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Xbox One’s New Firmware Update Will Enable Default Upmixing to Dolby Atmos


Staff member
Tasmania, Australia

A new firmware update as about to roll out for the Xbox One soon, which will allow for all games and movies to be upmixed to deliver Dolby Atmos sound, even if they do not natively support it. Dolby Atmos, for those who don’t know, is Dolby’s three dimensional spatial audio technology that places sound effects in 3D spaces to achieve heightened immersion.

The upmixing software, interestingly enough, has been built by Dolby itself, which certainly inspires confidence. While the results from upmixing won’t be quite at the same level as audio that natively supports Dolby Atmos, it will be close enough to it and will deliver increased immersion through sound- sort of like how upscaled 4K images aren’t as good as 4K, but still quite good, one might say.

Anyone using home theatres will be able to make use of this upmixing tech, and it’s also important to note that the firmware update will come with a toggle that allows you to switch the default upmixing on and off.

Meanwhile, Microsoft for Audio’s Principal Program Manager has told Wccftech that though it would require some work, they might look into bringing the upmixing process to Windows 10 PCs as well.

“Currently, we will not be doing the same for PC. The Windows 10 PC implementation only sends Dolby Atmos MAT encoded streams to the receiver when there is Spatial Sound to be rendered,” he said. “That would be when someone is watching a Dolby Atmos movie, playing a spatial sound enabled game, or an app using the spatial sound APIs directly. When we are not sending Dolby MAT, your receiver will upmixing the audio to height channels with its own algorithm. The downside is that the behavior is not consistent between Xbox One and PC, the upside is/was that both devices had behavior that is optimized for the different devices and their usage. However, we might add a switch on PC that allows for the same behavior with PC as on Xbox in a future Windows 10 and/or Dolby Access update.”

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