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Best Dolby Atmos soundbar: Elevate your TV sound

Dolby Atmos sound has become more popular, supported not just on expensive soundbars but on affordable ones too, in an attempt to bring the cinematic Hollywood experience straight to your living room.

The effect is a taller, wider and more 3D representation than a standard stereo bar can muster, but just because a soundbar slaps the Dolby Atmos logo on its side doesn’t mean it offers a great performance. Knowing which one to get is where we bring our expertise to the table.

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.

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

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.

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, Tidal , Deezer , 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.

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

We also considered…

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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

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First Reviewed Date
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Sound Bar Channels
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Voice Assistant
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Rear Speaker

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