Apple Music - Dolby Atmos Playback From Mac

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sjcorne

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It is possible to get at least 5.1 using Apple Music on a MacBook Pro using HDMI into your AV receiver. I’m doing it myself as I got 3 months for the price of 1. You need the latest MacOS and it probably doesn’t work on older generations, but I think mine might be from 2017 so anything from that and above you should be good to use a MacBook, if you’ve got one
I was able to upgrade my 2014 Mac Mini to Monterey and get surround playback from Apple Music.
 

madscot

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You can download the Apple TV app on devices like Roku, I’m unsure if it streams stuff in Atmos as I don’t have the capability but it probably does 5.1.

It is possible to get at least 5.1 using Apple Music on a MacBook Pro using HDMI into your AV receiver. I’m doing it myself as I got 3 months for the price of 1. You need the latest MacOS and it probably doesn’t work on older generation MacBooks, but I think mine might be from 2017 so anything from that and above you should be good to use a MacBook, if you’ve got one
I connected my macbook pro to my receiver but it only plays in lpcm 5.1 not atmos, which is why i’m wondering if there’s anyway around it without buying apple tv 4k
 

madscot

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The only way to get Apple Atmos music into your AVR is with a Apple TV 4k device. You can buy all sort of them on ebay for $100 and well worth the money. ;)
Okay thanks, I don’t have any spare cash lying around to buy something i’ll only use for 6 months, at least now I know
 

bookofsaturdays

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I connected my macbook pro to my receiver but it only plays in lpcm 5.1 not atmos, which is why i’m wondering if there’s anyway around it without buying apple tv 4k
I’m sure you’ve read through this entire thread but have you checked your settings in Audio MIDI Setup? Maybe there’s something there you don’t have set right or like @Sal1950 says maybe Atmos is just impossible without an Apple TV. Either way the downmixed 5.1 is still great and better than nothing!
 

sjcorne

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I’m sure you’ve read through this entire thread but have you checked your settings in Audio MIDI Setup? Maybe there’s something there you don’t have set right or like @Sal1950 says maybe Atmos is just impossible without an Apple TV. Either way the downmixed 5.1 is still great and better than nothing!
The issue is that Apple Music on Mac doesn't appear to be able to send the undecoded bitstream to an AVR like the Apple TV can, so it defaults to decoded 5.1 PCM (despite there being output options for 5.1.4 and 7.1.4 Atmos in the Audio MIDI setup menu). There is a convoluted way to get 7.1.4 Atmos out of the Mac though, using a virtual device like LoopBack or BlackHole to route the 12 discrete channels into a DAW and then out to the speakers from there. @humprof linked an interesting article on that topic upthread.
 

madscot

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I’m sure you’ve read through this entire thread but have you checked your settings in Audio MIDI Setup? Maybe there’s something there you don’t have set right or like @Sal1950 says maybe Atmos is just impossible without an Apple TV. Either way the downmixed 5.1 is still great and better than nothing!
I have tried everything, my problem is to connect my macbook to my avr I have to remove something else which becomes a nightmare (I dont like unplugging and plugging hdmi cables) just to listen in 5.1, it might be worth it in atmos but I can listen to my own music in 5.1 or atmos without the hassle, I just wanted the use of atmos for 6 months because it’s free. I guess I wont be making use of it after all
 

humprof

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Sidenote for those in the US: Costco is having another of its periodic sales on select Apple products, including various versions of the MacBook Pro with the new M1 Pro chip. $350 off retail price--which is $150 cheaper than the last two times they were on sale.
 
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