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Can You Stream Dolby Atmos Music Through Airplay?

Airplay enables users to share videos, music, photos, and more between Apple devices. Not just that, you can also connect your favorite speakers as well as smart TVs that are compatible with Airplay. However, the experience will still be limited to not being able to enjoy surround sound music. So, can airplay stream Dolby Atoms music?

Airplay 2 supports Atmos music. Just use the iOS device WiFi set up to connect the speakers to the same network as the iOS device. The speaker will be added to the list of output devices. Then for streaming Atmos music with Airplay, you can pick the speaker from the list of supported devices.

In order to stream surround sound via Airplay, every device connected to your home theater system must be compatible with Atmos signals. In addition, you must ensure that Atmos is selected as the preferred audio format on these devices. If that seems confusing, we will walk you through the whole process.  

Is it Possible to Stream Dolby Atmos With Airplay?

You can stream Dolby Atmos with Airplay 2. With the latest version of Airplay, it is now possible to use this sound format for streaming with a range of Apple-approved devices, including Apple TV.

For instance, if you have set up a home theater with Apple devices, it is essential that each of the hardware supports Dolby Atmos.

  • The TV connected to your Apple TV must be able to pass through Dolby Atmos sound to the speakers. In turn, the sound system must be compatible with Atmos signals.
  • Alternatively, you can directly play the music from the HomePod speakers paired with your iPhone.
  • If your TV does not support this surround-sound format, use a Dolby Atmos-enabled AV receiver. You can connect this device to your TV, Apple 4K TV, and speakers to create a multi-room setup.

Specifically, when playing music with Airplay 2, the Atmos-enabled Apple devices would play the surround sound automatically if, and only if, the content supports it.

How to Stream Dolby Atmos With Airplay?

Thankfully, it is a breeze to set up an Airplay supported speaker as your audio output option.

Turn on the Devices

When adding a new speaker to your Airplay list, make sure it’s turned on in the first place.

Use the WiFi Wizard

Pair the speakers with your iOS device. To do so, follow the WiFi Wizard on the device to complete the process.

  • Click on the WiFi settings on your iOS device. From the list of the network connections, choose the name of your Airplay supported speakers.

Note: iOS devices will automatically recognize speakers that are capable of streaming audio from Airplay.

  • After you connect the iOS device with the speaker’s network, look for an option that says “Set up new airplay speaker.” Click on your speaker’s name to go to the setup page.
  • On this window, you can change the name of the speaker and add a password to it.
  • Choose “Show other networks.” The list of WIFI networks will expand. Select the name of your home WiFi.
  • The process will add the new speakers to the list of Airplay output.
  • Going forward, all you need to do is choose the speaker(s) in your music widget to sync together.

What Apple Devices Allow You to Stream Dolby Atmos?

Although a little late to support Atmos sound, Apple makes sure that almost all its devices with the latest firmware process this audio format.

So, you can expect to hear music with surround sound using MacBooks, iPhones, iPods, Apple TVs, and HomePods too. Just make sure that these devices are updated with the latest version of their operating systems.

Enable Atmos Sound on iPhone and iPad

You can follow a similar process for enabling Dolby Atmos sound on both iPhone as well as iPad.

  • Verify if the iPhone and iPad have the latest version of iOS and iPadOS.
  • Use the settings of the device to reach the “Music” option.
  • You will find the “Dolby Atmos” option under “Audio.” Tap on it.
  • Under this choice, you can choose between “Automatic,” “Always On,” and “Off.”

It is recommended to choose “Automatic.” This way, whenever you play Atmos-enabled content, your device will process the surround sound automatically. Do not forget to pair your iPhone or iPad with the Atmos supported headphones.

You can choose between a few best options such as AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and a few others. There are a few other brands that are compatible with Apple devices such as BeatsX, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, and so on.

What’s fascinating is that the native built-in speakers on a few iPhone and iPad models directly support surround sound effects.

  • iPhone XS and later models except for SE
  • The 3rd generation and beyond iPad Pro (with 12.9 inch screen)
  • The 11 inch iPad Pro
  • The 4th generation iPad Air

Note: When connecting headphones that do not support automatic playback, choose “Always On.”

Enabled Atmos Sound on MacBook

Thankfully, some of the latest MacBook models flaunt Atmos supported inbuilt speakers. Examples of these are the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (both models released after 2017). The same is true for the iMac (2021 model).

However, if your MacBook model isn’t on this list, you can still enjoy the surround sound experience by pairing your device with AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or 3rd generation and later AirPods.

Follow the steps to turn on Dolby Atmos on your Macbook. Before jumping to these steps, make sure that the device is updated properly.

  • Go to the Apple Music app on your MacBook
  • Click on “Preferences” under music listed on the menu bar
  • Choose the Playback tab from the different options
  • Here you can set Dolby Atmos to “Automatic,” “Always On,” and “Off”

You must choose “Automatic” for a hassle-free experience. However, if using a headphone with no support for automatic playback, go for the “Always On” option.

Enable Dolby Atmos on Apple 4K TV

Before choosing this sound format for Apple 4K TV streaming, you must ensure that the device is connected to Atmos supported speakers or headphones.

  • Select “Apps” under “Settings”
  • Click on “Music”
  • Choose “Dolby Atmos” for toggling between “Automatic” or “Off” options

Can Airplay Stream Dolby Atmos to Your HomePod?

Certainly, Airplay can stream Dolby Atmos sound to your HomePod. However, you must ensure that the device uses the upgraded software version of 15.1. Or else, it won’t support the surround sound signals.

Once done, make sure to enable Atmos sound on your HomePod for streaming surround sound via Airplay. Just follow these steps:

  • If you are already using a HomePod, you must have the Home app on your iOS device, on either the iPhone or the iPad
  • To turn on Atmos, open the Home app from your device
  • Click on the “Home” Button
  • Go to “Settings” on the Home app
  • Click on people to look for your name. Tap on it.
  • Tap on the option that says Apple Music. This will toggle the Dolby Atmos setting to “On” and “Off”

Just note, even with its impressive audio for its tiny size, the HomePod Mini isn’t compatible with Atmos sound.