The 6 Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars - Summer 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars
114 Soundbars Tested
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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 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 110 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.


  1. Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar: Samsung HW-Q950A

    8.3
    Mixed Usage
    8.6
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    8.3
    Music
    8.2
    Movies
    Channels
    11.1.4

    The Samsung HW-Q950A is the best Dolby Atmos soundbar that we've tested and is the next generation of the Samsung HW-Q950T. This well-built 11.1.4 setup comes with a wireless subwoofer and two satellite speakers. Also, it comes with an Auto EQ room correction feature that adjusts the bar's sound according to the unique acoustics of the room it's in.

    With its room correction feature enabled, this bar has a well-balanced and neutral sound profile, making it suitable for listening to a wide range of audio content. There's also a graphic EQ and presets you can use to customize its sound to better suit your preferences. It features a Full HDMI In port so you can use it as a hub between your devices. Additionally, it can get pretty loud with little compression present at max volume, so your audio sounds clean during louder listening sessions. This bar even comes with Alexa built-in, and there's a mute mic button you can use when you no longer want it to listen to you.

    Unfortunately, it lacks an AUX port so you can't wire your older devices to the bar. It also doesn't produce a bass as extended as that of its predecessor, which may disappoint some fans of bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. However, if you're looking for a versatile soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos content, it's still a solid choice.

    See our review

  2. Two-Sub Alternative: Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch

    Channels
    9.2.4

    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 than the Samsung, 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 than the Samsung 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.

    See our review

  3. Best 5.1 Dolby Atmos Soundbar: Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers

    7.9
    Mixed Usage
    8.2
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    7.9
    Music
    7.7
    Movies
    Channels
    5.1.2

    The best Dolby Atmos soundbar with a 5.1 setup that we've tested is the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers. This premium 5.1.2 setup comes with a dedicated subwoofer and two satellite speakers to help immerse you in your audio content from all angles. When playing Atmos content, it uses up-firing speakers on the bar to fire sound up to the ceiling and back down towards you to create the illusion of height.

    This soundbar comes with a room correction feature that automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on the unique acoustic characteristics of the room you're listening in. With this feature turned on, this soundbar has a slightly bright sound profile, but you can use its bass and treble adjustments to get a more neutral sound if you prefer. There's also a dialogue enhancement mode, which can make voices in your movies more clear and crisp.

    Unfortunately, this soundbar doesn't come with a Full HDMI In port, so you can't use it as a hub between your different devices. Also, you can't buy the bar, the sub, and the satellites as a package at the moment, but you can buy these components separately and pair them together for an immersive sound. Ultimately, if you want a 5.1 setup for watching Atmos content, it's a solid choice.

    See our review

  4. Cheaper Alternative: Vizio M Series M51a-H6

    Channels
    5.1

    If you're looking for a more affordable 5.1 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content, check out the Vizio M Series M51a-H6. While it isn't as well-built and while its soundstage performance isn't as good as that of the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers, it still supports Dolby Atmos content and performs similarly at a more affordable price. This bar can produce low-bass, so you can feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music or action-packed movie scenes. It also comes with EQ presets as well as bass and treble adjustments you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. However, it doesn't come with a room correction feature to adjust its sound according to the acoustics of your room. That said, it comes with a Full HDMI In port so you can use it as a hub between your different devices.

    If you're looking for a soundbar that offers a better soundstage performance with a more premium design, consider the Sonos. However, if you're looking for a soundbar that performs similarly at a more affordable price point, check out the Vizio instead.

    See our review

  5. Best Standalone Dolby Atmos Soundbar: Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar

    8.0
    Mixed Usage
    8.5
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    7.6
    Music
    7.8
    Movies
    Channels
    5.1.4

    The best standalone Dolby Atmos soundbar we've tested is the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar. 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 to 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 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. While it may be difficult to find on some third-party retailers, you can still purchase it on the Sennheiser website. If you're looking for a standalone option that can do it all without a dedicated subwoofer, this one is a good choice.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Dolby Atmos Soundbar: TCL Alto 8i

    6.8
    Mixed Usage
    6.9
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    7.2
    Music
    6.6
    Movies
    Channels
    2.1

    The best budget Atmos soundbar that we've tested is the TCL Alto 8i. This 2.1 setup has two subwoofers integrated into the bar, which helps with bass production. It's advertised as Roku TV Ready, so it should be easy to pair it with your Roku TV.

    When set to the 'Music' EQ preset, its sound profile is punchy and boomy overall, though its mid-range is well-balanced, so dialogue sounds clear and present in the mix. There are bass and treble adjustments, as well as three EQ presets, letting you tweak the sound profile to your liking. It has a wide soundstage, and it's suitable for large rooms since it can get very loud. You can also stream audio wirelessly from your smart device via Bluetooth.

    Unfortunately, since it doesn't come with satellite speakers, it has to downmix surround sound content into stereo, which results in a less immersive surround sound experience. Also, it lacks a dialogue enhancement feature and room correction feature, so its sound profile may vary depending on the room it's in. That said, if you're looking for a soundbar at a more affordable price point and don't mind a simpler design, it's still among the best budget Dolby Atmos soundbars we've tested.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG SN11RG: The LG SN11RG is a great 7.1.4 setup for movies, but it has a slightly boomy sound profile and fewer customization options than other options. See our review
  • Vizio SB46514-F6: The Vizio SB46514-F6 is a 5.1.4 setup that's great for watching movies, but it doesn't have a room correction feature. See our review
  • Samsung HW-Q900T: The Samsung HW-Q900T is a 7.1.2 setup with a similar performance to that of the Samsung HW-Q950T. However, it lacks two rear satellites and has a worse Atmos performance. See our review
  • Vizio Elevate: The Vizio Elevate is a unique 5.1.4 setup with left and right sides that rotate upwards to create a wider soundstage when listening to Atmos content. However, its bass-heavy sound profile can be overwhelming for some listeners, and it doesn't come with a room correction feature. See our review
  • JBL Bar 9.1: The JBL Bar 9.1 is a very versatile soundbar that uses up-firing speakers and satellites to really immerse you in your favorite Atmos movies. However, it's difficult to find in stock at the moment. If it's officially discontinued, we'll remove it from this article. See our review
  • Samsung HW-Q850A: The Samsung HW-Q850A is a well-built 5.1.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It lacks a bit of low-bass out-of-the-box, but it comes with lots of sound enhancement features if you prefer a more neutral sound. See our review
  • Vizio SB36512-F6: The Vizio SB36512-F6 is a 5.1.2 setup with a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It can also produce the deep thump and rumble in low-bass that fans of bass-heavy music enjoy. Unfortunately, it doesn't have many sound enhancement features. See our review
  • Samsung HW-Q950T: The Samsung HW-Q950T is a great 9.1.4 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content and that can produce a thumpy low-bass. However, it doesn't feature as many sound enhancement features as the newer generation, Samsung HW-Q950A. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. 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.

  2. Jun 22, 2021: Added the Samsung HW-Q850A to Notable Mentions. Minor updates to the text for accuracy.

  3. Apr 23, 2021: Added the 'Best Budget' category and selected the TCL Alto 8i as the pick for that category. Confirmed the rest of the picks are in stock and still the best recommendations for our users.

  4. Feb 24, 2021: Due to changing availability, replaced the JBL Bar 9.1 with the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers as 'Best 5.1'. Added the JBL Bar 9.1 and the Vizio Elevate to Notable Mentions.

  5. Jan 25, 2021: Removed the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers as 'More Immersive Alt' due to changing availability. No other changes in product picks after re-evaluating and checking their availability.

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.

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