If you’re an Apple TV 4K owner with a pair of Spatial Audio-compatible AirPods and a Disney+ subscription, Disney’s latest free app update is a great bonus: you now get full Dolby Atmos support when watching in Spatial Audio .
However, if you own an Android TV or Google TV – including Sony, TCL and Hisense models, as well as Nvidia Shield devices – a recent update has had the opposite effect: for many users, Dolby Atmos support seems to be gone.
Both updates were detected by FlatpanelsHD (opens in new tab) while users shared their stories of Android’s agony – and AirPods’ ecstasy – online.
The good news for Android and Google TV users is that many people have already noticed that the problem is resolving itself, presumably with a server-side fix, meaning no new version of the app is needed. For many people, Dolby Atmos might be back when you try it, so no problem – but if you find the sound from your Dolby Atmos soundbar is suddenly a little boring and you’re using the app on your tech-powered TV Google, that’s probably why.
So what is this Apple TV update about?
The update for Apple TV users is relatively subtle, but still very welcome. Until now, when you listened to movies on Disney+ with AirPods 3rd Gen, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max, you were getting Spatial Audio, but only with a boring old Dolby 5.1 surround sound mix, even though the Disney+ app supports Dolby Atmos .
This update means you’ll get full Dolby Atmos object-based audio support, with FlatpanelsHD confirming a 16-channel output. You’ll get much more accurate placement of sounds in the space around you when using head-tracking spatial audio, including height channels.
If you’ve never tried Spatial Audio in Dolby Atmos movie headphones, we can’t recommend it highly enough. It appears to be on a full theater speaker setup, and you can actually turn the volume up… but no one else will hear it, obviously. If you want the full cinematic experience after the kids have gone to sleep, there’s no better way to do that than an Apple TV 4K, a Dolby Atmos movie, and a pair of AirPods with spatial audio support.
And no one needs to know that the movie you chose to experience all of this was Moana. Until you start singing along, at least.