Does Sonos Beam support Dolby Atmos?

Sonos Beam
Sonos Beam (Image credit: Sonos)

Does Sonos Beam support Dolby Atmos?

Best answer: Sorry to say, but the Sonos Beam does not support Dolby Atmos. If you're looking for Atmos support, you'll want to try the Sony X9000F.If you need Atmos: Sony X9000F (opens in new tab) ($498)Amazon: Sonos Beam (opens in new tab) ($399)

Sony X9000F: Dolby Atmos at a relatively affordable price

If you need Dolby Atmos support, but don't want to pay a lot more than you would for the Sonos Beam, then the Sony X9000F is a great option. Dolby Atmos soundbars don't get much less expensive than this, and if you're trying to build a system on a more modest budget, you'll get an Atmos experience, even if it's limited to 2.1 channels.

In addition to the soundbar itself, the Sony also comes with a wireless subwoofer. You can connect both to whatever TV or A/V receiver you use in your home theater setup.

What's great about Dolby Atmos

Atmos is a surround sound format developed by Dolby. Originally built for use in theaters, Atmos has since also been adapted for use in homes. The goal is to provide a detailed and immersive audio experience. Most systems utilize multiple components, including soundbars.

Whereas in traditional surround sound environments, sounds are held to specific channels, Dolby Atmos utilizes a concept called audio objects. Atmos allows sound designers to create these objects, specifying where a particular sound originates from, and to where it will move as the film plays. An Atmos system will recognize the objects and play them in a virtual 3D environment. These allow the sounds you hear from being set to a single channel.

Many Dolby Atmos-compatible soundbars achieve their effects through upward-firing speakers, whose sound bounces off your home's ceiling and down towards you. The other speakers in your system will fill out the rest of the audio environment. Just like standard surround sound, Atmos still utilizes channels, with audio objects placed on top of sounds that don't need the specificity that Atmos allows for.

The Sonos Beam is still great

If you don't want or need Dolby Atmos support, and really just want better audio from your TV, the Sonos Beam is still a great option. Not only will it provide great audio, it also features support for Amazon's Alexa assistant, letting you utilize Alexa skills (such as music playback) directly without any additional hardware.

The Sonos Beam also features support for AirPlay 2. This lets you connect the Beam to multiple other AirPlay 2 speakers around your home and play the same audio wherever you go in your house.

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.