When you think ”sound effects” — you think Dolby. Now, recently they started implementing their surround sound software and hardware in consumer products, like home theaters and smartphones.

Also, Windows 10 users can try out (and later buy) Dolby Atmos supporting software for headphones and home sound systems.

However, the problem is that there’s no option to do so or they’re unable to get Dolby Atmos (or Spatial sound in general which includes Windows Sonic as well) to work.

What’s Dolby Atmos and Spatial sound in Windows 10 and how it works? As you might already know, the sound is usually distributed through channels, but this new technology focuses on 3D points and grants 360° sound output.

This should improve listeners experience, and even with the cheapest headphones, with the adapted-multimedia content (movies, games, and videos), you should enjoy a dramatically better surround sound.

For the time being, it supports only headphones, buds, and earphones in Windows 10, but you can use a Dolby home theater for the best results.

Nonetheless, we need to make it work in the first place. For the sole purpose of helping our readers in distress, we provided the best-suited solutions below.

Make sure to check them out and, hopefully, we’ll make Dolby Atmos and Spatial sound work as it’s intended.

How to get Dolby Atmos and Spatial sound working on Windows 10:

  1. Update sound drivers
  2. Rollback sound drivers
  3. Run the built-in sound troubleshooter
  4. Enable Exclusive mode options
  5. Run downloadable troubleshooter
  6. Reconfigure Dolby Atmos for your device or try Sonic
  7. Update Windows

1: Update sound drivers

Sound drivers are the primary reason why the things went south for some users. As you might’ve known, there are usually the 2 sound devices with their respective roles and supporting drivers. The onboard sound device and the third-party device.

Windows 10 is well-known for automatically administered driver updates and those are, frequently, making the things worse.

Namely, it seems that some iterations of both onboard sound device and the third-party device (Realtek, VIA, ATI) won’t work as intended with Dolby Atmos and Spatial Sound.

So, the first thing (although it ‘sounds‘ rather generic) is to try and update your sound driver and try enabling Dolby Atmos (Spatial sound) later on.

If you’re not sure how to do so on your Windows 10, make sure to follow the steps we provided below:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and open Device Manager.dolby atmos windows 10 not working spatial sound isn't working
  2. Expand the ”Sound, video, and game controllers” section.
  3. Right-click both onboard sound device and third-party device and Update drivers.dolby atmos windows 10 not working spatial sound isn't working
  4. Restart your PC.
  5. Right-click on the Sound icon in the Notification area and select Spatial Sound (Dolby Atmos for Headphones). If you haven’t configured it already, follow the instructions to do so.dolby atmos windows 10 not working spatial sound isn't working
  6. Play supported content and look (listen) for changes.

Windows can’t automatically find and download new drivers? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.


2: Rollback sound drivers or stick with the Windows-native drivers

If the first step was of no help whatsoever, we recommend a diametrally opposite approach. That’s that issue with drivers we stress every time.

The latest driver iteration might not exclusively be the best-suited for the job. A lot of users had a fun time with Dolby Atmos and spatial sound until the Windows Update feature decided to update the sound driver.

That’s when the issues started. In order to address this, we offer two solutions.

Firstly, you can try and rollback the driver on all sound devices and look for changes. If that doesn’t hold up, you should completely disable the third-party sound device and stick with the onboard sound device solely.

Furthermore, we made sure to show you how to do both in the separate lists of instructions:

  1. Right-click Start and open Device Manager from the Power User menu.dolby atmos windows 10 not working spatial sound isn't working
  2. Expand the ”Sound, video, and game controllers” section.
  3. Right-click both devices, respectively, and open Properties.dolby atmos windows 10 not working spatial sound isn't working
  4. Under the Driver tab, click Roll Back driver.
  5. If that option isn’t available, get back and right-click on the third-party sound device and uninstall it.
  6. Restart your PC and re-enable Spatial sound.

If you rollback your driver and that fixes the problem, you’ll have to prevent Windows from automatically updating it in the future. To do that, follow the easy steps from this nifty guide.