Dolby Atmos vs Dolby Digital

Do you know the difference between Dolby Atmos vs Dolby Digital? Most of us have heard both terms. However, we find it similar, even though there is a vast difference. While purchasing a television, home theatre, or a speaker, you always hear terms like Dolby Atmos or Dolby digital sound. But, have you ever thought about what is Dolby Atmos and what is Dolby digital? Have you ever tried to compare Dolby Atmos vs Dolby Digital?

If not, you are in the right place. Read the complete comprehensive guide that explains required things you need to consider about Dolby Atmos and Dolby digital.

Dolby Atmos vs Dolby Digital

Let us first explore the meaning of Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital technology.

What is Dolby Atmos?

A surround sound technology developed by Dolby Laboratories is Dolby Atmos. The full form of Dolby Atmos is Dolby Atmosphere. It’s a 3D immersive technology that allows the home theatre, speaker or any other speaker system to surprise you and you keep thinking that the sound is coming from all around you. The feeling that it gives is astonishing. Dolby atmos supported device offers an experience of watching a movie in a theatre. The Dolby technology generates sound from all around you even when you have not placed the speakers.

When it comes to the quality of sound, you get crystal clear quality. It does not matter if it is intimate dialogue or a complex soundscape, the rich clarity and depth are promised, and you won’t miss a single sound! By increasing the volume, the level of your emotion also increases with a mind-blowing rich audio experience, immersive and pure music that you will feel a stronger connection to the characters and music that is played on a television.

 Use headphones or earphones for a better sound experience


The vital thing to keep in mind is that the audio chain must support Dolby Atmos technology. If the device does not support the audio chain, you won’t get the immersive effect, Dolby atmos’ core function. For instance, if you are watching a movie at home on the television, the television must support Dolby Atmos, and the streaming channel must support the same sound technology. Considering another example, when you watch a movie or web-series on OTT platforms like Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and so on, they also must support the Dolby Atmos technology. If these platforms don’t support it, you won’t get outstanding sound experience.

However, the Dolby Atmos sound technology is widely used and therefore, Netflix and Hotstar support this technology so, if your device is compatible with Dolby Atmos, congratulations! You are already enjoying fantastic sound quality.

You might have a question, how can we know that we are hearing Dolby Atmos sound? When you hear sound effects like wind, thunder/lightning, rain, planes, helicopters, and other sounds from overhead. Lastly, to experience the best Dolby Atmos sound, it would be best to have a symmetrical room environment with flat walls and ceilings.

If you are wondering about owning a Dolby Atmos soundbar, we have listed the 7 best Dolby Atmos soundbars based on your needs and budget.

Pros and Cons of Dolby Atmos:

Pros of Dolby Atmos:

  • It expands surround sound to include overhead effects.
  • Precise placement of sound objects offers an outstanding sound experience.
  • Dolby Atmos content is available on Blu-ray/Ultra HD Blu-ray and selected online streaming platforms.
  • Majority of the HDMI cables are compatible.

Cons of Dolby Atmos:

  • The overhead sound needs to be encoded in the content.
  • Not all content supports the overhead sound effect so that you won’t get benefits every time.
  • Dolby Atmos technology requires a compatible receiver or processor to decode Dolby Atmos information.
  • Not every smart TV or media streaming device supports Dolby Atmos technology.

What is Dolby Digital?

Dolby digital is an auto-compression technology developed by Dolby Laboratories. It was previously known as AC-3. The technology takes advantage of how the human ear processes and acknowledges the sound. Dolby Digital is used with DVDs, high definition televisions, digital cable and satellite transmissions. When it comes to bandwidth, Dolby Digital offers five-bandwidth channels for a real surround sound quality.

Dolby Digital technology is considered as the industry standard for surround sound. One of the reasons it is the industry standard because it is compatible with application systems worldwide. You may have thought what is new in Dolby digital and what makes it different? It uses advanced encoding and decoding technology and can reproduce multichannel audio that helps deliver a cinematic audio experience.

Dolby Digital is very popular in cinema. These days, the majority of movie theatres use Dolby Digital technology as it provides an outstanding music experience. There are also many types of Dolby digital technologies introduced by the company like Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Surround, etc.

If you are looking to own a home theatre, most of the home theatres you see these days in the market offering a high-quality sound experience with Dolby Digital 5.1. 5.1 home theatre is a six-channel surround sound system. The Dolby Digital sound gives a fantastic experience such that you feel like you have a mini theatre at your home.

“Use headphones for a better sound experience”

The 5.1 home theatres can be connected with HDMI ARC, USB Port and optical inputs. The home theatres that contain 5.1 Dolby Digital audio channels have separate audio channels. Also, you will get a fantastic dramatic sound. Find the best 5.1 home theater system based on your needs and budget.

Dolby Digital includes easy to access software. The only disadvantage of Dolby Digital is the degradation in the quality of the audio and video due to the higher compression level.

We have also published a blog on Dolby Digital vs Dolby Digital Plus. So, you can also refer and enhance your knowledge.

Pros and Cons Dolby Digital

Pros of Dolby Digital

  • Easy to access
  • High-quality surround sound

Cons of Dolby Digital

  • Degradation in the quality of audio and video due to the higher compression.


This was the complete guide that explains the difference between Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos. I hope you have got all the details properly.

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