DTS HD Master Audio Vs Dolby Atmos (The Truth!)

Norvan Martin
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Surround sound technology has come a long way since its debut, with DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos being two of the most sought-after formats today.

Both technologies deliver immersive audio experiences to enhance viewing pleasure; however, there are differences. In this article, we will investigate these key distinctions, along with their advantages and disadvantages, so you can gain an in-depth knowledge of both formats to choose the one which meets your individual needs best.

Sound can transport us to another world and immerse us in another reality and thanks to modern audio technologies like DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos, we now experience sound like never before – but how do these two audio technologies compare?

Generally speaking, Dolby Atmos is better in terms of sound quality, and support in the home theater and cinema devices. However, DTS HD has a higher bit rate, does not require height channels, and allows users to isolate certain sound objects like voices or sound effects.

Read on to learn more.

DTS HD Master Audio vs Dolby Atmos Comparison Table

CriteriaDTS-HD Master AudioDolby Atmos
Audio QualityHighHigh, Object-Based
Channel ConfigurationSurround SoundHeight Channels (Object-Based)
Object-Based AudioNoYes
Content AvailabilityVariesVaries
Speaker ConfigurationVariesAdditional Height Speakers
Encoding EfficiencyVariesVaries
Cost and LicensingVariesVaries




Sound Quality:

DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos both produce excellent audio quality. DTS-HD Master Audio offers lossless quality that supports up to 7.1 channels; its higher bit rate gives more detailed audio.

DTS-HD Master Audio

Meanwhile, Dolby Atmos uses object-based technology that allows sound designers to place objects anywhere within 3D space – creating an immersive and realistic audio experience compared to Dolby Master Audio’s limited spatial placement of sound objects.

Both formats produce excellent sound quality, but Dolby Atmos provides more immersion when it comes to the overall experience than both formats can achieve.

Dolby Atmos

In terms of audio quality both formats deliver, however, Dolby Atmos offers a more immersive experience when used properly compared with both formats!

Expanded Soundstage:

Dolby Atmos offers an expanded soundstage by employing object-based audio technology that places sound objects within a three-dimensional space, for a truly immersive audio experience.

DTS-HD Master Audio uses fixed channels that restrict its audio signal – however, this cannot compare with Dolby Atmos in terms of creating an expanded soundstage experience. Although DTS-HD Master Audio still produces great quality sounds, its expanded soundstage cannot match up.

Spacious Profile:

DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos both create an expansive and engaging listening experience.

However, Dolby Atmos outshines DTS-HD Master Audio due to using object-based technology for its three-dimensional space creation (DTS-HD Master Audio relies on fixed channel formats for its audio space creation), providing more spaciousness in sound experience overall than DTS-HD Master Audio does.

Special Speaker Setup Required for DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos:

Both DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos require specific speaker setups in order to optimize their audio formats; DTS-HD Master Audio requires 7.1 channel setup while Dolby Atmos requires ceiling speakers as part of its unique speaker arrangement.

While this may seem restrictive at first, bear in mind that their special speaker requirements aim at offering you the optimal listening experience possible.

Bit Rates:

DTS-HD Master Audio uses a higher bit rate than Dolby Atmos to achieve more detailed audio, however, this doesn’t equate to being superior. Dolby Atmos uses object-based audio technology which doesn’t necessitate such high bit rates as DTS-HD Master Audio does for immersive experiences.


Both DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos are practical surround sound formats. However, Dolby Atmos may be more convenient for some users due to being supported by more devices than DTS-HD Master Audio – for instance, streaming services may support Dolby Atmos while support may vary between services for DTS-HD Master Audio.

Furthermore, Dolby Atmos may be backward compatible with traditional surround setups while DTS-HD Master Audio may not.

Backward Compatibility:

Dolby Atmos is designed to work seamlessly with traditional surround sound setups, while DTS-HD Master Audio may not.

This means it can be played on traditional 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setups without impacting the audio experience. 

On the other hand, DTS-HD Master Audio requires a specific setup to deliver optimal quality audio; as such it may not function with older systems – thus making Dolby Atmos the more suitable option if upgrading from traditional surround sound experiences to something with more immersive sonic experiences.

Streaming Services:

Both DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos are widely supported across streaming services; however, Dolby Atmos tends to be preferred.

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video both support Dolby Atmos while support for DTS-HD Master Audio may be more limited

Additionally, Dolby Atmos supports more devices, including game consoles, streaming devices, and home theater systems.

Open Source or Proprietary?

DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos are proprietary formats owned by their respective companies that do not permit third-party development for these formats, meaning their quality remains constant across devices and platforms.

While this might limit third-party developers from making software/hardware that supports either format, this also ensures consistency of quality across them all.


Ultimately, both DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos offer exceptional surround sound experiences with distinct features and benefits. Dolby Atmos takes things one step further by including height channels to create an even more immersive soundstage than DTS-HD Master Audio provides. But ultimately, choosing between DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos comes down to personal choice and specific user needs.

Many modern films and streaming services support both formats so consumers can have their pick of both worlds! When making their decision between these formats, individuals should base it on both personal listening preferences as well as available equipment.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin