Is Dolby Worth It? Factors You Need to Consider!

Everyone you’ll come across with sound knowledge will recommend you Dolby Atmos. And I must admit the invitation is quite lucrative. I’m sure you feel it too.

But we must consider the perks before deciding to buy Dolby. 

This leads you to the question, is Dolby worth it?

It’s not worth it to get a Dolby surround system at home. However, the Dolby surround system is not intended for all. It can cost up to $7000. And it is very inconvenient to set up. The space where you’ll use Dolby needs a flat ceiling. Dolby is only worth it if you intend to use it commercially.

Sounds like a lot of requirements for having a Dolby surround setup and it is. 

In this article, I’ll discuss different aspects of Dolby.

Keep reading to see if it’s worth your money.

What Is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is being used in theatrical productions. It’s a surround system that provides an immersive 3D audio experience. It’s been used in productions such as cinema and TV for years.

It’s a scalable surround format that promises a genuine immersive 3D audio experience.

So how is Dolby Atmos different from Dolby 5.1?

Atmos adjusts to the number of channels in a playback system. You can also convert it to a binaural version for headphones. If Dolby 5.1 misses a central speaker, you lose all of its sounds. With Dolby Atmos, tell the hardware how many speakers you have. And it will compensate for the missing one.

This means the Dolby Atmos is a scalable surround sound. And Dolby 5.1 wasn’t scalable. 

Take a look at the table for Dolby features- 

AspectsDolby Atmos
Compression Ratio10 to 12:1
Channels5.1 HD7.1 HD-Master
Bitrate448-648 Kbits1.8 Mbits
Bitrate384 Kbits768 Kbits

That was a rundown of every information you need to know about Dolby surround system. So how does that come around for different groups of consumers?

You’ll get to know them in the subsequent sections. 

First, let’s talk about cinephiles. 

In conclusion, if you love immersive audio experiences with your movies, visit cinema theaters with Dolby. For home enjoyment, some other technology will work out better.  

Is Dolby Atmos Worth It?

In one sentence, if you can afford the price and have a fitting space, yes. Dolby Atmos is worth the investment for an excellent spacial 3D audio experience. 

For maximum output, you can try Sony speakers for Dolby Atmos. because sony speakers last quite long.

The Dolby Atmos surround system has been employed in theater productions. A true immersive 3D audio experience is promised by this adaptable surround format.


The number of speakers in a playback system can be adjusted with Atmos. Additionally, it can be made into a binaural version for headphones. You lose every sound in Dolby 5.1 if a central speaker is absent.

Inform the hardware how many speakers you have with Dolby Atmos. It will make up for the one that is missing.

If the Dolby 5.1 misses a central speaker, you lose all of its audio information. For Dolby Atmos, tell your hardware how many speakers it has. And the Atmos will compensate for any speaker that isn’t there. 

In a Dolby Atmos setup, a combination of other speakers makes up for the absence. The absence of a center speaker will be filled up by the left and right speakers. 

Is Dolby Worth It For Cinema Lovers?

If you’re looking to install a Dolby surround system in your home. My first guess is you’re a cinephile. 

Dolby isn’t worth it for home theaters but it’s perfect for cinema halls. I’ll be explaining my verdict down below.

From the table, you can see the bitrate for different channels and mediums. Which aren’t extraordinary. Because when you compare Dolby with DTS on bitrates, DTS provides a higher bitrate. 

Dolby is big on specific placements for speakers to be able to provide immersive audio. Which can be a disadvantage for a consumer with limited space. Any other brand can easily compensate for Dolby in that aspect. 

As I said earlier can be an inconvenience for a home setup. But if you have a huge space, go for it. 

For commercial purposes, you need at least 8 speaker channels on each side for the audience. This placement allows equal audio experience for the audience in every seat. For commercial space, the specific speaker placement condition works out perfectly. 

Is Dolby Atmos Worth It For Music Producers?

Dolby Atmos is not worth it if you intend to use it for music production.

The minimum recommended setup for Dolby atmos for music production is 7.4.1.

The digit means you’ll need 7 speakers, 4 ceiling speakers, and 1 subwoofer. You need to place 2 speakers in the rear, and 1 in the center. And place the rest of the 4 speakers left and right at ear level.

Dolby Atmos soundbar

All speakers must be matched according to voicing. So when the audio is panned around for production, it won’t sound bizarre. In a perfect world, the speakers are all from the same brand and model.

The subwoofer is classed as a low-frequency effect channel. This means the subwoofer is not designed to augment the low end of the music. So, if you need subwoofers to enhance your bass, you’ll need to get them separately. 

dolby atmos speakers

Additionally, the subwoofers have to be tied to the right and left speakers. The LFE subwoofer of Dolby Atmos will be a separate entity. 

For such a setup, it’d require substantial space to hear the sound to its true potential. In small spaces, this setup would be overkill. 

However, if you’re just using it for music listening, then it’s totally worth it!

You also need multi-channel audio out to your speakers. You need an audio interface with at least 12 outputs for 7.4.1 speakers. It’s also necessary to find a way to control the global volume of all the speakers.

Let me ease your pain a bit now. If you wish to enjoy Dolby atmos surround sound, you can do it by checking out these sound systems-

Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 System can give you that surround sound that you want. Also, its classic design will surely suit your taste.

Are you more of a soundbar type of person? Then go for LG S80QY 3.1.3ch Sound bar. It has all the smart features including Dolby Atmos technology.

Bose also makes tremendously built DTS sound systems. Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is their high-end offering for the masses to enjoy Dolby at their home.

It’s crucial to figure out a method to control the monitor, particularly in the time domain. All while you use the Dolby renderer with the same time domain. 

The result is a huge WAV file with mixes all the audio from speakers. 

As it sounds, there are a lot of requirements for Dolby Atmos. That is to work in a setup for music production. Which is obviously out of budget for a huge chunk of music producers. 

Let’s take a look at the cost of a commercial Dolby setup.

Is Dolby Atmos Worth It For Gaming?

Dolby Atmos is worth the shot for new-age gaming, namely VR games.

Movies and music are the main components of most home entertainment systems that use Atmos technology.

Moreover, it’s also ideal for providing a more immersive gaming experience. The surround sound format may make games feel immersive, whether you play them frequently or occasionally.

It could even give competitive gamers an advantage. Because it amplifies the audio and allows them to hear the gameplay from all sides.

However, when it comes to FPS games, the ceiling speakers can confuse the gamers. Dolby gives misleading surround sound which may result in misidentifying the enemy’s position.

If you love open-world RPG, the Dolby surround system can give you an out-of-the-world immersive experience. For example, Alienware AW920H Tri-Mode Wireless Gaming Headset can give you better details in any game.

Another great example is the Logitech G435 LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset. That’s also pretty great for gaming that includes the Dolby Atmos spatial audio.

So, in some cases, Dolby sound do help a bit.

Is Dolby Access Worth It For Audiophiles?

Dolby Access is worth it if you want to experience surround sound with headphones. 

Dolby Atmos is a ground-breaking audio technology that immerses your entertainment medium. Which can include action movies with dynamic, moving audio for your games and movies. Now Windows 10 and Xbox can support Dolby Access.

Specific speaker placement requirements apply to Dolby Atmos. That significantly reduces convenience. It does, however, increase immersion. It is, therefore, better suited for movie theaters.

A separate program called Dolby Access is available for download from the Microsoft Store. 

The Atmos experience will be made compatible with gaming platforms, computers, and portable devices. The best aspect is that it will function with whatever headphones you currently own.

The benefit here is, that you can use headphones instead of using the whole setup. And you can enjoy the brilliance of Dolby Atmos thanks to the Dolby Access app.

Is Dolby Atmos Worth It For Headphones?

Without a doubt, Dolby Atmos sounds fantastic and effortlessly gives audio a new level of vitality. But is having Dolby worthwhile? 

That mostly relies on the purpose for which you intend to use it.

There are presently two versions of Dolby atmos that support headphones. One is Dolby Binaural available on Tidal. Another is, apple spatial audio available on Apple music.

Dolby Atmos for headphones

And, neither of these are Dolby Atmos Mix. Dolby Atmos for headphones is an extension of Dolby Atmos. Not the Dolby Atmos itself on headphones. The headphone versions are derived from the Atmos ADM Masterfile.

Without a big home theater setup, the richness that Dolby Atmos provides to movies is unbelievable. if you enjoy immersive headphone audio and are a movie fan, the purchase will be worthwhile.

The best justification to purchase Dolby Access is definitely gaming. Atmos will undoubtedly be worthwhile if you’re an avid gamer.

It provides an improved gaming experience, especially for stealth games, or multiplayer shooting games with headphones.

Cost of Dolby Setup for Commercial Use

In order to hire your studio for commercial music production, you will face a hefty bill. 

For a 9.4.1 setup, you’ll need 7 speakers at the listening level. For SCM200s, a pair costs about 18000 dollars. Which accumulates to a total of 117,535 dollars. Add another pair of subwoofers at 15000 dollars. 

4 professional quality ceiling speakers will cost about 19000 dollars. The total cost round up to nearly 151,000 dollars. 

Adding a suitable interface, cables, and audio control monitor will cost you 20,000 dollars more. This is a sizeable investment.

In conclusion, if you’re starting small, Dolby isn’t the setup for you. Even if you’re a mastering engineer, a dedicated Dolby Atmos mastering isn’t a thing.

So, even as an investment a commercial Dolby Set up isn’t viable.

Because nothing comes close to a traditional stereo bus.

Does Dolby Atmos Really Make A Difference?

It’s truly amazing how atmos-enhanced sound works. The depth and clarity it offers are remarkable, and the soundstage feels immense.

It’s simple to determine where the sound comes from due to the precision with which it moves.

It goes without saying that hearing your favorite music in immaculate 3D resolution is a delight. That might win over even the most ardent music enthusiast.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Dolby Sound Worth It?

Dolby Sound is worth purchasing for your home. Dolby Atmos offers a realistic and immersive soundscape for your home theater. In addition to superb movie recording, making it is well worth the investment. It imitates movie theater technology by having surround sound emanating from all directions. 

Do I Really Need Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos fits a specific group of customers. It’s for people who can bear the expense and requirements. And you have a room with a flat ceiling. Dolby Atmos can improve your home theater experience. But keep in mind that the ideal setup is more complex than a straightforward 5.1 channel system.

Who Uses Dolby Atmos?

Currently, Netflix, Apple, Vudu, and Prime Video, are the sources that are Atmos-ready. On Disney+, Apple’s iTunes, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Vudu, you can get Dolby Atmos content. You can easily stream one of the apps straight from the smart platform on your TV.


That was all about Dolby and its perks. I provided every detail you need to determine whether Is Dolby Worth It or not. 

Dolby Atmos is a compelling technology for commercial use. It does an amazing job at cinema halls for providing an immersive 3D audio experience. 

So are you going to buy Dolby Surround System? Let us know why!

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