The best Dolby Atmos soundbars allow you to hear your favorite movies and TV shows in a way that’s more immersive and natural. That's because Dolby Atmos is a surround sound audio format that isolates audio to individual objects – someone screaming, a dog barking, a helicopter overhead – that can be mapped in 3D space, rather than being attached to a particular speaker in a setup.
So if you can see a helicopter on screen flying above your head, it’ll sound as if it’s flying over your head, too. Essentially, sound is placed where it naturally would be based on what you’re watching on the screen, with more precision and effectiveness than regular surround sound.
You won’t get the same uncompromised presentation of Dolby Atmos soundtracks that the best AV receivers deliver when paired with a surround sound speaker system, but those setups take up a lot of space and can be expensive. That’s where the best soundbars show their advantage, and the best Dolby Atmos soundbars are the easy way to deliver a powerful home theater experience.
Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, and has over a decade of experience in tech publishing. He has been writing about the latest TVs and soundbars since 2017. CES 2024 has been and gone, which gave us a glimpse of all the new soundbars on the horizon. Matt was most impressed by the announcement from Samsung about the HW-Q990D.
The quick list
In a hurry but need to find the best Dolby Atmos soundbar for you? Take a look at our quick list below which covers a soundbar that will suit every budget and situation. You can still check out more detailed reviews of each soundbar below.
Best Dolby Atmos soundbar for most people
The Q800C is hard to beat when it comes to value. It offers the best feature set and most convincing 3D sound quality that we've found so far in a 5.1.2 set up.
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Best budget Dolby Atmos soundbar
Don't be fooled by its unassuming small size, Sony's HT-S2000 can achieve an impressive level immersion for a very affordable entry-level price.
Best mid-range Dolby Atmos soundbar
Offering 3.1.2 channels of immersive sound, the HW-Q700C soundbar and sub combo is by far the best mid-range option around for unlocking hi-res, 3D audio.
Best premium Dolby Atmos soundbar
Samsung has completely knocked it out of the park with the Q990C. The sheer power and class-leading immersion that this is capable of makes it our favorite high-end pick.
Best compact form
Best compact Dolby Atmos soundbar
Want to get closer to that home theater sound but don't have a lot space for a full surround sound system? Bose has the solution with the Smart Soundbar 600.
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Best for flexibility
The best soundbar for sheer flexibility
With four HDMI ports to connect other sources and rechargeable, wireless surround speakers, the JBL 1300X really adapts to what you need.
Best Sonos soundbar
The best soundbar for Sonos fans
Sonos' soundbars are all excellent quality, but the Sonos Arc's dynamic sound, Dolby Atmos support and strong, built-in bass that puts it at the top of the Sonos family.
The best soundbars of 2024
Why you can trust TechRadar
The best Dolby Atmos soundbar for most people
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you're looking for a Dolby Atmos soundbar with a powerful performance that exceeds its price tag, then the Samsung HW-Q800C is our top pick that we think will suit most people. The HW-Q800C supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, with two upfiring drivers to deliver the height channels. It also boasts support for a wide range of music files, like hi-res FLAC. You also get an HDMI passthrough system, and if you use the soundbar with a recent Samsung TV you can use Samsung's Q-Symphony tech.
During our testing we found that the Q800C delivers spectacular power and excellent channel steering for movies and TV shows. Bass is also deep, the dialog is clear, and spatial effects are convincing, even without any rear speakers.
Looks-wise it's got an industrial aesthetic. The Samsung HW-Q800C’s main soundbar component looks a lot like its