How to Fix Greyed Out Dolby Atmos on Samsung, LG TVs Quickly

Dolby Atmos on Samsung TV settings is greyed out

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What To Know

  • To fix greyed-out Dolby Atmos on TVs, ensure eARC is enabled, use HDMI 2.1 cables, and connect to a compatible external speaker.
  • For smartphones, Dolby Atmos is accessible when headphones are connected; for high-end models, internal speakers can support it directly.
  • On laptops and Apple TVs, disabling the mono audio feature and the ‘Change Format’ setting respectively unlocks Dolby Atmos capabilities.

In this guide, I will provide tested solutions for fixing Dolby Atmos greyed-out issues on various devices, from Samsung and LG TVs to phones, laptops, and even Apple TVs.

Let’s dive in!

On TVs

Follow our instructions below to fix greyed-out Dolby Atmos settings on your TV brand. 

Samsung TVs

The Dolby Atmos settings on compatible Samsung TVs will be locked unless the following requirements are met: 

  • The TV’s eARC function is enabled. Dolby Atmos only supports eARC HDMI connections
  • You’re using an HDMI 2.1 cable or above, as only these cables support eARC
  • Your TV is securely connected to a Dolby Atmos-compatible external speaker, such as a soundbar. 

Now that you know which conditions your TV must meet to enable Dolby Atmos, let’s discuss how to unlock your Samsung TV’s Dolby Atmos feature. 

Step 1: Connect an HDMI 2.1 cable or above to your TV’s HDMI eARC port before connecting the other end to the soundbar’s HDMI eARC port. 

Step 2: Adjust your soundbar’s connection method to eARC/ARC.

switch the soundbar to HDMI ARC mode

Step 3: Now, turn your attention to your Samsung TV and launch the Settings (All Settings) menu. Then, head to General followed by External Device Manager

External Device Manager in Samsung TV General settings

Step 4: Go to Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) and turn it On

Anynet+(HDMI-CEC) in Samsung TV External Device Manager

Step 5: Head back to Settings (All Settings) before going to Audio (Sound) and then Expert Settings. Navigate to HDMI eARC Mode and set it to Auto

switch HDMI-eARC Mode to Auto in Samsung TV settings

Step 6: Now, your TV’s Dolby Atmos feature will automatically enable once its conditions are met. 

Dolby Atmos settings are turned on in Samsung TV settings


A few LG TV users found their Dolby Atmos settings were greyed out when the TV’s eARC feature was turned off while connecting a Dolby Atmos-compatible soundbar through the HDMI eARC port. 

So, it’s best to ensure that the TV’s eARC feature is enabled to avoid the greyed-out Dolby Atmos issue. 

Follow the steps below to enable your LG TV’s eARC function. 

Step 1: Using an HDMI 2.1 or above cable, plug one end into the LG TV’s eARC/ARC port before connecting the other end to your soundbar’s eARC/ARC port. 

Step 2: Hit your remote’s Menu button to launch the All settings screen. 

All Settings icon is selected on the LG TV screen

Step 3: Next, navigate to Sound before selecting Advanced Settings. Then, enable eARC Support

eARC Support is turned on in LG TV settings

Sony TVs

Follow the steps listed below to enable your Sony TV’s eARC function. 

Step 1: Connect one end of an HDMI 2.1 or above cable to your TV’s eARC/ARC port before connecting the other end to the soundbar’s eARC/ARC port. 

Step 2: Press the remote’s Menu button to navigate to the Menu settings screen. 

Settings button on Sony TV remote

Step 3: Head to Display & Sound and then to Audio output. Finally, select eARC mode and set it to Auto

Watch the video below demonstrating how to enable eARC on a Sony TV.

Sony A90J OLED TV eARC & Dolby Atmos Setup A80J, X90J, X95J | ARC/eARC Tutorial & How To


Follow the instructions below to turn on eARC on your TCL TV. 

Step 1: With an HDMI 2.1 or above cable connect your TV’s eARC/ARC port to your soundbar’s eARC/ARC port. 

connect soundbar ports and TCL TV ports using HDMI cable

Step 2: Hit the Menu key on your TV remote to open the Menu settings

highlight settings button on TCL TV remote

Step 3: Head to the Settings followed by Channel & inputs and Inputs

Step 4: Change eARC Mode to ON.

eARC Mode is turned on in TCL TV settings

On Phones

Many smartphones’ Dolby Atmos function is only accessible when wired or wireless headphones/earphones are connected. So, if your smartphone’s Dolby Atmos is greyed out, it’s best to ensure your headphones are properly connected either via a wired connection or Bluetooth.

Dolby Atmos on Samsung phone settings is greyed out

Phones that require a headphone connection usually lack the proper built-in speakers to play Dolby Atmos audio. However, they can play high-quality audio via headphones. 

Luckily, there are a few higher-end models, like the Galaxy S9/S9+, S10e, S10, S10+, and Note9, that do boast high-quality speakers that can support Dolby Atmos. Needless to say, these smartphones also support this feature for headphones as well. 

So, unless you’re the lucky owner of a high-end smart, you must ensure your headphones are securely connected to your smartphone to access Dolby Atmos

If you’re planning on playing Dolby Atmos audio to a larger crowd, you can also connect your smartphones to an external speaker (e.g. Bluetooth speaker, soundbar, etc.) by following the steps listed below. 

Step 1: Adjust your soundbar’s connection method to Bluetooth

Set the soundbar to Bluetooth mode

Step 2: Enable your phone’s Bluetooth setting. 

select the Bluetooth icon on the Samsung phone screen

Step 3: Then, pair your soundbar with your phone using Bluetooth. 

select the soundbar name in the Samsung phone Bluetooth device list

Step 4: Now that the Dolby Atmos setting is unlocked, toggle it On

Turning on Dolby Atmos and Dolby Atmos for gaming on a Samsung phone screen

On Windows Laptops or PCs

An enabled mono audio feature will often prompt the Spatial Sound for Dolby Atmos function on your laptop to be greyed out. Since mono audio and Dolby Atmos use two different audio technologies, they can not be turned on simultaneously. 

Spatial sound with Windows Sonic for Headphones settings is greyed out

Naturally, the easiest solution is to disable mono audio and therefore unlock your laptop/PC’s Dolby Atmos feature. 

Follow the steps below to turn off your device’s mono audio settings. 

Step 1: Navigate to your laptop/PC’s Settings.

Settings menu with blank search section on Windows laptop

Step 2: Search for “mono audio” before clicking Turn mono audio on or off

searching for the Mono audio option in the Windows Settings screen

Step 3: Change Turn on mono audio to Off

Switch off the Turn on mono audio option in Windows laptop Audio settings

Now, when you navigate to your laptop/PC’s Spatial Sound (Dolby Atmos/DTS) settings, you should see they’re accessible and can be enabled. 

The Dolby and DTS in Spatial Sound Audio Windows settings are accessible

On Apple TVs

Dolby Atmos in Apple TV audio format settings is greyed out

Dolby Atmos audio can be enabled on Apple TVs by connecting the device to a soundbar via HDMI passthrough. This process uses the soundbar as a bridge between the Apple TV and the TV, allowing the soundbar to play the Apple TV’s audio while the TV plays its video. 

Check out our comprehensive guide to learn how to connect your Apple TV to a soundbar. 

Your Apple TV’s Dolby Atmos settings will be greyed out if the Audio Settings’ Change Format feature is enabled. 

So, you’ll need to disable Change Format before you can enable Dolby Atmos on your Apple TV. 

Follow the steps below to turn off Change Format. 

Step 1: Navigate to Settings

open the Settings on Apple TV

Step 2: Open Video and Audio

select Video and Audio settings in Apple TV

Step 3: Go to Audio Format

Audio Format in Apple TV AUDIO settings

Step 4: Head to Change Format and set it to Off

switch off Change Format in Apple TV Audio settings

Now you can head to your Apple TV’s Dolby Atmos setting and turn it on. 

Dolby Atmos is enabled in Apple TV audio format settings

Wrapping Things Up

Dolby Atmos is a high selling point for many smartphones, TVs, laptops/PCs, and streaming devices. However, certain conditions must be met to use it, otherwise, the feature will be greyed out. 

If needed, ensure your smartphone is properly connected to headphones and that your TV is connected to a compatible external speaker via HDMI eARC using an HDMI 2.1 or above cable. 

You may also need to adjust certain settings, as some disabled features can prevent Dolby Atmos from being turned on. 

Once you’ve connected the necessary devices and changed the proper settings, you should be ready to listen to your favorite films in Dolby Atmos. 

What’s your experience with Dolby Atmos being greyed out? How were you able to fix it? 

Let us know in the comments below!

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