Tidal and Dolby Bring Atmos Music to Home Theaters

The presence of music in Dolby Atmos format on Tidal has been something of a well-kept secret since the streaming service started adding it in December 2019. Why? I suspect it’s because Atmos support so far has been limited to select Android smartphones and tablets—not exactly a premium method to experience immersive music. But things changed big time this week with Dolby and Tidal’s joint announcement that Tidal Hi-Fi subscribers can now stream Atmos music to home theater systems via an Apple TV 4K, Fire TV Stick, NVIDIA Shield TV, or other compatible device.

Here’s the full list of compatible streaming devices from Dolby/Tidal’s joint press release:

  • Apple TV 4K
  • Fire TV Stick 4K
  • Fire TV Cube
  • Fire TV Stick (2nd gen)
  • Fire TV (3rd gen)
  • NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro (2019 or newer models)

When running the updated Tidal app on one of the above devices, subscribers to the service’s $20/month HiFi tier can now experience music in immersive Atmos sound via their Atmos-enabled A/V receiver or surround sound processor, soundbar, or TV. Owners of Atmos-enabled Android TVs from Sony and Philips can also run the app natively on the set and output audio via HDMI eARC to an external soundbar or AVR. According to Dolby/Tidal’s release, Tidal “will automatically default to this experience if a Dolby Atmos mix and compatible device are available,” so listeners don’t have to worry about extra setup steps to enjoy music in Atmos.


Hey! Ho! Let’s Go—The Ramones in Atmos on Tidal

Tidal's Dolby Atmos music collection features a wide array of artists and genres—you can find everything from current pop from The Weeknd and Halsey to classic rock and jazz, 70s/80s new wave and punk, old-school rap and country. There’s even Bing Crosby, who gets his own Atmos playlist!

New subscribers who want to experience Atmos on Tidal HiFi can take advantage of an extended 60-day free trial for a limited time. Details on the offer can be found at this link.

thehun's picture

Just checked this out on my Shield TV, and it won't work, in fact there was a message on the bottom of the screen that "this device is not compatible with Atmos" a curious statement since Shield is the most widely recognized device to stream Atmos for a long time now on various apps, and yes I'm a Tidal Hi-Fi subscriber for awhile now.

teacher1000's picture

Nvidia shield TV (2019), tidal hifi subscription, fresh install of tidal app
"This device is not capable of playing dolby atmos content"

davidbe's picture

I had the same problem and Tidal support (after a few days wait for a response) told me to uninstall and reinstall the Tidal app from the Shield and then it worked just fine. Some of their Atmos music sounds really great but unsurprisingly there is not a huge selection.

NUJazz's picture

That's why I cancelled my Tidal subscription. Many announcements without support. I can't access Atmos content via Fire 4K TV associated to Anthem MRX 1120 receiver.

hk2000's picture

I thought Tidal is more about high bit rate and high end audiophile type of listener. Which to me, implies more traditional listening- In other words, strictly two channel traditionalists.

NUJazz's picture

I agree with you but also I've experienced many interruptions when playing Master Hi-Fi files from Tidal (I have a more than adequate internet connection and my device is connected via ethernet). I just want to get what I've paid for, I mean the possibility to play any kind of format offered by Tidal. If the promise was to offer a "state-of-the-art" experience I have to say it wasn't honored to me.

thehun's picture

Tidal updated the app on the Shield TV so look for it. Mine updated and streaming as expected. Since this is a dolby format the dialnorm is active and the offset is rather large @ -14db which will reduce the output substantially so you need to crank up the master volume. No this isn't a dynamic compression, although DD+ is used to bring the Atmos metadata so this is a lossy track which was expected from a streaming platform.