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 (4th generation) 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 tvOS 12, 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. Here are two setups that you can use:

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.

Then follow these steps to set up Dolby Atmos on your Apple TV 4K:

  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 to 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 either plug your Apple TV 4K into 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 Atmospheric Audio, check that Dolby Atmos is on. If you don't see Atmospheric Audio and Dolby Atmos as an option, you might need to change how your home entertainment system is set up.

You can also check while watching content that supports Dolby Atmos. Just swipe down on the Touch surface of your Apple TV Remote. Under Info, look for  .

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

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Published Date: