Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One

In an effort to push for deeper user experience, Microsoft has announced that an upcoming update to their Xbox One console and Windows 10 operating system will include support for Dolby Atmos Surround sound. Dolby Atmos technology was introduced in commercial movie theaters in 2012, boasting up to 128 discrete audio tracks that level up the sound immersion significantly compared to traditional surround sound sources which burns all the source audio tracks into a fixed number of channels during post-production.

It was introduced in the home theater market in 2014 with some changes because of the limited hardware and bandwidth. A spatially-coded substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus which is partially an encoded representation of the object-based mix but it supports up to 24.1.10 channels. Although far from the Dolby Atmos commercial theater experience, it still provides a significant immersive experience in a home theater setup and has the added versatility of gaming with it rather than just for movies.

“Xbox will be the first game console to feature Dolby Atmos and game developers are excited about using the new capabilities to make their games richer and more engaging. Atmos support for the Blu-ray app on Xbox is already available in Preview and will be released to GA soon — and we’re very excited now to offer Atmos support to games on Xbox One and Windows 10. You’ll be able to experience Dolby Atmos in your home theater, assuming you have a Dolby Atmos enabled speaker system or soundbar. But you don’t need to have that kind of equipment — it will be possible to enable virtually any pair of headphones with the Dolby Atmos experience”, according to Larry Hryb of Xbox Live.

An upcoming Windows 10 Creator’s update will also include full support for HDR so aside from improving the immersive audio experience, Microsoft will also have extra eye-candy for their users.

Ron Perillo

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