AudioAudio: Guides

Dolby Atmos vs DTS:X – Which Is Better?

dolby atmos vs dtsx

You have probably heard about Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. If you want to get the most out of your home theatre surround sound system, you must know about these two systems.

These are the two of the most popular surround sound formats in surround sound technologies. Both provide immersive surround sound effects that are realistically positioned.

Sound files, like video files, come in a variety of resolutions, bit rates, and codecs.

These are surround sound systems that promise to make movies and television shows more immersive than ever before.

Some of these technologies may be familiar to you because of their use in Home Theatre Systems. But do you truly understand what they signify, how they work, and how they differ?

Because the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound codecs have various surround sound capabilities and support different types of hardware, let us define them first before comparing Dolby Atmos vs DTS:X to discover which one is better.

What Is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound standard aimed at creating a three-dimensional (3D) audio experience. As a result, the sounds originate from the front, rear, and sides -in relation to the person who listens to them- and from above, giving the listening stage the third dimension.

Atmos debuted in theatres before making its way into home theatre devices like speakers and sound systems. Both Atmos and DTS:X are object-based surround sound systems. Still, Atmos places a greater focus on height, to the point where Dolby recommends installing ceiling speakers to get the most out of the technology.

Obviously, that isn’t feasible for the majority of individuals. However, Dolby Atmos-certified speakers, Televisions, and soundbars/sound systems with upward-firing drivers to rebound sound off the roof are available.

So, what is the end result here? A bubble of sound will surround you, making movements like a helicopter flying overhead or gunshots rushing past your ears feel more realistic than ever before.

Atmos speakers are also included in your sound system’s nomenclature.

5.1.4 refers to a 5.1 system with four Dolby Atmos speakers made up of five satellites and one subwoofer.

7.1.4 is the reference set-up for Dolby Atmos — in other words, the technology functions natively on a set-up consisting of seven satellites, one sub, and four Atmos speakers.

Dolby Atmos describes the audio tracks that are compatible with Dolby Atmos systems in addition to indicating the speaker and the standard. As a result, Dolby Atmos audio is the codec that works with Dolby Atmos speakers.

What is DTS:X?

DTS:X, like its competing product Dolby Atmos, is an object-based audio technology that allows sound to be placed in more precise positions around the room than standard surround sound. Unlike its competitor, though, it began life in home theatre systems back in 2015 before making its way into theatres.

DTS:X does not have a specific sound system base; therefore, it can run on any combination of speakers.

While Atmos uses proprietary technology, it uses the royalty-free Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA) framework. It makes DTS:X a somewhat more open system than Atmos, but this has not historically had much of an impact on a standard’s eventual success.

The idea is the same as with Dolby Atmos: to allow sound to move around the room more realistically to accompany the action onscreen, resulting in more immersive cinematic sequences. The way it operates, though, is different.

It works with standard surround sound systems rather than requiring additional speakers as Dolby Atmos does.

Therefore, chances are, your home set-up — whether 5.1 or 7.1 – is compatible. DTS:X, on the other hand, can accommodate significantly larger systems, with up to 32 speaker placements and an 11.2-channel system.

DTS:X is a Multi-Dimensional Audio platform that is open source. As a result, exactly like Android, any manufacturer can design a system that is DTS:X compatible without requiring any specific authorization.

DTS:X vs Dolby Atmos. Which is Preferable?

DTS:X vs Dolby Atmos is often compared. On paper, DTS:X offers a sound quality advantage because it enables greater bit rates.

Dolby says that its codecs are more efficient than DTS’ and sound similar or even better at lower bit rates. However, it isn’t that straightforward. Regardless, there is a lot more to think about than just audio quality.

Dolby Atmos is almost universally used in movie theatres. DTS:X is not being adopted at the same rate in theatres. It could be due to the standard’s second-place finish in the market for three-dimensional sound. Dolby’s existing market relationships made selling Atmos to theatres a breeze.

DTS:X allows you to alter sound objects manually, such as the volume of voice. That will make it easier to understand quiet dialogue, which is something many of us have wished for when watching a Hollywood blockbuster.

DTS:X also has no specific speaker requirements, so as long as yours are appropriate, for instance, portable speakers with built-in batteries aren’t required, you can arrange them as you want. However, many people find Dolby Atmos’ criteria to be a helpful guide for getting the most out of the technology.

Despite the fact that DTS:X is supported by about 90% of the home AV market, Dolby Atmos is more widely available. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, as well as some TV broadcast channels like BT Sport Ultimate, support Atmos rather than DTS:X.

If you are watching on a 4K Blu-ray TV or a player, both Atmos and DTS:X are available on a variety of DVDs and Blu-rays.

As a result, there is no clear winner in the debate between DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. The best part is that you don’t have to pick between the two. Both technologies are supported by a large number of AV receivers and surround sound systems, so as long as you have the correct source content, you may listen to high-quality audio regardless of which codec is utilized.


It is a lot to take in if you are just getting started with the 3D sound world.

With technology improving at a rapid pace, the best way to enhance your movie night is to make sure you have high-quality components, are correctly set up, and are fed the most amazing available source content.

You will be treated to spectacular home cinema entertainment, whether it’s DTS:X or Dolby Atmos.

About author

A finance major with a passion for all things tech, Uneeb loves to write about everything from hardware to games (his favorite genre being FPS). When not writing, he can be seen in his natural habitat reading, studying investments, or watching Formula 1.
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