Can't get 5.1 audio to play over Homepods on 6.6 or 7


I have 2 original Homepods set up as stereo pair on my Apple TV4K (2nd GEN). I can’t for the life of me figure out how to get 5.1 or a higher channel count to play correctly (Atmos nor old school DD).

I have tried several 5.1 channel test video’s (Most of them downloaded from Dolby itself). Everything just outputs as stereo. I am pretty sure it is not outputting correctly, because when the Subwoofer channel is playing, I hear no sound at all.

I have bought Infuse 6 Lifetime and am on the latest version (6.6). I have not been able to try it out on Infuse 7 because I would need to subscribe to gain Atmos support and perhaps want to avoid this because I already bought 6. It would not be cool to buy 7 and be disappointed if it also won’t work on that version of Infuse.

EDIT: Just tried it on a trial subscription for Infuse 7, Same problem occurs. I have since tested the test videos via local library sharing and the audio plays as expected, including the LFE channel. So Infuse basicly just downmixes to plain old stereo when using Theatre Mode… How is this even possible. I bought the app since the promise was to support advanced sound formats.

Thanks in advance for some who can explain to me what is happening!

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Go over past release notes for 7. I believe there were improvements to HomePod output.

Hi JarvisMeier,

I have tried it on the latest version of v7 by now, and also via local library sharing. Infuse just downmixes everything to stereo…

A HomePods stereo pair is technically stereo output. Apple does add some spatial audio effects to make the experience more immersive.

Per Dolby and DTS specs, the LFE channel is not included in the stereo mix. There is a thread about this here.

Hi James,

Thanks to step in. Technically Homepods are a stereo pair, as in “2 speakers”. However, they do effectively output LFE & Rear channels trough reflective sound and computational audio.

The surround L+R channels especially are very pronounced when listening to the same content in other media players, such as the native ATV player (You can test this via Home Library Sharing).

I have been testing for the last 2 days with content downloaded from Dolby, I downloaded Atmos trailers and 5.1 channel test videos, coded in Dolby Digital Plus 6ch. The lack of LFE & rear channel output is instantly noticeable when viewing the same content in Infuse vs the native ATV player. So as I stated above, Infuse downsamples everything to a 2.0 mix, thus not profiting from the full potential of the Homepods in theatre mode. They are treated as stereo speakers in the Infuse app, while they actually should be treated as a 5.1 or even 7.1 setup.

Has anyone of the devs had the time to look in to this?