Some Apple TV Users Complain of Dolby Atmos Audio Issues

A cluster of Apple TV owners over the last several months have been complaining about several issues when using external speakers with the ‌Apple TV‌ and attempting to listen to Dolby Atmos audio.

apple tv 4k design triad
A thread on Apple's support forums, which started in September 2021 and has over 25 pages of users sharing complaints, chronicles how users are experiencing issues with their ‌Apple TV‌ and Dolby Atmos. According to users, when listening to Dolby Atmos content, audio will sometimes either completely cut out and go silent, goes out of sync with the videos on the screen, or is choppy and stutters.

While there are some users who are experiencing the issue across ‌Apple TV‌ apps, a large portion of the complaints come from when users use the Netflix app. Some users have found that changing audio settings and disabling Dolby Atmos entirely solves the issues. Apple released tvOS 15.4.1 last month and that update does not seem to have addressed the bugs. Are you experiencing similar issues? Let us know down in the comments.

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Top Rated Comments

WilliamG Avatar
8 months ago
I’ve been experiencing this for months - cutouts and choppiness to audio. I have 2x Apple TV 4K and both do it. One is hooked up to a Denon receiver and the other to a Sony soundbar.

Apple has shown a complete lack of care with the Apple TV for years, so this doesn’t surprise me (it took years for them to enable proper 24.000hz playback instead of playing said media at 23.976hz, causing frame stutter).

Yes, in the meantime switching off Atmos “solves” the problem (even for NON-Atmos content!), but that’s a real shame, of course.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Robert Coggins Avatar
8 months ago
YES this is a nightmare and its not just NETFLIX. Sonos. I have to reboot my APPLE TV just to get audio back.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac4Brains Avatar
8 months ago
Knowing Apple, they will say the devices are fine and it is an issue generated by the users.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unggoy Murderer Avatar
8 months ago
Yup, it's been something that I've noticed a lot too. Audio seems to be unbalanced, loudness isn't consistent (like it can be at 50% and fine one episode, then next it's crazy loud so back down to 15%). Doesn't seem to affect specific apps, it's all content as far as I can tell.

Audio can also sound "off", like a speaker is occluded or something. It randomly fades back to normal sometimes too.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sciomar Avatar
8 months ago
I have experienced the sync issues, reminds me of the old Kung Fu movies! Luckily no full cut out issues yet.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ZzapDK Avatar
8 months ago
Yes, I have recently started having sound issues where the sound cuts off on external speakers. I figured it was my receiver, so I'm currently considering upgrading that. Perhaps I should wait for a tvOS bugfix instead :-/
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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