Surprise! The PS5 Dolby Atmos update is out now – here's how to enable it

PS5 console white
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has deployed an update to the PS5 today that enables system-wide Dolby Atmos support. 

We originally reported the feature's inclusion in the Beta version of the software, with Sony claiming that a full rollout was to be expected "later this year". Well, that time has come – and sooner than expected, as the latest system software upgrade is available to download right now.

Alongside Dolby Atmos support for HDMI devices (over eARC we presume) other updates to the PS5 include support for SSD drives up to 8TB and the ability to connect an additional DualSense controller to the PS5 for assistance purposes. 

But back to the big AV news. Dolby Atmos support has actually been buried in a playback menu for compatible 4K Blu-ray movie discs since launch, but this new update enables it for gaming, too. Sony says that this update also enables streaming apps to utilise Dolby Atmos audio but developers will need to update their respective apps to include this feature. 

Sony is implementing Dolby Atmos off the back of existing audio tech within the PS5, namely its Tempest 3D Audio system. Mark Cerney, the lead system architect of the PS5, explains that while Tempest Audio decoded 5.1 and 7.1 audio signals already, Dolby Atmos supports the additional audio channels for fully immersive audio. 

Enabling Atmos on the PS5 should be fairly easy. First, you'll need to hook up a Dolby Atmos soundbar, or an AV receiver with a relevant home theatre speaker package, to the HDMI eARC connection on your TV. It's worth checking that you've plugged the audio equipment into the correct HDMI socket, as well as ensuring you've got an additional HDMI 2.1 port for your PS5 to be plugged into so that 4K/120Hz with VRR and ALLM can be enabled. 

From there, you can fire up your PS5, find the settings menu and follow these steps: Settings > Sound > Audio Output > Audio Format Priority, and then select Dolby Atmos in the drop-down menu. And now your PS5 should be able to decode Dolby Atmos for gaming. 


Read our full PS5 review

Check out picks for the best PS5 games for ultimate picture and sound

Here's how to get the best picture and sound out of your PS5

27 best Dolby Atmos movie scenes to test your surround sound system

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.