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Can Dolby Atmos for headphones work with a DAC?

  1. jdanzphd

    I have been searching around and have yet to find any definitive answer.
    Can you use dolby atmos for headphones with an external dac? I have an old Fiio Alpen and it doesn't really seem to work. I can turn atmos on, but attempting to hear sample content through the atmos app nothing comes out and it tells me to check my set up. I am using the SPIDF input.

    I finally have a desktop set up and was planning on getting a Schiit stack, but as I enjoy atmos for overwatch and I really don't want to have to switch back and forth.
  2. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Is it Atmos for headphones? Because Atmos is ATMOSphere, ie, a surround speaker that doubles the FL-C-FR if not all speakers that are set higher, that way when some sounds are meant to come from above - like the Quinn Jet and Iron Man take on Loki in Germany, or when a Blackhawk hovering overhead gets shot and comes down - you'd hear more of some SFX (and dialogue, as when Black Widow threatens Loki with an autocannon) coming from above.

    If that isn't Atmos for headphones the E17K is receiving a surround signal which is why it won't work on it or any other 2ch DAC. If that's a laptop, double check with the manufacturer because in some cases headphone processing only works when you're driving headphones from its headphone out port. Alternately try a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable into the E17Ks analogue input and see if anything happens (although height on headphones is just about as problematic for reproduction as rear channels).

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