Sonos and Apple Music have partnered to bring Dolby Atmos support to some of the best wireless speakers and soundbars on the market today.
Sonos announcement (opens in a new tab) This means the Sonos Arc soundbar, the more affordable Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the newly unveiled Sonos Era 300 speaker will support surround sound via Apple Music, which is powered by Dolby Atmos, in the Sonos app. When you use one of these Sonos speakers to listen to an Apple Music track that has the Atmos version available, you’ll be able to make the most of the more immersive format.
Technically, you can use the Apple TV 4K (2022) to listen to Dolby Atmos music on Sonos Arc or Beam before via the HDMI port, but for the first time you can stream it there from your phone – until now, this was reserved for the Apple HomePod 2 (and the original HomePod, although this is no longer available for purchase).
The Sonos announcement doesn’t include an expected release date for this, but the Sonos Era 300 will launch on March 28, 2023, so we’re hoping around then. When TechRadar asked Sonos about it, he simply told us support was coming, but couldn’t say when.
When you listen to Spatial Audio-enabled tracks in Apple Music, it will sound like the music surrounds you, with different instruments positioned at different points in space instead of just blasting out of speakers or headphones.
To use the support, all you need is one of these speakers, an active Apple Music subscription linked to your Sonos account, and a track with a Dolby Atmos mix. Apple Music offers playlists of compatible songs and albums, or you can rely on apps like Music Library Tracker for iOS.
Tools like the Music Library Tracker mentioned in the article above can scan your Apple Music library for Dolby Atmos-enabled songs and even create playlists that contain nothing but immersive songs. Given that Apple’s in-app system isn’t always the best at highlighting which songs do or don’t support surround sound, Music Library Tracker can be a huge time saver, and in our experience it’s well worth the small ($2.99) / £2.99 / AU$5.99).