Difference Between Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby Digital vs Dolby Digital Plus

Originally developed by Dolby Stereo Digital in 1994, Dolby Digital is an audio compression technology. It efficiently transfers audio signals to the AV preamplifier/processor or receiver that has the capability in decoding it.


Dolby Digital provides an efficient audio technology for content providers in order to compress audio files size without diminishing its quality. Moreover, Dolby Digital utilizes at most six discrete sound channels. The audio from this technology is commonly included in DVDs and TV broadcasts.

On the other hand, Dolby Digital Plus is an improved audio technology which is based on Dolby Digital. It is a digital-based sound format in high definition which supports up to eight channels. Blu-ray discs utilize this audio format. In addition to that, it is also compatible with the interface of HDMI.

Surround Dolby Surround Sound Speakers System
Photo Credit: from pixabay.com

Key Differences

Media formats both utilize these audio technologies. However, there are notable differences between both. Provided below are the features they differ.

  • The number of sound channels – Dolby digital utilizes 5.1 discrete sound channels while there are 8.1 discrete channels in Dolby digital plus. Thus, the latter provides a more efficient audio compression and a greater bit rate.
  • Audio quality – With more channels and less compression, Digital Dolby plus has an improved sound and realistic audio feel. Furthermore, This technology enables the content creators to provide multi-channel audio with better bit rates.
  • Support – Dolby Digital plus covers integration with Blu-Ray players. Moreover, most tablet and mobile products support this audio compression.
  • Overhead – With Dolby Digital, high-quality content comes in greater file size. In contrast, Dolby Digital Plush allows the delivery of high-quality content in smaller file sizes.
  • Metadata – There is an improvement in metadata support for Dolby Digital Plus. With this in mind, it assures the viewers or listeners of having a consistent sound.

Dolby Digital Plus is an improvement for the original Digital Dolby version. To give you an insight into the difference between their features, you can refer to the comparison chart provided below.

Feature DescriptionDolby DigitalDolby Digital Plus
Number of Channels5.1 channels7.1 channels
Allows streaming and download supportYesYes
With Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 built-inNoYes
Support for Blu-rayNoYes
Mobile network supportNoYes
Stereo DownmixYesYes
Scalable for applications that require bandwidthNoYes
Data rateUp to 640kbpsUp to 6Mbps
Compression (mono-multi-channel)LossyLossy

Overall, we can observe the improvement of the technology in Dolby Digital Plus to produce a better quality of audio compression for Dolby Digital.


Here are some of the related videos that can provide you quick insights into the difference between Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus audio.

Dolby Digital 5.1 Speaker Test:

Dolby Digital Plus Speaker Test:


Formerly acknowledged as AC-3, Dolby Digital coding technique from audio reduces the data amount needed to create a sound with high quality. Correspondingly, it reduces the noise in the audio signal by masking it and allowing the human ears to only hear the clear sound.

As discussed, Dolby Digital Plus is an improved audio compression technology of the previous version. It provides more features such as Blu-ray applications, scalability, and mobile network support. Furthermore, it has higher data rates which allow better audio quality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *