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Does Plex Support Dolby Atmos?

Plex, which offers the ability to create your own library of movies, videos, shows, and more, is attracting the attention of more and more users. Unlike other streaming apps, the solution provides a way to manage favorite media collections in one place. While it provides a great browsing experience, with the latest codecs support, the experience can be enhanced way further. So, can Plex play Dolby Atmos?

As long as the devices hosting the Plex client app support Dolby Atmos, you can enjoy the surround audio effects when streaming media files from a Plex server. Don’t forget that the other connected devices must also support this audio format, such as the TV and sound system.

You must want to know how the Plex app works and which Plex client devices you could use to enable the Dolby Atmos experience. So without any further ado, let’s look at how to get the most from the Plex streaming software solution.

Can Plex Play Dolby Atmos?

Yes, Plex can play Dolby Atmos as long as the streaming device is capable of processing and sending a Dolby Atmos signal.

For instance, the Plex client devices such as Fire TV, Nvidia Shield TV, or Apple TV must support the audio codecs Dolby Atmos audio is embedded into (Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby TrueHD).

Why is a Plex Client Device Needed?

Unlike Netflix, Prime Video, or most other streaming applications, Plex offers a software solution to manage your content on a server. In other words, you can host your favorite movies, shows, images, and more on one computer and stream those files remotely.  

This is when the Plex Client device comes into play. Essentially, these devices help users access the hosted data remotely. The most popular Plex-supported media player is the Nvidia Shield TV (on Amazon), but the Plex client app is available on most media players.

You must install the Plex client app on the selected streaming device. Once you run the app, it will send requests to the server for playing the content in real-time.

Plex offers the best solution to set up and maintain the personal media server with its intuitive interface. Using this application, it is possible to host an expansive list of free content. Undoubtedly, you will need compatible streaming devices to access the Plex app with surround sound effects.

Here are some of the recommendations you can choose from:

Nvidia Shield

Regarded as the best Plex streaming device, the Nvidia Shield TV (on Amazon) flaunts robust codec support. Offering users a great sound experience, the device is easy to set up and use.

Also, the device could turn into the Plex server as well. With the Shield’s Pro version, you get 500GB support for the built-in hard drive. Plus, it is possible to add additional storage. Thanks to the multiple USB ports available on the device.

Apple TV 4K

Another popular Plex Client device is the Apple TV 4K (on Amazon). This is an ideal device if you love gaming, as the hardware extends the support for that too.  

You can choose between 32GB and 64GB options and enjoy watching shows and movies with Dolby Vision and surround sound effects. It is simple to use hosts on an intuitive interface.

Coming back to Plex, the device could give you an amazing experience, offering an immersive sound quality.

Roku Ultra

If you are looking for an ultimate device that can help stream Plex content and over 2000 channels, the Roku Ultra (on Amazon) is the way to go.

It is an affordable choice that enables HEVC decoding, and it couples the benefits of the voice assistant for operating its remote. The remote also has a headphone jack which makes private streaming possible.

How Can You Tell if Plex Is Using Dolby Atmos?

While the difference in the sound 3D effect would talk for itself, you must make sure that every device within your home theater set up supports Dolby Atmos. As the Plex supports Atmos sound, you must verify the same capabilities for other devices.

  • The Media Files: Without any doubt, it’s not possible to get Atmos sound unless the content is encoded using the same format. That said, the video and audio files must be Atmos-enabled.
  • Streaming Device: Used as the Plex client device, the streaming player must be capable of decoding Atmos or passing it through to sound systems without any noticeable alterations.
  • Sound Systems: Any sound system, either an AV receiver or the soundbar, must support Dolby Atmos. In case you are not using any external sound system, the TV’s inbuilt speakers must be compatible with this sound format.

In the meantime, you must set up your device to process sound using Dolby Atmos instead of other output options.


Wednesday 1st of February 2023


Ted Trebilcock

Monday 31st of October 2022

These devices can’t play AAC or AC3 or Atmos, or DTS. The device, if it is direct play, will transcode it to PCM first, or FLAC. Often this injects about 1/5th second or up to 1/2 second of audio synch issue. Worst, for DTS and Atmos the playing device will also remove your center channel because it can’t decode it. Yes I’ve tried nvidia shield pro, appletv 4K, roku, and Firestick. AC3 and dts all have a horrible audio delay you can see where the audio is slightly ahead of the video frame, by 5-20 frames. You should encourage any use of a plex server to mean you rip your movies with flac audio, do not keep the DTS or Dolby Atmos. Do not change the audio by rendering it in a video editor, this does not work. Any receiver will still decode the Atmos correctly if the audio part if the video clip was changed lossless to pcm (or flac). It just eliminates tons of issues by removing the source of the audio synch from the playing device. Also if you set the client device to not accept direct play and force the server to transcode DTS or aAtmos, the center channel disappears. So plex absolutely does not transcode dts or Atmos. Plex transcoding also dramatically weakens the center channel when attempting to transcode AAC or AC3, so it doesn’t really transcode those correctly either. So people should rip using makemkv, change settings to uncompress the audio while ripping and store it as uncompressed flac. It’s in the upper right of makemkv after the movie loads to rip. This is the only way it works without audio synch issues. You should test this on 3-4 devices to see for yourself.


Saturday 13th of August 2022

This isn’t true… There is a 4th factor that also needs to support Atmos and that is the app itself. Devices like appleTV 4k only support Atmos in apps like Disney+, Netflix, or the AppleTV app. It doesn’t support Atmos audio on the Plex app. As far as I understand, the only streaming device to date that supports Atmos on Plex is the Nvidia Shield Pro.