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. Note that soundbars usually use up-firing speakers to simulate an illusion of height by bouncing the sounds off the ceiling, 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 reviewed over 65 soundbars so far, 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 best Dolby Atmos soundbar that we've tested is the Samsung HW-Q90R. This well-built 7.1.4 setup comes with a soundbar, a subwoofer, and two satellite speakers. The up-firing speakers on the bar and the rear speakers help make it sound like your favorite movies are happening all around you. Overall, it provides amazing performance.
With a good, neutral sound profile, it does well with most audio content, including music, movies, and TV shows. Its extended bass can reproduce the thump and rumble found in movie scores and action-packed scenes. At loud volumes, it reproduces sound clearly and with little compression, which is excellent. There are even some options for customizing the bar's sound profile based on your preferences, including an available EQ.
Unfortunately, it lacks some sound enhancement features such as room correction and night mode. It also underperforms compared to dedicated down-firing speakers from home theater setups, although it still does a decent job creating a sense of height with Dolby Atmos content. However, this is still one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars available.
If you really want to feel immersed in sound while watching Dolby Atmos content, consider the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers instead. While it doesn't reproduce a very deep bass as well as the Samsung HW-Q90R, this premium-looking 5.1.2 setup comes with dedicated surround speakers that help to represent surround objects like footsteps, voices, and instruments clearly and more accurately in the soundstage. Its default sound profile is very neutral and well-balanced, so the audio in your favorite movies is reproduced clearly and accurately. The Sonos also comes with a room correction feature that analyzes the acoustic characteristics of your room to improve the bar's sound quality, and a night mode feature to help balance the volume level between programs. Unfortunately, there isn't a graphic EQ available, so you can't really customize the sound profile.
If you want a soundbar with deep bass and lots of sound customization options, consider the Samsung, but if you prefer a bar with dedicated surround speakers to help immerse you in your movies, check out the Sonos instead.
If you're looking for a soundbar that can create a more uniform bass reproduction throughout your entire room, consider the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch instead. While it has a warmer and more bass-heavy sound profile than the Samsung HW-Q90R, some listeners may actually prefer the extra thump and punch provided by its two dedicated subwoofers. This impressive 9.2.4 setup also comes with four dedicated rear speakers to help immerse you in sound coming from all around you. If you like to listen to your audio at high volumes, you may appreciate that this is one of the loudest soundbars we've tested, although there can be some distortion in the bass range at max volume. On the other hand, this setup lets you easily reposition the many rear speakers based on your preferred listening experience.
If you want a more natural sound, go with the Samsung. If you prefer a more immersive setup with more speakers, the Nakamichi might be for you!
The best Atmos soundbar with a 5.1 setup that we've tested is the JBL Bar 9.1. This sleek, premium-looking option comes with a dedicated subwoofer and two truly wireless satellite speakers that you can position anywhere in your room to create the most immersive listening experience possible. It can get loud without a lot of compression artifacts, which is great.
Overall, it has a very neutral, well-balanced sound profile that's suitable for lots of audio content. The bass is present and thumpy, so you really feel explosions and other action-packed scenes in your favorite Dolby Atmos content. It even comes with a room correction feature, which analyses the unique qualities of your room to create the best possible sound quality.
Unfortunately, it only comes with a few EQ presets, which may be disappointing if you really like to customize the sound profile. It also lacks a dialogue enhancement feature to make voices sound more crisp and clear in your favorite movies. That said, overall, this 5.1.4 setup has an impressive performance that's ideal for watching Dolby Atmos content.
If you're looking for a 5.1 Dolby Atmos soundbar on a tighter budget, consider the Vizio SB46514-F6 instead. While it lacks a room correction feature and doesn't have as many connectivity options as the JBL Bar 9.1, it provides a pretty immersive listening experience thanks to its four up-firing speakers and two dedicated rear satellite speakers. Its default sound profile is very well-balanced, and it has a deep and extended bass that's suitable for action movies and powerful movie scores. It can get very loud, but unfortunately, there's a bit of compression present when played at max volume. That said, this well-built, premium-looking option offers a versatile performance that's well-suited to Atmos content.
If you're looking for something with more features and truly wireless satellite speakers, consider the JBL, but if you're on a budget, check out the Vizio instead.
The best standalone Dolby Atmos soundbar we've tested is the Sennheiser AMBEO. Its unique 13-speaker integrated design creates an immersive experience with only a standalone bar. It's an eye-catcher with such a massive design and high-end look.
While not as great as dedicated down-firing speakers, it still produces good surround sound thanks to its unique 3D audio mode. Its room correction feature helps adapt audio to your room using an external microphone that can enhance your listening experience. It has an impressive amount of connectivity options, including Bluetooth and Chromecast built-in. It also has a standby mode triggered by 20 minutes of inactivity. If you need to clean them, you can remove the fabric covering the speakers.
Unfortunately, it's large, and finding the right position for it is quite difficult. If you don't have AMBEO mode activated, the sound signature also lacks bass and instead leans more bright. On the upside, if you don't like this sound profile, you can customize the EQ with the companion app. If you're looking for a standalone option that can do it all without a dedicated subwoofer, this one is a good choice.
09/21/2020: Replaced the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch with the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers as 'More Immersive' alternative to 'Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar' and added the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch as 'Two-Sub' alternative. Replaced the Samsung HW-Q80R with the JBL Bar 9.1 as 'Best 5.1'. Moved the Samsung HW-Q80R from Best 5.1 to 'Notable Mentions'.
07/23/2020: Added the Sonos Arc and the LG SN11RG as 'Notable Mentions'.
03/13/2020: Changed some picks as we reviewed more products.
11/01/2019: Added the Vizio SB36512-F6 as a 'More Affordable Alternative' to the Samsung HW-Q90R.
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. 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.