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 150 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. This soundbar supports common 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital and more immersive object-based choices like Dolby Atmos, both of which are commonly found on most streaming platforms. Thanks to its two rear speakers, sound effects seem clear and real in the space around you, and you even get the impression that sound stretches to the space above your head. The sub brings plenty of rumble in the bass, so your chair shakes during the most intense action-packed scenes. Overall, it feels like your living room couch is dropped right into the heart of the action.
It's a versatile bar, meaning you can make the most of music, podcasts, and TV shows. Right out of the box, voices and lead instruments reproduce with accuracy and detail, so you don't have any trouble following the action on screen. 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 just 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 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 that 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, this bar is 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.
More budget-conscious shoppers should look at the Vizio M Series M512a-H6, which offers one of the best values of the Dolby Atmos setups we've tested. It's a 5.1.2 setup with a versatile overall performance that provides a pretty solid listening experience with Dolby Atmos content. Its soundstage is wide and immersive, especially compared to other bars in its price range, and its two rear speakers make it easy to pinpoint sound effects to particular locations in the soundstage. These rear speakers lack up-firing drivers, though, and there aren't rotating sides to expand its soundstage, so you don't get as much of an immersive feel as you do with the Vizio Elevate. As a result, it doesn't feel quite as clear or as real as our top picks, but still, you feel like the action matches what's happening on screen.
This soundbar comes with the same selection of sound enhancement features as the Elevate, including subwoofer level and bass and treble adjustments to give you more control over how it sounds. Its default sound is quite balanced, so you may not even need to use these tools at all. Its sound is quite balanced, especially in the mids, so voices and lead instruments are clear and present. It's great for music and TV shows, and it also means that it's easy to follow along with the drama in your favorite movies. The sub adds plenty of thump and rumble in the bass range, too, so you feel the excitement like you would if you were sitting in a movie theater. Overall, it makes for 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 all 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.
Your living space might be smaller than the average-sized living room—but don't worry, there are also options on the market that meet your needs while still providing an immersive Dolby Atmos sound. These smaller, more compact bars come as standalone options, so you don't have to find space in your living area for a dedicated subwoofer and satellites. The best we've tested is the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), the upgraded version of the original Sonos Beam. It keeps the same compact design but adds support for Dolby Atmos content so you can enjoy your favorite movies from streaming platforms and Blu-rays. Its wide and immersive-sounding soundstage makes it stand out from the competition, and you feel like the action in your favorite movies is happening all around you.
This bar has the same sound enhancement features you get with the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers, including a room correction feature available with iOS and bass and treble adjustments. It doesn't get quite as loud, but it's still suitable for filling up an average-sized living room with sound. Thanks to its balanced mids, dialogue is clear and accurate in the mix, so you easily follow the action on screen. The lack of thump in the bass range is noticeable, though, and you don't feel the rumble in action-packed scenes. You can always add a separate subwoofer down the line and rear speakers to enhance its surround sound.
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 9.2Ch is the best of the bunch. It's a unique soundbar, and unlike our top picks, it comes with two subwoofers and four rear speakers. Ultimately, this design helps to even out the bass response throughout your room, meaning you don't notice as many "holes" in your soundstage. Overall, the bass reproduction is clear and present throughout the room, and the extra rears bring sound effects to the space around you.
Overall, the bar offers an impressive performance with Dolby Atmos content. The widened soundstage is still focused, meaning that sound effects seem like they come from accurate, pinpoint locations in the space around you, matching the action on the screen. With its balanced mids, dialogue is fairly clear and accurate, and you feel the rumble in the bass during action-heavy scenes. However, it lacks some emphasis in the treble range, meaning that the bar sounds dark overall, and higher-pitched voices from characters in your movies aren't always clear. While there's a treble adjustment feature on hand, it's hard to improve the response in this range, which is disappointing, especially compared to our top picks.
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.
May 06, 2022: Moved the Samsung HW-Q950A to 'Best Customizable' and the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 to 'Best Soundbar' as we've identified some compatibility issues with Atmos content when using the Samsung for passthrough with LG TVs. Minor updates to the text for clarity.
Mar 08, 2022: Added the Vizio SB46512-F6, the Klipsch Cinema 1200, and the Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1 SSE 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.