Sonos, Apple TV 4K, and Dolby Atmos

I (somewhat) recently purchased a Sonos system to use as my TV speakers and for listening to music around the house. Overall, just about everything worked out-of-the-box, but I did have some trouble getting Dolby Atmos working with my Apple TV 4K, specifically. I eventually got it working after fiddling with the settings on my LG TV for a while, but I figured I’d write about it here in case it will help others or if I forget. :P

My current setup includes the following:

When I first set things up, I noticed that the Sonos app only showed “Stereo (PCM)” in the player screen, even when playing back content that supported Dolby Atmos, (I chose Star Wars: Andor as the source material for testing). I did however notice that I could get Dolby Atmos to work on the built-in Disney+ app on my LG TV, just not the Apple TV. But I like my Apple TV, so I kept digging.

After drilling through the TV’s menus a couple of times, the settings I ultimately changed to get everything working were:

  • Settings > Sound > eARC Support: Enable
  • Settings > Sound > Digital Sound Output: Pass Through
  • Settings > Sound > Select HDMI Input Audio Format: Bitstream

I figured out the first two fairly quickly, as I was able to find others who had similar problems online. The last one, however, took a bit longer. I eventually did a Google search for “PCM vs. Bitstream” since I stumbled across the option in the TV menus. After changing that setting I saw the Dolby Atmos logo in the playback screen of the Sonos iOS app. Yay!

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