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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is the thread to discuss Dolby Atmos as it relates to video games, both setup and gameplay -- subscribe! Please, no movie talk.

The thread to discuss Atmos for home theater (movies) is here:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-receivers-amps-processors/1574386-official-dolby-atmos-thread-home-theater-version.html

NOTE: The current state of bitstreaming Atmos on Xbox One has Atmos mode always-on, regardless of the source having Atmos or not (exception: playing video content via disc - DVD or Blu-ray). This always-on setting will upmix non-Atmos games ala Dolby Surround with the front height channels active (5.1.2/7.1.2). The most recent version of the Dolby Access app (3.1.x or beyond) that has a toggle to turn off the front height channel upmixing, resulting in all the height speakers remaining silent.

What games feature Dolby Atmos?
  • Assassins Creed Origins (Xbox)
  • Battlefield 1 (PC)
  • Borderlands 3 (Xbox, PC)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) (Xbox, PC)
  • Call of Duty: Warzone (Xbox, PC)
  • Crackdown 3 *announced but currently without Atmos... bug?
  • Final Fantasy XV (Xbox)
  • For Honor (Xbox)
  • Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox, PC)
  • Gears of War 4 (Xbox)
  • Gears 5 (Xbox, PC)
  • Grid (PC)
  • Metro Exodus (Xbox, PC)
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox, PC)
  • Overwatch (for headphones, PC)
  • Resident Evil 2 (Xbox, PC)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox, X model only)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PC, Xbox)
  • Star Wars: Battlefront (PC)
  • Super Lucky's Tale (Xbox)
  • Tom Clancy's The Division® 2 (Xbox, PC)
Coming soon: Cyberpunk 2077, KartRider: Drift

What is Dolby Atmos?
According to Dolby Laboratories: "A leap forward from surround sound, Dolby Atmos creates a full atmosphere of sound all around you in three-dimensional space, even overhead."

What game systems include Dolby Atmos?
Xbox One (original, S, and X models) and Windows 10 PC

What do I need to experience Dolby Atmos in my games?

  • An Xbox One or Windows 10 PC
  • A game that features Atmos (see above for a list)
  • The Dolby Access app installed, available here
  • Audio output of console/PC set to bitstream "Dolby Atmos for Home Theater" NOTE: optical output on Xbox is disabled with this setting.
  • Connection to an Atmos-enabled AVR receiver* (details), soundbar, or TV -- all via HDMI, or **headphones.
  • *For AVR connection, a 5.1/7.1 (or multi-subwoofer) speaker setup with front left and right channels that include either built-in or add-on upward firing effects channels reflecting off the front ceiling, or alternately front ceiling mounted speakers. This adds ".2" to the end of the setup prefix - for example, a 5.1.2 would indicate five main channels, one subwoofer, and two front height channels. Optional: rear channels with built-in or add-on upward firing effects channels reflecting off the rear ceiling, or alternately rear ceiling mounted speakers. This would add ".4" to the setup prefix, for example 7.2.4 would be seven main channels, two subwoofers, and four height channels.
What is Atmos upmixing (DSU or DTS: Neural X)?
Dolby Surround, informally "DSU" (Dolby Surround Upmixer), is Dolby's way of utilizing the height channels when playing back non-Atmos material, from stereo to 7.1, on an Atmos setup. This is sometimes referred to as "fake Atmos". Xbox will apply Dolby Surround upmixing to the front height channels (5.1.2 or 7.1.2) internally for non-Atmos games when the Xbox is bitstreaming Atmos. If four height channel upmixing is desired (5.1.4 or 7.1.4), turn off bitstreaming Atmos from the Xbox audio settings (uncompressed 5 or 7 channels, bitstream Dolby Digital or DTS) and apply upmixing (Dolby Surround or DTS: Neural X) via the AVR.

DTS Neural X, sometimes called DTS-X, does a similar height channel upmix with the same equipment. This upmix can be applied via the AVR when the Xbox is not bitstreaming Atmos. DTS is a competitor of Dolby.

Why does my AVR display "Atmos" all the time when the Xbox is set to bitstream Atmos, even for games that don't have an Atmos mix?
The current state of bitstreaming Atmos puts the Xbox in Atmos mode for all games, regardless of the mix.* If the game has an Atmos mix (see list above), all the Atmos channels will pass through unaffected. If the game doesn't have an Atmos mix, the Xbox will upmix the front height channels ala "Dolby Surround". This front channel upmix can be toggled off in the Dolby Access app, version 3.1.x and beyond.

*The exception to Atmos always-on mode is during playback of video content from a DVD or Blu-ray disc, which uses a different bitstreaming mode via a separate Xbox setting.


**What about Dolby Atmos for Headphones?
Info coming soon.

Please reply any updates or clarifications needed for this OP - thanks!
 

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I'm not getting atmos on battlefield 1 for Xbox one x.. all others games listed that I own gears of war assassin's Creed and rise of tomb raider are all getting atmos. Am I missing something

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Any specific differences one can tell between the regular DTS soundtrack and the Atmos soundtrack on games such as Tomb Raider and Gears? I have both and 7.1.4 but haven't found the time to test myself!
 
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Can't wait to see what other titles will add ATMOS soundtracks. I was kinda bummed when playing Star Wars Battlefront 2 only to find it didn't include it. IF any game would benefit from ATMOS it would be a Star Wars game.

Can the OP list what his home theater is? What receiver/speakers you're using? Kinda curious... :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Can the OP list what his home theater is? What receiver/speakers you're using? Kinda curious... :confused:
OP here: I very recently put together a very modest, 5.1.2 system in a small room to replace using a soundbar and to upgrade to Atmos.

This was to be mainly for gaming, but also for multi-channel music, and the occasional movie or Netflix show. I went with ELAC Debut B6 speakers all around, plus the Debut A4 Dolby height speakers through a Denon AVR-X1300W using AudysseyXT. The only exception in the setup is the ELAC center channel turned out to be too heavy to mount on top of the TV, so I had to go with a much lighter Martin Logan Motion 8 center. The sub is a Martin Logan Dynamo 700w, borrowed from a stereo music setup and I'll replace it at some point.

The goal was bang for the buck gaming + music setup, and it's been a learning experience. To be honest, I'm currently satisfied everything as a 5.1 setup, but there's something wrong when Atmos is enabled. The height speakers don't seem to be reflecting off ceiling, so I'm not getting a good overhead sound. With Atmos enabled via Xbox One X, the sound-stage in games doesn't sound correct -- phasing and balance is off. If I change audio out on the XB1X to bitstream DTS instead, turning off Atmos, everything sounds great.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them!
 

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Any specific differences one can tell between the regular DTS soundtrack and the Atmos soundtrack on games such as Tomb Raider and Gears? I have both and 7.1.4 but haven't found the time to test myself!
Gears of War 4 ATMOS sound is excellent. For the first two chapters, the immersive sound is low to medium but from ACT 1 Chapter 3 onwards the immersive sound is fantastic.
 

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Titanfall 2 clicks in Atmos. I think on the PC all the frostbite stuff works. All those games use the same engine. Shame the Titanfall 4k Xbox X does not have it
 

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The goal was bang for the buck gaming + music setup, and it's been a learning experience. To be honest, I'm currently satisfied everything as a 5.1 setup, but there's something wrong when Atmos is enabled. The height speakers don't seem to be reflecting off ceiling, so I'm not getting a good overhead sound. With Atmos enabled via Xbox One X, the sound-stage in games doesn't sound correct -- phasing and balance is off. If I change audio out on the XB1X to bitstream DTS instead, turning off Atmos, everything sounds great.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them!
I tried using speakers in this setup, but didn't get any noticeable "bounced" sound, no matter how I positioned them. I set up speakers on the front wall just below the ceiling, and my front stage sounded a bit taller but didn't really do much for me either. I then mounted them on the ceiling and FINALLY I am happy with them! I put on the Insects demo and played the first demo video from the Dolby app, and they put a smile on my face! Sound all around!

Of course, those two demos are the only time I have ever noticed any overhead sound. I've played a few hours of tomb raider - never noticed the overheads. Watched Guardians of the Galaxy v2 - never noticed the overheads. Soon I'll try out GOW4 and see what that's like, but I don't have many Atmos sources and the few I do don't seem to have much or any overhead sound. The demos that show off overheads are the only times I've noticed it. Needless to say, I've been disappointed with Atmos so far.
 
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
The demos that show off overheads are the only times I've noticed it. Needless to say, I've been disappointed with Atmos so far.
Thanks for posting, it's good to hear it's not just me. :eek:

I messed with positioning the Dolby upfiring speakers last night, and got them to sound like they are higher based on white noise from the AVR. And I agree, the Dolby demos and Insects can have a very nice, dome-like soundfield. But I just played Gears 4 in Atmos, which everyone seems to rave about -- the soundfield didn't sound as a good as when I set bitstream to DTS (non-Atmos). It sounds great in DTS, btw.

So I dunno if there's something wrong with our setups, expectations, or possibly the tech is still in the early stages. I guess I'll have to mess with positioning and levels some more.
 

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I messed with positioning the Dolby upfiring speakers last night, and got them to sound like they are higher based on white noise from the AVR. And I agree, the Dolby demos and Insects can have a very nice, dome-like soundfield. But I just played Gears 4 in Atmos, which everyone seems to rave about -- the soundfield didn't sound as a good as when I set bitstream to DTS (non-Atmos). It sounds great in DTS, btw.
I haven't heard Atmos outside of my home setup, so I don't even have anything to compare it to. When I play demos, I hear stuff overhead. But that's with material that is designed to show off the overhead speakers. So I know they work, I can hear them. The couple movies that I have in Atmos aren't movies that seem to show off a lot of overheads, and with Rise of the Tomb Raider there's not much sound above me but then there's been nothing in the game where I'm at that would need sound overhead anyway. I plan on playing some GOW4 again soon, with helicopters and planes flying overhead it should sound pretty cool. But mostly Atmos has been very underwhelming.
 
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Part of it too is that my Denon defaults to Dolby Atmos upmixing - the fake Dolby Atmos works amazingly well in games like Titanfall.

In star wars battlefield the Atmos is amazing. Hearing a tie fighter zoom overhead is pretty slick
 

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Part of it too is that my Denon defaults to Dolby Atmos upmixing - the fake Dolby Atmos works amazingly well in games like Titanfall.

In star wars battlefield the Atmos is amazing. Hearing a tie fighter zoom overhead is pretty slick
My Denon does that too - I wish I could turn it off but DSU is applied when I set the X to Atmos and the game isn't an Atmos game.. I don't feel like changing the xbox back and forth between 5.1 uncompressed and Atmos tho depending on what game I'm playing, so I just leave it on Atmos.

I haven't played Titanfall since I moved my Atmos speakers to the ceiling. I'll have to try it out. I haven't been happy with the upmixing tho. I feel like I lose a lot of directionality and staging, without ever hearing anything overhead. It always sounds better and more involving when I turn upmixing off. I've tried both DSU and DTS:X.
 
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Part of it too is that my Denon defaults to Dolby Atmos upmixing - the fake Dolby Atmos works amazingly well in games like Titanfall.

In star wars battlefield the Atmos is amazing. Hearing a tie fighter zoom overhead is pretty slick
Man, I want to play the new Star Wars so bad, but I don't want to give me money to the EA scum! Woe is me! ahh

But if the Atmos sound effects are half as dope as you say they are, then...I might have to pick it up!
 
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