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:
Click on System.
Click on Sound.
Under the “Related settings” section, click the Sound Control Panel option.
Select the playback device (for example, headphones or speakers).
Click the Properties button.
Click the Spatial sound tab.
Under the “Spatial sound format” section, select the Windows Sonic for Headphones option.
Click the Apply button.
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:
Click the Install/Open button.
Click the Open Microsoft Store button.
Click the Install button to install the Dolby Access app on Windows 10.
Click the Launch button.
Skip the setup suggestions.
Click the Products tab.
Select the Dolby Atmos for home theater option.
Click the Setup button.
Click the Continue button.
Turn on your home theater.
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.