How do I set up Dolby Atmos for music on Android?

What is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is an immersive audio technology developed by Dolby that allows for multidimensional sound and a more enveloping listening experience. With Dolby Atmos, sound is able to be positioned and moved anywhere in 3D space, including overhead, creating an immersive bubble of audio around the listener.

In contrast to traditional stereo music listening which is limited to left and right channels, Dolby Atmos adds height channels plus allows for even more precise placement of individual sounds and instruments. This creates a sense of space and depth not possible before with stereo. Dolby Atmos enabled music aims to make listeners feel like they are inside the song or performance.

To achieve this, Dolby Atmos relies on object-based audio rather than channel-based audio used in traditional surround sound. With object-based audio, sounds can be deconstructed into audio objects that have metadata on their characteristics. These objects can then be positioned freely based on creative intent, going beyond the set speaker configurations in channel-based audio.

Why use Dolby Atmos for music?

Dolby Atmos provides a more immersive listening experience for music by adding height and surround sound elements. With Dolby Atmos, sounds can be precisely placed and moved in a 3D space, creating an enveloping audio atmosphere.

Music mixed in Dolby Atmos lets you hear songs as the artist intended, with a sense of space and depth not possible in traditional stereo. Elements like vocals, instruments, and backing tracks can be spread around you in 360 degrees, above and behind you, for a concert-like feeling.

Dolby Atmos unlocks more detail and clarity in music, revealing hidden layers in your favorite tracks. You may discover new parts of songs you haven’t heard before thanks to the object-based audio placing sounds in space.1

Android devices that support Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos for music is supported on many newer Android devices from top brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, Motorola, and more. To experience Dolby Atmos music tracks properly, you’ll need a compatible Android phone. Some popular models that support Dolby Atmos include:

Samsung Galaxy S20 series1
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series
Samsung Galaxy S21 series
Samsung Galaxy S22 series
Xiaomi Mi 10 series2
Xiaomi Mi 11 series
Xiaomi 12 series
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro series
Motorola Edge 30 series2
Motorola Edge 40 series

Most newer flagship and upper mid-range Android devices from the last 2-3 years will support Dolby Atmos. When purchasing a new Android phone, look for Dolby Atmos listed as an audio feature to ensure compatibility. Using a device specifically optimized for Dolby Atmos will provide the most immersive listening experience.

Enabling Dolby Atmos in Android settings

To take advantage of Dolby Atmos for music, you first need to enable it in your Android device’s sound settings. Here are the basic steps:

1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.

2. Navigate to the Sound/Audio settings.

3. Look for options like “Sound quality and effects” or “Dolby Atmos” (settings vary by device). On Samsung devices, go to Sounds and vibration > Sound quality and effects.

4. Toggle the Dolby Atmos setting to “On” (may be called “Dolby Atmos for gaming” on some devices).

5. You may also see additional Dolby Atmos settings for music, movies, voice, etc. Enable Dolby Atmos for music.

6. Make sure any other audio effects like equalizers are turned off.

That’s it! Dolby Atmos processing for music should now be enabled on your Android device. Stream Dolby Atmos music tracks or play local files to start experiencing the immersive 3D audio.[1]

Streaming Services with Dolby Atmos Music

Several popular music streaming services offer select songs and albums available to stream in Dolby Atmos immersive audio. This allows you to experience music with heightened clarity, dimensionality, and detail. Here are some of the top streaming services that support Dolby Atmos music playback:

Tidal – Tidal provides thousands of tracks in Dolby Atmos across various genres like pop, hip hop, jazz, and more from top artists. Tidal’s HiFi tier is required for Dolby Atmos streaming.

Amazon Music – Amazon Music offers a growing catalog of songs and albums in Dolby Atmos from artists like The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, and more. An Amazon Music Unlimited subscription is required.

Apple Music – Apple Music provides thousands of Dolby Atmos music tracks spanning various genres. This includes special Dolby Atmos mixes of popular albums. An Apple Music subscription is needed.

Spatial Audio – This service focuses on providing immersive music from indie artists in Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio. It offers curated playlists and albums in immersive audio.

Finding Dolby Atmos Music Tracks

To listen to music in Dolby Atmos, you first need to find tracks that are available in this format. Here are some tips for identifying and searching for Dolby Atmos music:

In music streaming apps like Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Tidal, look for the Dolby Atmos logo next to tracks. This indicates that a Dolby Atmos version is available. You can also search for “Dolby Atmos” within the app to pull up a list of supported tracks.

On Amazon Music specifically, you can ask Alexa to play Dolby Atmos music by saying “Alexa, play Dolby Atmos music” to an Echo Studio speaker. Alexa will automatically queue up a playlist of Dolby Atmos tracks (1).

Some popular songs available in Dolby Atmos include Money by Pink Floyd, Better Days by Liam Gallagher, and 9 Lives by Machine Gun Kelly. Check your preferred music apps for an expanding catalog of supported tracks and albums.

When searching for music, look for the terms “Dolby Atmos” or “Dolby Atmos Music” to find compatible songs and playlists. This will help surface tracks optimized for an immersive listening experience.

Optimal listening setup

To get the full Dolby Atmos experience, using headphones or a surround sound speaker system optimized for Atmos is recommended. The spatial audio effects of Dolby Atmos are designed to make you feel like you’re inside the music, with sounds coming at you from all directions.

Headphones, especially over-ear noise cancelling models, can provide an immersive Dolby Atmos experience by delivering discrete audio channels directly into each ear. High quality headphones with a wide frequency response and spatial audio support are ideal. However, headphones limit the listening experience to one person.

For a shared listening experience, an external surround sound speaker system is required. Dolby Atmos enabled speakers and receivers optimize the positioning and projection of sounds in a 3D space. Following Dolby’s speaker setup guides ensures the correct speaker configuration for Dolby Atmos. For music, a 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 setup with left, right, center, surround, and overhead speakers delivers multi-dimensional audio.Source

The optimal Dolby Atmos configuration depends on room size and speaker budget. But immersive audio is achievable with a minimal setup of 5.1 surround sound and 2 ceiling speakers or Dolby Atmos enabled speakers with upward firing drivers.

Dolby Atmos EQ Settings

The equalizer settings you use with Dolby Atmos can have a big impact on the listening experience. Dolby recommends starting with the default EQ settings first to get a feel for how the artist intended their music to sound. However, you can customize the EQ settings to match your preferences and headphone or speaker setup.

For a more balanced sound, try raising the higher frequencies like 8kHz slightly while keeping the mids around 1kHz neutral. According to users on Reddit, this helps enhance clarity and detail in the treble without overpowering the mids and bass [1]. If your headphones or speakers lack bass, you can give the lower frequencies a boost around 100Hz.

To optimize Dolby Atmos for music genres like hip hop and EDM that emphasize bass, try increasing the 60-100Hz range. But avoid completely maxing out the lower frequencies as that can make music sound muddy. A guide from Sony suggests fine-tuning the bass around 32-64Hz if your headset has a more neutral sound [2].

It’s best to experiment with small EQ adjustments at a time until you arrive at settings that provide the sound signature you enjoy. The key is balancing the lows, mids, and highs instead of over-boosting any one frequency range. Saving custom presets for different music genres can help get the most out of Dolby Atmos.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some solutions for common issues you may encounter when setting up or using Dolby Atmos on Android devices:

Dolby Atmos not working or unavailable to select in settings: This is a common problem and can have a few causes. Check that your Android device and Android version supports Dolby Atmos (see this Reddit thread for details). Also ensure any Dolby Atmos compatible apps like Netflix or music apps are updated to the latest version. You may need to reboot your device or disconnect/reconnect headphones to trigger Dolby Atmos.

Sound bad or seeming worse than stereo: Dolby Atmos is optimized for using headphones or stereo speakers positioned at ear level in front of you. Using phone speakers, cheap headphones, or speakers positioned differently can make Atmos sound worse. Use over-ear or high quality earbuds for the best experience.

Music lacking spatial quality or sounds one-dimensional: This indicates the music track you’re playing was not properly mixed for Dolby Atmos. Search for tracks labeled as Dolby Atmos to experience the full spatial audio effect. Streaming services like Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Tidal have Atmos tracks.

Volume too low: Check that any Dolby audio effects or EQ settings aren’t reducing overall volume. You may need to increase the volume in your device settings. Using a headphone amp can also help drive headphones to sufficient volume levels.

If issues persist, check for firmware, app, and Android updates. Resetting headphones or device to factory settings can also resolve software glitches.

Experience Dolby Atmos Music

After following the steps to properly set up and configure Dolby Atmos on your Android device, you are now ready to fully experience this amazing new music format. Sit back, relax and let the immersive Dolby Atmos music wash over you.

With height and surround sound channels, Dolby Atmos music creates a breathtaking 360 degree audio environment. Songs and instruments come to life with incredible clarity, depth and realism. It’s like being transported inside the recording studio with your favorite artists.

From the subtle atmospheric details to powerful moving audio effects, Dolby Atmos music engages your senses and emotions. You’ll hear parts of your favorite tracks like never before. It’s an entirely new way to enjoy music that has to be heard to be believed.

Now that you have Dolby Atmos set up on your Android, make sure to access specially encoded Atmos tracks from streaming services like Amazon Music, Apple Music and Tidal. Also search for “Dolby Atmos” in your music apps to find available songs and playlists.

Immerse yourself in the music. Feel it move around you. Lose yourself in the moment. The breakthrough Dolby Atmos experience will revolutionize the way you listen on your Android phone or tablet.

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