Finest Dolby Atmos soundbars of 2022

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Up to date Nov 17, 2022 5:45 PM

Soundbars have at all times been probably the most handy manner so as to add higher sound to your TV and, with the appearance of Dolby Atmos, they’ve change into an much more enticing choice for many who don’t need to take care of the trouble of a full encompass sound speaker system. Whether or not it’s an all-in-one unit, or one paired with a subwoofer and satellite tv for pc audio system, the perfect Dolby Atmos soundbars can ship an immersive expertise near what you’d count on from a much more elaborate setup, however with out taking on your lounge with a receiver, a number of audio system, and infinite strings of wires. 

Whereas they’re usually easy to arrange and use, selecting the best Atmos soundbar to your wants can get a bit sophisticated. Their measurement, options, and efficiency can fluctuate fairly a bit. You’ll need to be sure your funding is an efficient one. Fortunately, there are many nice choices to contemplate, and we’ve collected a number of the finest ones right here which can be certain to fulfill a spread of various wants.

What’s Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is a encompass sound know-how that creates (or simulates) “3D audio,” the place the sounds out of your film, TV present, or online game come from any level round you, together with above or under. It first appeared in theaters in 2012 earlier than making its manner into residence theater gear a couple of years later, the place it’s been broadly adopted as one of the well-liked platforms for including positional audio to sound programs.

Atmos dramatically adjustments the essential strategy to how sound programs “place” audio. As an alternative of merely assigning sounds to channels—normally 5, typically seven in a regular encompass sound setup—an Atmos-enabled system defines properly over 100 particular person sounds as “objects” that may be exactly directed round a viewing house. The official, theater-grade model of Atmos requires extra audio system than your common encompass sound system, together with ceiling-mounted audio system referred to as “top channels.” Dolby and speaker producers have discovered a couple of methods of approximating the experiences with out the extra labor wiring and mounting audio system above your sofa, starting from utilizing upward-firing audio system to bounce hold forth the ceiling, which is what you’ll discover on our soundbar picks to “digital Atmos” that simulates the expertise digitally.

There’s sufficient room for variation that the best way during which your audio system select to use Atmos can influence the standard of the sound. Our alternatives characteristic bodily upward- or top-firing audio system designed to bounce hold forth your ceiling to offer true 3D audio. We really feel that, given the expense of a mid-to-high-range soundbar system, it appears acceptable to get the absolute best steadiness between sound high quality and comfort. That stated, there are many audio system that get large efficiency out of digital Atmos, particularly in headphones and gaming headsets.

How we chosen the perfect Dolby Atmos soundbars

Shopping for a soundbar with Atmos can complicate the picking-out course of, although it’s nonetheless a better course of than, let’s say, shopping for the perfect bookshelf audio system or standalone audio system for music, as these can require A/V receivers, and so on. Even with comparatively restricted choices, nonetheless, Atmos introduces new specs to journey up on, which may make selecting one out more durable than it must be. 

Our alternatives are based mostly on our personal in-depth evaluations and soundbar testing, in addition to impressions from customers and the evaluations of different critics. Extra broadly, I additionally relied alone private expertise with residence audio gear, which has included testing and protecting tools for websites like Reviewed, Widespread Mechanics, and Engadget.

The very best Dolby Atmos soundbars: Opinions & Suggestions

Our picks for the perfect soundbars with Atmos vary from the inexpensive to the extravagant, and from easy to extra elaborate choices (there are nice soundbars yow will discover for beneath $500, however the ones on this web page primarily signify the higher tier). Whichever you select, you’ll be able to count on a number of the finest Atmos efficiency in its worth vary, and a system that it is best to have the ability to stand up and working with minimal problem. They’re additionally all versatile audio system and provide at the very least some primary wi-fi connectivity and extra options that make them well-suited for enjoying music or podcasts even when your TV is off, if not full-fledged Alexa or Google Assistant integration.

Finest total: Sony HT-A7000


Why it made the minimize: Sony’s HT-A7000 delivers the products with stellar Atmos efficiency in an expandable bundle.

Specs

  • Dimension: 51.25” x 3.25” x 5.63”
  • Speaker configuration: 7.1.2
  • Connectivity: HDMI (2), Optical, Analog, USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Execs

  • Wealthy, spacious sound
  • Loads of connectivity choices
  • Expandable with optionally available subwoofer and rear audio system

Cons

  • Including a subwoofer and rear audio system will get dear

Sony’s flagship HT-A7000 soundbar makes a powerful impression. It packs a formidable array of built-in audio system designed with spatial audio in thoughts, together with 5 entrance audio system, two up-firing audio system that mirror off the ceiling, and two “beam tweeters” that bounce hold forth the facet partitions—a built-in dual-channel subwoofer additionally provides some bass to the equation. 

You’ll additionally discover all of the connectivity choices you’re more likely to want on each the bodily and wi-fi sides of issues, the latter of which affords integration with each Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, in addition to help for Chromecast, Spotify Join, and Apple AirPlay. Like many soundbars, you’ll be able to add an optionally available subwoofer and rear audio system if you happen to like, however the soundbar itself is not any slouch by itself. 

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Once we examined the Sony HT-A7000, we discovered that it sounded nice and, particularly, that its Atmos audio system amplified motion pictures the place you had been supposed to listen to sounds coming from throughout you. What extra are you able to ask for?

Finest all-in-one: Sonos Arc

Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars

Why it made the minimize: The Sonos Arc delivers sturdy sound in one of the simplified and streamlined Atmos experiences accessible.

Specs

  • Dimension: 45 x 3.4 x 4.5 inches
  • Speaker configuration: 5.0.2
  • Connectivity: HDMI (Optical adapter included), Ethernet, Wi-Fi

Execs

  • Strong Atmos efficiency from all-in-one unit
  • A great deal of sensible options
  • Modern, understated design accessible in black or white

Cons

  • Restricted connectivity choices

Like many of the firm’s different audio system, the Sonos Arc delivers high-precision audio in a easy, however expensive bundle. The Arc’s a pretty big soundbar—45 by 3.4 by 4.5 inches—and particularly made to pair with 49-inch TVs or bigger (fortunately, we suggest the perfect 55-inch TVs, or the Sonos Beam (Gen. 2) if you happen to want a smaller, cheaper soundbar with digital Atmos). That broad shell homes a whopping 11 inside audio system, together with two devoted top channels, although, which ship room-filling sound with out the necessity for a separate subwoofer. As with all issues Sonos, the Arc may also match proper in as a part of a multi-room Sonos speaker setup, and you’ll add rear audio system and a subwoofer over time. 

If there’s a draw back, it’s that Sonos’ concentrate on simplicity might go a bit too far for severe audiophiles. The Arc solely affords Wi-Fi connectivity and never Bluetooth, and bodily connections are restricted to a single HDMI eARC port (an optical adapter is included for these with older TVs).  

Finest with a subwoofer: Samsung HW-Q990B

Samsung HW-990B soundbar product image

Why it made the minimize: With extra built-in audio system than some other soundbar on this checklist, Samsung HW-Q990B affords the closest factor to a full-fledged encompass sound system in a soundbar-based bundle.

Specs

  • Dimension: 5.4 x 2.7 x 48.5 inches
  • Speaker configuration: 11.1.4
  • Connectivity: HDMI (2), Optical, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Execs

  • Spectacular speaker configuration supplies room-filling sound
  • Ample connectivity and sensible options
  • Q-Symphony characteristic boosts sound with suitable TVs

Cons

  • Dear
  • Takes up extra retailers

With an 11.1.4-channel configuration supported by 22 particular person drivers, 4 of them up-firing, Samsung’s HW-Q990B is greater than well-equipped to deal with all the spatial audio that Atmos has to supply, and can get you about as near a full encompass sound setup as you’ll be able to with a soundbar-based system. Comprised of a premium metallic grille-wrapped soundbar, wi-fi subwoofer, and two rear encompass satellite tv for pc audio system, the HW-Q990B makes use of built-in SpaceFit Sound+ room correction and adaptive EQ to maintain all elements in sync and optimized to ship heightened immersion. Dialogue has loads of readability, whereas the subwoofer’s very substantial rumble reinforces the power of all the pieces taking place on display screen—capturing the complete dynamic vary of any content material. Not solely does the system do a wonderful job of virtualizing a 360-degree sphere from Atmos-encoded Blu-rays and/or streaming providers, however it might probably develop audio you may solid to it by way of AirPlay 2.

Although it’s not required, the HW-Q990B is an particularly sensible choice if you have already got (or are planning to purchase) a current Samsung Q-series TV, as you’ll have the ability to reap the benefits of the corporate’s Q-Symphony characteristic, which lets the soundbar sync up with the TVs built-in audio system for a good fuller sound. Although we think about it will be superb with any of the perfect QLED TVs.

Acquired a bigger room and need to double down on low notes? The Nakamichi Shockwafe Extremely 9.2.4 eARC SSE Max system comes with two subwoofers, in addition to 4 rear encompass channel audio system.

Finest high-end standalone: Sennheiser AMBEO MAX

Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars

Why it made the minimize: It’s a severe funding, however the Sennheiser AMBEO MAX rewards the listener with a stage of audio high quality and Atmos efficiency that the majority different standalone soundbars merely can’t match.

Specs

  • Dimension: 49.8 x 5.3 x 6.7 inches
  • Speaker configuration: 5.1.4
  • Connectivity: HDMI (3), Optical, RCA, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Execs

  • Wealthy, high-fidelity sound from an all-in-one soundbar
  • Ample connectivity choices
  • Suitably high-end look

Cons

  • Very costly
  • Heavy and tall

The Sennheiser AMBEO MAX is in a category of its personal. Sennheiser is not any stranger to high-end audio gear, in fact, and we discovered the AMBEO to carry out even higher than the fame that proceeded it, which was already towering. Once we examined the AMBEO, we discovered it equally well-suited to be used as your main music-listening speaker as it’s for TV, motion pictures, and video games. It additionally has all the pieces you’d count on connectivity-wise, together with three HDMI ports, optical and RCA audio, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth—and, sure, there’s additionally a subwoofer output if you happen to actually need to go loopy, although the bar already places out loads of rumble. At $2,499 for the soundbar, which is heavy and tall so does have sure house constraints, that is extra speaker than the typical particular person wants, which is why it isn’t our prime choose. In order for you the one most compelling all-in-one soundbar, although, the AMBEO is a wealthy, rewarding funding.

Finest low-profile high-resolution: Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3

B&W Panorama 2 soundbar product image

Why it made the minimize: When you imagine that the music is a key a part of film magic, this soundbar is an ideal solution to soundtrack your life.

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Specs

  • Dimension: 2.5 x 47.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Speaker configuration: 3.1.2
  • Connectivity: HDMI eARC, Digital Audio In (Toslink), AirPlay 2, Bluetooth 5.0, Spotify Join

Execs

  • Middle-channel focus & readability
  • Able to surprisingly excessive quantity
  • Plug-in-play efficiency
  • Contact-sensitive controls on prime
  • Alexa voice assistant built-in

Cons

  • Restricted connectivity and customization
  • Slim encompass sound presentation

Trendy and self-contained, Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is a soundbar that’s extra expressive than it’s expansive. Whereas the Sennheiser AMBEO MAX is a chonker that may simply cowl greater than only a sliver of a regular stand-mounted TV, the Panorama 3 is a far sleeker audiophile-oriented choice that has greater than sufficient display screen clearance regardless of housing 13 drivers in its slim chassis (although it’s lengthy, so count on it to take a seat in entrance of these large-screen legs). Being compact doesn’t imply sacrificing dynamics, nonetheless. That includes three 0.75-inch decoupled titanium-dome tweeters, six 2-inch midrange drivers, two 2-inch up-firing Dolby elevation drivers, and two 4-inch subwoofers, with no choice for expandability, the Panorama 3’s power is in its simply built-in, firmly centered, distortion-free soundstage.

Whereas motion isn’t uncared for, music particularly is rendered at a muscular tempo. Paired with an Apple TV 4K (supplying you with entry to lossless/spatial audio via Apple Music and TIDAL) or the Bowers & Wilkins Music app, the Panorama 3 has assault and management, richness and rhythm. The crisp, punchy tuning is expressive with out the soundbar itself being intrusive. The Panorama 3 might not have the most-pronounced Dolby Atmos results, however it’s articulate and greater than able to laying nuanced ambiance out in entrance of you.

Finest wi-fi: JBL Bar 9.1

Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars

Why it made the minimize: Rear audio system might now be more and more frequent in soundbar packages, however the JBL Bar 9.1 affords a handy utterly wi-fi answer.

Specs

  • Dimension: 34.8 x 2.4 x 4.7 inches
  • Speaker configuration: 5.1.4
  • Connectivity: HDMI, Optical, USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Execs

  • Removable, battery-powered satellite tv for pc audio system 
  • Massive subwoofer supplies loads of bass
  • Straightforward to arrange

Cons 

  • Comfort comes at a little bit of a premium
  • Wired audio system might make extra sense for some rooms

Most wi-fi encompass sound programs aren’t utterly untethered. Many characteristic “wi-fi” satellite tv for pc audio system that don’t must be related to a receiver or soundbar, however nonetheless must be plugged into an influence outlet. The JBL Bar 9.1 will get further credit score for providing a real wi-fi choice with two removable, battery-powered audio system that may be positioned wherever whilst you’re watching a present or film, after which merely be re-attached to the primary soundbar to recharge. The audio system get 10 hours of battery life, which is greater than sufficient for many viewing classes. Fortunately, that’s removed from the soundbar’s solely promoting level. Opinions have persistently praised the Bar 9.1’s wealthy bass and room-filling sound that’s bolstered by its massive subwoofer.

Finest finances: Vizio M-Collection M512a-H6

Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars

Why it made the minimize: Vizio affords one other nice worth for the cash with the M512a-H6, which affords a great entry level to Atmos with an inexpensive, easy-to-set-up system.

Specs

  • Dimension: 40.00 x 2.68 x 4.07 inches
  • Speaker configuration: 5.1.2
  • Connectivity: HDMI, Optical, Analog, USB, Bluetooth

Execs

  • Inexpensive
  • Rear audio system included
  • Straightforward to arrange

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi
  • Rear audio system are wired to subwoofer

Vizio makes some pretty high-end gear, however the firm is finest identified for its extra inexpensive gear that tends to supply a number of the finest worth you’re more likely to discover for the cash. That’s simply as true for soundbars as it’s for TVs. The corporate’s M-Collection M512a-H6 isn’t the least costly soundbar you’ll discover, however it’s among the many most inexpensive that gives a real Atmos expertise with up-firing audio system. You’re additionally getting plenty of {hardware} for the pair of wired satellite tv for pc audio system and a separate subwoofer. 

Opinions reward the M512a-H6’s sound high quality and straightforward setup, however there it is best to count on some trade-offs on this worth vary. The M-Collection M512a-H6, for instance, solely options Bluetooth wi-fi connectivity, not Wi-Fi. Which means no Chromecast or AirPlay help, and no Alexa or Google Assistant integration.

What to contemplate earlier than shopping for a Dolby Atmos soundbar

Discovering the perfect Dolby Atmos soundbar isn’t that a lot completely different from selecting some other sound system. You need to take into consideration sound high quality, your viewing house, and what you actually need, features-wise, because the higher limits on residence theater audio spending will scale as excessive as you allow them to. These are a couple of primary concepts we predict it is best to take note when selecting out the perfect Dolby Atmos soundbar for you.

Check out the ceiling

As with all speaker, the precise room a soundbar is in, and the location of the soundbar, can have a substantial influence on the sound. With Atmos and soundbars with upward-firing audio system bouncing hold forth the ceiling, that turns into much more vital. Dolby recommends a flat 7.5- to 12-foot-tall ceiling, and also you’ll need to ensure that nothing (together with your TV) will get in the best way of the upward-firing audio system. Clearly, most of us aren’t able to regulate or swap our lounge up for the sake of our sound system. If in case you have a low and/or not-flat ceiling over your soundbar, preserve an eye fixed out for fashions with calibration instruments that may enable you to take the additional steps wanted to make your system sound the perfect it might probably.

Would you like an all-in-one soundbar or a extra elaborate system?

Although it’s a bit counterintuitive, a soundbar is at all times an all-in-one speaker system. There are soundbars that include subwoofers and others that characteristic rear and/or facet audio system for all-encompassing encompass sound. In a multi-speaker system, the soundbar usually serves because the entrance three audio system of a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system.

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Similar to the choice between a soundbar and different audio system, selecting the variety of audio system can be a query of comfort and worth, versus superior sound high quality. An all-in-one soundbar is probably the most handy choice and normally extra inexpensive, however pairing a soundbar with a subwoofer offers you extra bass and a richer, fuller sound. Putting in rear satellite tv for pc audio system takes a bit further time and planning, however turns a encompass sound simulation into the actual factor. Usually talking, even probably the most complicated speaker system is fairly to arrange, particularly for programs that characteristic wi-fi rear audio system.

How will you join it to your TV?

We’ve a whole information for find out how to join a soundbar to a TV, however there are a couple of fundamentals to bear in mind earlier than you purchase a soundbar. Crucial for Atmos soundbars, particularly, is that your TV ought to have an HDMI eARC port to get probably the most out of your soundbar and your Atmos content material (and make that an HDMI 2.1 port if you happen to’re going to patch in gaming consoles). The “eARC” half stands for Enhanced Audio Return Channel and it’s simply that: an improved customary that gives extra options and extra bandwidth. 

You may join many of the soundbars right here with a regular HDMI cable or optical cable, however you’ll want an eARC port to reap the benefits of the very best bit charges and all the options that Atmos has to supply. The dangerous information is that eARC is a comparatively current customary and has solely been included on TVs since 2018. In case your TV doesn’t help it, you’ll be able to at all times spend money on one in every of these soundbars at times reap the benefits of the complete Atmos expertise everytime you do ultimately improve your TV, however it’s one thing to bear in mind if you happen to’re not trying to purchase a brand new TV anytime quickly.

Does it help a digital assistant?

For many individuals, a soundbar can be going to be the primary speaker system of their residence or condominium, which may make options that will appear extraneous to some all of the extra vital. When you frequently use sensible audio system with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, as an example, you could need to search for a soundbar that helps the identical digital assistant. Bluetooth has additionally change into a regular characteristic on most soundbars, however Wi-Fi connectivity can provide a number of benefits, together with higher sound high quality and help for wi-fi streaming by way of Apple AirPlay or Google Chromecast.

FAQs

Q: Does Dolby Atmos actually make a distinction?

You’ll discover when a very good soundbar helps Atmos. Whereas it received’t utterly match a room stuffed with audio system, an Atmos soundbar with up-firing audio system can nonetheless get fairly near that have. There have been many hyped-up audio codecs through the years, however Dolby Atmos has actually modified issues. In contrast to conventional encompass sound programs that depend on channels to direct sound round a room, Atmos’ object-based audio can exactly place sounds at any level in 360-degree house, and never merely sound like they’re coming from left or proper, entrance or rear channels. With a full theater-like setup, together with in-ceiling audio system, the impact will be utterly immersive and make it appear to be you might be within the middle of the motion of what’s taking place on display screen. Or step as much as a really premium all-in-one soundbar just like the Sennheiser AMBEO and get that immersive expertise with out having to put one other part or string a single wire.

Q: Is a soundbar higher than a encompass sound system?

A correctly set-up encompass sound system will nearly at all times outperform a soundbar—even one with a subwoofer and added rear audio system—however that efficiency relies on how a lot of your time, cash, and house you’re prepared to dedicate to your property theater. For most individuals, the trade-offs that include a soundbar are greater than acceptable, and the perfect ones can get you near theater-like sound with minimal disruption to your residing house.  

Q: Are high-end soundbars value it?

Not surprisingly, the reply to this query received’t be the identical for everybody. As with all speaker system, higher-end soundbars offers you a stage of efficiency that extra inexpensive choices merely can’t match. That stated, residence theater homeowners who aren’t already veteran audiophiles will probably discover a candy spot that sounds nice for them properly under the highest-quality gear. For the typical listener, a $3,000 soundbar in all probability received’t sound 3 times higher than a $1,000 soundbar. It sounds noticeably higher, nonetheless, and that added efficiency shall be value the additional $2,000 for some. The worth of any particular improve comes down to private style.

Last ideas on the perfect Dolby Atmos soundbars

For many individuals, Atmos-equipped soundbars ought to hit the candy spot for TV audio, balancing comfort and value, versus sound high quality and enhanced immersion. They provide a more true encompass sound expertise than extra restricted soundbars and are available a bundle that’s way more handy than a multi-part encompass sound setup. Now that Atmos is a couple of years previous, loads of nice soundbars help the format, making it a viable improve for most individuals fascinated with a soundbar. The important thing, as at all times, is figuring out the options you care about most, and investing correctly.