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Samsung confirms its Dolby Atmos competitor will arrive in 2024

The format will support previous-generation TVs and legacy sound systems after a firmware update.
By
January 22, 2024
Samsung logo stock photo from CES 2024 (2)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Samsung has confirmed it will roll out its alternative to Dolby Atmos later this year.
  • The new audio format will work with legacy speaker systems and previous-generation TVs with a firmware update.
  • YouTube will also roll out content that supports the new audio format this year.

Last November, Samsung announced it was working with Google to develop a new 3D spatial audio technology called Immersive Audio Model and Formats (IAMF). The company has now confirmed that the audio format will roll out later this year for TVs, soundbars, and more.

At CES 2024, Samsung spoke with industry professionals about its plans for IAMF. According to Chris Chinnock of Insight Media, the company confirmed that the 3D audio format will begin to roll out later this year. In addition, YouTube will reportedly also begin rolling out content that supports IAMF later this year as well.

Unlike Dolby Atmos, you won’t have to spend money on new Atmos-style equipment. This format will work on previous-generation TVs and legacy sound systems after a firmware update, but it’s unknown how far back support will go. It’s also unknown if the IAMF branding will stick around or if the tech giant will come up with a catchier name by the time it arrives.

When YouTube releases IAMF support, the 3D audio format may not work on the web. Since browsers like Chrome only support stereo output, it’s possible that IAMF will be limited to mobile and TVs. IAMF, or whatever it ends up being called, will be royalty-free and open source, unlike Dolby Atmos, which is royalty-bearing.