Plex and Spatial Audio

It’s finally happened.

Plex have at last released a new audio engine to their video player with Spatial Audio working pretty well.


I really miss my big, old-fashioned, thumpin’ surround system … but my neighbors don’t.

Gonna someday have to get me some of those fancy earbuds.

I have the Pros and the Max. :laughing:

I’ve come along way since I bought an IPad 2 was totally underwhelmed and vowed to never buy another Apple product again.


Where did you see this ?

It was in the release notes for the last TestFlight.
(I’m running it)
However, it’s buggy as hell.

IOS is so bad that they pulled the new Audio Player.

TvOS is far worse. Anything with True-HD with or without Atmos Audio will not even load regardless of using Spatial Audio or Speakers.

If it has a 5.1 compatibility track it will play, but almost everything plays as Spatial Stereo and not multi-channel.
Also I have HomePods (latest gen) and they play fine for a few minutes and then the sound cuts out.

All the above is mostly with movies.

Weeekly shows with limited Audio are a tiny bit more successful. They tend to play Spatial MultiChannel. They also tend to not drop sound with my HomePods.

Bottom line though is the release is pretty Shambolic. I imagine it will be weeks/months rather than days before they have something even usable.

Here is just one of many posts on their forums

Though tagged as iOS every issue also applies to tvOS.

Excited that they’re bringing it. I’ve been disappointed with Infuse not adding support for height channels over spatial audio. I hope Plex does

Don’t hold your breath.
Right now Plex cant even play a file with True-HD Atmos. (Regardless of using Spatial Audio.)
For the rest it mostly only plays Spatial stereo.

I was pretty excited when I created this topic. But Plex being Plex will probably do things half baked.

Infuse has had this implementation of spatial audio working for some time now. The menu in Control Center shows that surround tracks play as “Multichannel”.

However, no one seems to have implemented the next step, which is to play Dolby Digital Plus with Atmos (EAC3+Atmos) with the Atmos metadata intact. The iOS system player does this and the Control Center menu shows “Dolby Atmos” when playing.

If Infuse implemented this, the spatial audio experience would be as complete as Apple allows, for now at least.

This thread is a feature request for it:

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I’ve found the Plex’s new Audio Engine implementation to be buggy. Infuse never has issues playing Atmos EAC3 5.1 JOC tracks through my HomePods, but audio seems to drop out after a minute with Plex’s new Audio Engine. Changing Plex’s “Use Old Audio Engine” setting to “On” fixes this, but then you don’t get the new Audio Engine. This seems like a huge step backwards for Plex’s default setting to result in audio dropping out completely after 1-minute.

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Exact same here.
My two viewing/listening scenarios are

  1. HomePods…Same audio loss after a few minutes.
  2. AirPods (Pro & Max)…Only Spatial Stereo on everything. I haven’t had a single file play as Multi-Channel.

As a heads up. Originally any file with True-HD Atmos wouldn’t play at all (just a spinning wheel.) That now seems fixed but changes to the new audio player don’t require client updates so sadly no release notes. So beyond keep trying there’s no way of knowing if they have fixed anything.

Then finally there is the long standing lip sync issues. For me, it’s only a very tiny fraction out but annoying all the same.

The sooner Plex direct mode comes to Infuse, the better.

The frustrating part to me is that I want friends/family to be able to use the Plex client. Its defaults should at least allow files to play, but sadly this the current situation:

  1. Apple TV now can’t play audio in default settings when HomePod(s) is/are used. Requires turning on the old audio engine.
  2. Android devices can’t play a file there are multiple versions if an audio transcode is necessary.
  3. Fire TV devices can’t play a file if it contains but Dolby Vision and HDR10+ and/or if the file contains Profile 7 FEL. Fire TV is Android-based so it’s also affected by issue #2.
  4. Roku can’t play 4K videos if they have PGS forced subtitles.

It’s too difficult explaining all these limitations to family who has access to my Plex, but purchasing Infuse is often too much to ask. Anways, this is more of a rant about how buggy the Plex apps are and how solid Infuse is these days. I just wish Plex could get their act together enough so non-videophile/audiophile users could at least use it for basic playback even if it needs to max out at HDR10 and 5.1 surround.

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Indeed. There is actually a Plex employee on their forums highlighting the Plex Player failings compared to Infuse specifically. I think it was mostly about 60fps to be fair

Personally when the direct connection comes I will stop caring. (I just prefer Plex for doing the metadata stuff.)

Can you link me to that post? I’m the owner of the Apple TV Plex Client Bug post:

Achilles (actually “only”a ninja) somewhere around about post 1000 in this thread.
The Employee chimes in a bit later saying they know everything isn’t great but are working on it.

Yep, it’s here:

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Another thread here with recent posts Unable to play 4K 60hz mkv files - Streaming Devices - Plex Forum