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Best Dolby Atmos soundbar: Elevate your TV sound

Dolby Atmos allows for a bigger, wider and more immersive sound than what you’d get from a traditional stereo soundbar, bringing the listener even closer to the action unfolding on the TV screen.

The technology has been around for a few years now, and you can find it on expensive soundbars as well as affordable ones too. But just because a soundbar puts the Dolby Atmos logo on its side doesn’t mean it offers a great performance. Helping you know which one to get is where we can assist.

Atmos soundbars are available in different sizes, with some needing a wide berth and others suited for smaller spaces. Their speaker set-ups aren’t the same either as some feature upfiring drivers to bounce sounds off the ceiling to your ears or achieve the trick digital processing. There’s also the case of soundbar systems that offer surround sound but without the mess of cables trailing across the floor.

We’ve listened to plenty of music and watched lots of films in Dolby Atmos to understand how they deal with content and how good they sound. The entries that feature on this list are the wheat sorted from the chaff.

If you’re not interested in the whizz-bang sonics of an Atmos soundbar, then you can have a look at our best soundbars page where we look to include stereo soundbars alongside Atmos efforts. Of if you’re after true Atmos immersion, have a look at our best surround sound systems as well.

Best Dolby Atmos soundbars at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test soundbars

Soundbars were created to boost TV sound quality – which means we end up watching a lot of TV. We play everything – news reports for voices, movies for scale and effects steering – to ensure that the soundbars that come through the doors at Trusted Reviews are given a proper challenge. We’ll play different genres of music, too, since a good soundbar should be capable of doubling-up as a great music system.

More complex soundbars feature network functionality for hooking up to other speakers and playing music around the home, so we test for connectivity issues and ease of use. We cover the spectrum of models available, everything from cheap soundbars costing less than £100 to those over £1000, to ensure our reviews benefit from our extensive market knowledge. Every product is compared to similarly priced rivals, too.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Max

Best Dolby Atmos soundbar
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  • Superb 3D audio performance
  • As good with music as it is movies


  • Eye-wateringly expensive
  • Big and not exactly pretty

The Sennheiser Ambeo Max soundbar is one of the best soundbars on the market, although its performance comes at a significant hit to the wallet and an asking price of over two grand.

Much like the price, the Ambeo soundbar doesn’t offer compromises in its design, stretching to over a metre long, which means you will need space to accommodate it. At 18.5kg it’s a heavy beast, heavier than 12kg Devialet Dione, a soundbar we already felt was pretty heavy.

It’s one of few all-in-one soundbars we’ve found live up to the claim of immersive audio, placing effects above, to the side and even behind our sitting position for a fantastically involving and engaging performance. There’s a powerful sense of bass for a soundbar that doesn’t come with a subwoofer (though you can add one through the wired connection), and it paints a soundstage with plenty of depth and detail. You’ll want to make sure the Ambeo processing is switched on, as without it we found the bar’s performance lost a sense of depth and height.

As well as supporting Dolby Atmos, there’s support for DTS:X and the lesser supported MPEG-H, which offers choice of home cinema enthusiasts to hear their physical media collection in immersive sound. The range of connectivity is also good, with three HDMI inputs (for plugging to the TV as well adding sources), aux-in, digital optical out along side Bluetooth 4.2 and Google Chromecast.

The Sennheiser is a soundbar that offers thrilling sound and plays all types of content. If you don’t have space for a surround sound system, the Ambeo would make for a good alternative that takes up less space. Even after a few years on the market, we still rate it as our favourite Atmos soundbar.

Reviewer: Steve May
Full Review: Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Max

Samsung HW-Q990B

Best Dolby Atmos soundbar system
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  • Delivers a true surround sound experience
  • Outstanding Dolby Atmos performance
  • Two HDMI inputs


  • More clutter than a single-bar solution
  • No 4K 120Hz pass-through
  • Music doesn’t sound as good as movies

Traditional surround speaker packages can be bulky and inconvenient with wires trailing across the floor. A wireless soundbar system takes up less space and has the benefit of featuring no wires, and therefore a cleaner installation. And one of the best proponents of a wireless soundbar system yet is Samsung’s HW-Q900B.

Initially available at £1599, it’s come down to £979, and what you get for that outlay is a soundbar, subwoofer and two rear speakers that feature upfiring Dolby Atmos speakers. When it comes to delivering that epic, high quality sound experience for movies and TV, there’s no soundbar system better than the Q990B.

Our reviewer felt it delivered a true Atmos (and DTS:X) performance, surrounding the listener with a hemisphere of sound with its 11.1.4-channel set-up. All gaps within the soundstage are filled by that enormous driver set-up, the rear speaker channels blending well with the front speakers, vocals sound clear and rich, while the soundbar is able to place sounds and effects expertly around the soundstage with accuracy.

The subwoofer fleshes out the lower frequency range, delivering more expressive bass levels than we’ve heard from Samsung’s other subwoofers, and it’s also integrated well within the rest of the frequency range so the bass doesn’t hog the limelight. The Samsung Q990B also delivers a acute sense of dynamism, giving lots of energy and excitement to explosive sounds.

There’s Q-Symphony support that joins the soundbar’s speakers to a compatible Samsung TV speaker for a even bigger soundstage, and there’s Alexa voice recognition, although for gaming there’s no 4K 120Hz support. Given that’s still a rare feature, we wouldn’t say that’s a big miss, but it might be an area where the Samsung isn’t as future-proofed. Two HDMI inputs will help home cinema enthusiasts looking to plug in more sources.

A weakness our reviewer noted with the HW-Q990B is that it didn’t sound particularly great with music, especially more complex arrangements, with the bass sounding detached from the rest of the frequency range. It’s a blip on what is an excellent soundbar system that’s more affordable than rivals from LG and the JBL Bar 1300.

Reviewer: John Archer
Full Review: Samsung HW-Q990B

Samsung HW-Q700B

Best mid-range Dolby Atmos soundbar
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  • Crisp, entertaining presentation
  • HDMI input for local sources
  • Extra features for Samsung TV owners


  • No sense of deep Atmos immersion
  • Front LED often difficult to read
  • Prosaic design

For those that don’t want to pay over the odds for a Dolby Atmos soundbar but still want a high quality experience, then the midrange HW-Q700B serves as an excellent option. When we reviewed it was priced at $699 / £699, but it’s fallen even further to less than £400 to make it an unmissable purchase.

Compared to the set-up HW-Q800B, it has far fewer channels at its disposal with 3.1.2 system. We found it be excellent for dialogue clarity, making it easy to follow what’s being said by characters even in busy action sequences. Its sense of Atmos is convincing, a film such as Netflix’s The Gray Man benefits from the soundstage being expanded.

We did find caveats to note. There are no rear speakers like you’d get with the HW-Q990B (although you can upgrade to add a wireless rear speaker package to this bar), and the lack of side-firing speakers for additional reflectivity of sound in a room does make the Q700B very left/centre/right focused.

The crossover point between the main bar and the subwoofer is well done, with the sub putting in a punchy, hard-hitting performance, though it doesn’t the biggest sense of depth and extension.

It is DTS:X compatible and also comes with an HDMI input that supports 4K HDR passthrough if you want to plug a source directly into the bar. If you have a compatible Samsung TV, the Q Symphony feature allows the soundbar to work in tandem with the TV’s speakers to deliver a bigger sound and our reviewer very much the implementation of Q Symphony on this soundbar.

Its fall in price makes it more affordable than the Sonos Beam Gen 2 and Polk Signa S4, and you also get a subwoofer thrown in for good measure. It was a great value buy at its original price, and now it offers even more tremendous value.

Reviewer: Steve May
Full Review: Samsung HW-Q700B

Sony HT-A7000

Best Dolby Atmos soundbar under £2000
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  • Well-featured
  • Excellent sonic performance
  • Strong bass for a single bar
  • Terrific music performance


  • Needs plenty of space
  • Adding subwoofer and rear channels is expensive
  • Standalone bar is pricey

If you’re not willing to part with the cash (or the size) of the Ambeo Max, there are plenty of capable Dolby Atmos soundbars for less than $2000 / £2000, of which the Sony HT-A7000 is one of our favourites.

Capable of a 7.1.2 channel set-up with Atmos, the A7000 presented a tall and wide soundstage that’s bigger than you’d get from a stereo soundbar. The Vertical Surround Engine along with the upfiring drivers help produce a detailed ‘height’ performance with lots of clarity. Its tone is crisp, which helps to extract lots of detail from film soundtracks, as well as a sharpness that presents the likes of action films with plenty of sonic attack and punch.

Sony’s claims of virtual surround sound didn’t convince us much, but the A7000’s sound is better optimised in a room with walls or surfaces it can bounce sounds off, which is not an environment our testing rooms had at the time of review.

Along with its convincing performance with movies, the HT-A7000 also performed well when we put music on with a punchy low end, natural reproduction of the mid-range and sharp highs. We’d suggest putting the soundbar into its Cinema mode rather Music, as that elicits a smoother vocal performance.

Connectivity is wide-ranging with a couple of HDMI inputs to plug sources into for home cinema fans, and plenty of means to fire wireless audio at the bar with AirPlay 2, Bluetooth 5, Spotify Connect and a Google Chromecast built in, as well as support for Hi-Res Audio with DSD and the wireless LDAC format. There is the ability to add rear speakers and a subwoofer to create a proper surround sound performance but that adds considerable cost to the Sony’s original asking price.

Compared to other soundbars, the A7000’s mix of various materials (glass top surface and felt, among others), might be considered divisive but we liked it. Like other all-in-one soundbars such as the Sennheiser Ambeo Max and Devialet Dione, this is quite a wide effort to accommodate on a stand or piece of furniture, and we’d recommend partnering the HT-A7000 with a telly that’s 55-inches or bigger.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: Sony HT-A7000

Sonos Arc

Best Dolby Atmos soundbar under £1000
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  • Expansive, well-defined and invigorating sound
  • Good impression of audio height and width
  • Fine spec
  • Ample control options


  • Slightly bumpy frequency response
  • Some treble stridency
  • No MQA support

There are more ‘affordable’ Dolby Atmos soundbars out there that you can get for less than $1000 / £1000, but in terms of performance we’d rate the Sonos Arc as the best choice over the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3.

The Arc was the first time Sonos took a crack at Dolby Atmos, and we found it did the technology justice, describing a soundstage width plenty of width and height for an expansive Atmos presentation. It’s also a bar that presents soundtracks with plenty of detail, as well as offering good control of higher frequencies for a balanced tone.

However, our reviewer did find issues with how it handled the transition between the lows and mids, which wasn’t the most fluid and that lead to a performance that wasn’t as cohesive as we’d have liked. While it also handles music well, the same issue between the midrange and lower frequencies could be heard in a more obvious manner.

Connectivity is decent with HDMI eARC (you will need a TV that supports eARC to get the most from this bar), with an Ethernet for wired connection to the internet but no HDMI inputs (which is a disappointment). There’s more variety in the Arc’s wireless options with Wi-Fi bringing access to the Sonos S2 app that allows the Arc to join other Sonos speakers in a multi-room system (you can also do the same with AirPlay 2).

The S2 app features access to Spotify, TidalDeezer, and Qobuz among others to cater for your music needs, while those with an iOS device can take advantage of Trueplay that optimises the performance of the Arc to suit any room. For those already within the Sonos ecosystem, the Arc makes sense if you’re interested in levelling up your TV audio with Atmos, and it’s capable at handling music too. If the Arc is too big and you need something smaller, then Sonos already has a prospective buy in mind for that…

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full review:  Sonos Arc

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

Best compact Dolby Atmos soundbar
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  • Clean and balanced sound
  • Upgradeable
  • Excellent size
  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support


  • HDMI eARC input only
  • Limited DTS support

The common design aspect of Dolby Atmos soundbars featured in this list is that they are big. But in the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a soundbar that’s suited to fitting smaller spaces.

It has gone up in price to £499 / $499, a hike of £50 / $50 on what it originally retailed at. If that’s too dear, there are a number of alternatives in the compact bar market such as the Polk MagniFi Mini AX and Samsung HW-S61B.

There are subtle design tweaks from the original that bring it in line with the more modern look of the Arc soundbar, but in terms of size it’s only little smaller. While the Arc is best suited to TVs 55-inches or bigger, the Beam Gen 2 works best with TV’s up to 49-inches. We found the Beam is really for smaller rooms, while the Arc is there if you have a bigger living room/space.

More tweaks come in the form of eARC support where the original featured HDMI ARC, while the rest of the physical connection options remains the same with a bundled optical adapter for connection to TVs without a HDMI input.

While the eARC port allows for Atmos, the Wi-Fi adds a roster of streaming services and features as long as your arm through the Sonos S2 app. If you’re already in the Sonos fold, you can add the Beam to a multi-room setup of speakers, call up Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa digital assistants and initiate Trueplay (with an iOS device) that equalises the Beam’s sound to match the acoustics of the environment it is in.

For its relatively small size, we found the Beam to sound exceptionally good. Its Dolby Atmos performance doesn’t make use of upfiring speakers but through digital processing, so while when we watched Captain Marvel from Disney+ in Atmos the dimensionality present in the Arc wasn’t as strongly felt, it’s still a good performance overall.

For a compact bar we felt the Beam (Gen 2) offered up some solid bass performance, and while it doesn’t have as much range as the Arc due to its slightly more compressed sound, we did feel that it’s audio performance on the whole was balanced. It also impressed us with its handling of music, too, dealing with bass without causing distortion, and handles the more subtle stuff with a good level of nuance and delicacy. As means of getting Atmos into the home, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 is a great way of doing so.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Sonos Beam Gen 2

Bose Smart Soundbar 600

Best alternative compact Atmos soundbar
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  • Big and convincing Dolby Atmos sound
  • Can easily become part of a wider system
  • Neat and discreet


  • Lacks a little conviction with non-Atmos content
  • Best rivals are very good indeed
  • Wall-bracket is a cost option

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 offers big and convincing Dolby Atmos sound in a small and tidy package. Like the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), the Smart Soundbar 600 has a compact design and is available for a similar price at $499 / £499. 

Our reviewer found the Smart Soundbar 600 to be a discreet-looking speaker, one that can be easily perched beneath a small TV or mount on a wall. The high-quality plastic and perforated metal build feels both premium and understated, making it a sleek and subtle choice.

The soundbar comes with a credit card-sized remote with tactile buttons. For those looking to ditch the remote, there’s also the option to control the soundbar hands-free with Amazon Alexa

The Smart Soundbar 600 supports both wired and wireless connectivity with an eARC HDMI port to hook up to a TV, as well as a wide range of wireless options that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, AirPlay 2, Chromecast and Spotify Connect. 

The small soundbar packs five drivers to blast Dolby Atmos content, along with Bose’s TrueSpace algorithm to create a sense of immersive audio from any song or soundtrack. The bass and treble levels are also customisable within the Bose Music app, so you can finetune the sound to your liking. We found the Smart Soundbar 600 doesn’t fall short when it comes to its audio performance, our reviewer found the sound was dynamic and detailed, the soundbar’s soundstaging was in creating a good sense of width and height despite its small size. 

There’s competition from the Sonos Beam Gen 2, Denon Home 550 Sound bar and Samsung’s HW-S61B, but if you’re looking for a compact Atmos soundbar, the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is certainly worth consideration. 

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full Review: Bose Smart Soundbar 600

Samsung HW-S61B

Best compact Dolby Atmos soundbar under £300
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  • Sharp, clear and spacious sound
  • Small footprint
  • Affordable at its current price
  • Wall-mount brackets included


  • LED menu is practically invisible from a seated position
  • No HDMI eARC

Compact soundbars have become very popular purchase in recent years as customers with relatively space can still upgrade their TV sound without having to pair them with a massive sound system. And in our opinion, the Samsung HW-S61B is one of the better options if you’re not looking to spend much.

It was priced to rival the likes of the Sonos Beam and Bose Smart Soundbar 600, but it’s had a string of price cuts to bring it to less than £300, and in our minds that makes the S61B a bargain buy.

Its audio performance is crisp, clear and punchy, along with detailed and spacious for a compact bar. It offers plenty of energy and outright attack that easily betters anything a TV can produce. Its built-in subwoofer produces a punchy performance, adding impact to action scenes. With Atmos content, the soundstage is projected up and to the sides; much bigger than the dimensions of the bar and TV it’s partnered with, producing plenty of size and scale to go with Hollywood blockbusters.

It doesn’t project its sounds into a room, so the soundstage it describes is still a fairly flat one that sits in front of the viewer. Nevertheless, it’s sense of dynamism and intensity that it can bring to the table makes for a consistently engaging listen. It’s not a speaker that needs to be firing on all cylinders to grab the attention either, able to communicate the subtlety and detail of quieter scenes in an immersive way too.

It’s pretty solid performer with music content whether it’s sent to the S61B over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, though the former produces a clearer, more detailed performance. The lack of HDMI eARC is a disappointment as it means you won’t be getting the highest quality Dolby Atmos sound possible, and we’re not big fans of the design when it comes to placement of the LED screen. We can barely see it at the best of times given how small it is.

There are other options in the market if you are looking for a soundbar and subwoofer combo, most notably the Polk MagniFi Mini AX, but its Atmos performance isn’t as convincing as the Samsung.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: Samsung HW-S61B

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What’s the best Dolby Atmos soundbar?

If money was no object, we’d say that the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is the best on the market. Despite being a single bar effort, it offers a pretty impressive Atmos effect

What’s the best Dolby Atmos soundbar for a small room?

If space is at a premium then the Sonos Beam Gen 2 is a worthy choice. It’s a compact effort, that puts in a balanced, detailed performance and good bass for its size.

Comparison specs

Quiet Mark Accredited
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Rear Speaker

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