Just as Microsoft promised last fall, the Xbox One finally has support for next-generation audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X -- provided you have a recent home theater receiver that supports them. You just have to flip on the "bitstream passthrough" feature in the console's Blu-ray settings to get things going, which lets your receiver do all the audio decoding work.
The big difference with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, compared to older audio formats, is that they go beyond the traditional 5.1/7.1 speaker philosophy. Instead of sending sound to discrete channels, they're "object-based" formats that expand the sound field across all of your speakers. Notably, that includes speakers either mounted above you or with upward-firing capabilities that bounce sound off of your ceiling.
While they're both niche formats, there are plenty of Blu-ray titles on the market that support Atmos, like Mad Max: Fury Road, Jupiter Ascending and Game of Thrones. That codec should also pair nicely with the Xbox One S's 4K Blu-ray drive, as most UHD titles also include Atmos support. And of course, it'll likely be something the upcoming Project Scorpio supports as well.
Blu-ray Bitstream pass-through is now live on Xbox One consoles. Reboot & select 'Let my receiver decode audio' in Blu-ray settings page pic.twitter.com/SWsqaGA46n— Larry Hryb 💬 (@majornelson) April 5, 2017