Got a surround sound setup? Your Mac is about to get even better for all your movie and TV-watching needs thanks to macOS Sequoia

Apple TV
(Image credit: Future)

One of the best uses for an older Mac mini is as the powerhouse at the center of a home cinema system, running software like Plex to access all of your favorite movies and TV shows (legally sourced, of course). macOS Sequoia just made the use case even better — there’s a new HDMI passthrough setting for Dolby Atmos so that your Mac can send an unencoded surround signal to a separate AV amp or sound bar.

That’s going to make watching surround sound content a much smoother experience, and also let you play Spatial Audio tracks from Apple Music

More audio options on Mac

MacRumors found the passthrough mode in the settings menu of various apps including Apple Music, Quicktime, and Apple TV amongst others. It works simply enough, separating the audio and video channels so that the outside device (in this case, a receiver or soundbar) can decode the audio while the video goes straight to a TV or projector.

At the moment, the feature is in Beta, so only those having a whirl with the testing software have a chance to try out pass-through mode. New features are trickling into the beta for testers as well, all presumably building up for the launch of Apple intelligence later this year.

macOS Sequoia was unveiled at WWDC 2024, and looks to bring a whole bunch of new features to the table — some of which weren’t announced during the event, like passthrough mode. The public beta of the software could well be launching soon, although there isn’t yet an official date. Anyone can access the developer beta, but given its proclivity to crash and other general instabilities, we’d recommend you wait until the aforementioned public beta, or, even better, the full release of the OS sometime later this year.

MacBook Pro | $1,999$1,699 at Amazon

MacBook Pro | $1,999 $1,699 at Amazon

This is the lowest price we've ever seen on the M3 Pro version of the MacBook Pro, with a massive $300 saving over full price. We can't see this price being beaten any time soon, so make sure you're on it quickly before it goes away!

More from iMore

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.