3D Sound

How to set up spatial sound (w/ Dolby Atmos) on Windows 10

Windows 10 Creators Update introduces a new spatial sound feature — Here's how to set it up on your headphones or home theater.

Spatial sound setup on Windows 10

Spatial sound is a new format included with the Windows 10 Creators Update, and it enables a more immersive audio experience. On Windows 10, when you enable spatial sound using “Windows Sonic” or “Dolby Atmos”, the audio will feel that is playing around you, instead of through speakers (or cheap headphones).

In short, spatial sound is what Microsoft refers to 3D sound, and Windows 10 leverages this new format by using a combination of optimized audio to deliver this listening experience, apps that support the feature, and headphones configured for spatial sound.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to configure spatial sound on your Windows 10 Creators Update computer for headphones and home theater setups.

How to enable spatial sound for headphones

To configure spatial sound for your headphones on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Sound and click the result.

  3. Select the playback device (e.g., headphones or speakers).

  4. Click the Properties button.

    Sound settings
    Sound settings
  5. Click the Spatial sound tab.

  6. Under “Spatial sound format”, select the Windows Sonic for Headphones option.

    Spatial sound settings
    Spatial sound settings
  7. Click Apply.

  8. Click OK.

While you can use the spatial sound format on any headphone, it should be noted that it will work best with headphones designed to take advantage of this feature.

How to enable spatial sound for home theater

To configure spatial sound for your home theater using Dolby Atmos, do the following:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Sound and click the result.

  3. Select the playback device (e.g., headphones or speakers).

  4. Click the Properties button.

    Sound settings
    Sound settings
  5. Click the Spatial sound tab.

  6. Under “Spatial sound format”, select the Dolby Atmos for headphones option.

    Spatial sound settings
    Spatial sound settings
  7. If you don’t have the Dolby Access app, the Windows Store will open automatically to download the app.

  8. Once the app has been installed, click the With my home theater option.

    Dolby Access app for Windows 10
    Dolby Access app for Windows 10
  9. Confirm that Dolby Atmos is enabled on your home theater, and it’s connected to your PC using HDMI.

  10. Click Continue.

    Dolby Atmos settings on Windows 10
    Dolby Atmos settings on Windows 10
  11. Open the Sound settings again.

  12. Set your HDMI playback device as the default device on the “Playback” tab (if necessary).

  13. Click Configure PC settings on the Dolby Access app.

    Dolby Atmos configuration
    Dolby Atmos configuration
  14. Click the Spatial sound tab.

  15. Under Spatial sound format, select the Dolby Atmos for home theater option.

  16. Click Apply.

  17. Click OK.

After completing the steps, your home theater should be working with the new sound format. Alongside the ability to configure your home theater, remember that you can also use Dolby Atmos with supported headphones.

If this options are not available on your computer, it’s likely that you don’t have the Windows 10 Creators Update installed on your device.