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LG’s Smart TV Platform First to Support Dolby Atmos Via Apple Music App

by May 21, 2024
LG TVs Support Atmos!

LG TVs Support Atmos!

2018 and Newer LG TV Models Get the Apple Music Update!

LG Electronics has announced that its Smart TV platform is the first to support spatial audio through Apple Music with Dolby Atmos. Until now, the only way to get Dolby Atmos from Apple Music to play nice with a TV/theater system has been to purchase an Apple TV 4K media streamer. Sure, owners of Apple’s HomePods and certain Sonos soundbars have been able to enjoy a watered-down version of Apple Music’s Atmos offering, but only the Apple TV streamer connected via HDMI to a compatible AV receiver or processor could serve up real-deal Dolby Atmos. (See our videos How To Set Up Your Apple TV 4K for the Best HD Video & Dolby Atmos Experience and 4 Steps to Getting Lossless Audio Music From AppleTV.) Those who relied on the Apple Music app available on many Smart TVs were out of luck. But that’s no longer the case for owners of LG’s OLED or QNED models from recent years. For those folks, things are looking up, Atmos-wise. According to a press release from LG, the latest update to the Apple Music app for LG’s webOS Smart TV platform now supports Apple Music’s spatial audio feature, making webOS the first TV operating system to deliver Dolby Atmos from Apple Music. The feature is reportedly rolling out to compatible TVs as you read this.

LG C4 2024 OLED

LG tells us that the company’s Smart TVs from 2018 or later (running webOS 4.0 or later) are compatible with the updated app. I don’t usually expect a six-year-old TV to learn new tricks, but my brother’s 2018 C8 OLED will be getting the free upgrade, and I think that’s pretty cool. (The technology site FlatpanelsHD has already confirmed that it works on a GX OLED model from 2020.) LG has supported Dolby Atmos in its TVs since the 2017 generation, meaning all but the very earliest adopters will be covered by the app update. And LG Smart TVs that do not support Dolby Atmos aren’t completely out of luck — users of these TVs can still take advantage of Apple Music's Dolby Atmos content by connecting an LG soundbar from 2023 or 2024. In the presence of compatible hardware, Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks, according to the press release. LG also says that users won’t need to adjust the volume when switching to Dolby Atmos tracks, thanks to a “loudness normalization algorithm” implemented within the app. LG Smart TVs can even connect directly via bluetooth to Apple AirPods (and HomePods) to deliver Dolby Atmos from Apple Music. In my limited experience with hearing Dolby Atmos via my brother’s AirPods, the sound was notably more immersive and “out of the head” than a stereo mix of the same material.

Spatial Audio on Apple Music

Of course, in order to enjoy Dolby Atmos as it was truly intended, you will need a compatible home theater system with multiple speakers, including height channels. The press release from LG didn’t specifically state whether any Atmos-capable receiver could play catch to Dolby Atmos streams from Apple Music via an LG TV’s HDMI eARC port, but that seems likely, given that it works with external soundbars. LG would be quick to remind you that, technically, Dolby Atmos is also supported via the TV set’s built-in speakers. But if you’re going that route, don’t expect a dramatic effect from Dolby Atmos material. No matter what kind of audio system you use, you’ll want to check the settings in the Apple Music app on your LG TV to ensure that Dolby Atmos is enabled.

Apple Music on LG TV

Fans of Dolby Atmos music probably know that Apple Music isn’t the only streaming service to offer the format — it’s also available via Amazon Music and Tidal. But neither of those services delivers Atmos through its webOS Smart TV app, so LG TV owners can’t take advantage without an external streaming device. (Tidal does support Dolby Atmos Music on the Android TV operating system, however, and has since 2022. Owners of Sony TVs, take note.) Apple seems to be taking its time in deciding when and where to expand access to its spatial audio feature. When Apple Music’s spatial audio content first launched in 2021, it was only available through Apple’s own devices. But the company loosened its grip a bit later that same year, adding spatial audio to the Apple Music app for Android. And as mentioned above, certain Sonos devices can play Apple Music’s Dolby Atmos content via the Sonos app. After Android, LG’s webOS is only the second third-party operating system to gain access to spatial audio. Apple Music users with Roku devices were elated when the Apple Music app was finally added to the Roku Channel Store back in 2022 — only to be deflated when they discovered that spatial audio was not supported. The Roku platform is generally pretty quick to get must-have features, but Apple Music’s spatial audio is still MIA in 2024. Personally, I’m surprised that LG got first dibs.

The introduction of spatial sound with Dolby Atmos through Apple Music on LG TVs transforms how we listen to music on the big screen. LG is dedicated to elevating the content streaming experience for music enthusiasts around the world, and we will continue to offer easy access to and great music experience across devices.

— Chris Jo, Senior VP of Platform Business at LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company

LG TV Owners Get Your Spatial Audio ON

If you’re the lucky owner of a compatible LG TV, simply update the Apple Music app on your TV to gain access to the spatial audio feature and all the Dolby Atmos music that comes along with it. All OLED models launched from 2018 to 2024 should support the feature, as should all QNED models Q90T and above. In order to celebrate the addition of spatial audio/Dolby Atmos, LG is offering three months of Apple Music free to LG Smart TV users worldwide. The 3-month free trial is available within the Apple Music app of compatible LG Smart TVs running webOS 4.0 and higher. It is also available to users of the LG StanbyME Go, StanbyME, and MyView Smart Monitor lifestyle screens.

More information: LG Electronics


About the author:
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Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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