Understanding Dolby Atmos for Headphones
Dolby Atmos is a tech company that created a breakthrough for audiophiles. It's an audio format that can be used to place sounds anywhere in a sonic field, which provides a greater sense of space and the "wow" factor in audio. It's also the latest audiophile format, which is combining the features found in older high-end audio formats. Like all new things, it took some time for the public to accept and adapt, so don't worry if you've never heard of it. It is similar to 5.1 surround sound, but is designed to open up the sound field with a greater sense of space, making the sound feel like it is in the room with you. To do this, it adds height (the sense of height increases the sense of space in the room), and it adds channels (more speakers = more sound = greater sense of space). With home video, this refers to the seven speakers and four subwoofers of a surround sound system. With audio, there must be the proper playback tech to do this.
Bluetooth headphones have come a long way in recent years and are now widely available. A lot of people are choosing to use Bluetooth headphones and understandably so – Bluetooth headphones are wireless and free you from the hassle of dealing with messy wires.
Bluetooth headphones also allow you to stream music wirelessly which makes them a great option for listening to your favorite tunes on the go. One of the most common questions people have about Bluetooth headphones is whether or not they will work with Dolby Atmos.
In recent years, Dolby Atmos has become a popular option for home theater systems, and many home sound system companies are offering their customers the option of purchasing a Dolby Atmos compatible speaker setup. One of the biggest barriers for people – especially the younger generation – buying into the appeal of home theater systems is the price. Very few people want to spend thousands of dollars on a home theater system when they can buy a cheap Bluetooth speaker setup for a fraction of the cost. But what most people don’t realize is that you can actually pair your Dolby Atmos-enabled home theater system with Bluetooth headphones.
Since there’s so much interest around this topic, we decided to write a post that thoroughly explains the differences between headphones and speakers and why you can use Bluetooth headphones with Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers.
So, what is Dolby Atmos for headphones?
Headphones can use different technologies to try to give you a more 3D sound experience. The first is something called virtual surround sound. This technology attempts to emulate the feeling of the sound coming from different directions and from outside the ear canal by turning the sound into a surround sound system. Some stereo headphones use this technology to give a 3D sensation to the music.
Other headphones use a device called a DSP, or digital signal processor. This is essentially a small piece of hardware in the earbuds that molds the sound you hear into what it thinks you should hear from the different sound sources.
Finally, there is Dolby Atmos, which takes a different approach. By putting speakers in the ear cans, they have essentially made your ear a room in which the sound can resonate. The headphones can also create the echoes of the sound waves bouncing off the walls of the room. This gives a more 3D effect and makes the sound come from several directions around you, as opposed to only within your ears.
How Dolby Atmos Works With Headphones
Dolby Atmos and other "surround" technologies are only successful if they can effectively place sound sources in your room. Achieving this goal is difficult because the sound you hear from your home theater is different from the sound you hear when music is playing on your smartphone.
You might think of surround sound as a fancy way of saying "make the sound 'bigger'", but it's more like 3D sound. Dolby Atmos uses special encoding techniques that make the sound experienced at home distinctly different from the sound coming from your phone or tablet.
So, when you use Dolby Atmos, you're not just getting the same sound you're used to from your devices, you're getting a sound that's optimized to fill your room. Dolby Atmos is so much more than simple surround sound. It's the same thing your whole-home audio system does with music. That's because the technology separates the sound into different "elements" and channels.
By using different channels, sounds come from different directions. Since your experience listening to music on a smart device is different from your experience listening in your home theater, let's get into the specifics of how using Atmos with your Bluetooth headphones differs.
So how is this achieved with a pair of headphones that go over your head?
The Bluetooth signal remains as radio waves, just like it does when it’s connected to your cell phone or laptop. It’s the same technology that allows you to talk on your phone with the headphones on. Dolby uses a special transducer in each ear cup of your headphones that convert the sound into micro-vibrations that pass through your head. With a special algorithm, these vibrations are then processed and converted back into the correct audio frequencies and reconstruct the complete spectrum of sound to create a three-dimensional sound field that can be simulated in the same way when using a surround sound system. The algorithm is so advanced that it knows how to adjust the sound field based on your angle and distance from the headphones. This is done by using an additional set of micro-vibrations that respond to the orientation of your head and ears.
How to Set Up Dolby Atmos for Headphones on Windows 10
The Windows 10 Creators Update was released in early 2017. It brought along quite a few new features, including Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic for headphones. This technology allows you to create more immersive audio for your movie, games, and music experiences.
Setting Up Dolby Atmos for Headphones
Dolby Atmos is a surround sound-altering technology that provides a more immersive experience of your favorite movies and games. It does this by taking advantage of personal audio equipment, such as the headphones you use with your gaming console or home media center.
However, Dolby Atmos is currently only supported on a limited range of PC and Xbox One games. If you’ve bought headphones for use with your Xbox One or PC, you’ve probably noticed that the sound is limited to one headset.
Enabling Spatial Sound for Headphones
Atmos is currently only available in a few hundred theaters around the world, so you might not have the opportunity to see Atmos compatible content on the big screen. Older theaters may not be Atmos compliant, so if your theater doesn’t support Atmos, you won’t have access to the audio via your headphones.
Newer smartphones are now coming with the ability to play Dolby Digital Plus via Bluetooth. Sometimes this processing is labeled as “SRS TruSurround HD” or “SRS TruVolume.” A few Google searches should reveal whether the phone you are interested in is compatible.
The last question is whether the majority of the content you are interested in watching on your smartphone while wearing headphones supports Dolby Digital Plus. If most of your content is in Dolby Digital or stereo, you could find yourself disappointed with the sound quality of your films or TV shows.
How to Disable Dolby Atmos for Headphones
In a nutshell, Dolby Atmos enhances the sound by simulating it to be 3D. It creates three-dimensional sound effects, making the audio seem like it is coming from above you.
Dolby Atmos is not available for Bluetooth audio devices. Therefore, if you use Bluetooth headphones your audio will be affected, but they will not receive the additional 3D effects found in Samsung TVs. To disable them, you will need to manually disable the sound effects or use a different set of headphones.
If you wish to make this change, follow the steps below:
Sign in to the Smart Hub. Go to – Settings – Click – Dolby Atmos – Go to – Yes – to disable Atmos effects for Bluetooth headphones.
How to Set Up Dolby Atmos for Headphones on Xbox One
The Xbox One allows users to enjoy Dolby Atmos using a pair of Xbox wireless headphones. However, Dolby Atmos can be used with other headphones provided the headphones support Dolby Audio.
For the Xbox One’s Dolby Atmos to work with a non-Xbox wireless headset (like video headphones) the Xbox controller‘s guide button needs to be configured! An Xbox controller guide button is already there which can change the audio output to different devices.
It is easy to configure the button on your Xbox One controller. If you have not configured the button, then follow the steps given below:
Firstly, push the controller guide button and hold it till you hear a beep sound. And then until you’ll hear another beep. Release the button. The second beep confirms that the button is now configured.
Now that the button has been configured, it is time to have fun with Dolby Atmos!
Does Dolby Atmos Need Special Headphones?
No, it certainly does not.
The word Atmos is simply short for "audio" in an object-oriented surround sound format named "Atmos" that is supported by some newer Blu-ray players and ancillary sound devices. These can be used to enhance the playback environment of a movie or even a TV show.
There is no mention in Dolby's literature that you should have a specific Dolby-certified device to use their technology. Although I would be cautious about purchasing any audio-related equipment because it seems that most of their audio-related equipment cannot be used to playback its truest audio prowess.
If you're worried about rebooting or pairing new equipment to your streaming service, then just remember that you only need to pair the Dolby Atmos-certified device to your Apple TV box once. Thereafter, you can play newer shows and movies with Dolby Atmos without having to pair anything new.
Surround Sound Headphones vs. Stereo Headphones
Everyone is finally enjoying surround sound when watching movies at home, but this technology has been around since the 1980s. While this improvement adds to the movie-going experience, it also has added benefits for movie production. The technology has also evolved to include speaker layout, channel placement, and mastering of the surround sound, for even greater sounding movies.
When it comes to surround sound, movies have two channels to audio spatial positioning, speakers on the left and right side of the screen. Instead of stereo sound, there are surround sounds. The speakers are set up in such a way that the dialog is mostly heard from the center speaker, the sound from the left and right is positioned correctly to match the movement of the actors in the movie, and the bass (low-frequency sound) is heard through the sub-woofer. Ultimately, what this does is create a more realistic movie performance in comparison to using just a stereo sound system.
Dolby Atmos With Wireless Headphones
Bluetooth headphones are great. The wire-free design, sound, and portability make them a great alternate to wired headphones. Your only concern should be the type of Bluetooth protocol in use by the headphones.
Most Bluetooth devices employ A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) technology. A2DP allows headphones to stream stereo audio. But Dolby Atmos takes this a step further to allow backward compatibility.
The A2DP profile supports the transmission of three-dimensional audio signals and backward compatibility of the virtual surround technology in the movies. To better understand this approach, it is crucial to look at how a surround system works.
One of the main components of a surround system is Spatial Audio Coding (SACD), which is the technology used to create soundtracks for home entertainment content. It was developed by a group of audio equipment manufacturers and the movie industry. The main purpose of this technology was to provide movies and high-definition music with added depth.
Dolby Atmos with wireless headphones supports Bluetooth 4.0. This is the latest Bluetooth protocol and supports audio bandwidth of 24-bit 192 kHz.
Dolby Atmos works great with headphones, providing you with an immersive and high-quality sound experience.