Today we are having some real fun as we try to find the best Dolby Atmos soundbar. Not too long ago we had a look for the 5 Best Soundbars with Subwoofer below $200 which was a lot of fun, but today the soundbars we are looking at must offer Dolby Atmos support! I will admit right off the bat that these are not some of the more affordable soundbars out there right now, but if you want this kind of sound you have to pay for it. I am sure that there are some great deals out there so be sure to shop around before parting with your hard earned cash!
What Is Dolby Atmos?
Without aging myself, I vividly remember back in the day when Dolby Stereo was the new and big thing that you wanted. Now we have Dolby Atmos and I wanted to take a little look at what that is. The basic idea of Dolby Atmos is that it puts you in the center of what it is you are experiencing be it a song or a movie. Not everything has a Dolby Atmos track, but ones that do are easy to find, A Quiet Place on 4K for example has a Dolby Atmos track, but the regular DVD does not. Many streaming services such as Netflix offer Dolby Atmos. Actually, the Netflix original The Mitchells vs The Machines has a tremendous Dolby Atmos track.
You, Will, Need More Than Just The Soundbar
It is all about bringing the cinema (and concert) experience home. As amazing as it is, you do need additional equipment. So, while we are looking at the best Dolby Atmos Soundbar, the minimum requirement to get Dolby Atmos is a 5.1. 2 system. So as well as the soundbar in the center you will also need a subwoofer. You also need speakers at the front, I prefer large speakers like ones that are featured in our Best Floorstanding Speakers Under $300 article. You will also need two rear speakers as well, the idea being that you are surrounded by sound. Some soundbars do say that you get full Dolby Atmos or 3D surround sound just from the bar without rear speakers, but I have not yet been fully convinced by this, but someday I would love to be!
The Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar
I had a lot of fun putting some of these soundbars through their paces to try and find which one I felt was the best! At the end of the day, these are just the opinion on of one man (a very handsome man I might add) so be sure to do as much research as you feel you need to do before you are comfortable making your own informed decision.
1: Sonos Arc
2: Samsung HW-Q800A
3: Sony HT-ST5000
4: Yamaha YSP-5600
5: Bose Smart Soundbar 900
We are starting with a soundbar that I know very well and that is the Sonos Arc which I am a huge fan of. As of me writing this the asking price for the Sonos Arc is $799.99. However, if you are patient, I have seen it for as much as 100 bucks lower. So be sure to shop around. I had to put this on our best Dolby Atmos soundbar list as it is a truly awesome soundbar. I love the design this thing has, it comes in both black and white, but I have only checked out the black version. The dimensions of this are 3.4” x 45” x 4.5 so it is pretty damn long. Like other soundbars, the Sonos Arc is mainly made from plastic, but what makes this standout is the curvy design of this and the grille has a kind of futuristic look to it. On the back, you have your HDMI arc port and that is all as there is no optical cable connectivity with this, but it does come with an HDMI to optical cable if you need it.
As the centerpiece of your Dolby Atmos setup, I can hand on heart say that you will not be disappointed with what the Sonos Arc offers. If you look on the site at articles such as Bose Lifestyle 650 vs Sonos Arc you know how much I enjoy the sound that this offers. The vocal clarity this produces is just staggering and when paired with the right subwoofer and other speakers, it is truly going to come into its own. I think that loud action movies too really sound great pumped through this and this is very close to movie theatre quality sound, but right in the comfort of your own home. Even without Dolby Atmos and just used in the most basic sense, this is very impressive.
What Other People Are Saying
Over at Amazon, the Sonos Arc is currently sitting at 93 percent positive reviews from close to 600 customer reviews! The majority of people who have this are very happy with it. Be sure to have a look at this Sonos Arc Video Review which shows you why it is probably the best soundbar that Sonos has made to date.
One movie that I can personally tell you sounds amazing when utilizing Dolby Atmos via the Sonos Arc is Black Panther. The movie has some really diverse music going on here with more tribal stuff when they are in Wakanda as well as some hip-hop too. The chanting, the soft way that T’Challa talks, and the loud action scenes all sound like they did in the theatre.
It is easy to see why I had to have the Sonos Arc on our best Dolby Atmos Soundbar list. This as of me writing is the best of the best that Sonos offers and it is so amazing, I cannot imagine what they are going to come out with next. I do not know anyone that has used this who has not been very, very impressed.
- I love the curvy design of the soundbar
- The Dolby Atmos sounds amazing
- It comes in black and white
- I think the asking price is very fair
- This does not have a remote, you must use an app
- The white version is sure to be a magnet for dust!
Next up we have the Samsung HW-Q800A which as of me writing is a rather new soundbar. While I have tested this, I have only had the pleasure of being able to use it for a few days before I had to send it back so please keep that in mind. The price for this is all over the place, but you can expect to pay between $750 and $800 which for a soundbar of this quality is not that bad. This does come with a dedicated subwoofer so that is pretty awesome. The dimensions of the Samsung HW-Q800A are, 4.5 x 38.6 x 2.4 inches so it is not one of the larger soundbars. I love the design of this, the metal grille over that sleek black plastic body and the angular design gives this a very futuristic kind of look to it. It also has all of the inputs you need such as optical in, HDMI Arc, and full HDMI as well.
The first time I used this I was blown away, the rumble that the subwoofer produced along with the intense sound that was being blasted my way was a great combination. However, the vocal clarity that this has with its clear voice I think you could argue is second to none. The Dolby Atmos was very impressive here and I think that it was very close to cinema quality sound and I would bet most people would not be able to tell the difference. No matter if it is loud action movies or more dialogue heavy stuff, you will be very impressed by the sound you are getting with the Samsung HW-Q800A.
What Other People Are Saying
This is one of the most popular soundbars on this list. As of me writing, this Amazon has a very impressive, 2,485 customer reviews for this. They are sitting at 90 percent positive reviews which is impressive and shows that most people really do like this. Have a look at this Samsung Q800A Dolby Atmos Soundbar Review which shows this thing off a little bit and you can see why people are so high on this soundbar.
If you want to see why the Samsung HW-Q800A made it onto this best Dolby Atmos soundbar list one movie I highly recommend that you check out is Ready Player One. Not only is this one of the best sci-fi movies to come out in the last decade in my opinion. It has a tremendous soundtrack and it has all these video game sound effects that truly come at you with the power of Dolby Atmos. This movie would actually be a great showcase for any one of these soundbars!
I have to say that I think the Samsung HW-Q800A is spectacular in pretty much every way. I know that some people do not like the way Samsung wants you to use all Samsung products in your home, but this really is an amazing soundbar. Thanks to the included subwoofer you are already one extra step closer to getting that full Dolby Atmos experience at home!
- I love the angular design of the soundbar
- It comes with a subwoofer packaged in
- It has many different sound features to play around with
- I was very impressed with the Dolby Atmos this offered
- That angular design might not be to everyone’s taste
- Samsung does want to take over all your electrical needs in your home!
I know that the close to a grand asking price of the Sony HT-ST5000 may make your eyes water, but we could not have this best Dolby Atmos soundbar article and not feature Sony on it, could we? I will say that this is quite a big soundbar coming in at 46.5″ x 3.2″ x 5.6″ so make sure your unit can handle it. While the price is high, this does include a subwoofer so when you factor that in the price is much easier to deal with. I love the way this looks, it has that Sony elegance all throughout. I love the metal grille on the front which can be removed if you want. It has that black Sony design which I just love. On the back, this thing is stacked with inputs. You can connect via Bluetooth, HDMI, and optical so all of your needs are taken care of with this.
As far as the sound goes, I was very impressed. I will admit that the way it handles Dolby Atmos and its “surround sound” features do not fill the room as I think they intended, but this thing still sounds great. You have various presets that you can play around with such as having the ability for clear voice, the major settings can all quickly and easily be enabled by the remote control. As much as I love Sony, I do have to admit that when I cranked the sound all the way up there was a tad of distortion. Of course, this could have been my wife smacking me around the head for turning it up so loud, but I do not think it was.
What Other People Are Saying
I will admit that when it comes to Sony, I am usually a bit biased and give them the benefit of the doubt more often than not. Still, with that being said the reception to this for the most part is positive. Amazon has close to 300 customer reviews and it is sitting at 74 percent positive reviews which for something that costs this much is not as high as I would like to have seen. I found a video called, Sony’s HT-ST5000 Atmos Sound Bar Sounds Beautiful which I recommend you check out if you want to see what this thing is capable of. However, I would advise doing as much research as you can on this before pulling the trigger.
One of my all time favorite war movies is one that was released quite recently and that is 1917. Not only is this an absolutely epic movie from start to end. It has one of the best Dolby Atmos tracks I have ever heard. If I worked in an electronics store and had to show off what Dolby Atmos was like to a new customer, I actually think this would be the movie that I would choose!
We all know what a Sony fanboy I am and I do think that the Sony HT-ST5000 is very impressive. However, on this list looking for the best Dolby Atmos soundbar, we have some very stiff competition and I am not sure it is offering enough of a wow factor to justify that close to a grand asking price. I like this, but I am not in love with it is probably the best way I can describe this.
- It is one of the coolest looking soundbars I have seen
- You get all the connection options you could possibly need
- It does come with a fantastic subwoofer
- I liked how the remote had all the main features accessible with one button
- This is a very large soundbar, perhaps too large for some people
- At louder volumes, the sound quality was not quite there if I am being honest
Next up we have the Yamaha YSP-5600 which full disclosure I have not personally used. Still, I loved the Yamaha YAS-209 and when I heard that this offered Dolby Atmos I thought it was worthy of taking a close look at. Currently, on Amazon, this is priced at a whopping $1,599,95 so it is very expensive. This thing is a monster and one of the most impressive looking soundbars that I have seen. The reason that it is so large is that this is a 7.1.2-channel system. Still, even though this is large, it looks very cool. The black plastic and metal grille that they have used gives this a very movie theatre kind of look and while it can stand up on a TV unit, I do get the impression that Yamaha designed this with being mounted on a wall in mind. On the back, you have a ton of connection options such as HDMI, optical, and even standard red and white jacks too. For a home theatre, something like this would be great.
Now, as I have not managed to get my hands on one of these to test out yet, I cannot say for sure what the sound is like. However, I have not yet used a soundbar that is offering a 7.1.2-channel multi-dimensional sound like this one is and I can only imagine how great it sounds. Many soundbars claim to fill a room with sound and give you surround sound, but this could be the first one that I feel actually comes really close to offering that. Now, if only I could find a way to weasel my way into getting one of these to try out!
What Other People Are Saying
There are not a ton of reviews for this thing on Amazon just yet, probably due to the price of and to be fair as of me writing this, it is fairly new on the market. There are only 60 customer reviews and 85 percent of these are for four and five stars which is not bad. I found this glowing video review for this, but all of the videos I checked out for this were very positive.
I know this is not a popular opinion with hardcore fans, but apart from The Last Jedi, I have enjoyed all of the Disney Star Wars movies! That is why I am suggesting the 4K release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Truth be told, any Star Wars movie would sound great, but I think this one has some great scenes, the one I am thinking about is when Finn and Rey are trying to get away from the Tie-Fighters on Jakku.
Again, I have not personally had the pleasure of using this, but everything I have seen about this looks very impressive. I think if you are going all in on a home theatre and you just want a soundbar and a subwoofer and are not bothered about rear speakers, the Yamaha YSP-5600 is the kind of thing you need to be looking at. The more I read and see about this the more impressed I become!
- I love the design of this
- It looks like something that would be in a movie theatre
- I bet this offers as close to surround sound as possible with a soundbar
- So far all the other Yamaha soundbars I have tested have been great
- The asking price is hard to ignore
- Does it really need all of those connections?
Bose Smart Soundbar 900
If you have read my Bose Soundbar 700 review you know how much I love that soundbar. However, now we are at the sequel the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 which I have yet to get my hands on, but I am hopeful that Santa Claus may hook me up with one. I knew this had to be on our best Dolby Atmos soundbar list. Bose already makes great soundbars without Dolby Atmos so I am very confident in what they will be able to do here. You will need a decent amount of space for this as it comes in at 41,14” W x 2,29” H x 4,21” D. It is currently priced at $899.99 which puts it at about 100 bucks more than the 700. I love the design as it is like a new take on what they did with the 700, with that glass top and sleek grille that wraps all the way around. It does offer you plenty of connection options so no matter if you want to use HDMI or optical you are covered here.
Bose says that this offers you a 7-channel audio experience to give you real cinema quality sound and I have no reason to doubt them at all. Bose already struck gold with their 700 and if this is better than that then sign me up. With the seven speakers, you can expect a very wide sound from this and just like I said with the Yamaha I am very interested to see just how good the “surround sound” this manages to produce is. I could go on forever about the tech in here, but Bose has taken what they have done with their past soundbars and improved on it each time and it is like it has all been leading up to this!
What Other People Are Saying
Want to know something crazy about this? As of me writing this, there is not one single customer review for the Bose Smart Soundbar 900! Now to be fair, this thing is brand spanking new, and even this Bose Smart Soundbar 900 – Unboxing + Setup which was made by Bose themselves was only put out six days before I started writing this article. While there may not be a ton of reviews for this out there, I would recommend you either wait or look at other similar products from Bose so you can get a better idea of what they are like, spoiler alert, they are pretty damn awesome!
For this movie recommendation, I am going for Blade Runner 2049 which is a movie that I have now seen four times and I have enjoyed it slightly more with each viewing. The reason I have gone for this is that it is a real treat for the ears. The way the rain is always falling and the flying cars blasting around I think would be a great showcase for this soundbar’s surround sound capabilities.
Want to know something crazy, even though this has only been out a very short time and I have not actually used it, I am pretty damn close to picking the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 as our winner. Bose has never let me down and this is the latest soundbar from them with seven speakers and Dolby Atmos and all of the other bells and whistles that they have done and used over the years. It also looks fantastic too so it would be a real showcase thing to have in your home theatre.
- I love the design of this with the glass top
- It can be purchased in white and black
- They have packed this with speakers for cinema style sound
- Bose has always impressed me with their soundbars
- Is it worth upgrading from the 700?
- Like the 700, I bet that top is a magnet for fingerprints and dust!
What Is The Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar?
I have had an awesome time looking at these soundbars today. Look, I would love to say that the winner here is the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 and I truly do believe that if I had one to test that would be the case. Bose is one of if not the best when it comes to replicating the cinema sound experience at home and I am fully confident based on what I have seen from their past products (especially the 700) that they will do that here.
Still, with that being said I cannot really pick one that I have just read about as the winner so from the three that I have personally tested I am going to give my vote to the Samsung HW-Q800A which I was very impressed with. It just beats out the Sonos Arc, but I love the design of the soundbar, the fact it comes with a dedicated subwoofer, and the asking price is actually very reasonable. Best of all, I was very impressed with the sound it produced and that is why it is my pick for the best Dolby Atmos soundbar… until I manage to get my hands on a Bose Smart Soundbar 900 then we may have to come back and revisit this!