent with Android TVs.
Just before the start of 2019, Apple released an update to support Atmos through its Apple TV 4K. To stream videos with the 3D surround sound format, you must pair your Apple TV 4K with a soundbar or AV receiver that supports Atmos just like any other streaming service.
Almost every Apple original release supports Dolby Atmos audio. Apple TV also boasts an extensive library of Atmos-enabled content.
Amazon Prime Video
Surprisingly, Amazon rolled out the support for Atmos content through its hardware such as fire sticks and streaming boxes long before introducing the same to its Prime Video service. However, what matters is that it is done now.
Thankfully, it is now possible to experience the unmatched surround sound effects with Amazon Prime Video. You can use basically any company’s TV or media player, and it should work out of the box.
Unfortunately, you might find the video selection limited to a small pool of choices. Hopefully, the company might work to increase its library of Atmos-enabled content soon.
A high-end streaming service by Walmart, Vudu caters to a huge list of Atmos-enabled titles with support from compatible hardware.
The list begins from a few game consoles such as the Xbox One X and Xbox One S, spreads out to various TV brands such as Samsung, LG, Sony TVs, etc. and works on many modern media players as well.
As a rule of thumb, you must always confirm the support for Atmos on your device. Not every TV model from the supported brand will cover this requirement.
Platforms to Listen to Atmos Music
Why limit ourselves to Atmos movie soundtracks when you can experience the same level of thrill with music too?
What began as a slow start after the introduction of the Atmos Blu-ray Audio disc in 2015 has gained huge popularity in recent years. Today, there are lots of Atmos-mixed tracks available on different platforms. With the right gear, you can enjoy music at a completely different level.
To access Dolby Atmos music, you can browse Amazon Music HD, Tidal, as well as Apple Music.
Well, the journey from remixes available with Blu-ray discs to the original Atmos release of ‘The Beatles Get Back’ is really notable.
How to Watch Dolby Atmos on Tablets and Smartphones?
As our generation is inclining towards mobile video browsing from TV screens, it is justified to expect the same sound experience these devices too. That said, how can you browse Atmos content on tablets or Smartphones?
The good news is that Atmos soundtracks do have support on a few tablets and many different smartphones. For instance, you can get Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 to watch content with surround sound. However, you must connect the headphones to the device.
The same is true for Amazon Fire HD 10. Just remember, the sound experience might not sound even close to the same as what you hear from the latest soundbars or traditional home theater setups.
When talking about smartphones, there are many phones that can play Atmos sound. Brands such as OnePlus, Apple, Samsung, and a few others have already released smartphones processing Dolby Atmos sound.
Wednesday 21st of September 2022
I'm listening to Dolby Digital 5.1 discrete surround on YouTube videos as I type this. I know it's discrete because I played a dolby digital 5.1 channel test video and all 6 apeaker channels were identified correctly. Dolby Digital 5.1 support on YouTube depends on the hardware platform you use to stream it. I've confirmed it works on a Verizon Stream TV box (Android TV) and also on an Apple TV 4K. Apple added 5.1 surround support to the Apple TV platform earlier this month I believe. Dolby Atmos does not yet work in YouTube though, at least not on the Apple TV box.
Sunday 7th of August 2022
I was watching videos on youtube on my smart tv and accessed youtube information and got (699) ac-3 (380) 5.1