How to set up spatial sound with Dolby Atmos on Windows 10

Windows 10 includes spatial sound for headphones and home theater — Here's how to set it up.

Spatial sound setup on Windows 10

Spatial sound is a new format included on Windows 10, and it enables a more immersive audio experience. 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 other words, 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 Windows 10 for headphones and home theaters.

How to enable spatial sound for headphones

To configure spatial sound for your headphones on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Sound.

  4. Under the “Related settings” section, click the Sound Control Panel option.

  5. Select the playback device (for example, headphones or speakers).

  6. Click the Properties button.

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

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

    Spatial sound settings
    Spatial sound settings
  9. Click the Apply button.

  10. Click the OK button.

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

If you want to use Dolby Atmos with your home theater, you’ll need to purchase the Dolby Access app from the Microsoft Store.

To configure spatial sound for your home theater using Dolby Atmos, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Store.

  2. Click the Install/Open button.

  3. Click the Open Microsoft Store button.

  4. Click the Install button to install the Dolby Access app on Windows 10.

    Dolby Access app download
    Dolby Access app download
  5. Click the Launch button.

  6. Skip the setup suggestions.

  7. Click the Products tab.

  8. Select the Dolby Atmos for home theater option.

  9. Click the Setup button.

    Dolby Atmos for home theater
    Dolby Atmos for home theater
  10. Click the Continue button.

  11. Turn on your home theater.

  12. Continue with the on-screen directions.

After you complete 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.

Update June 18, 2020: Originally published in April 2017, and it’s been revised to reflect new changes.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].