Findđiffer Dolby Digital vs Dolby Atmos

Dolby Digital vs Dolby Atmos

Home theater audio has gone a long way since sound choice has been limited to mono or stereo. Today, surround sound systems have taken over, and they come in different standards and platforms. Dolby Digital vs Dolby Atmos is two of the most widely used surround sound formats.

What is surround sound?

Mono is audio coming from one channel. Stereo is audio coming from 2 channels. The stereo sound comes to the right and left without including above, below, and behind. Surround sound, on the other hand, is a mixing process.

Surround sound includes 2 channels and may include 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer, 7 speakers and 1 subwoofer, or up to 21 speakers and 1 subwoofer. It all depends on the number of speakers you want to mix in the process.

As the term connotes, surround sound “surrounds” the listener with 3600 sounds coming from the left, right, above, and below, making the sound more realistic. It is more commonly used in home theater systems and can either be digital or analog.

When you speak of surround sound standards, Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos always make it to the top of the list.

  • Dolby Digital is the original multiple-channel audio technology. It uses specialized encoding and decoding technology to reproduce multichannel audio to deliver a cinematic sound experience in home theaters.
  • Dolby Atmos follows in the footsteps of Dolby Digital to deliver a cinematic sound experience.  It has become the newest standard in surround sound. This audio format debuted in movie theaters but has since been developed to support home theaters.

Read on and see how Dolby Atmos differs from Dolby Digital, its direct predecessor.


Dolby Digital

Dolby Digital


See more: Dolby Digital vs Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby Digital is a digital audio coding form that efficiently stores and transmits high-quality digital sound. Movie theaters first used this technology in 1992. It is now available for home video programming.

Dolby Digital programs deliver surround sound with 5 discrete full-range channels:

  • Right
  • Center
  • Left
  • Right Surround
  • Left Surround

A sixth channel is also available for powerful LFEs (low-frequency effects), making viewers feel more than hear.

Dolby Digital audio can be used with laser discs, DVD-ROM discs for computers, DVD-Video discs, digital cable systems, digital broadcast TV, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) systems. These discs usually come with the Dolby Digital logo.

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos

The Dolby Atmos systems are the next generation of Dolby Digital and have delivered 3D aural and surround-sound experiences in theaters since 2012. Today, they have brought the object-based experience to home theaters.

Dolby Atmos is a system that places speakers above the viewers. It creates superior moving audio that streams around you for an absolute home theater sound experience.

With a Dolby Atmos system, speakers are positioned above the audience. It delivers sounds into a 3D space creating a feeling of being part of the action. It simultaneously duplicates up to 128 audio objects to create a mix of breathtaking, realistic, and rich sound.

There is a growing list of movies, content, and Blu-ray discs with Dolby Atmos soundtracks for home theaters.

Dolby Digital vs Dolby Atmos – the difference

When it comes to Dolby Digital vs Dolby Atmos, there are some key differences that you should be aware of.

For starters, Dolby Atmos is a newer technology that offers a more immersive sound experience.

Additionally, Dolby Atmos also supports object-based audio, which allows for sounds to be placed in specific locations in the room. This can create a more realistic and lifelike soundscape.

Finally, Dolby Atmos can also support high-resolution audio, providing an even richer and more detailed sound experience.

Comparison Chart

 Dolby DigitalDolby Atmos
Speaker ArrangementHorizontalHorizontal and Vertical
Audio Compression2D surround sound3D surround sound
Channel Setup
  • 5:1
  • subwoofer
  • center speaker,
  • right and left front speakers
  • right and left rear speakers
  • 7:1
  • subwoofer
  • center speaker,
  • right and left front speakers
  • right and left rear speakers
  • pair of side speakers

(3D space )


Both Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos are multi-channel sound systems for home theaters. The format of Dolby Digital presumes that all speakers are at a level with each other.  Dolby Atmos introduces the height concept (3D). 


Dolby Digital assigns between 2.0 to 5.1 or more channels. Speakers are horizontally arranged. Dolby Atmos assigns between 3.1.2 to 4.1.4 channels with speakers arranged horizontally and vertically.

The first number represents the horizontal speakers. The second number represents the subwoofer; in the case of Dolby Atmos, the third number represents the number of vertical speakers.

Sound Creation

With Dolby Digital, the sound is thrown to the intended speaker when an illusion of someone behind the audience needs to be created. This is because Dolby Digital is a speaker-based system.

On the other hand, Dolby Atmos does not push the sound to a certain speaker. Instead, it pushes the sound to a 3D space.

To create an illusion of a fighter jet flying overhead, no particular speaker where the sound will come is chosen. What is chosen is a particular 3D space, and the Atmos System will automatically adjust the sound that should come out of the right speaker.

Audio Compression

Dolby Digital via its latest codec, Dolby TrueHD, creates 2D surround sound. Dolby Atmos renders a real 3D surround sound experience.

Sound Experience

Both Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos use sound enhancement tool software that delivers premium quality sound. Dolby Digital provides sound from your existing speaker set-up, while Dolby Atmos uses the software and compatible hardware.

This means that Dolby Atmos creates a superior sound experience than Dolby Digital because of the required hardware.

If you want to enjoy the best home theater systems, you need to invest in these minimum requirements:


Which is better –Dolby Digital vs Dolby Atmos? If you look at the specs alone, Dolby Atmos beats Dolby Digital, promising a more realistic and superior movie experience.

Dolby Atmos is a newer technology that offers a more immersive sound experience with the ability to support object-based and high-resolution audio. If you’re looking for an unbeatable home theater sound experience, Dolby Atmos is the way to go.


What is Dolby Digital?

Dolby Digital is a technology that allows for surround sound audio playback. It is a type of digital audio encoding that compresses the audio signal and splits it into five or six channels. This allows for a more realistic audio experience, with sounds coming from all around the listener.

What is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is an even newer technology that takes surround sound to the next level. It allows for up to 128 audio channels, which gives listeners an even more immersive experience.

Which is better, Dolby Digital or Dolby Atmos?

The short answer is Dolby Atmos. But they both offer unique benefits that can be appealing to different consumers.

Dolby Digital is a more traditional surround sound technology that can provide a more immersive experience for listeners. It splits the audio signal into five or six channels, which creates a more realistic audio environment.

Dolby Atmos takes surround sound to the next level, allowing up to 128 audio channels. This gives listeners an even more immersive experience, with sounds coming from all around them.

How do I set up Dolby Atmos?

To set up Dolby Atmos, the listener needs a receiver that supports the technology and speakers that can accommodate the extra channels.


What equipment do I need for Dolby Atmos?

  1. To enjoy Dolby Atmos, you need a Dolby Atmos-enabled receiver and speakers.
  2. The receiver decodes the audio and sends it to the correct speakers.
  3. The speakers must be placed in the correct location to create an immersive experience.
  4. You can also add height speakers to enhance the experience further.


What are the best movies to watch with Dolby Atmos?

Some of the best movies to watch with Dolby Atmos are “A Quiet Place,” “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” and “Black Panther.” These movies provide an immersive experience that takes advantage of the capabilities of Dolby Atmos.

What are the best speakers for Dolby Atmos?

There are many great options when it comes to speakers for Dolby Atmos. Some of the best options include the Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-280FA and the Definitive Technology BP9080x. These speakers provide powerful sound and create an immersive experience that takes advantage of Dolby Atmos.

What are the differences between Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos?

There are a few key differences between Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos. Dolby Digital is a 5.1 surround sound system, while Dolby Atmos can support up to 64 speakers. This gives Dolby Atmos a much more immersive experience, with realistic sound effects that seem to come from all around you.


What is the difference between Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD?

The main difference between Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD is that Dolby TrueHD is a lossless audio codec, while Dolby Atmos is a 3D surround sound technology. Dolby TrueHD can support up to 7.1 audio channels, while no major streaming platforms use it. On the other hand, Dolby Atmos allows sounds to be placed anywhere in a 3D environment. This makes it perfect for gamers who want to immerse in their gaming experience fully.


What is the difference between Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus?

Dolby Atmos is an immersive audio technology that allows sound to come from all around you instead of just in front of or behind you. This gives a more realistic experience and can be used in cinemas, homes, and cars. Dolby Digital Plus is a compressed version of Dolby Digital used for streaming content. It offers higher-quality audio than traditional MP3s or AACs and is becoming more popular with services like Netflix and Hulu.


What is the difference between Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision?

Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision are audio, and video codecs used to create a more immersive experience. They are both effective at creating a surround sound effect, but they work in different ways.

Atmos relies on speaker placement to create the surround sound effect, while Vision uses object-based rendering to create a more realistic 3D image.


How do I troubleshoot Dolby Atmos problems?

If you are experiencing problems with Dolby Atmos, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot them. One thing to check is your speaker configuration. Ensure that your speakers are set up correctly and that all the channels play sound. If you still have problems, you can try changing your audio output settings or updating your audio drivers. If none of these solutions work, you may need to contact Dolby support for further assistance.


What are some common Dolby Atmos myths?

There are a few myths about Dolby Atmos that circulate around. Some people believe that you need to have a specific kind of speaker to enjoy the audio experience or that it’s only meant for movie theaters. Others think it’s too complicated or expensive to set up at home. In reality, all you need is a receiver and speakers that are compatible with the Atmos format, and you can be up and running in no time. It’s also worth noting that the cost of entry is relatively affordable, with many receivers available for under $500.

Where can I find more information about Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos has an official site, you can do research there.

How do I test my surround sound?

Please listen audio of this video clip to test your surround sounds:

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