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Question about headphone audio from movie streaming apps

stanroz

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Hi Everyone,

I apologize if this has been covered before. I have looked here and everywhere. And I even contacted streaming apps tech support and they couldn’t answer it.

To make a long story short, circumstances have forced me to watch movies and tv shows on ipad pro 12.9 2021 release. I am now in the process of researching headphones and will be buying a couple of over ear wired headphones to try out.

I do subscribe to apple music, but majority of my entertainment is spent watching movies and tv shows from streaming apps: apple tv app, prime video, hbo max, netflix, hulu and disney +..

The audio soundtracks of the movies on these apps are either stereo pcm, dolby digital, dolby digital plus or dolby atmos.

How will these play on headphones from the ipad’s usb-c output?

Well stereo pcm of older material is self explanatory. Also my understanding is that dolby digital and dolby digital plus is converted to stereo pcm as well.

But Dolby Atmos is the gray area. Even though it too is converted to two channels there is a potential to spatialize, like in apple music.

In fact when I contacted Apple tech support, they were totally confused (without admitting it ofcourse) between dolby atmos in music and dolby atmos in apple tv app.

So… does anyone know whether all, any or none of these apps spatialize dolby atmos through the headphone output on the ipad?

And if not then the follow up question would be: is there an effective ‘wired headphone’ solution that will give decent surround sound, a solution focused on movies rather than games or music?

Thanks to you all in advance,
 

twsecrest

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The OS of the ipad would need to be able to process headphone surround sound, to get headphone surround sound to the headphones.
So check all the setting of the ipad's audio features.
Does the ipad OS come with a Dolby Headphone setting? Or a Dolby Atmos Headphone setting?
My two cents, it would be a lot easier to just play all movies in stereo (2.0) audio

Edit, guess in your ipad,s audio settings, Spatial Audio is Apple's version of a headphone surround sound.
 

garbulky

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I would just stick to regular two channel headphones and not worry about the surround features.
 
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stanroz

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there is no global audio setting on ipad os. It is definitely capable of multichannel audio playback but each app has its own settings and sets its own limits. So the Apple Music app has settings for dolby atmos and whether you want lossless or high res. But none of the movie streaming apps have any audio settings, just general streaming quality settings which I set to highest.

I guess I will follow the advice given and just settle for stereo pcm. Thanks.
 

AdamG247

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stanroz

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I won’t be getting any airpods. There is apple’s own spatial audio for which you must have airpods. But there is also Apple’s implementation of dolby atmos in both apple music and in apple tv app (itunes movies, apple tv plus subscription). For Dolby Atmos you can use any headphones, at least for Apple Music. But it is unknown to me whether apple tv app or any other ipadOS streaming app does dolby atmos through headphones the way Apple Music app does.
 

twsecrest

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there is no global audio setting on ipad os. It is definitely capable of multichannel audio playback but each app has its own settings and sets its own limits. So the Apple Music app has settings for dolby atmos and whether you want lossless or high res. But none of the movie streaming apps have any audio settings, just general streaming quality settings which I set to highest.

I guess I will follow the advice given and just settle for stereo pcm. Thanks.
By movies apps, assuming you mean streaming movies from Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, etc.
It looks like those apps for those services are just for downloading and play the content, but does not offer any features for changing the audio (like to headphone surround sound).
I'm guessing those services would rather have you watch everything in stereo audio, easier for them.
 
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stanroz

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yes I mean those apps.

It’s a shame because on my Roku TV and JBL Soundbar these same apps do dolby digital, dolby digital plus and dolby atmos depending on the age of material.
 
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stanroz

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yes I mean those apps.

It’s a shame because on my Roku TV and JBL Soundbar these same apps do dolby digital, dolby digital plus and dolby atmos depending on the age of material.All Apple TV plus and Netflix original programming is done in dolby atmos.
 
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