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Does YouTube support Dolby Atmos? + Other Streaming Platforms

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: does YouTube support Dolby Atmos?

You can’t get Dolby Atmos on YouTube. Videos uploaded to YouTube are encoded to 2.0 stereo sound. YouTube videos do not support any surround sound formats, as they require more bandwidth and storage space per video. While YouTube TV doesn’t support Dolby Atmos, it supports 5.1 channels of audio.

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, some of which we will cover in this article.

Key Takeaways

  • Dolby Atmos on YouTube: YouTube does not support Dolby Atmos due to storage limitations and insufficient demand from YouTubers.
  • Other Streaming Platforms Supporting Dolby Atmos: Popular streaming platforms offering Dolby Atmos content include Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, and Vudu.
  • YouTube TV and Dolby Atmos: YouTube TV does not currently support Dolby Atmos but offers 5.1 surround sound through Dolby Digital audio codec.

Can Normal YouTube Videos Have Dolby Atmos Audio?

If you’re not aware, Dolby Atmos is an advanced audio technology that delivers an amazing 3D sound experience, elevating movies and TV shows with spatial audio that enhances placement and clarity. This technology is also extended to music through Dolby Atmos Music. We have a more detailed guide on Dolby Atmos if you’re interested.

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.

Furthermore, to enable Dolby Atmos, a higher storage capacity and increased bandwidth are required for optimal functionality. 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 to include Dolby Atmos sound in their videos.

With so many people uploading content on YouTube, there are only a few creators who can 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 for more views? Simply answered, no.

Can YouTube Videos Have Dolby Vision?

While Dolby Atmos focuses on elevating the audio experience, Dolby Vision enhances the visual aspect of content. However, as of now, YouTube does not support Dolby Vision for its videos. YouTube videos are primarily encoded in standard formats without Dolby Vision compatibility.

What About Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus?

As of now, YouTube does not provide support for Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus audio formats. This means that YouTube creators and viewers should be aware that these specific audio formats are not currently compatible with YouTube.

However, given the dynamic nature of online platforms, it’s possible that changes may occur over time in terms of supported formats and features on YouTube.

Does YouTube Premium Support Dolby Atmos?

No, YouTube Premium does not support Dolby Atmos. YouTube Premium offers several features like ad-free videos, background play, and access to YouTube Music, but it does not change the audio formats provided by YouTube.

Does YouTube TV Support Dolby Atmos?

YouTube TV does not currently support Dolby Atmos. On the other hand, 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 have to pay extra money to enjoy this feature.

Does YouTube Music Have Dolby Atmos Music?

Unfortunately, YouTube Music is not compatible with Dolby Atmos Music. Rumors are 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 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

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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. (Source)

Netflix

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.

But, does Netflix support Dolby Atmos? 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 will get access to it only if you subscribe to the highest-tier service plan.

Disney Plus

Another popular streaming app, Disney Plus, has many 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.

Apple TV+

Just before 2019, Apple provided a great way to experience Atmos by updating its Apple TV 4K to support this feature. 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 like any other streaming service.

Nearly every Apple original has embraced Dolby Atmos audio, offering one of the best sound experiences available.

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 it 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 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.

Vudu

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 with 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.

It’s good to note that Hulu doesn’t support Dolby Atmos content at all, so don’t go looking there for Atmos-enabled content.

Platforms to Listen to Atmos Music

Are AV Receivers Good For Music - Featured Image - Smaller

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.

The journey from remixes available with Blu-ray discs to the original Atmos release of ‘The Beatles Get Back’ is notable.

How to Watch Dolby Atmos on Tablets and Smartphones?

As our generation is inclined towards mobile video browsing from TV screens, it is justified to expect the same sound experience from 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, many phones can play Atmos sound. Brands such as OnePlus, Apple, Samsung, and others have already released smartphones processing Dolby Atmos sound.