Can YouTube Support Dolby Atmos? The Definitive Answer

a dolby surround sound 5.1 YouTube video showing on a Smart TV screen

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What To Know

  • YouTube does not currently support Dolby Atmos, but it does support Stereo and 5.1 surround sound formats.
  • To experience 5.1 surround sound on YouTube, your smart TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, or gaming console must support this feature, with setup steps varying by model.
  • While YouTube doesn’t offer Dolby Atmos, several other streaming platforms such as Netflix and Apple TV+ do support this advanced audio format.

In this article, I will address your burning question: Does YouTube support Dolby Atmos? Additionally, I’ll introduce other audio formats supported on YouTube.

Let’s get started!

YouTube’s Supported Audio Formats

YouTube currently recommends its viewers use the stereo or stereo + 5.1 audio formats to watch uploaded content. 

the 5.1 Sound settings in the YouTube app is ON

Unfortunately, Dolby Atmos is not one of these recommended formats and is not supported by YouTube at this time. 

While you may not be able to watch your favorite creators with Dolby Atmos, you can still watch videos in the 5.1 surround sound format, which will elevate your viewing experience nonetheless. 

Surround sound and Dolby Atmos are frequently used interchangeably, though they’re quite different. If you’re unsure about the distinctions between these two formats, proceed to the section “Difference Between Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos.”

How to Watch YouTube in 5.1 Surround Sound

Note: The only format supported by YouTube is 5.1 surround sound. 7.1 surround sound and other higher formats are not compatible. 

Now that you understand which advanced audio format YouTube supports, let’s learn the necessary requirements needed to set it up and how to enable it on your device. 


5.1 surround sound can only be enabled on YouTube videos and devices that support this feature. 

All smart TVs, Chromecasts, Apple TVs, Rokus, and select Fire TVs released in 2021 and later support 5.1 surround sound on YouTube. 

a 5.1 surround sound clip on a Smart TV screen

If you use a gaming console for all your streaming needs, you’re in luck! The YouTube app on the Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Xbox One, and PlayStation 5 also supports 5.1 surround sound. 

While 5.1 surround sound support became more commonplace in 2021, many TVs released in 2020 and earlier also support this audio format. Just check the device manufacturer’s specs to confirm its compatibility. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

The instructions to enable 5.1 surround sound on YouTube vary depending on the device. 

To get you started, I’ve listed the steps for how to do so on my LG TV. You can use these steps to complete this process on your own device or look up model-specific instructions. 

Step 1: Ensure your TV is turned on and connected to a stable Wi-Fi network. 

Wi-Fi connection in LG TV settings is connected to a Wi-Fi network

Step 2: Launch the YouTube app. 

YouTube app icon on LG TV screen

Step 3: Search for surround sound-supported videos. 

search for surround sound clips test on Youtube app

Step 4: Make sure the video’s surround sound setting is enabled. 

switch the 5.1 surround sound settings in the YouTube app to ON

Now all you need to do is kick your feet up and enjoy YouTube in surround sound. 

Difference Between Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos

Surround sound uses multiple speakers strategically placed around the listeners to create a more realistic and immersive audio experience. So, instead of just having one speaker in front or behind you, you’d have several on each side of you that make you feel as though you’re experiencing the audio as though you’re actually in the movie/TV show yourself. 

The two most popular surround formats include 5.1 and 7.1. The former involves 5 speakers and the latter seven, while both include a subwoofer. 

Meanwhile, Dolby Atmos is the more advanced version of both these formats and further enhances the listeners’ experience by adding an overhead dimension (e.g. 5.1.2) using two overhead speakers. 

5.1.2 and 3.1.2 surround sound label on a soundbar

These Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 speakers add an extra layer of immersiveness by giving the illusion that sounds are also coming from above, prompting the users to accurately sense a scene’s height and depth.

For instance, if the characters on-screen are in a submarine at the bottom of the ocean and hear strange noises coming from above them, the listeners will also be privy to this same experience.

Where to Find Dolby Atmos Content

Dolby Atmos icon on Display plus content

YouTube doesn’t currently support Dolby Atmos, but there are several other platforms that do! These popular streaming platforms include: 

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Apple TV+
  • Disney+
  • Max (US)
  • Netflix
  • Paramount+ (US)
  • VUDU (US)

If you’re looking to combine high-quality audio with high-resolution video, you’re in luck!

In addition to supporting Dolby Atmos, these platforms also support Dolby Vision. This stunning visual format offers a higher dynamic range and fosters a more vivid color scheme, which makes all supported movies look out of this world. 

Head to Dolby’s article Where to watch content in Dolby Atmos to learn more about these formats. 

FAQ: Does YouTube Support DTS X?

No, YouTube does not currently support the DTS X audio format

DTS X and Dolby Atmos label on soundbar

YouTube does not support more advanced audio formats such as DTS X, which involves a similar setup to Dolby Atmos. Both audio formats consist of two or more overhead speakers intended to create a more immersive experience for the listener. 

Wrapping Things Up

Unfortunately, YouTube does not support Dolby Atmos. Luckily, it does support 5.1 surround sound instead, which will make your YouTube streaming sessions sound all that better. 

5.1 surround sound uses 5 speakers paired with one subwoofer to create an immersive listening experience whereas Dolby Atmos uses an additional two overhead speakers to create a sense of height and depth. Given Dolby Atmos’ more advanced qualities, it’s not surprising that YouTube doesn’t support it – yet. 

In the meantime, you can enjoy your favorite surround sound-compatible content on YouTube as long as your device supports it. 

What’s your experience using 5.1 surround sound on YouTube?

Let us know in the comments below!

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