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The 8 Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars for Incredibly Immersive Audio

If you‘re looking to take your home theater setup to the next level, upgrading to a soundbar with Dolby Atmos support is one of the best investments you can make. Atmos is an object-based surround sound format that goes beyond the constraints of traditional channel-based systems. By adding height information to the audio mix, Atmos creates a three-dimensional soundscape that immerses you in a dome of sound.

With Atmos, you‘ll hear leaves rustling above you, helicopters circling overhead, and rain spattering all around you. It‘s a much more lifelike and engaging listening experience. According to a report by the Consumer Technology Association, shipments of soundbars with Atmos grew by 20% in 2020 alone. And major streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max are all rapidly expanding their libraries of Atmos content.

While you can build an Atmos speaker system using in-ceiling speakers or Atmos toppers, a soundbar provides a convenient, all-in-one solution. The best Dolby Atmos soundbars use upfiring drivers to bounce height audio off your ceiling, creating the illusion of sound coming from above.

I‘ve spent dozens of hours over the past month testing 15 of the most popular Dolby Atmos soundbars from leading brands like Sonos, Sony, Samsung, LG, Vizio, and Klipsch. I evaluated them based on sound quality, design, features, connectivity, and overall value. Whether you‘re working with a budget of $500 or ready to invest in a premium $2000+ model, these are the top Atmos soundbars I recommend.

Best Overall: Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is my top pick for the best all-around Dolby Atmos soundbar. This premium 5.0.2 soundbar packs 11 custom elliptical woofers and tweeters into a sleek, low-profile design. Two upfiring speakers reproduce overhead sounds while side-firing drivers bounce sound off your walls for a wider soundstage.

Sonos‘ advanced TruePlay tuning technology optimizes the sound for the unique acoustics of your room. The Arc delivers crisp, clear dialogue, sparkling treble, and surprisingly deep bass for an all-in-one bar without a separate subwoofer. It supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and multichannel PCM.

In addition to excellent sound, the Arc also boasts a best-in-class feature set. It has built-in voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, plus support for Apple AirPlay 2. The Sonos app makes it easy to stream from all the most popular music services. You can expand to a full 5.1.2 system by adding a Sonos Sub and pair of One surrounds.

Priced at $799, the Arc is an expensive soundbar. But its refined sound, premium design, and smart features make it well worth the cost for discerning listeners. It‘s an especially great choice for those already in the Sonos ecosystem.

A Close Second: Sony HT-A5000

Another top contender for the Atmos soundbar crown is the Sony HT-A5000. This flagship 5.1.2 bar houses seven front-facing and surround speakers, two upfiring speakers, and a built-in dual subwoofer. It makes use of Sony‘s Vertical Surround Engine and S-Force Pro Front Surround technology to create an even more immersive soundfield compared to the Sonos.

The HT-A5000‘s sound is incredibly detailed, dynamic, and cinematic. 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology optimizes the sound for your room with easy calibration. The bar supports hi-res audio and virtually any surround format you can throw at it including Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby TrueHD, and more. It‘s also better futureproofed than the Sonos with 8K HDR and 4K/120Hz passthrough.

Other standout features include Chromecast built-in, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, USB, and a suite of sound modes optimized for music, movies, gaming and more. You can easily expand to a full 7.1.2 system by adding the wireless SA-SW5 sub and SA-RS5 surrounds.

The main downside of the HT-A5000 is its size. At 51 inches wide and weighing over 30 pounds, it‘s a beast. And with a list price of $1300, it‘s one of the most expensive single-bar solutions out there. But if you have a large space and budget, its class-leading performance is unrivaled.

Here‘s a quick comparison of the key specs of these two top Atmos soundbars:

Spec Sonos Arc Sony HT-A5000
Configuration 5.0.2 5.1.2
Drivers 11 (8 woofers, 3 tweeters) 13 (7 front/surround + 2 upfiring + dual sub)
Amplification Unknown 450W
Wireless Sub Optional SA-SW5
Wireless Surrounds Optional (One SLs) Optional (SA-RS5)
Dimensions (WHD) 45 x 3.4 x 4.5" 51.25 x 3.25 x 5.75"
Weight 13.8 lbs 32 lbs
Streaming AirPlay 2, Spotify Chromecast, Spotify
Voice Assistants Alexa, Google Alexa, Google
Hi-Res Audio No Yes
Video Passthrough HDMI eARC 8K HDR, 4K/120Hz
Price $799 $1398

As you can see, both bars offer a wealth of features. The Arc has the edge in terms of design and overall simplicity, while the Sony supports more advanced audio and video formats. You can‘t go wrong with either, but the Sony justifies its higher price if you demand the absolute best in audio quality.

Beyond these two top picks, here are six other excellent Atmos soundbars I highly recommend:

Best for Home Theater: Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar

The Sennheiser Ambeo aims to replace an entire surround sound system in a single bar. With a 5.1.4 configuration and 13 high-end drivers powered by 500 watts of amplification, it delivers mind-blowing 3D audio that competes with discrete speaker setups.

The sound is powerful, precise, nuanced, and a clear step above other soundbars. The bass is deep and punchy even without a subwoofer. You get all the most immersive surround formats including Atmos, DTS:X, MPEG-H. Setup is easy with an included calibration mic. Connectivity options are extensive with 3 HDMI inputs, eARC, optical, AUX, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Chromecast.

The main downsides are the Ambeo‘s huge size and price. At 50 inches wide and 18.5 deep, it‘s hard to fit under many TVs. And the $2500 cost make it an investment. But if you want uncompromising Atmos sound in a single bar, there‘s nothing else like it on the market.

Best for Small Spaces: Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam is one of the most compact Atmos bars you can buy at just 25.6 inches wide. The second-gen model adds Dolby Atmos support thanks to a new five-speaker array with a dedicated center tweeter and four elliptical midwoofers.

It has the same TruePlay tuning and smart features as the Arc. Virtual surround technology does an impressive job widening the soundstage. Clear dialogue, warm mids, and crisp treble. Won‘t rattle any walls but solid audio quality overall.

At $449, the Beam is a great entry point into the Sonos ecosystem and Atmos on a smaller budget and for apartments, bedrooms, and small living rooms. You can add the Sonos Sub Mini and One surrounds for a compact 5.1 setup.

Best Design: Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage

The B&O Beosound is a luxury soundbar with an absolutely gorgeous design. It‘s crafted from a single piece of aluminum with oak wood lamellas. But it‘s not just a pretty face – the Stage‘s sound quality is also top-notch.

You get a full 5.1.2 Atmos configuration powered by eleven 50-watt amplifiers. Four 4" woofers, six 1.8" full range drivers, and a 3/4" dome tweeter create an immersive wall of sound with sparkling detail and tight bass. Extensive connectivity with 4K passthrough, eARC, WiFi, and Chromecast.

The main caveat here is the Stage costs $2600, even pricier than the Sennheiser. Build quality is a step above but it‘s hard to justify unless money is no object. Still, it‘s a stunner if you want a soundbar that looks as good as it sounds.

Best Value: Vizio M-Series M512a-H6

Vizio makes some of the best budget soundbars and the M512a-H6 is an incredible value at just $450. This 5.1.2 system includes a bar with upfiring Atmos speakers, dedicated surround speakers, and a wireless 6" subwoofer.

While it won‘t compete with the premium bars here on sound, it delivers shockingly good Atmos performance for the price. The dedicated surrounds provide real surround sound you can‘t get with a single bar. Setup is easy and it has two HDMI inputs with 4K HDR passthrough.

If you‘re looking for the most immersive sound per dollar, the Vizio M-Series is my top recommendation under $500. It‘s an unbeatable starter surround system complete with Atmos.

Best for Streaming: Bose Smart Soundbar 900

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is another excellent single-bar Atmos solution. Its five-speaker configuration includes two upfiring drivers, a tweeter, and four racetrack transducers. Bose‘s proprietary PhaseGuide technology directs sound to the left and right for a wider front stage.

The 900‘s standout features are its smart streaming capabilities. It has Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control, plus AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Bluetooth for music. You also get a handy universal remote to switch between video and music sources. The bar sounds great overall with a neutral signature.

Priced at $899, the Bose is neck-and-neck with the Sonos Arc. It falls a little short on overall sound quality and future-proofing but makes up for it with more flexible streaming options and better stereo separation. A great pick if you don‘t need the absolute highest performance.

Best for Samsung TVs: Samsung HW-Q950A

The Samsung HW-Q950A is the ultimate Atmos surround sound system built around a soundbar. The main bar houses seven forward and side-firing speakers, with two more upfiring drivers. But the real stars are the included wireless surrounds with rear upfiring speakers, and a monster 8" wireless subwoofer.

With a full 11.1.4 configuration, the Q950A delivers incredible 3D audio with movies and music. It‘s especially great for gaming on next-gen consoles with 4K/120Hz passthrough and VRR for reduced lag. SmartThings integration lets you control the soundbar with your Samsung TV remote.

At $1500 for the complete system, the Q950A is pricey. And it‘s not a very apartment-friendly setup. But if you have a Samsung QLED or want a full surround system without the hassle of running wires, it‘s tough to beat.

How to Choose the Right Dolby Atmos Soundbar

With such a wide range of Dolby Atmos soundbars available at different price points, it‘s important to pick the model that best fits your needs and setup. Here are the key factors to consider:

  • Room size: Larger bars with more drivers like the Sony A5000 or Sennheiser Ambeo will perform better in big rooms. For smaller spaces, the Sonos Beam or Arc may be a better fit.

  • Type of content: If you watch a lot of Atmos movies and TV shows, prioritize bars with the most immersive configurations like 5.1.2 and up. Gamers will want features like VRR and 4K 120Hz passthrough.

  • Music streaming: Look for bars that support your favorite streaming platforms. Sonos is best for whole-home audio, while the Bose 900 and Sony support Chromecast and Spotify Connect.

  • Expandability: If you want the option to add surrounds and a subwoofer later, choose a bar that supports wireless expansion like the Arc or HT-A5000. The Vizio Elevate and JBL 9.1 include dedicated surrounds out of the box.

  • Design and placement: Make sure you have a media console deep and wide enough to accommodate larger Atmos bars. Many are 48" or wider. Bars like the Sonos Arc and Beam have a more low-profile design.

  • Budget: Expect to pay at least $400 for an entry-level Atmos bar, and $800+ for a high-performance single bar system. Complete Atmos surround systems can run $1500 or more. The sweet spot for most is around $600-1000.

Ultimately, any of the Dolby Atmos soundbars featured here will deliver an immersive audio upgrade. My overall recommendation for most people is the Sonos Arc thanks to its winning blend of design, features, and sound quality. For the best possible performance, the pricier Sony A5000 has more advanced processing and a bigger soundstage.

Don‘t forget a soundbar is just one piece of an awesome home theater. You‘ll also want a compatible HDMI eARC port on your TV and Atmos-capable components like streaming boxes and gaming consoles. With the right setup, these Atmos soundbars will transport you into the middle of the action, elevating every movie, show, album, and game. Your ears will thank you!