Disney Plus just got a killer audio upgrade for Apple TV

disney plus
(Image credit: Disney)

It’s a good day to be both an audio lover and a Disney fan. Apple and Disney have announced that the Disney Plus app on Apple TV streaming devices will now support spatial audio via Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos, for those who haven’t heard of it before, enables a more immersive experience than standard surround sound by adding virtual — and sometimes physical — height speakers to create a 3D soundscape. 

The feature was discovered by FlatPanelsHD and comes as part of update version 2.9.5 to the Disney Plus app on tvOS 15. When enabled, it will allow you to watch a number of movies — including some of the Marvel movies — in Apple spatial audio with any of the new AirPods, including the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max as well as the Apple HomePod speaker.

Before now, the Disney Plus app has been limited to 5.1 sound on the Apple TV 4K using Apple’s audio products, despite Dolby Atmos being inside the app.

The result of this update? Better sound going straight to your ears without disturbing anyone in the house — or, if you have kids, allowing them to watch their favorite films in spatial audio without having to listen to the soundtrack to Frozen for the umpteenth time.

Good day for Apple TV owners, bad day for Android TV owners 

The other interesting insight from FlatPanelsHD’s post is that some users are now experiencing difficulties with the Android TV and Google TV devices’ version of the Disney Plus app, claiming that their Dolby Atmos support is now broken.

That report was corroborated by Reddit users and 9to5Google, though FlatPanelsHD says that some users have now said that Dolby Atmos has returned to the platform after a server-side patch.

The good news is that, if it hasn’t already happened, soon both Android TV and Apple TV owners will be able to watch Disney Plus in Dolby Atmos without any issues.

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Nick Pino
Managing Editor, TV and AV

Nick Pino heads up the TV and AV verticals at Tom's Guide and covers everything from OLED TVs to the latest wireless headphones. He was formerly the Senior Editor, TV and AV at TechRadar (Tom's Guide's sister site) and has previously written for GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade. Not sure which TV you should buy? Drop him an email or tweet him on Twitter and he can help you out.