Dolby Atmos is an object-based surround sound format that supports height channels, which means sound can come from above your head. It results in an even more immersive listening experience since, depending on your home theater setup, you can hear sounds coming from all directions. Many 4k Blu-rays and even some streaming services like Netflix support Dolby Atmos—but not all soundbars do. The ones that do tend to be more expensive than most, but if you're after a more natural listening experience, they're worth considering. Soundbars usually use up-firing speakers to simulate an illusion of height by bouncing the sound off the ceiling and back to the listener. It won't be as accurate or immersive as down-firing speakers with a more traditional home theater setup.
We've tested over 160 soundbars, and below you'll find the top Dolby Atmos soundbars to buy. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best soundbars for music, and the best soundbars with a subwoofer.
The best Atmos soundbar that we've tested is the Samsung HW-Q990B. It's a premium 11.1.4 setup with an impressive performance, providing a cinematic feel that brings your favorite movies right to your living room. Its dedicated sub is a big and powerful tool that makes the floor shake during action-packed scenes, just like if you were at the movie theater. Place its satellites around your living room, and you'll find that sound effects stretch into the space around your couch as if you were transported right into the middle of the action. Its clear and accurate reproduction of voices ensures that you don't have any trouble following along with dialogue. Needless to say, this bar is a great pick for cinephiles—and it's just as good for listening to music, TV shows, and other types of audio content, too.
What makes this bar stand out from the competition is its wide array of sound enhancement features. Like most premium bars, there are room correction tools to optimize its audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics. However, it adds a 7-band graphic EQ in addition to the more standard bass and treble adjustments, meaning you can switch up its sound across the range. You can't go wrong with such a feature-packed bar, but if you're looking for similar Dolby Atmos setups with even wider stereo soundstages, you can check out the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module or the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers. They're great alternatives, especially if you already own products in these brands' ecosystems, but they aren't as customizable as the Samsung model.
If you're looking for a premium Dolby Atmos soundbar at a slightly more affordable price, check out the Samsung HW-Q930B. It's a 9.1.4 bar with pretty similar performance with Dolby Atmos content compared to the Samsung HW-Q990B, even though it has two fewer surround channels. Overall, it offers an immersive listening experience, meaning you feel like the action on the screen is happening around you. The bar has two rear speakers, so sound effects seem to come from accurate locations that match the action on screen, as well as a subwoofer that brings plenty of rumble in the bass for cinematic movie scores. You don't have any trouble following dialogue, either, thanks to its balanced sound right out of the box. Overall, it's a great choice for everything from music to movies to TV shows.
You can't go wrong with either bar, but the pricier one has some extra features that make it stand out from the bunch. Since it's bigger, it brings a little more rumble in the bass range, offering a slightly more cinematic feel. Also, while the Q930B has a room correction feature called SpaceFit Sound, it doesn't have Auto EQ. What's the difference between the two? SpaceFit Sound adjusts the soundbar's audio reproduction to your room's unique layout, while the Auto EQ tool optimizes the subwoofer's output. Since you still have a 7-band graphic EQ as well as bass and treble adjustments on hand, you can make up for some of these differences, but you'll have to make these adjustments yourself. That said, depending on your preferences, the Q930B might be the better value overall.
The best mid-range Dolby Atmos soundbar we've tested is the Vizio Elevate. It's a premium bar available at a more affordable price than our top picks, and although it doesn't offer as many features, it's still a solid choice for listening to Dolby Atmos content. Its unique design comes with sides that automatically rotate upwards when you watch DTS:X or Dolby Atmos content, resulting in a wide, immersive soundstage that stretches sound to the walls of your living room. You can turn the feature on when you watch other types of content. Also, it comes with two rear speakers, so you get the impression that sound effects are coming from accurate locations in the room around you, all matching the action that takes place on your screen. There's also a sub that brings the thump and rumble in the bass that brings action-heavy scenes and intense movie scores to life.
Overall, it's a versatile option, meaning you can enjoy music, podcasts, and TV shows. Its default sound is pretty balanced, especially in the mids, where most voices and lead instruments reproduce, and the sub brings a little extra boom in the bass range that emphasizes bass-heavy genres like EDM. Compared to our top picks, you won't find a room correction feature, so it sounds a little different depending on the room you're in. Its bass and treble adjustments can make up for it a bit, but you don't have a graphic EQ to customize across the range. If you're looking for a customizable bar at a similar price point, you can check out the Samsung HW-Q900A. It's a versatile alternative that comes without satellites, which is good if you don't have a lot of space. However, the tradeoff is obvious with surround sound, as you don't get the same immersive feel as the Vizio.
If you're shopping on a budget, check out the Vizio M Series M512a-H6. This 5.1.2 setup has a versatile overall performance and shines with Dolby Atmos content. Despite its wallet-friendly price, it can still replicate a more cinematic feel in the comfort of your home, with a wide and immersive soundstage that brings action to the space around your couch. Place its two rear speakers beside you, and sound effects become more accurately placed in the room around you, all matching the action onscreen. These rear speakers lack up-firing drivers, though, and there aren't rotating sides to expand its soundstage, so it doesn't feel quite as immersive as the Vizio Elevate. As a result, it doesn't feel quite as clear or as real as our top picks.
That said, the bar is still a good value. It comes with the same selection of sound enhancement features as the more premium Elevate, including subwoofer level as well as bass and treble adjustments to control its sound. Its default sound is quite balanced, so you may not need to use these tools. Overall, voices and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix with your favorite songs, and dialogue is detailed and easy to follow. The sub brings the rumble in the bass, so you feel the excitement in action-packed movie scenes. Overall, it's a great value pick.
Dolby Atmos content is mixed to make it seem like the action on screen is happening all around you, as if you've been dropped right in the middle of the action in your favorite movie. The Sony HT-A9 with Bass Module is one product on the market that's taking advantage of this technology to offer a truly immersive listening experience. You might not consider it a soundbar in the traditional sense, given its unique design that forgoes the standard "bar" in favor of a small control box and four discrete surround speakers that you can move around your room based on your preferences. That said, it offers one of the best soundstage performances on the market—and the flexible design of the speakers means that you can move their placement around your living room to create the best possible sound.
Overall, this setup's representation of Dolby Atmos content gives a clear and real feel. Thanks to its unique design, audio stretches around you, so you feel immersed in your movie from all angles. Sound effects seem to come from accurate, pinpoint locations, especially those that come from above you, like helicopters flying overhead. You can get the setup on its own, but adding the dedicated subwoofer adds a little more rumble in the bass range, providing the best possible experience. However, compared to our top picks, you'll notice that there isn't quite as much low-bass reproduced. You still feel some thump in action-packed scenes, but it doesn't quite shake the floor for a full cinematic feel, which is disappointing. That said, if you love the design and want a wide soundstage, it might be a fair trade-off for your needs.
Whether you live in a small apartment or have a cramped living space, a more compact soundbar is a great way to enhance your Atmos experience without taking up a lot of room. The best we've tested is the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), and it's a premium soundbar with built-in voice assistant support that measures less than 26 inches in width. If you're familiar with the original Sonos Beam, you'll recognize that the bar keeps its same sleek design, but with one major difference—the second generation supports Atmos content. As a result, you can enjoy your favorite Atmos movies and TV shows with an immersive sound.
Despite its small size, the bar achieves a wide and encompassing soundstage thanks to the use of psychoacoustic principles, which make it seem like sound stretches well past the edges of the bar itself. Sound effects stretch around you, and the result is comparable to some of the more premium options on our list. Bass lovers can add on for the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers if you want a more cinematic feel. Even with all the add-ons, the bar doesn't get as loud as the Sonos Arc and doesn't achieve as much height in the soundstage. Still, this small bar packs a punch.
The shape and size of your living room impact how you perceive sound. If you have a larger, more open living room, you're in luck—some options on the market are designed to spread sound evenly throughout your space to bring that cinematic feel to every corner of your living room. The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is the best we've tested, thanks to its unique design that offers two subwoofers and four satellites that you can position either horizontally or vertically, depending on your needs. The additional subwoofer ensures an even bass reproduction throughout your space, without any "holes" in the soundstage to take away from the immersive feel. Similarly, the extra satellites mean sound effects spread throughout your room for a cinematic feel.
This soundbar is the next generation of the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch, and it adds eARC support so you can stream more advanced formats like DTS:X, often found on Blu-rays. You won't find a traditional room correction feature like the Samsung HW-Q990B since there's no microphone to measure your room's unique acoustics. Still, you can use its Spatial Surround Elevation tool to customize its performance to your room, choosing between three different size-based presets to adjust its sound. The sound quality is very good, and voices are pretty clear in the mix. That said, its overall sound is boomy right out-of-the-box, due to the extra emphasis in the bass. You can switch it up if you want, but you don't have as many customization tools on hand as our top picks, either. If you have a big space to fill with sound, it's a solid pick.
Dec 14, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Oct 24, 2022: Replaced the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch with the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC.
Aug 25, 2022: Replaced the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module with the more versatile Samsung HW-Q990B as 'Best Soundbar'. Added the Samsung HW-Q930B as 'Best Upper Mid-Range'.
Jul 22, 2022: Updated the category titles to reflect a price-based approach. No changes in product picks.
Jul 05, 2022: Restructured article for greater clarity and consistency.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Atmos soundbars for most people to buy. We factor in the price (a cheaper soundbar wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no soundbars that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews of soundbars sorted by their Atmos performance. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. No soundbar is perfect. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.