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The 7 Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars - Spring 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 170 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.

  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 even better sound quality for your favorite audio formats. With two discrete satellites, sound effects spread around your living room, resulting in a clear and real feel that makes it seem like the action is happening all around you. Its sub 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 clear in the mix, too, 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, to optimize its 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 Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers 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, it's the more versatile 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-Q930B. It offers a similar Atmos performance to the Samsung HW-Q990C, with a wide and immersive sound that makes it feel like you've been dropped into the heart of your favorite movies and TV shows. It also comes with two satellite speakers to bring a more clear and real representation to sound effects, like helicopters flying over your head. The dedicated sub isn't as premium-looking as Q990C's, but it still brings plenty of thump and rumble. It's also customizable—you'll find the same 7-band graphic EQ to customize its sound across the range.

    While this soundbar offers many of the same features as its more premium cousin, there are a few differences to remember. First, this bar is a 9.1.4 setup, meaning that it has two fewer surround channels. Also, it doesn't offer the same even sound right out of the box. You notice a bit more boom in the bass, which muddies voices and lead instruments. Again, you can adjust this a bit, but that's not ideal for everyone. If you want the best from the minute you plug in your soundbar, the Q990C is the way to go. Still, the Q930B is a versatile setup that shines with everything from movies to music to TV shows, and its more affordable pricing may make it a better value, depending on your listening needs.

    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. 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 on your screen. A sub also brings the thump and rumble in the bass, bringing action-heavy scenes and intense movie scores to life.

    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. You won't find a room correction feature, so it sounds slightly different depending on your room. 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.

    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 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 the 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 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 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.

    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 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 come from accurate, pinpoint locations, especially those 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.

    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 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. 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, this small bar packs a punch.

    See our review

  7. Best Dolby 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. 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, but you don't have as many customization tools as our top picks. 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
  • Vizio SB46514-F6: The Vizio SB46514-F6 is a versatile 5.1.4 soundbar with Atmos support that's a good alternative to the Vizio Elevate, though its soundstage isn't as wide and immersive-sounding. See our review
  • TCL Alto 8i: The TCL Alto 8i is the most affordable Dolby Atmos soundbar 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. May 17, 2023: Replaced the Samsung HW-Q990B with the next generation Samsung HW-Q990C.

  2. Apr 11, 2023: Verified product picks. Minor text updates for clarity.

  3. Feb 10, 2023: Ensured that product picks are still relevant; minor updates to the text for clarity.

  4. Dec 14, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

  5. Oct 24, 2022: Replaced the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch with the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC.

All Reviews

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.