Comment on Atmos on xbox One X



Hi all

I've been frustrated by the apparent inability of ANY media players on xbox one x (other than the blu ray player) to output Atmos sound.

I'm also frustrated by the lack of media (I actually still have no idea whether my atmos speakers are working, as there are so few effects to try it out!! If anyone can recommend a movie scene to use as a tester it would be appreciated!).

So, in the quest for understanding I've been doing some research - and made some interesting discoveries :)

Base assumptions:
- Atmos enabled sound system attached. In my case a Denon 4200h and atmos speaker system

- In xbox settings bitstream output, Atmos app installed, and Atmos output.

First, lets be clear. There MUST be a mechanism - somewhere - for xbox one x to do sound passthrough: when I put an Atmos disk in the Denon automatically picks up that it is Atmos and auto-selects that as the audio type.

Now, where it gets curious...

There seems to be no documentation anywhere as to how to do this.

So I went looking for UWP samples of Atmos handling, and found one published by Dolby no less.

I'm already in the App Developer Program, and have Visual Studio Community installed, so it was a simple matter to install the Dev Mode Activation App so I could push the Github Dolby Atmos UWP app out to the xbox.

Now the interesting part :)

It turns out that even the Dolby app has to use the Spatial Sound Libraries, and when the app is running the Denon picks it up as 'Virtual'

In all my time fooling around with Plex - and the other xbox media players - I have never been given this as an audio type to select on the Denon.

However... since I used the Dolby app (no longer even installed) suddenly this option is also there for Plex media :)

It's like pushing this app out to the xbox has unlocked some hidden capability, and (wonderfully!) not closed it back up. I presume that the app has downloaded an additional dll that enables the spatial capabilities.

There are still limited capabilities for testing, as Microsoft's apps just can't deal with Dolby 7.1 (Media Player says the media format isn't supported, and TV and Film app plays it, but with no sound!).

So, if anyone else want to go fool around with this stuff - and report back - I've hopefully provided a starting point.

In particular, if anyone can recommend a scene of something to try out to see if it is - actually - providing Atmos output I'd really, really appreciate it :)



@NINiki said:
However… since I used the Dolby app (no longer even installed) suddenly this option is also there for Plex media :slight_smile:

That’s very interesting. About a month ago I noticed DTS Neural:X pop up on my Denon 4300h. I thought there was a Denon firmware update that caused it. I never even thought that it might have been an update to the Dolby app. What ever caused it though really opened up the sound. Movie soundtracks are 10x more immersive now, and it’s not even real Atmos. So I’ve basically just set my receiver to Dolby Digital + Neural:X and my Xbox One to output Dolby Digital. I’m not sure if that’s the best configuration, but it definitely works. I know you’re asking about real Atmos, but frankly even if Xbox could do passthrough I’m not even sure I would use it. Faux Atmos works really good, and it works on non-Atmos tracks too.

When Neural:X popped up recently I first noticed a big change in sound when I was watching The Amazing Spider-man 2. I was overwhelmed by the sound bubble when Spider-mans enemy (Electrode) attacked. I was consumed by the sound and didn’t detect any holes or gaps in the bubble. The weird thing I noticed though is that it seems to be significantly better on the lower quality audio tracks. So instead of DTS-MA 5.1, I just use DTS 5.1 (or even AC3 5.1 instead of Dolby TrueHD). It doesn’t make sense why the lower quality audio track sounds better, but it definitely does IMO.

In terms of other examples, you can pick practically anything to test out “fake” Atmos. I was watching Batman Forever last night (yes, it’s more than 20 years old), but there was a great scene at the end when the Riddler is giving a speech and his voice is echoing from above. Another example is Avatar: At 31 minutes - under water scene; at 1:07 - echo in cave; at 2:10 - fly over. And Lego Batman: At 17 minutes - overhead voice in joker’s prison cell.

Most of the movie examples are really short snippets, but they definitely make a difference. The bigger difference to me though is the more complete sound bubble. Even background sound gets pumped through the Atmos speakers so it becomes a much more immersive experience. That’s my opinion at least.


xbox one x can output atmos but plex cant direct stream it. If you look at the plex server it will always say transcoding instead of direct play etc. The xbox one x update will show atmos for everything now but its processing it after and remixing it over and over. Plex folks say that MS havent given access to the Atmos stuff yet but the crap tastic MS app can direct stream it. I am wondering if changing the xbox one x profile would do something in the plex config. I will play around with it and let you know. It should be able to direct play … im thinking the xbox profile defined in plex just wont let it.

Oh I have a Denon 4300 and 4400h and a samsung q9f.


The Bluray app is the only application allowed to do passthrough. Until Microsoft allows third party apps this feature it’s not going to be possible.