Soundbars are incredibly popular today — their sales exceed the rest of the home theater surround sound category combined — because they're affordable, easy to install, take up little space and can drastically improve the sound of your TV. More and more soundbars are also starting to support Dolby Atmos, which is one of the most sought-after features for anybody building a home theater system.
If you don't know, Dolby Atmos is an immersive audio technology. It creates virtual height and side channels that trick your ears into thinking that sound is coming from all around you — left, right and above — instead of just right in front of you. It basically makes it sound like you're in a movie rather than just watching it.
Sonos Arc Read More
Sennheiser Ambeo Read More
Sony HT-A7000 Read More
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Read More
Bose Smart Soundbar 900 Read More
What to Look For
The brand ecosystem: When buying a soundbar, you're also likely buying into a brand's ecosystem. That's because many of today's soundbars support rear-channel speakers and subwoofers so that, down the road, you can turn a soundbar into a full surround sound system if you're willing to spend the extra dough. However, many of these soundbars only work with other speakers by the same company. For example, you can't pair a Bose soundbar with a wireless subwoofer by Sonos.
Upward-firing speakers: The best Dolby Atmos soundbars all have upward-firing drivers as they do a far superior job at creating virtual height and side channels and, ultimately, a more immersive sound experience. However, you can buy a more affordable Dolby Atmos soundbar, like the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), but it won't create a quite as immersive sound.
Streaming support: Many of today's soundbars connect to Wi-Fi and support music streaming when the TV is off. You want to make sure that the soundbar works with your streaming method of choice (such as Spotify Connect or AirPlay) as well as the devices that you're streaming from. Some soundbars also support Bluetooth streaming.
Voice assistant: Many soundbars have built-in microphones and can be integrated with a voice assistant, such as Alexa or Google Assistant so that they work as a large smart speaker. This allows you to play music or get answers (about the weather or sports scores) with a simple voice command. And if you don't want an always-listening soundbar, then no problem — "smart" soundbars allow you to turn their microphones off.
New and Upcoming Releases
Here's a snapshot of some just-announced or unreleased Dolby Atmos soundbars that we are considering for future updates to this guide.
Polk Audio MagniFi Max AX: Announced this past September, this is Polk Audio's newest flagship soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The MagniFi Max AX is a 5.1.2-channel package that includes a soundbar and wireless subwoofer (but for an extra $100 you can also purchase a package with wireless rear-channel speakers). It supports Chromecast and AirPlay 2 for easy streaming and integration into your home's existing multi-room audio system. It also has built-in Bluetooth. It costs $799.
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus: Sennheiser's original Ambeo soundbar is one of the best and most expensive Dolby Atmos soundbars you can buy; released in 2019, it's a standalone 5.1.4 soundbar with 13 dedicated drivers. Well, Sennheiser has announced the Ambeo Plus, which is essentially a smaller version of that exact soundbar. It packs nine total drivers (two are up-firing to create a truly immersive experience) and comes in at $1,500, which is $1,000 cheaper.
Sony HT-A3000: This is a Samsung mid-range soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos. It is essentially a smaller and more affordable version of the company's HT-A5000 and the flagship A7000 soundbars. It's a 3.1-channel soundbar that's designed to work best when paired with Sony's newest Bravia TVs; its Acoustic Center Sync feature allows the TV to work as a center channel (and make dialogue sounds even clearer) so that the soundbar can better focus on everything else.
JBL Bar 1000: The JBL Bar 1000 is a unique Dolby Atmos soundbar because it has battery-powered side speakers that can be detached and used as upward-firing rear-channel speakers. In total, the JBL Bar 1000 is a 7.1.4-channel home theater system that's packaged as a single soundbar. It will cost $1,149.
More Home Theater Guides
- The Best Soundbars Under $150
- Soundbar Versus Speakers: Which Is Better for Your TV Setup?
- There's a New Breed of Dolby Atmos Soundbars
- "Dolby Sound" and "Dolby Atmos": What's the Difference?
We've been writing about and reviewing audio products — including speakers, headphones, earbuds and other audio components that run the gamut from consumer to hi-fi — for near-on a decade. We also work with major brands and talk to experts within the audio industry. The below selections of Dolby Atmos soundbars are a combination of products that we've had hands-on experience with as well as products that are made by brands that are trusted within the audio space.