It seems the PS5 is lacking both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos

PlayStation 5
(Image credit: Sony PlayStation)

If you're eyeing up the new PS5 as a movie player as well as a games machine, we've got bad news: it seems that it lacks support for both Dolby Vision video and Dolby Atmos sound.

In a seemingly exhaustive new FAQ on the PlayStation Blog, under the question "does PS5 support HDR10?", the answer given is "yes, PS5 will support the HDR10 specification". There's no mention of Dolby Vision here or anywhere else on the page – until you get to the comments section, that is, where lots of readers are bemoaning its apparent absence.

It's a similar story for Dolby Atmos. Under the question "which audio formats does PS5 support?", a number of formats are listed, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, but Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are conspicuously absent.

We'd be tempted to be optimistic and hope that Sony's chosen simply not to list those 3D audio formats separately as they're carried by other formats that are listed (Dolby Atmos is delivered by Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital+, for example), but Sony specifies that all of the formats the PS5 supports max out at either 5.1 or 7.1 channels, seemingly ruling out Atmos and DTS:X altogether.

Of course, the PS5 does have its own solution to 3D audio, powered by the bespoke Tempest Engine, but this requires the use of headphones and, to the best of our knowledge, only works with games. The big loss here is to those planning to use their PS5 for video streaming and playing Blu-rays (although a lack of Atmos for games is also a real disappointment).

It's worth pointing out that the Xbox Series X does support Dolby Vision via streaming services and is due to get it for specific games in 2021, but doesn't currently support it for Blu-rays. Dolby Atmos works across the board, although the free Dolby Access app needs to be downloaded first.

It sounds, then, like the Xbox Series X could be the better choice than the PS5 for those looking for a device to cover all of their entertainment needs, but we'll have to wait for our final PS5 review to be sure.


Xbox Series X review

PS5: everything you need to know

Best gaming TVs

Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.

  • stella123
    This is really disappointing for me, was waiting for the ps5 as a 4K blu-ray player and all my hdmi slots are full! I think I’ll just buy a 4K blu-ray player.
  • Bendiksen
    What Hi-Fi? said:
    The PlayStation 5's credentials as a streamer and Blu-ray player just took a big hit.

    It seems the PS5 is lacking both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos : Read more

    Atmos is a layer of metadata added to either a TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus audio track which the PS5 supports.

    So this meansthat Atmos Should be supported for movie BR disks and streaming apps right? That is the most important for me as I game with a headset regardless
  • manicm
    Sony on the PS5 is pushing their proprietary sound technology. I believe it requires proprietary hardware i.e. headphones, but will soon support normal headphones too.

    The fine print is that they will be in no hurry to support Atmos, if ever.

    More disappointing is the lack of Dolby Vision. Xbox X supports it but for one big snag - if you’re watching non-HDR Netflix content you have to disable HDR on the Xbox - because the app forces HDR by default, which will mess up standard def colours. This is apparently the fault of Netflix.
  • electronicsaxman
    Atmos is supported through 4k/blus if you are in the media player with a disc playing that has Atmos. You need to change the settings while in the app to Bitstream from PCM in order for it to work.
    Unfortunately this setting does not work for any of the streaming apps.
    So the PS5 as an actual media player is pretty much broken.