Dolby Access might be the best-kept secret of E3 2017. Actually, that distinction belongs to Metroid Prime 4, but nevertheless, it’s a nifty app targeted specifically at Xbox One (including Xbox One S and Xbox One X) and Windows 10 users who want to up their game with 360-degree surround sound on the cheap.
While the app’s quiet release to the Windows Store dates back to the launch of Creators Update, Dolby is bringing it back up to the surface at E3 with the announcement of dedicated Atmos support for Gears of War 4 and Crackdown 3 coming soon, with many more to support the tech later on.
You’ll need Atmos-enabled hardware to get the absolute most out of the audio track-packed sound. But if you’re not in a position to make that investment, Dolby Access basically has your name on it. It can inject Dolby Atmos spatial sound into your PC and console audio mix with the headphones that you already own.
With the software activated and the rich sound profile woven in, the app aims to squeeze even more from the sound design found within your favorite virtual worlds. Given that a lot of the finer audio details in games tend to get lost in the compressed mix, spatial surround sound can enhance your performance and it just makes gaming more fun, too. That’s a good thing.
Better yet, it’s a cheap enhancement at $14.99—a pretty small price to pay for Atmos in your current headphones. But best of all, there’s a 30-day free trial to test it out.
This one’s for the gamers who can’t afford costly audio equipment, but want to experience all-encompassing sound for their gear. And at that, it’s a great move on Dolby’s part.