You might be confused by these terminologies related to Dolby technologies. That’s why I have created this crash course for you to understand it better.
I have to blend them all in a very easy-to-digest course. By reading this article, you will know more than your friends and neighbors about Dolby technologies.
It will help you to select the best format for your home theater.
Without taking much time, let’s discuss each one and clear this confusion once and for all.
Difference between Dolby Atmos and Dolby audio
|Dolby Atmos||Dolby Audio|
|It is a complete 3D sound bubble around the audience with overhead speakers||It is a surround sound that surrounds the audience on the ground|
|It is a coordinate-based audio||It is a channel based audio|
|It needs extra hardware and raises the cost||It can be implemented with minimal hardware|
What is Dolby Audio?
Dolby Audio is created to erase the annoying behavior of movies and TV shows’ audio. Where the dialogues are hard to hear, and the background music is loud. When you up the volume to hear the dialogues clearly, then a sudden rise in the background music makes the experience frustrating.
That’s why Dolby Audio was invented to control the volume for you automatically. Now, the dialogues, background noise/music, and sound effects are all kept in check.
Now you will hear the dialogue clearly and also all the sound effects. Now, you don’t need to up or lower the volume.
It is channel-based audio that is applicable more in professional theater rooms. There, all the speakers on each side are assigned one channel. All the speakers play one sound at a time.
Know there 5 easy steps to optimize your home theater audio to the best. I have added easy applicable steps to it.
What is Dolby Atmos?
The Dolby Atmos is a one-step more to the future of the 3D experience. It creates a sound bubble around you and instead of channels it works on coordinates. In channel-based audio, all the speakers in that channel have to play one sound, but in coordinates-based audio, each speaker can play sound independently.
In coordinates-based audio, the flying of the helicopter will be tracked precisely through each point of the room and not only at one side speakers’ set at a time.
Read my this guide to know if the Atmos speakers are worth it. Don’t forget to read the poll stats.
What is Dolby Audio used for?
Dolby audio is used for home theaters that are based on ground surround sound like 5.1 or 9.1. Many soundbars are now Dolby Audio enabled.
It delivers clear audio for movies and TV shows with automatic volume control. Those huge sudden explosions in the movie will not get freak out of you because every sound including dialogue is kept in check.
What is Dolby Atmos used for?
The Dolby Atmos is used for professional theaters and those home theaters which are having overhead or Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers.
To create a 3D sound field around you, you will need overhead or on-ground Atmos-enabled speakers. That’s why Dolby Atmos cost a little more.
I will not be repeating Dolby Atmos' definition in the rest of the comparisons
Difference between Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision
|Dolby Atmos||Dolby Vision|
|Deal with the audio of the movie||Deal with the video of the movie|
What is Dolby Vision and do I need it?
Everyone needs it, just read the details below about what is it, and you will know why.
Dolby Vision is invented to give the best possible picture experience to the audience. It is a smart HDR technology that optimizes picture quality for each size of the screen. Now, no more worries about watching movies on a bigger or smaller screen.
Dolby Vision improves the picture quality by targeting the most important 3 aspects of the picture such as brightness, color vibrancy, and black levels.
Vibrant colors are needed to satisfy your eyes with colors on the screen. The brightness is a thing that we home theater owners will always be after it. The next critical aspect is Black levels that are easily washed out by the brightness of the image.
Dolby Vision controls the washing out of the black levels and hence provides the most realistic picture possible.
Know how to optimize the video and audio experience of home theater. I have added 13 instantly applicable tips.
Can you have Dolby Atmos without Dolby Vision?
You can have Dolby Atmos without Dolby Vision. They are separate entities. You can still enjoy Dolby Atmos-enabled movies without the need of searching for Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision deals with the video and Atmos deals with audio. And they can work separately with and without the presence of one.
Difference between Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital
|Dolby Atmos||Dolby Digital|
|It is an audio format||It is an audio codec|
|It is a 3D sound bubble over the audience||It is an on-ground 2D surround sound around the audience|
Is Dolby Digital the same as Atmos?
There is a huge difference between Dolby Digital is an audio codec that can carry audio formats with itself like CD version or 7.1 surround sound. On the other hand, the Atmos is an audio format that needs a codec to carry it.
Also, Atmos is a 3D bubble audio format but unfortunately, this Dolby Digital is not capable to carry the Atmos format. You need other advanced codecs to carry the Atmos.
Which is better Dolby Atmos or Dolby Digital?
If you are concerned about the budget Dolby Digital is better for you but if you care only about the audio experience then Dolby Atmos is better for you.
Difference between Dolby Atmos and Dolby digital plus
|Dolby Atmos||Dolby Digital Plus|
|It is an audio format||It is an audio codec|
|It needs a codec for delivery||It is a codec by itself|
What is a Dolby digital plus?
Dolby Digital Plus is a more advanced and enhanced updated version of Dolby Digital. The DD+ is also capable of delivering Dolby Atmos. But the format of the Atmos will be in lossy compression. You will get the Atmos but not in its original high quality.
Does Dolby Digital Plus sound better than Dolby Digital?
The Dolby Digital Plus always sounds better than the Dolby Digital. Because the DD+ can carry the Atmos but the DD can’t. Due to this DD+ can deliver spatial and 3D audio. That’s why to choose DD+ if you want the 3D audio to feel in your home theater.
Keep reading another Codec that can carry Atmos in its original form.
Difference between Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD
|Dolby Atmos||Dolby TrueHD|
|It is an audio format||It is an audio codec|
|It can’t carry audio formats||It can carry audio formats such as Dolby Atmos|
How good is Dolby TrueHD?
Dolby TrueHD can carry Atmos in its true form. That gives the best audio experience of Dolby Atmos possible. That’s why it is not good but one of the best audio codecs to choose from.
Read more about it in my another article; Dolby TrueHD Vs Dolby Digital Plus. Don’t forget to read the facts and figures.
Difference between Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
|It needs extra speakers to create the 3D sound-field||It doesn’t need additional speakers to create the 3D sound-field|
|A lot of content is enabled||Not a lot of DTS:X enabled content is enabled|
Is DTS X better than Dolby Atmos?
It is better if you are short on a budget and want an object-based 3D sound field but if you want real 3D sound field effects then the Dolby Atmos is better. Because when it comes to the real 3D audio experience then a ground surround sound can’t beat the over-head speaker’s setup along with the on-ground surround sound.
There will be many sound tones that can be missed in DTS:X as compared to Dolby Atmos.
Is DTS x worth it?
It is absolutely worth it if you want object-based 3D surround sound with minimal hardware setup and a minimal budget.
Difference between Dolby Atmos and 5.1 and 7.1
|Needs extra overhead speakers.||Doesn’t need overhead speakers||Doesn’t need overhead speakers|
|3D sound field||2D surround sound||2D surround sound|
|Overhead speakers from 2-4 along with 5 on the ground with a sub||Only 5 speakers on the ground with sub||Only 7 speakers on the ground with sub|
Which is better surround sound or Dolby Atmos?
The Dolby Atmos is always better because the video will be replicated in the form of audio with exact coordinates in your theater room. By coordinates I mean if the bullet in the movie’s video hit a certain spot on the wall the exact point in the theater room will be felt like it is being hit but in the form of audio.
Do you need 7.1 for Dolby Atmos?
You don’t need a 7.1 setup for Dolby Atmos. You can have Dolby Atmos with 5.1, 9.1, or more or less than 5.1.
The 7.1 surround sound is independent of Dolby Atmos and similarly, Atmos is independent of the 7.1. They don’t need each other.
Read my this review about the best home theater system under $1000. Each one has surround sound speakers along with a receiver.
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Which surround sound mode is best?
The best is the Dolby Atmos. Because it can go with any setup of surround sound and also it provides an additional dimension to the sound. It gives you 3D sound and matching coordinates with that of the video on the screen.
Is it worth upgrading to Dolby Atmos?
It is worth upgrading Dolby Atmos if you want to feel the sound all around you. You can feel like you are seating in the middle of the battle or watching the gladiator fight in person when you have enabled the Dolby Atmos along with the required hardware.
How many speakers does Dolby Atmos need?
You can have the Dolby Atmos from 2 to onwards of speakers installed. These speakers may be in-ceiling, overhead, or up-firing speakers.
Is Dolby Atmos only on 4K?
Dolby Atmos has nothing to do with 4K. You can have the Dolby Atmos with or without the 4K. The reason that you are confused about it is that the 4K is now a standard format. That’s why producers produce movies in a 4K and accompanied it with Dolby Atmos audio because it is now the norm.
Are Atmos speakers different?
The Atmos speakers are not different as long as they are enabled to shower the audio over your head. Any speaker can be Atmos-enabled as long as you assign the Atmos channel and install the speaker in a way that can shower the audio over your head.
Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More
- Read about this more on this Reddit discussion. (Resource for the second answer)
- I have compared the experience of each speaker type in this article. Is Atmos height virtualization worth it? (Resource for the third answer)
- Know more about Dolby Atmos from this CNET Blog. (Resource for the fourth answer)
- This was my opinion. Know more from this Youtube video. (Below Video Resource for the fifth answer)