Dolby Atmos on Apple Music with Apple TV 4K & Sonos Arc


Userlevel 7

Spatial Audio/Dolby Atmos music is now available on Apple Music through the Apple TV 4K. It’s exciting to see more streaming services adopt these higher resolution audio formats.

To play Atmos music through the Arc, be sure to have a TV with HDMI eARC or an HDFury Arcana and tvOS 14.6 installed. On the Apple TV 4K (1st Gen) model, go to Settings > Apps > Music and set Dolby Atmos to Automatic and Audio Quality to Lossless.

Enjoy!


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50 replies

Userlevel 7

I’m pretty sure that AirPlay doesn’t support Dolby Atmos audio. And the only way to listen to Dolby Atmos music from Apple Music on the Sonos Arc is through the Apple Music app on an Apple TV 4K connected to a TV with HDMI eARC or an HDFury Arcana.
 

From Apple:

“​​​​​​​Audio that you stream from Apple TV with AirPlay doesn't support Dolby Atmos or surround sound.”

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204069

I’m not sure but if you go to Settings > Music > Dolby Atmos and set it to “Always on” on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, it sounds different when you stream through AirPlay to the Sonos speakers. 

Dolby Atmos does show on the ‘now playing’ screen in the Apple Music App with it set to "Always on" - and yes it will play on the Arc (shown simply as Airplay in the S2 App), but you only have to slide the Arc ‘height audio’ slider bar back and forth to see that it makes no difference at all - so my guess is the audio is down-sampled to non-atmos CD/DVD stereo audio quality, so probably at 16-Bit/44.1 kHz or maybe 24-Bit/48 kHz. I don’t think it’s working for Atmos (not yet, at least)… but maybe it will one day, hopefully🤞.

Userlevel 7

I’m not sure I agree with that. I was under the impression some non-Apple Apps can still use Dolby Digital Plus, it was only the Apple apps themselves that used MAT.

But since I don’t use any of the non-Apple apps, I can’t confirm. 

I get “Multichannel PCM 5.1” and “Dolby Atmos” from all the major apps on my Apple TV 4K which leads me to believe MAT is used for all the apps. I have never seen “Dolby Digital Plus 5.1” or “Dolby Atmos (DD+)” displayed in the Sonos app when using the Apple TV.

And Apple’s website says this:

”Apple TV 4K uses a high bandwidth form of Dolby Atmos that doesn’t work over ARC connections.”

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

I’m not sure but if you go to Settings > Music > Dolby Atmos and set it to “Always on” on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, it sounds different when you stream through AirPlay to the Sonos speakers. 

Ok, thanks and I will check it tonight. :)

I just tried airplay through Apple after adjusting settings. i didn’t listen but the DA symbol was on so i assume the ARC was receiving Atmos

Userlevel 2

Yep, I already tried those settings in the ATV app. Like I mentioned in the first post, I tried both methods to see if I could get it to work and both say it’s playing in stereo PCM. I’m curious if anyone can actually confirm this is working? Does your Sonos app say it’s playing in Atmos? There are people claiming it sounds better which can sometimes be a subjective thing. The ATV app can say the song is lossless and playing in Dolby Atmos but if the Sonos app does not display the Dolby Atmos symbol that means something is causing it to get converted to stereo PCM. 
 

I’m skeptical this is actually working for anyone, but I would love to see some proof that it is. Since Dolby Atmos works fine on all the other apps that support it, my hunch is there is something that still needs to be updated on either Sonos or Apples side?

Userlevel 7

@sonosone I can confirm that Spatial Audio/Dolby Atmos music from the Apple Music app on the Apple TV 4K plays in Dolby Atmos on my Sonos Arc. The Sonos app confirms this because it displays the Dolby Atmos logo on the Now Playing screen.

I have been listening to Spatial Audio music the last two days from Apple Music and it sounds great. There is a noticeable difference when you listen to an Atmos mix of a song, especially from the height channels.

Do you have tvOS 14.6 installed? What songs have you tested?

Userlevel 2

Well I tried again this morning and it is magically working now so I will resend my previous post and admit that I was wrong.

I didn’t change any settings on my devices so the only thing I can think is that the Sonos gods saw my post and decided to grant me Atmos :) 

It’s a little bit of a mystery, I’m not sure why it started working after a few days of it not? Maybe it needed a few days after the update for things to click and recognize the hardware? 
 

When everyone in the house is awake I will fully test it out and see how it compares. Thank you all for chiming in and being willing to help out. 

Userlevel 7

@codephilip Or you could get the HDFury Arcana that allows the Apple TV to bypass your TV’s limitations and send audio directly to the Arc. That’s what I am using with my 2013 Panasonic plasma with only HDMI ARC.

https://www.hdfury.com/product/4k-arcana-18gbps/

Userlevel 7

@codephilip Or you could get the HDFury Arcana that allows the Apple TV to bypass your TV’s limitations and send audio directly to the Arc. That’s what I am using with my 2013 Panasonic plasma with only HDMI ARC.

https://www.hdfury.com/product/4k-arcana-18gbps/

Thank you so much! I bought the 4K Arcana now. Didn’t know that something like that exists :)

FYI… The Arcana only has one HDMI input for a single device. If you want to connect more than one device, you need an HDMI switch. I am using a 3-port ROOFULL HDMI switch. It is no longer available, but here’s a 5-port model:

https://www.amazon.com/ROOFULL-Premium-Switch-Support-Auto-Switch/dp/B083NWKPXW

 

Your current HDMI cables may work fine, but HDFury recommends using Cable Matters, KabelDirekt or Zeskit HDMI cables with the Arcana. I am using these KabelDirekt cables:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CMF1VJZ/

 

Userlevel 7

@boxim We are specifically talking about the Apple TV 4K. You cannot get Dolby Atmos audio from any app on the Apple TV 4K without a TV with HDMI eARC or an HDFury Arcana.

And Dolby Atmos music on the Arc through the Apple TV is worth it. There is a pretty significant difference between an Atmos mix and non-Atmos mix with most songs.

Yep, I already tried those settings in the ATV app. Like I mentioned in the first post, I tried both methods to see if I could get it to work and both say it’s playing in stereo PCM. I’m curious if anyone can actually confirm this is working? Does your Sonos app say it’s playing in Atmos? There are people claiming it sounds better which can sometimes be a subjective thing. The ATV app can say the song is lossless and playing in Dolby Atmos but if the Sonos app does not display the Dolby Atmos symbol that means something is causing it to get converted to stereo PCM. 
 

I’m skeptical this is actually working for anyone, but I would love to see some proof that it is. Since Dolby Atmos works fine on all the other apps that support it, my hunch is there is something that still needs to be updated on either Sonos or Apples side?

Yes, when I have Dolby Atmos set to automatic on iPhone and ATV if i airplay to the ATV I get the atmos logo both on the iPhone and in the sonos app. 
 

If I AirPlay to the sonos instead of the ATV I don’t get the atmos logo on the phone or the Sonos app. 
 

If I change the setting on iPhone to always play atmos and I AirPlay to the sonos instead of ATV I will get the atmos logo on the phone but NOT on the sonos app. 
 

In summary you should get the atmos logo in the sonos app if you play directly from an ATV, or if you airplay to an ATV with the atmos setting to automatic or always on. 

Really sounds amazing on my Sonos 5.1 setup through my Apple TV. Hopefully Sonos will support this natively soon

This song in particular 

Kraftwerk - Tour De France

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

Really sounds amazing on my Sonos 5.1 setup through my Apple TV. Hopefully Sonos will support this natively soon

This song in particular 

Kraftwerk - Tour De France

Not my thing at all, but I think ‘I’m coming out’ by Diana Ross sounds amazing through headphones, especially. 

@codephilip Or you could get the HDFury Arcana that allows the Apple TV to bypass your TV’s limitations and send audio directly to the Arc. That’s what I am using with my 2013 Panasonic plasma with only HDMI ARC.

https://www.hdfury.com/product/4k-arcana-18gbps/

Thank you so much! I bought the 4K Arcana now. Didn’t know that something like that exists :)

FYI… The Arcana only has one HDMI input for a single device. If you want to connect more than one device, you need an HDMI switch. I am using a 3-port ROOFULL HDMI switch. It is no longer available, but here’s a 5-port model:

https://www.amazon.com/ROOFULL-Premium-Switch-Support-Auto-Switch/dp/B083NWKPXW

 

Your current HDMI cables may work fine, but HDFury recommends using Cable Matters, KabelDirekt or Zeskit HDMI cables with the Arcana. I am using these KabelDirekt cables:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CMF1VJZ/

 

Hey! Thanks again! I now have the Arcana and it’s way better. I also see the Dolby Atmos symbol in the Sonos app. Everything else was just subjective and sounded just different but wasn’t real Atmos. 
 

I have one question: When I play a song, I see the Dolby Atmos logo. All fine. But when I play a movie, the Sonos app shows Multichannel PCM 7.1. Is that an equivalent to Dolby Atmos?

 

Edit: It now also shows the Dolby Atmos logo during movies. 

Userlevel 7

Really sounds amazing on my Sonos 5.1 setup through my Apple TV. Hopefully Sonos will support this natively soon

This song in particular 

Kraftwerk - Tour De France

Kraftwerk’s 3-D: The Catalogue is widely considered to be one of the best Dolby Atmos albums ever released. The Dolby TrueHD/Atmos Blu-ray disc of the album/concert is incredible. I don’t know if the entire album is available in Atmos on Apple Music yet, but it is on Tidal. The song “Geiger Counter/Radioactivity (3-D)” produces some of the best height effects I have ever heard from my Arc.

Some of my other favorite songs in Atmos are “Rocketman” by Elton John, “Riders On the Storm” by The Doors, “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones, and “Drive” by R.E.M.

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

For now I just wonder if there’s any other ways to enjoy spatial audio with the SONOS system? I mean other than via APPLE TV 4K… I’ve tried by airplay from my iPad Mini but just got PCM stereo 2.0.

I’m not sure but if you go to Settings > Music > Dolby Atmos and set it to “Always on” on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, it sounds different when you stream through AirPlay to the Sonos speakers. 

Yes, I’m 99% sure that it works that way 

I’m not sure but if you go to Settings > Music > Dolby Atmos and set it to “Always on” on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, it sounds different when you stream through AirPlay to the Sonos speakers. 

Dolby Atmos does show on the ‘now playing’ screen in the Apple Music App with it set to "Always on" - and yes it will play on the Arc (shown simply as Airplay in the S2 App), but you only have to slide the Arc ‘height audio’ slider bar back and forth to see that it makes no difference at all - so my guess is the audio is down-sampled to non-atmos CD/DVD stereo audio quality, so probably at 16-Bit/44.1 kHz or maybe 24-Bit/48 kHz. I don’t think it’s working for Atmos (not yet, at least)… but maybe it will one day, hopefully🤞.

Maybe. But it sounds like Dolby Atmos if you switch between Always on and Off in Settings. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

I just tried airplay through Apple after adjusting settings. i didn’t listen but the DA symbol was on so i assume the ARC was receiving Atmos

I have tried last night after updating my iPad to IOS14.6, Airplay a track from it to my Sonos Arc setup… sounds very different to that I played via Apple TV 4K. The latter is much better. I think the DA symbol shown on the Apple Music app of the IOS devices just means that the track playing on that device is in Dolby Atmos… Whether we are getting Dolby Atmos from the Sonos setup we shall refer to what is showing on the Sonos app...

Userlevel 2

I can’t get it to play in Dolby Atmos. I’ve tried both suggestions in the thread, through the music app on ATV 4K, and airplay and neither way say they are playing in Atmos in the Sonos app. Both are stereo PCM. Can anymore confirm the Sonos app says it’s playing in Atmos when playing in the ATV 4K app or airplay? 

Userlevel 7

@sonosone What model TV do you have? Is it equipped with HDMI eARC?

Userlevel 2

@GuitarSuperstar I have an LG CX77 with an Arc connected to the eARC input through HDMI. Dolby Atmos works on other apps so I know it’s not my setup. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

@GuitarSuperstar I have an LG CX77 with an Arc connected to the eARC input through HDMI. Dolby Atmos works on other apps so I know it’s not my setup. 

So you’re getting Dolby Atmos from other apps on your Apple TV 4K? My LG TV is an 2018 model and only with HDMI ARC but got DD+ Dolby Atmos.