Dolby Atmos for PS5 Gaming Is Here

Dolby Atmos for PS5 Gaming Is Here

Where the gamer and audiophile communities merge, sparks are flying after Sony's new PS5 announcement. There have been quite a few software updates to the PS5 since its release in 2020, but this one is definitely turning heads. On July 31st, Sony announced a beta software release that includes support for Dolby Atmos spatial audio.


As this update is just a beta release in select countries, only some users were invited to download it. Players in eligible countries must register for the PS5 beta programme in order to be invited. However, we can expect to see the full global release later this year.

As with previous software releases, this one comes with many UI and compatibility updates, such as screen share previews and the ability to use a second assistance controller. What we're really interested in, however, is the support for Dolby Atmos-enabled devices during gaming.

For those unaware, the PS5 has always had Dolby Atmos support during 4K Blu-ray playback, so the update doesn't affect much for movie-lovers. The new update simply expands support to gaming as well. It's being implemented through Sony's existing Tempest 3D Audio infrastructure. This has allowed users to experience PS5 3D Audio when using headphones, specifically the Pulse 3D Wireless headset. With the new update, the PS5 will be able to recognize a home theatre speaker system or Dolby Atmos soundbar and output Dolby Atmos audio during games.

For those who do have access to the new beta release, the steps for enabling Dolby Atmos audio are simple. First, ensure that your PS5, TV, and compatible soundbar or speakers are all connected via HDMI eARC. The rest is done on your console. From your PS5 home screen, navigate to Settings > Sound > Audio Output > Audio Format Priority. Now select 'Dolby Atmos' in the dropdown menu, and you're done.

Just like that, you can have an immersive 3D audio experience while playing your favorite game. (We suggest trying it on Returnal, but you know, it's up to you).

Sony has also hinted at future Dolby Atmos support for "media app providers", or streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. We may be seeing more ways to experience Dolby Atmos on PS5 in the coming software releases.

Dolby Response

In response to the release of 3D AudioTech on the console, Dolby released some Q&A concerning the spatial audio experience on the PS5. They want to remind users that Dolby Atmos isn't limited to just 32 audio objects, and can actually support hundreds of objects simultaneously. However, following advice from developers and game engineers working with Dolby Atmos, having too many objects in motion can create a confusing soundscape. Limiting objects in Dolby Atmos game audio may be a strategic choice by engineers.

They also share their excitement for the support of 3D audio on the PS5, and see it as a manifestation of Sony's mission to bring 3D audio to everyone. As a "crucial milestone for game studios", the PS5's 3D AudioTech is "a validation of the work we have done across all entertainment genres in implementing Dolby Atmos on the devices that consumers use today. It displays that "Sony has committed to an evolution of its audio by establishing a bona-fide 3D audio platform for PS5".