Will DOLBY ATMOS really benefit my PC home theater experience, and do movies and games have to be made to use it?


Sep 20, 2017
I have a 5.1 system hooked up to an amplifier and a Sound Blaster Rx/5 sound card. I am wondering if I will receive a benefit with DOLBY ATMOS. I have a
Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker System hooked up to an amplifier and a Sound Blaster Rx/5 sound card in my computer. I am wondering if it will benefit my 5.1 system or not

(Also, in the future I plan on getting pimp headphones but will that help them or not?)


Dolby Atmos is an extra meta-information layer which is (for consumers) layed over a Dolby TrueHD audiotrack (on, for example, BluRay). This extra information provides additional audio which can be positioned within a room (environment) in 3D.

To take a step back;

Dolby 7.1 (I presume you mean Dolby TrueHD 7.1) is an audio track which has 7 ‘normal’ channels and 1 subwoofer channel. These are placed on the locations: Front Left, Center, Front Right, Surround Left, Surround Right, Rear Left and Rear Right.

This creates a 2 dimensional circle around you making it possible to position a sound anywhere on this circle. You can’t, however, position the audio above (or below). Hence the 2D circle.

Dolby Atmos, on the other hand, is in its base form a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio track. On top of this, it has additional information stored (small audio tracks and position information) which makes it possible to not only have this audio be placed on the circle around you, but also be positioned ABOVE this circle.

This does, however, require that you have a Dolby Atmos enabled receiver and have extra speakers positioned above your current speakers. Or make use of special “Dolby Atmos Enabled Speakers”.

When you have those, the Dolby Atmos receiver will use the basic TrueHD 7.1 audio track to be played on your normal speakers. And using the extra information it will calculate which height speaker should be used to display that piece of audio information.

If you don’t have height speakers, but do have a Dolby Atmos receiver, the receiver will use the extra information to enhance the basic TrueHD 7.1 audio track.

To sum up; Dolby Atmos can position audio and sound not only around you, but also above you.

Sounds like the media (movies/games) would need to have that additional meta data that feeds into the 3d sound of Atmos. However...

All content that supports surround sound will be enhanced with Dolby Atmos, but the best experiences will be from content that natively supports Dolby Atmos. Any movies or games you have which support 5.1/7.1 surround will get passed through Dolby Atmos.

This is especially important if you're only using stereo headphones with Dolby Atmos for Headphones, as it will immediately allow you to have a surround experience even without that content specifically supporting Dolby Atmos.

"Any traditional surround sound content is automatically upscaled with Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos to provide an enhanced audio experience – making that content more immersive than before. Games that natively support Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos offer the highest level of audio immersion and location accuracy" -

So its not all bad.

Oct 24, 2018
Atmos for headphones...EXCELLENTLY AWESOME. (only via FRONT audio*w port detection.)
Atmos on Home Theater -* only on HDMI2 via ARC.
Maximum frame rate supported * 60hz. (?HDMI2 supports upto 120 hz but not ATMOS.)
SLI is not supported or even able ( nvidia does not output sound second device SLI)
Using a spare HDMI out on your current monitor GPU straight to sound bar or theater(correctly detected to my suprise by Nvidia and windows.)!FLOGS even a 1080. Unplayable.
Points to consider.
! No monitor I know of has an ARC (audio return channel)
! Nvidia does not allow audio output from a second card SLI
!ATMOS (outputting processed( ATMOS audio through Nvidia card via spare HDMI makes my GTX1080 run like POO ....really really POO. unplayable.)
BTW Atmos is now available on upscaling sound bars from 2 channel to 7.1 channel. ie ATMOS 3.1 where the device will upscale virtual surround offboard.)

Good news...I cant tell a poop of difference using optical out to sound bar with dolby digital enabled . LG SK9Y Atmos Sound Bar 5.1.2 500W
Possibly one benifit of a high end sound bar is it automatically upscales the input and if the input is surround enabled VIOLA surround sound dolby 5.1 (seems to just replicate the additional .2 via digital crossover of front and rear L/R channels to .2 output ATMOS speakers ((upward)) anyway?.)
5.1 digital perfectly via on board ALC 1150 optical out 2 channel to the sound bar with full 5.1.2 because of the LG's onboard upscaling..but I dunno if thats true ATMOS....go figure. how do you test?
Seems ATMOS may not be suitable for high refresh rate gaming other than via headphones which is a pretty damn awesome experience immersive and all that is promised with very little processing hit considering,,but the theater side of things seems a bit sqwished
Has anyone else setup ATMOS for high refresh rate 100+ Refresh via theater (, is it possible, does it work, hows the processing hit ect ect
Oh and YES I believe to have a true ATMOS experience you do need content which has it embedded currently 8 maybe 6 games. Andromeda is one i am playing in Dolby Digital Via optical out onboard ALC 1150 to the sound bar (ATMOS upscaling for speakers) and on headphones and it sounds VERY awesome.
I gave up on HDMI connection for ATMOS home theater as it was just problematic for gaming and HDMI // but perhaps someone can steer me in a new direction with this...?