Play audio in Dolby Atmos or surround sound on your Apple TV

Apple TV is designed to deliver the best sound experience that your home entertainment system supports. Learn which audio formats are supported on Apple TV and the setup you need to play sound in the highest quality.

Audio formats supported on Apple TV

Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD automatically play sound in the highest quality that’s supported by your home entertainment system setup and available with content that you watch.

If your home entertainment system doesn't support the audio format that Apple TV automatically selects, you can manually change the audio format. Go to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Format and turn on Change Format. From here you can choose the following:

  • Dolby Digital 5.1: Plays audio on multiple speakers and a subwoofer, like a 5.1 speaker setup.
  • Stereo: Supported audio quality for all televisions, movies, and TV shows that plays sound through a right and left channel.

Set up Dolby Atmos

On Apple TV 4K with the latest version of tvOS, you can play sound in Dolby Atmos — an immersive sound experience that moves audio all around you in three-dimensional space.

To play movies and TV shows in Dolby Atmos from your Apple TV 4K, set up your home entertainment system for high-quality audio. Setups that you can use include:

  • One or two HomePod speakers
  • A television that supports Dolby Atmos audio
  • A Dolby Atmos compatible sound bar
  • A Dolby Atmos enabled AV Receiver

Some third-party AV Receivers and sound bars might require a firmware update to support Dolby Atmos. Go to the manufacturer’s website to learn more.

Learn how to set up home theater audio with Dolby Atmos support on one or two HomePod speakers. Or use the following steps to set up Dolby Atmos on your Apple TV 4K with a compatible sound bar or AV Receiver:

  1. Make sure that you connect your Apple TV 4K directly to the HDMI input on your sound bar or AV receiver with an HDMI cable. Most televisions don’t support Dolby Atmos pass-through to sound bars and receivers.*
  2. Plug one end of an HDMI cable into the HDMI output on your sound bar or AV receiver. Then plug the other end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI input on your television.

*Some sound bars and AV receivers support Dolby Atmos, but don’t support video formats like HDR10 and Dolby Vision. In this case, you can plug your Apple TV 4K into either the sound bar or AV receiver to play sound in Dolby Atmos. Or you can plug your Apple TV 4K into your television to watch video in HDR and Dolby Vision. To do both, you need a television or an AV receiver or sound bar that supports both Dolby Atmos and high-quality video formats. Apple TV 4K uses a high bandwidth form of Dolby Atmos that doesn’t work over ARC connections.

Check if Dolby Atmos is set up

On your Apple TV 4K, go to Settings > Video and Audio and select Audio Format. Under Immersive Audio, check that Dolby Atmos is on. If you don't see Immersive Audio and Dolby Atmos as an option, you might need to change how your home entertainment system is set up. If you're using home theater audio with HomePod as your Default Audio Output, Dolby Atmos is already set up and you won't see the Immersive Audio option in Settings.

Some Dolby Atmos-supported content might show Dolby Atmos logo in its audio info. 

  • If you’re watching content on Apple TV+: Press Menu on your Apple TV remote and look for Dolby Atmos logo.
  • If you’re watching content in the iTunes Movies app or a third-party app: Swipe down on the Touch surface of your Apple TV remote. Under info, look for Dolby Atmos logo.

You can't play sound in Dolby Atmos if Quick Start is turned off in Settings. To check, go to Settings > Apps > iTunes Movies and TV Shows > Quick Start.

Learn more

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