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The 7 Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars - Black Friday 2023 Reviews

Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars

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 180 soundbars, and below, you'll find the best Dolby Atmos soundbars to buy. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best soundbars for music, and the best soundbars for movies.

  1. Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar

    The Samsung HW-Q990C is the best soundbar with Dolby Atmos we've tested. This premium 11.1.4 soundbar replaces last year's Samsung HW-Q990B, offering an even better sound quality for your favorite audio formats. Thanks to its two discrete satellites, sound effects spread around your living room, so it seems like the action on screen is happening all around you. Its sub also brings plenty of rumble in the bass for intense scenes, and it has a more even and controlled sound compared to last year's model. Dialogue is also clear in the mix, so it's easy to follow along with the conversation on screen.

    This soundbar stands out from the crowd thanks to its wide array of sound enhancement features, including room correction, which optimizes the audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics. If you prefer to adjust the sound manually, there's even a 7-band graphic EQ on hand. You can also check out other premium Dolby Atmos models like the Sonos Ultimate Immersive Set with Arc and the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module, which are handy if you already own products in their respective ecosystems. Both offer better stereo soundstage performances but don't have as many customization tools as the Samsung model. As a result, the Samsung reigns as the better pick overall.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Dolby Atmos Soundbar

    If you want a great Dolby Atmos soundbar at a more affordable price, check out the Samsung HW-Q930C. Though it has two fewer surround channels than its more premium cousin, this soundbar can still provide an immersive, all-around feel with height content. It comes with two discrete satellite speakers that you can set up around your couch to bring sound effects to life in the space around you. Dialogue is easy to follow in the mix, and thanks to its subwoofer, there's plenty of rumble in the bass during intense movie scenes. At least in the US, it seems like this soundbar is only available through the manufacturer's website and Best Buy, though.

    This soundbar has many of the same sound enhancement features as the Samsung HW-Q990C. Its room correction tool is designed to automatically adjust its output based on your room's unique acoustics. Plus, the 7-band graphic EQ is on hand for when you want to switch up its sound on your own. You can even control it using its built-in Alexa support. The bar doesn't get quite as loud as the Q990C, and there's some compression in the bass and treble ranges when you push it to max volume. Still, its stellar Dolby Atmos performance means it's worth a look.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Dolby Atmos Soundbar

    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, too.

    This soundbar has two rear speakers designed to spread sound effects throughout your room for a more immersive feel. You have to wire them to the subwoofer to get them to work, which isn't ideal for all setups but still pays off in terms of the sound. Dialogue remains clear in the mix to help you follow along with the conversations on screen, and there's a little extra boom in the bass to bring out the rumble in action-packed scenes. You won't find a room correction feature like with our top picks, so it sounds slightly different depending on your room. Its bass and treble adjustments can compensate for it a bit. For the price, this soundbar brings a really impressive sound with everything from music to movies to TV shows, and it's worth checking out.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Dolby Atmos Soundbar

    If you're shopping on a budget, check out the Vizio M Series M512a-H6. This 5.1.2 setup is one of the most affordable Dolby Atmos soundbars on the market, and it can still bring an immersive sound for the price. You get two discrete satellites to set up behind your couch for a more clear and real feel with sound effects on screen, so you feel like the action is taking place all around you. Its dedicated subwoofer brings out the deep thump and rumble with action-heavy scenes and intense movie scores. It comes with the same sound enhancement features as the Vizio Elevate, including subwoofer level as well as bass and treble adjustments to control its sound.

    There are some key differences between this setup and the more premium Elevate. First, its rear speakers don't have any up-firing drivers for height content. This means that content like Dolby Atmos doesn't feel as clear or real as our top picks, and you don't get the same sense of sound effects from the space behind your couch. The bar also doesn't have rotating sides to expand its soundstage, further removing the overall immersive feel. It's a small difference; you must pay close attention to the bar's sound to notice it. Still, it's worth noting, especially for audiophiles who want the best sound. If you're a more casual listener, though, this bar is still a great value pick.

    See our review

  5. Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar For Soundstage

    Dolby Atmos content is mixed to make it seem like the action on screen is happening all around you. 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 very clear and real feel. Thanks to its unique design, audio stretches around you, so you feel immersed in your movie from all angles. 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 like the Samsung HW-Q990C, you'll notice that there isn't quite as much low-bass reproduced. That said, if you love the design and want a wide soundstage, it might be a fair trade-off for your needs.

    See our review

  6. Best Small Dolby Atmos Soundbar

    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), 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 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 psychoacoustic principles, which make it seem like audio stretches well past the edges of the bar itself. Sound effects come from all around you, and the result is comparable to some of the more premium options on our list. If you want a more cinematic feel, bass lovers can add to the setup and make the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers. 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, if a small bar is what you want, this one packs a punch.

    See our review

  7. Best Atmos Soundbar For Large Rooms

    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. Its unique design offers two subwoofers and four satellites that you can position 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-Q990C 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. If you have a big space to fill with sound, it's a solid pick.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Sony HT-A7000 with Speakers + Bass Module: The Sony HT-A7000 with Speakers + Bass Module is a 7.1.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It's a premium bar, but compared to other models like the Samsung HW-Q990C, its Atmos performance isn't as impressive, and you don't get the same immersive feel. See our review
  • Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX is a large, standalone setup that can reproduce a very extended low bass thanks to its integrated subwoofers. However, its large, bulky design can be inconvenient for some users, and it may not be worth the value compared to other premium setups like the Samsung HW-Q990C. See our review
  • Samsung HW-Q900C: The Samsung HW-Q900C is a 7.1.2. Dolby Atmos soundbar is a great alternative to the Vizio Elevate if you don't want satellites in your living room setup. It brings an immersive sound without them, but of course, compared to the Vizio, there's less detail in the space behind your couch without the satellites. See our review
  • TCL Alto 8i: The TCL Alto 8i is one of the most affordable Dolby Atmos soundbars we've tested. That said, its Atmos performance is pretty disappointing, with a boomy, muddy sound quality that overwhelms most sound effects. If you're on a tight budget, it's better than nothing, but it certainly doesn't take advantage of the format like our top picks. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Nov 30, 2023: Confirmed product picks for accuracy and availability.

  2. Oct 06, 2023: Replaced the Samsung HW-Q930B with the next-generation Samsung HW-Q930C as 'Best Upper Mid-Range' since it offers an improved sound.

  3. Sep 06, 2023: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

  4. Jul 12, 2023: Added the Samsung HW-Q900C as a Notable Mention. Added the Sonos Ultimate Immersive Set with Arc as an alternative to the Samsung HW-Q990C.

  5. May 17, 2023: Replaced the Samsung HW-Q990B with the next generation Samsung HW-Q990C.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 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.