How to remove ‘Something went wrong while trying to turn on spatial sound’?

January 24, 2019 |

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Starting with Windows 10 Creators Update, you can enable spatial sound to get a 3D experience while listening to audio through your headphones or speakers. To use this feature, your PC should support Dolby Atmos, the technology behind the cinema-like surround sound effects.

Windows 10 makes it possible to use spatial sound via a combination of speakers configured for spatial sound, supporting software, and special drivers. With spatial sound enabled on Windows 10, the sound quality is considerably improved.

In case you get the error ‘Spatial sound isn’t working. Something went wrong while trying to turn on spatial sound’, this post provides several solutions to make it work.

First and foremost, to resolve the ‘Something went wrong while trying to turn on spatial sound’ problem on Windows 10, make sure you have installed the latest Dolby Atmos on your PC. You also need to set it as the default device for your home theater or headphones.

How to Fix ‘Spatial sound isn’t working’ Issue? Solution 1: Update Sound Drivers

Outdated audio drivers are one of the main reasons causing your computer to develop sound errors. Usually, there are two sound devices that come with your PC. The onboard sound device and the third-party sound device both have drivers that need to be updated regularly.

There are two methods you can apply to update your device drivers:

Method 1: Using Device Manager

  1. Right-click “Start” and open “Device Manager”.
  2. Select the “Sound, video and game controllers” option to expand it.
  3. Right-click the sound devices one by one and select “Update driver”.
  4. Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software”. Windows will search for updates online and give you details of the results.
  5. Restart your computer.
  6. In the Notification area, find the Sound icon and right-click on it. Hover your mouse over Spatial Sound (Off), and then select “Dolby Atmos for Headphones”.

Select your favorite track and listen in to note if there are any changes in the sound quality.

Method 2: Using Auslogics Driver Updater

Updating device drivers manually may not be the best option, and you risk installing an older version or the wrong drivers. To save yourself the trouble and time of searching for the driver details online, use the Auslogics Driver Updater tool, which scans your PC and gives you a detailed report on missing and outdated drivers.

The tool lets you update all your device drivers to the latest versions released by the manufacturers. You don’t have to worry about driver conflicts because the tool only installs the official driver versions.

To make the process safer, Auslogics Driver Updater creates backups before updating the drivers. This ensures that you can revert the changes if anything goes wrong or you don’t like the new driver version.

After updating the sound drivers, try to enable Dolby Atmos for Headphones again to see if the issue is resolved.

Solution 2: Run Sound Troubleshooter

  1. Launch “Settings” from the “Start” menu.
  2. Open “Update & Security” and find “Troubleshoot”.
  3. Locate “Playing Audio” and highlight it.
  4. Click the “Run the troubleshooter” button.
  5. ‘Troubleshoot’ will try to detect problems with your audio and provide a detailed report. If it finds sound issues, follow the on-screen instructions to resolve them.
  6. Next, go to the Sound icon > Spatial Sound, and try to enable Dolby Atmos again to check if it works.

Solution 3: Check if Exclusive Mode is enabled

For third-party apps to work, you’re required to grant them access. Windows makes this easier for you by enabling them by default. However, you need to verify if Exclusive Mode is enabled by following these steps:

  1. Right-click the Sound icon located in the notification area and click on “Sounds”.
  2. Select the “Playback” tab, and right-click on your default audio device.
  3. Choose “Properties”.
  4. Open the “Spatial sound” tab.
  5. “Dolby Atmos for Headphones” should be enabled. If it’s not, enable it from the drop-down list.
  6. Open the “Advanced” tab.
  7. Make sure both the “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device” and “Give exclusive mode application priority” options are checked.
  8. Click “OK”.

Check if you can now enable Dolby Atmos for Headphones from the Sound icon in the Notification area.

Solution 4: Update Windows

Occasionally, some apps and other Windows features may fail to work after Windows Update are installed. If Microsoft receives numerous complaints from users, the issue will be corrected in the next release of Windows update. That’s why it’s important to keep your device up to date.

To check if updates are available for your computer, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open “Settings” from the “Start” menu.
  2. Select Update & Security > Windows Update.
  3. Click the “Check for updates” button. If updates are available, they will download automatically.

After the process is complete, check to see if the ‘Spatial sound isn’t working’ issue has been fixed.

We hope these solutions will help you resolve ‘Something went wrong while trying to turn on spatial sound’ problem on Windows 10. If you have alternative solutions, post them in the comments below.

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