Dolby Digital Plus Vs Dolby Atmos Vs Stereo: Surround Sound Explained

Dolby Digital Plus Vs Dolby Atmos Vs Stereo needs closer consideration to be able to know exactly what to opt for. But it is worth your time to delve into the origins of the sound and how it progressed to be more sophisticated as it is today.

The surround sound is the technology that comprises of enhancing sound reproduction with the help of various audio channels. This involves the addition of multiple channels from the loudspeakers either at the side or directly behind the user. This offers the experience of the sound coming from the horizontal direction surrounding the user. To understand Dolby digital plus vs Dolby atmos, it is necessary to understand the basis of the sound surround system. This is usually found in a widespread application in the Cinema Theatre and the more recently Home theatre system. The use and application of the multichannel techniques have grown in popularity and have found great use to reproduce Speech, Music, natural or Synthetic sound for Cinema use and broadcasting. There also has been the use of Surround Sound in Video games consoles to offer the user a more realistic audio experience.

The History of the Surround Sound

Most wonder about the Dolby digital plus vs atmos, but before further understanding, it is necessary to know a bit about the history of the Surround sound and how far it has come. The Dolby Laboratories has been credited to device the first-ever ‘Surround Sound System’. It was known as ‘Split Surround’ at that time for the movie ‘Superman’. However, the 5.1 version of the Sound surround originated in the year 1987 by the French Engineer Dominique Bertrand for the French cabaret Moulin Rouge. This further gave way for more sophisticated sound surround configurations other than 5.1 and is positioned accordingly for the required effect. The 5.1 surround sound system comprises two front speakers, two back speakers, and a Subwoofer.

Similarly, the 7.1 surround sound system comprises of additional two channels to the 5.1 system. This includes centre-left and centre-right and has the speakers located 15 degrees away from the listener. So, is Dolby digital plus the same as atmos? To know better, let us take a look at each of the Surround systems individually.

The Dolby Digital Plus

The Dolby digital plus is an improvised version of the Dolby Digital. To understand better, let us find out what Dolby Digital is all about. Also known as the AC-3, the Dolby digital deals with the substantial data needed to generate high-quality sound. This is best suitable for DVDs, TV broadcasts, Blu-ray discs, etc. With the help of Smart automation, the audio signals are transferred rather quickly to more than one surround channel. Almost all home theatre systems comprise a built-in Dolby Digital system, hence the realistic sound effects we have grown to enjoy.

So, between Dolby Atmos and Dolby digital plus, which is better? Well, to start with, Dolby Digital Plus is everything Dolby Digital, but a little better. This improvisation includes more channels, hence a better audio experience. An efficient Dolby Digital Plus can easily support up to eight channels, hence offering high definition audio experience. The other aspect is that it can easily compress large files without compromising on audio quality.

Advantages Of The Dolby Digital Plus

  • The Dolby Digital Plus is also compatible with HDMI as well.
  • Along with the retention of the original audio quality, the Dolby Digital Plus is also capable of offering high-resolution sound.
  • Is capable of supporting a large range of data.
  • This is also backwards compatible.

What is Dolby Atmos?

This is the revolutionary new surround sound system with the additional benefits of the 3D surround sound. This includes all the channels that are detailed offers three dimensional sound interface. This offers a more realistic audio experience ever. To know what is Dolby digital plus vs atmos, we need to know Dolby Atmos in further detail. The most striking difference is the custom-built upward speakers. This allows the sound to bounce back to the user, hence offering the larger-than-life experience we have grown to enjoy. The best part is that this technology is compatible with high-resolution systems like Television, tablets, and laptops. However, the users need to remember that it requires professional help to set up the system.

Advantages Of Dolby Atmos

  • The Dolby Atmos offers overhead audio effects.
  • One can enjoy the benefits of the exact sound once the system has been placed precisely.
  • The Dolby Atmos is also compatible with the HDMI cable and Blu-ray disc players as well.
  • Can support online streaming effectively as well.

The Stereo

When it comes to Dolby atmos vs Stereo, one needs to take a closer look at the latter. As most of us might remember, the Stereo is the traditional audio system one usually had at home. This is comprised of channels situated on the left and the right. The setup was created to ensure a balanced audio experience as one set upon to enjoy music or movie. However, the Stereo had fewer channels and did not exactly fill the room with sound.

Advantages Of The Stereo

  • Is within the budget.
  • Is sufficient for a basic-level audio experience.
  • Is efficient in the prevention of phase interference between the speakers.

The Dolby Atmos Vs Stereo Speakers Vs Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby digital vs dolby atmos vs stereo

Let us take a look at some of the basic differences between the three audio systems:










Speaker based


Speaker based

Speaker Placement


Vertical and Horizontal


Sound Creation



When it comes tostereo vs dolby atmos, sound creation is not applicable in the former.




On a budget

Dolby Digital Plus Vs Dolby Atmos Vs Stereo : Conclusion

These were some of the facts, features, and differences between the three audio systems. As we proceed to decide upon the right purchase for ourselves, we must consider the various specifications that can enhance our overall experience. However, it is also required to consider aspects such as room size, seating arrangements, and also the material used in the construction of your house. These finer details allow for the perfect decision regarding the required audio system.

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