The best Dolby Atmos Xbox Series X games can transform your gaming experience, all thanks to the wonders of spatial audio. If you haven’t yet discovered what Dolby Atmos can do, this curated games list provides perfect examples of why the audio format is so highly regarded.
As it stands, even Apple has opted for Dolby Atmos over the alternatives. So it’s fair to say that Dolby’s object-based technology has taken the lead in recent years, and luckily for Xbox owners, it’s been available on the platform since 2019. While not every game offers native Dolby Atmos support, the ones that do offer exceptional sound quality and make for a truly immersive experience to boot.
The Xbox Series X makes excellent use of Dolby Atmos technology. And if that’s something that interests you, consider keeping an eye out for the console during the Black Friday 2022 sale period. Chances are we’ll see discounts on the console (or bundles) as part of the best Black Friday Xbox deals on and around November 25th.
Dolby describes its Atmos technology as “the most significant advancement in cinema audio since surround sound,” and while that may be the subject of fierce debate among audiophiles, there’s no doubt that Atmos offers at the very least a compelling surround sound solution for more people. than never before, because it works on any headphones.
Dolby Atmos Xbox Series X games
As gamers will attest, surround sound can be extremely helpful whether you’re playing competitively or simply wanting to immerse yourself in the fantastic world of a game. Dolby Atmos tries to facilitate this by making the sound feel like it’s coming from everywhere, as well as from above, and the effect can often be stunning.
These Dolby Atmos Xbox Series X games show what the spatial audio format can do. If you’re looking for a list of the best Xbox Series X games in general, we’ve got you covered, but otherwise, here are the best experiences available right now.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Call of Duty: Warzone has a great sound design. There’s an amazing amount of detail crammed into the game’s audio, whether you’re reloading a magazine in one of Warzone’s many weapons or holding your breath as you line up that long-range sniper shot, every action sounds incredibly realistic.
However, Dolby Atmos offers an extra layer of fidelity to what is already a luscious sounding game. With players regularly dropping from the sky and scurrying about the floors below when you’re inside a building, Dolby Atmos can really help you pinpoint the exact location of your enemy… before it’s too late. In a game where margins are often paper thin, you need every competitive edge you can get.
Read our full Call of Duty: Warzone review
Ori and the will of the wisps
Ori and the Will of the Wisps, a truly magical Xbox Series S/X game, has exceptional visuals and a heart-wrenching story, but doesn’t skimp on sound quality either. While the game takes place entirely on a fixed 2D plane, Dolby Atmos does a great job separating subtle sounds to immerse you in the labyrinthine levels teeming with hostile creatures.
The game’s evocative orchestral soundtrack also benefits from the added clarity that Dolby Atmos provides, with each stringed instrument really driving home the powerful crescendos during some of Ori’s more perilous moments. This is not an experience you want to miss.
Forza Horizon 4
Racing at top speed through the British countryside is a spectacular sight in Forza Horizon 4, but with Dolby Atmos support, the driving sounds fantastic. You really get a sense of what it feels like to drive some of the game’s ridiculously expensive supercars: the engines create a cacophony of noise as you drive through a tunnel or whiz wildly under a festival arch as the rain settles.
Thanks to the game’s multiple camera angles, you can choose to cut yourself off from the cheering crowds in the cockpit and enjoy Forza Horizon 4’s excellent radio stations, or listen really closely when you use the hood camera as your car tires rip the tarmac. on. It’s a car enthusiast’s dream.
Read our full Forza Horizon 4 review
Resident Evil 2
Dolby Atmos makes the presence of Resident Evil 2’s marauding Mr. X all the more terrifying along with the hordes of zombies you encounter. The heartbreaking sound of Mr. X will be all too familiar to those who have played Capcom’s excellent remake, but with Dolby Atmos enabled, the threat can feel unbearably real as it quickly approaches.
However, there is a positive side to scaring yourself. Dolby’s spatial audio can help you pinpoint exactly where Mr. X lurks before he unceremoniously bursts through the nearest door to rip your throat out. It doesn’t make his presence any less unnerving, of course, but any advantage we can get from escaping that towering freak, so much the better.
Read our full Resident Evil 2 review
Gears 5 is an excellent all-round showcase for Dolby Atmos’ spatial audio. You explore vast open areas like a frozen wasteland and battle it out in claustrophobic underground passageways, so there are plenty of environments and locations with their own signature soundscapes.
Whether you’re chainsawing through a sinewy grasshopper or hearing the bloodcurdling scream of a “young person” before an impending attack, Gears 5 delivers convincing spatial audio well worth the Dolby Atmos licensing cost. It can also serve as a subtle competitive advantage in the game’s multiplayer mode, as it makes it easier to detect when an enemy is behind a barricade about to be pierced from behind.
Read our full Gears 5 review
How to get the most out of Dolby Atmos
Despite what you may have heard, Dolby Atmos will work on any pair of headphones, but you’ll need to purchase a license if you want to use it, which costs $15/£10.99 / AU$19. Some TVs, such as the LG OLED CX, also support the Atmos through the TV’s built-in speaker; however, if you really want to get the most out of Dolby’s spatial audio, we’d recommend picking quality headphones or a Dolby Atmos surround sound setup if you really want to go all out.
Most people will probably opt for headphones for their practicality and lower cost, and if you’re headed that way, we highly recommend choosing open-back headphones rather than closed ones. Open-back headphones tend to provide a much better soundstage than closed-back pairs, which really helps bring spatial audio to life. You want the sound to feel like it’s all around you, not in your head, so to speak.
The Xbox Series X Dolby Atmos app also lets you choose between different equalizer settings — and you can even create your own. This is a great tool for customizing the sound to your liking, especially if you want more bass or boost the treble to hear footsteps better. Once you lock your settings, your games will never sound better.
Best Dolby Atmos Equalizer Setting
While choosing the best Dolby Atmos equalizer comes down purely to personal preference, we noticed an interesting quirk. The ‘Movie’ preset provides a significant sound boost over the other options and focuses on creating a virtualized surround sound that is excellent for single player titles. The ‘Movie’ EQ is also a winner if you’re using high impedance headphones, which require more power to drive at higher volumes.
While we found that using ‘Film’ and ‘Detailed’ provided a rich, cinematic surround experience that outperformed the other equalizers in volume terms, if you’re only playing competitive games, we’d opt for the ‘Game’ equalizer with the performance turned on, because this equalizer prioritizes positional accuracy. It’s also a more natural sound, which some generally prefer.