Dolby Atmos is an object-based surround sound format that supports height channels, which means sound can come from above your head. This 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. This won't be as accurate or immersive as down-firing speakers with a more traditional home theater setup.
We've tested over 125 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 with a subwoofer.
The Samsung HW-Q950A is the best Dolby Atmos soundbar we've tested. This premium 11.1.4 setup comes with a dedicated sub and two satellite speakers to help immerse you in Dolby Atmos content. Up-firing drivers built into the bar, and the satellites bounce sound off the ceiling and back down towards you to create the illusion of height.
This bar is the next generation of the Samsung HW-Q950T. It comes with some new features, including an Auto EQ room correction feature that automatically calibrates the bar's sound based on your room's acoustics. With this feature on, it has a pretty neutral sound profile suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. There are many sound enhancement features available, including a graphic EQ and a virtual surround mode.
Unfortunately, compared to its predecessor, this bar doesn't reproduce as much bass out-of-the-box. That said, you can easily get more thump and rumble in your audio using its many sound enhancement features.
If you want an extra subwoofer in your setup, consider the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch instead. While this soundbar's sound profile isn't as well-balanced as the Samsung HW-Q950A, and it doesn't offer as many sound customization features, its two wireless subwoofers can help add extra thump and punch to action-packed movies. It's better built, and it also comes with four rear speakers to help immerse you in your audio. Out-of-the-box, it has a pretty neutral sound profile, but it can also sound a bit dark or dull. There are a few EQ presets to help you customize its sound, and you can also use the 'Bass' button on the remote to control the subwoofer volume. It has a bit more compression at max volume, but it still gets loud.
If you want a 9.1.4 setup with a neutral sound and a graphic EQ for greater sound customization, check out the Samsung. However, if you want a 9.2.4 setup with more speakers and subwoofers to really immerse yourself in your audio, consider the Nakamichi instead.
The best Dolby Atmos soundbar with a 5.1 setup we've tested is the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module. Bose's PhaseGuide technology beams sound throughout your room, resulting in a very wide and immersive-sounding soundstage. It also offers an impressive performance with Dolby Atmos content, and sound seems to come from all around you.
This soundbar has a room correction feature called ADAPTiQ that automatically calibrates audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics. With this feature turned on, it has a pretty neutral sound profile with a little extra boom in the bass suitable for many different types of audio content. Its discrete surround speakers help improve the focus with surround and Atmos content.
Unfortunately, without a Full HDMI In port, you can't use this bar as a hub between different devices. It doesn't have an EQ, either. However, there are still bass and treble adjustments to help you customize its sound.
If you want a 5.1 setup with a better surrounds performance, check out the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers. This 5.1.2 setup isn't as well-built as the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module, and its soundstage isn't as impressive, but it offers better performance with surround sound. This bar comes with a room correction feature called TruePlay, available only on compatible iOS devices. Its sound profile is pretty bright and lacks some bass, but you can use its bass and treble adjustments to create a more neutral sound if you prefer. Its Atmos performance is similar to the Bose, too.
If you want a better-built bar with a more neutral sound out-of-the-box, check out the Bose. If you prefer a bar with a better surrounds performance, consider the Sonos.
The most immersive Dolby Atmos soundbar we've tested is the Sony HT-A9 with Bass Module. This 4.1.4 setup has a unique design with a small control box and four discrete surround speakers. It uses Sony's 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology to create a wide and immersive soundstage that makes it seem like audio is coming from all around you.
With up-firing drivers built into the control box and the satellites, this setup bounces sound off the ceiling and back down towards you to create the illusion of height when listening to Atmos content. Compared to other premium setups, the sound seems to fill the room around you. It also has a Sound Field Optimization room correction feature, and its sound profile is pretty neutral, though slightly muddy.
Unfortunately, this soundbar doesn't come with a discrete center channel, so voices aren't as clearly anchored to a pinpoint location in the soundstage. You may even notice some holes in the soundstage when watching Atmos content. You can connect the bar to a compatible BRAVIA TV for Acoustic Center Sync, which uses your TV speakers as a discrete center, but this can reduce the overall sound quality.
The best Dolby Atmos soundbar with a standalone design we've tested is the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. This premium 5.0.2 setup is the upgraded version of the Bose Smart Soundbar 700, and it adds two up-firing drivers in the bar for Dolby Atmos support. Thanks to the manufacturer's PhaseGuide technology, the sound is beamed throughout your room, resulting in an immersive sound without the need for extra satellite speakers.
This soundbar comes with an ADAPTiQ room correction feature. With this on, it has a pretty neutral sound profile suitable for listening to many different types of audio content. It lacks an EQ, but there are still bass and treble adjustments to help you customize its sound.
Unfortunately, this setup struggles to reproduce the deep, rumbling low-bass in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. There's no Full HDMI In port, so you can't use it for HDR or 4k passthrough. That said, it still offers impressive performance for a standalone bar.
The best budget Atmos soundbar that we've tested is the TCL Alto 8i. This standalone 2.1 setup has a unique design with two front-firing drivers in the bar that ricochet sound off the ceiling to create the sensation of height. Its Atmos performance isn't as impressive as some of the more premium setups we've tested, but it's still a versatile pick for this price range.
Out-of-the-box, this soundbar has a fairly dark and boomy sound profile due to the extra bass and recessed treble. Vocals and lead instruments are still reproduced pretty clearly, so it's suitable for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. You can also use its bass and treble adjustments to create a more neutral sound if you prefer.
Unfortunately, there's no dedicated subwoofer included, and this bar struggles to reproduce the deep rumble in action-packed movies on its own. Its soundstage performance isn't as impressive as other setups we've tested, and there aren't as many sound enhancement features available. However, if you're looking for the best budget Atmos soundbars, it's a solid choice.
Jan 07, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Dec 10, 2021: Replaced the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers with the better-built Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module since it has a better soundstage. Added the Sony HT-A9 with Bass Module as the 'Best Immersive'. Replaced the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar with the more immersive Bose Smart Soundbar 900 as 'Best Standalone'. Added the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar and the Sony HT-A7000 with Speakers + Bass Module to Notable Mentions.
Oct 19, 2021: Replaced the Vizio M Series M51a-H6 with the Vizio SB46514-F6 as it has a better Atmos performance.
Aug 20, 2021: Replaced the Samsung HW-Q950T with the newer generation Samsung HW-Q950A, since it offers better performance overall. Replaced the Vizio SB36512-F6 with the better-performing Vizio M Series M51a-H6. Added the Samsung HW-Q950T and the Vizio SB36512-F6 to Notable Mentions.
Jun 22, 2021: Added the Samsung HW-Q850A to Notable Mentions. Minor updates to the text for accuracy.
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.