Any surround sound speaker can add a new level of detail to your favorite movies, but the best Dolby Atmos soundbars take surround sound to the next level by delivering a more immersive 3D audio experience with overhead channels. Think of Dolby Atmos as 4K for your ears.
We’ve reviewed the best Dolby Atmos soundbars in real-world domestic situations just as they would be used at home, and ranked each based on their sound performance with all kinds of movies (including Dolby Atmos movies) and music, features, and value. To make sure you’re choosing the right soundbar for your immersive TV sound needs, read on and find the perfect model for your room and pocket.
The best Dolby Atmos soundbars you can buy right now
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The Samsung HW-Q990B is the equivalent of the old home theater in a box packages. Buy one and right out of the box you have yourself an 11.1.4 surround sound system that is powerful and sleek while still being easy to set up and install.
If you like your soundbars loud and don’t have neighbors to worry about, you’re going to love it. With a claimed 656W total power output, it’s hard not to be impressed by the output of this speaker. The Adaptive Sound uses built-in microphones to adjust the output to your surroundings, and can help boost the height speakers. In terms of clarity and depth of sound, there’s a lot to like here and delivers detailed audio and impressive Dolby Atmos sound. See where it ranks on our best soundbars page.
It’s not quite as feature-complete as we’d like at this price point, but if you’re looking for a strong soundbar that can rattle the windows, the Samsung HW-Q990B is worth auditioning in your home theater.
Read our full Samsung HW-Q990B review.
The Panorama 3 is Bowers & Wilkins' most affordable soundbar to date. It's more costly than the Sonos Arc but if it’s sound quality you prize, then the Panorama 3 is worth every penny. The 3.1.2 speaker configuration integrates forward-firing left, right and center channels and for cinematic rumble and punch there a two built-in subwoofer drivers along with Dolby Atmos Elevation drive units.
Powered by a total of 400 watts of Class D amplification, means the Panorama 3 can deal with those big dynamic shifts so beloved of cinema the world over without breaking sweat and is expressive and articulate where music is concerned too. It's extremely well judged and coherent with all kinds of music and movie content, while Dolby Atmos content projects well beyond the confines of the speaker cabinet, and in all directions. There’s real width to the soundstage the Bowers & Wilkins establishes, and there’s a proper sensation of movement as effects pan from one side of the stage to the other as soundtracks are served up with plenty of confidence and no little style.
Read our full Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 review.
The Sonos Arc is the best soundbar you can buy if you’re interested in making it part of a Sonos eco system integrated with existing Sonos speakers dotted around the house. This premium speaker stands out with its gorgeous curved design, which is built to be a centerpiece of your living room as much as it’s meant to enhance your TV’s sound. And it certainly doesn’t skimp on sound performance, delivering deep bass and clear treble for your favorite movies and TV shows complete with Dolby Atmos support.
Thanks to Sonos’ TruePlay technology, the Arc can automatically tune itself to whatever room it’s in to deliver the crispest, most accurate audio possible. It also supports voice controls via Alexa and Google Assistant, making it one of the smartest soundbars you can buy. If you have a larger entertainment area — and the budget, the Sonos Arc is one of the top premium soundbars out there.
Read our full Sonos Arc review.
Never knowingly understated, Devialet's Dione soundbar manages to bring a little of the high-end company's customary design drama to the world of do-it-all, add-on TV speakers. In keeping with much of its luxury output, the Dione is properly expensive, strikingly stylish, and a full-on 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos affair, designed to deliver a surround-sound experience from a single unit.
Given a full-on, action-packed Dolby Atmos soundtrack to deal with, the Dione is a dynamic, expansive and quite nuanced listen. For a soundbar that goes without the low-frequency reinforcement of a partnering subwoofer, the straightforward amount of bass it’s able to produce really is quite remarkable. ‘Punch’ and ‘rumble’ are both available, and are of an order of magnitude that eludes all but the most accomplished of the Devialet’s rivals. Width and height soundstage elements are deeply effective, which all adds up to a must-hear soundbar if you happen to have deep pockets and are looking for one of the best-sounding and most elegant Dolby Atmos soundbar solutions on the market right now.
Read our full Devialet Dione review.
The Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar may look identical to the Smart Soundbar 900 (below), but it integrates a wealth of additional features aimed to boost the TV viewing experience though machine learning and artificial intelligence. It uses nine speakers to create the best sound experience possible for your TV room with proprietary TrueSpace technology to deliver 5.1.2 audio channels with Dolby Atmos spatial audio content. Additionally, Bose's AI Dialogue Mode technology automatically adjust tonal balance to boost voice clarity without impacting on the immersive sound effect.
As a TV speaker to improve on a screen's built-in speakers, the Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar is a good option in a compact form with plenty of attractive features. It's one of the easiest soundbars I've encountered to install and set up thanks to the remarkably solid Bose Music app, and the room calibration mode is surprisingly effective. The sound is warm and expansive for the most part, but bass levels can struggle when action move demands get too high. Its multiroom capabilities are a plus if you already own other Bose products, and help make the Ultra Soundbar a solid pick for fans of its ecosystem.
Read the full Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar review.
The Ambeo Soundbar Plus has a significantly smaller footprint than Sennheiser's Ambeo Max, and is more akin to the size of the Sonos Arc (see above). Despite its more diminutive size, it claims 400W power output to 7.1.4 channels — to you and I that's seven active full range speaker channels, plus one sub bass, and four up-firing height channels.
Like its 'Max' brother, the Soundbar Plus uses Ambeo virtualization tech to deliver Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Sony 360 Reality Audio soundtracks, as well as up-mixing stereo TV and music content. It's not quite the same as having dedicated surround speaker behind you, but can be more effective when it comes to delivering an immersive viewing experience.
During my testing, I found the Sennheiser's Ambeo Plus gave a big boost to TV sound with an immersive performance that delivers a big room-filling sound to match today's vibrant TV images. For the best bass performance with high-octane movies, though, you'll want to add the matching Ambeo sub. Sonically, it's a worthy addition, and you can even add multiple subs into your setup, but, of course, it's an extra outlay that pushes the already high price for a single soundbar even higher.
Read our full Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus review
Like its predecessor (HT-ST5000), the HT-A7000 is a full-featured home-theater speaker system designed to be the mainstay of any home TV, music, and gaming setup for years to come. Its feature-laden spec highlights include full support for Dolby Atmos soundtracks and hi-res audio, music streaming, as well as two HDMI 2.1 ports that enable users to connect both a PS5 and Xbox Series X to the soundbar at the same time.
The Sony HT-A7000 soundbar is an elegant TV speaker solution with impressive sound that enhances the performance of even the best TVs. It achieves a wrap-around cinematic effect with the right content, and Dolby Atmos material has a more enveloping effect thanks to the Sony's format handling and up-firing speakers — the only downside is the difficult to decipher display showing the audio format. Dialog was clear and has enough weight to give booming voices gravitas to carry them with conviction, but for real cinematic performance and satisfaction, you're really going to have to factor in a wireless sub.
Read our full Sony HT-A7000 review.
Bose’s first soundbar to support immersive surround sound technology through Dolby Atmos, also offers multiroom audio, integrated voice assistants and there's even room for expansion via wireless Bose surrounds and a wired subwoofer. Like the Sonos Arc it's priced at $899, but the Bose separates itself with a smaller and more sleek design.
Easy to setup with plenty of options to help you tune the sound to your own surroundings, the Bose performs well with movies, although the addition of a subwoofer would give movie soundtracks a useful further boost. Dolby Atmos effects come across well, but bass levels can get a bet overzealous when playing music. All-in-all, the Bose is well-featured and a good choice for those already signed up to its ecosystem but ultimately is outperformed by the Sonos Arc at the same price.
Read our full Bose Smart Soundbar 900 review
Yet more proof that you don't need to spend big to get quality Dolby Atmos integration, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam defies its standalone form factor with a respectable attempt at digital surround sound — not to mention powerful bass, even without a subwoofer.
Although we'd have liked a few more ways to manually adjust the sound output, the Bar 5.0 MultiBeam also features a handy auto calibration process that tunes Atmos playback for the dimensions of your living room specifically. This helps contribute to a strong sense of audio positioning, again something you can't always be sure about with single soundbars. Still, it works, and is just another reason the Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars.
Read our full JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam review.
How to choose the best Dolby Atmos soundbar
As with selecting any soundbar, it is important to consider a number of factors when deciding which particular model is right for you.
Get the right size: Size will likely be prohibitive for many customers — you obviously need a soundbar that will fit neatly with your TV in terms of screen size and available space, and that looks right as the centerpiece of your home theater setup. Some of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars in this guide are particularly wide (the Sony measures around 51-inches), which is how they manage to achieve such an immersive soundstage that appears extend far beyond the width of your TV screen.
It is also important to consider in the size of the room you're dealing with, and the distance viewers would typically be sitting from the TV. If you have a large space, it's probably best to target soundbars that come with or where you can add a subwoofer — we think you'll appreciate the extra bass this will bring.
Connectivity: This is crucial too, both in terms of wired and wireless access. You're going to want HDMI with eARC/ARC to set up your soundbar with a single physical cable, and your going to want to make sure the latest wireless connectivity is available with Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth support.
Content: For Dolby Atmos features, you're going to want to consider how you access this kind of content — support for the audio format is growing but it's not available everywhere yet. You may need to subscribe to a particular plan to get access to Dolby Atmos content, so check what your particular plan offers.
Price: A Dolby Atmos soundbar generally costs a bit more, but prices are getting more competitive, and in many cases could even form the basis of a much more ambitious surround sound setup, incorporating dedicated wireless surround speakers and a wired or wireless subwoofer, for example.
How we test the best Dolby Atmos soundbars
As more and more soundbars come with support for the Dolby Atmos format, the big difference between Atmos and traditional surround sound soundbars is that (with the right content), you'll hear sound move up and down and not just side-to-side. This brings an extra sense of cinematic realism to your viewing at home when, say, a car flies overhead in an action movie.
With multiple drivers covering a wide sound area in front of your screen, as well as side- and upward-firing speakers driven by sophisticated digital signal processing to bring an extra dimension to movie soundscapes, a Dolby Atmos soundbar makes an effective sound upgrade for most screen's built-in speakers.
When testing for inclusion in our best Dolby Atmos soundbars page, we play a range of media — including movies, music and games — in order to evaluate overall sound quality. We also test any companion software that may come with a soundbar, and factor in how easy it is to set up and use each device.
Once testing is completed, we rate the best soundbars based on our five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). Products that hit nearly every mark are awarded an Editor's Choice badge.
Contributions from: Simon Lucas, Michael Gowan, Nick Pino