How Does Dolby Atmos for Headphones Work?

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you are new to the world of personal audio, you may wonder how does Dolby Atmos for headphones work. Some of the best headphones, after all, include this feature, but most Dolby products are designed for speakers, and not headphones. So how does this feature work and what are its benefits? Keep reading to find out.


  • Dolby Atmos-equipped headphones create a virtual 3D field, mimicking surround sound systems with spatial audio.
  • You can use the feature with nearly any pair of headphones, providing you download and install the associated Dolby Access software.
  • The benefits of this Dolby product include immersive sound, improved focus during a favorite video game, and access to an advanced equalizer when listening to music on services like Apple Music.

How Dolby Atmos Works With Headphones

Dolby speakers in cinemas and integrated into advanced home audio setups create a surround sound experience by positioning speakers throughout the space, mimicking 360 degrees of audio. However, headphones like the V-Moda Vibrato Remote Noise Isolating headphones are different, if you’ve ever wondered how to know a headphone’s sound quality.

Insider Tip

Don’t forget to download and install Dolby Access software to your computer or gaming console before listening.

Atmos, on the other hand, reproduces this immersive audio by placing the headphones in a bubble of sorts. Think of this bubble as a 3D space, with audio relegated to various locations throughout. So, instead of regular panning, Atmos allows headphones to pan not from right to left, but all throughout a 360-degree field. Now that’s something you are likely not to experience when conducting an iHome SD63 Soundesign Retro headphones review.

Does Dolby Atmos Work With Any Headphones?

Believe it or not, yes. Atmos will work with virtually any pair of headphones, with some caveats. First of all, you have to download a software suite created by Dolby that transforms pre-existing audio into a signal that takes advantage of the full 3D spectrum. Next, you’ll need a fairly powerful computer or gaming console that can handle the software. This software does the heavy lifting and your standard headphones receive the benefit. This means, however, that headphones can only access Atmos when plugged into the computer or console that is running the affiliated software.

Benefits of Dolby Atmos for Headphones

There are many benefits to using Dolby Atmos software with a pre-existing set of headphones. Here are just a few.

  • Better immersion – Whether you are gaming or watching your favorite blockbuster movie, you’ll experience increased immersion while accessing Dolby Atmos. There is a reason, after all, why so many people flock to surround sound movie theaters.
  • Precise gaming – If you are an avid competitive gamer, Dolby Atmos will provide an edge as the 3D audio allows you to hear footsteps behind you and from other locations.
  • Improved EQ – Dolby Atmos systems include an advanced equalizer for better sound quality.


Is it worth it?

This service is worth it if enjoy spatial audio, music-streaming services like Apple Music, or any other Atmos audio service. Just remember you have to download and install Dolby Access before proceeding.

How did surround sound evolve in movie theaters?

Windows Sonic had nothing to do with it, rather surround sound developed. in theaters with several Dolby-invented products like 3D speaker systems and object-based audio.

How did surround sound arrive at home?

Eventually, companies like Dolby created shrunken-down versions of the types of surround sound speakers found in theaters. These speakers mimic spatial audio to create the kind of 3D sound found in a theater setup.

STAT: The first Dolby Atmos installation was in the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, for the premiere of Brave in June 2012. (source)

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