macOS 15 to Include Dolby Atmos Passthrough via HDMI

Apple’s upcoming macOS Sequoia update will bring a new feature for users who connect their Macs to Dolby Atmos-compatible receivers or soundbars. The update will include HDMI Passthrough functionality, allowing Macs to transmit unprocessed Dolby Atmos audio data.

Previously, Macs would internally process Dolby Atmos audio before sending it to external devices, which would affect the overall audio quality. Now, with HDMI Passthrough, the Mac acts as a pipe, sending the Dolby Atmos data directly to the receiver or soundbar for decoding and playback. This keeps the audio signal unaltered and should lead to a more accurate Dolby Atmos experience.

Photo via Mac Rumors

The feature is integrated into several core Apple multimedia applications, including TV, Music, and QuickTime Player. Users can enable the option within these apps to utilize Dolby Atmos Passthrough.

According to Mac Rumors, including this system-wide functionality in macOS Sequoia suggests the possibility of a similar feature coming to tvOS 18 for Apple TVs.

This comes after another audio functionality related to headphones was introduced to macOS 15, which has existed on iPhone and iPhones for almost half a decade now. Headphone Accommodations lets users customize the audio experience for compatible AirPods and Beats headphones. This feature helps users with mild hearing loss or those who prefer a stronger emphasis on quieter audio elements.

Both macOS Sequoia and tvOS 18 are currently in developer beta stages. Public betas are expected later this month, with a full release planned for fall.

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