Best Dolby Atmos soundbars 2024: tried and tested by our review team

Sonos Arc
(Image credit: Sonos)
Best Dolby Atmos soundbars 2024: Jump Menu

As more immersive audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos, become increasingly available across a wide range of TV series and movies, manufacturers are continually improving soundbars in an attempt to bring the benefits to your home. 

Some of the very best Dolby Atmos-compatible soundbars are capable of projecting impressively immersive sound which envelops you in the on-screen action without the hassle that comes with a traditional home cinema system. Sometimes a full surround system is impractical or unfeasible, and so a quality soundbar can go a long way to improving your TV's sound from a relatively simple set-up.

There are many different options on the market now, each with its own merits, so which one should you go for? To help you narrow it down, we've put together a list of the best options available, complete with summaries of our in-depth reviews.

Every model listed has been tested by our expert team of reviewers in our dedicated on-site test rooms, where we compare each new soundbar to its closest rivals in order to reach a balanced, unbiased verdict.

We explain more about how we test Dolby Atmos soundbars at the bottom of this page. And if you want even more options, check out our choices for the best soundbars

Tom Parsons
Tom Parsons

I’m What Hi-Fi?’s TV and AV Editor, and I’ve been testing TVs and home cinema products (as well as hi-fi kit and headphones) for over 16 years. It’s always been obvious to me that great home cinema is 50 per cent picture and 50 per cent sound, which is why I’m so frustrated by the poor quality of TV audio. That’s the reason I’m so passionate about Dolby Atmos soundbars. There’s no simpler and neater way to get immersive cinema sound at home – as long as you choose the right model.

The quick list

The best Dolby Atmos soundbars we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Best overall

What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 winner. The best Dolby Atmos all-rounder currently on the market.


Connectivity: HDMI out (eARC), 2 x HDMI in, optical, USB, wi-fi, ethernet, Bluetooth
Sound format support: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, PCM
Streaming: Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast
Voice control: Google Assistant, Alexa
Dimensions (hwd): 8 x 130 x 14 cm (3.14" x 51" x 5.6")
Weight: 8.7kg (26lbs)

Reasons to buy

Excellent Dolby Atmos audio
Weighty, solid bass
Twin HDMI sockets

Reasons to avoid

Lacks EQ controls
Some rivals look better

A 7.1.2 slab of sound, the Sony packs in two up-firing speakers, two beam tweeters, five front-facing drivers and a built-in dual subwoofer into a single chassis. Using a combination of driver placement and psychoacoustic techniques, the bar delivers a broad and high soundstage, whether you’re watching Dolby Atmos content or not, while retaining musicality, presence and detail.

During our extensive testing, we found that, in terms of height and precision, the performance is similar to that of the Sonos Arc, but the width of the soundstage and its forward projection is more convincing. It’s not the same as having direct audio from the speaker above or the side, but it’s effective and dramatically enticing, enriching the viewing experience. The integrated sub is also particularly impressive and delivers a taut, controlled and powerful performance.

 The A7000 excels with its extensive audio format support, which includes Dolby Atmos (in both the Digital+ and TrueHD formats), DTS:X, LPCM, hi-res wireless audio and Sony 360 Reality Audio.

The A7000 is boasts impressive streaming smarts too, with Spotify ConnectApple AirPlay 2Google Chromecast all on board and integration into a multi-room system – with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home all supported.

Alongside two HDMI 2.1 pass-through sockets that can handle 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz, and Dolby Vision HDR, there's also HDMI eARC, analogue and optical audio inputs and USB type-A. There’s also support for Sony’s Acoustic Center Sync, which lets a compatible Bravia TV become part of the soundbar’s centre channel when the two are connected using the supplied analogue cable.

The Sony HT-A7000 is an outstanding, future-proofed, all-in-one performer with great Dolby Atmos audio. The fact it's a three-time What Hi-Fi? Award-winner over the past three years means you can buy with confidence.

Read the full Sony HT-A7000 review

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Test results
SoundExcellent Atmos performance with a robust low end★★★★★
FeaturesAbout as feature packed as it gets★★★★★
BuildSolidly built and discrete enough for most rooms★★★★★

Best small

2. Sonos Beam Gen 2

The dinky Sonos Beam delivers a refined sound with excellent Dolby Atmos audio.


Connectivity: HDMI out (eARC), wi-fi, ethernet
Sound format support: Dolby Atmos, PCM
Streaming: Apple Airplay 2, Spotify Connect, Sonos S2 app
Voice control: Google Assisstant, Alexa
Dimensions (hwd): 7 x 65 x 10cm (2.7" x 26" x 3.9")
Weight: 2.8kg (6.35lbs)

Reasons to buy

Clever handling of Dolby Atmos
Rich, sophisticated sound
Excellent streaming smarts

Reasons to avoid

More HDMI ports would be nice
No DTS:X support

Delivering Dolby Atmos from a small chassis is no mean feat but the What Hi-Fi? Award-winning Sonos Beam Gen 2 achieves a convincing, immersive performance without so much as an upfiring speaker in sight. 

Instead, when watching Atmos content, two of the soundbar's five front-facing arrays are dedicated to reproducing overhead and surround sounds. With its hefty processing power, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 uses psychoacoustic HRTF (head-related transfer function) technology to give the impression of height without needing to get vertical.

While genuine overhead sounds are perhaps a stretch too far for this petite performer, based on our experience testing it, the bar's virtual delivery of the Atmos format outstrips any similarly priced soundbar and even a few that are more expensive. The Beam Gen 2 offers an enveloping, spatial soundscape with rich, detailed audio as well as tangible motion and depth. 

Not that many soundbars at this price point come with networking capabilities, but this being a Sonos product, the Beam Gen 2’s ability to integrate into a wireless multiroom system is fundamental to its design. This means you can stream to the Beam Gen 2 from a handheld device using Apple AirPlay 2, and Spotify Connect is built-in too. Sonos introduced an update to add support for Amazon Music Ultra HD audio too, which gives access to lossless 24-bit/48kHz tracks as well as Dolby Atmos Music.

Don't let the lack of any upfiring drivers put you off. If space and budget are limited there isn't a better Dolby Atmos soundbar that we'd recommend at the money.

Read the full Sonos Beam Gen 2 review

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Test results
SoundWarm and effective handling of Atmos★★★★★
FeaturesRobust suite of streaming smarts★★★★★
BuildDinky design makes it a great option for small rooms★★★★★

Best for versatility

A flexible Dolby Atmos soundbar with some serious streaming abilities.


Connectivity: HDMI out (eARC), opitcal, wi-fi, ethernet
Sound format support: Dolby Atmos, PCM
Streaming: Apple Airplay 2, Spotify Connect, Sonos S2 app
Voice control: Google Assisstant, Alexa
Dimensions: 8.7 x 114 x 12cm (3.43" x 45" x 4.56")
Weight: 6.3kg (14lbs)

Reasons to buy

Convincing Dolby Atmos
Dynamic, detailed and weighty
All of the usual Sonos smarts

Reasons to avoid

Music could be better projected
Heavily reliant on your TV’s specs

At the time of writing, the Sonos Arc is the only soundbar in the company's line-up that employs dedicated upfiring drivers to help deliver Dolby Atmos sound. Compared to the compact Beam Gen 2 which features higher up this list, the Arc is aimed at bigger TVs, namely 55in and above.

It uses 11 drivers in total and as is the Sonos way, you've got the option of adding one of its subwoofers and/or a couple of its wireless speakers to turn your set-up into a more traditional surround sound package.

Once you've got the soundbar dialled in through Sonos' Trueplay tech, the Arc bounces sound off your walls and ceiling to great effect. It doesn't just give an impression of height, during testing we found it produces a convincing three-dimensional and immersive soundfield. Whether they're localised Dolby Atmos effects or more general room-filling and atmospheric moments, the Arc delivers detail and dynamic in spades.

Its tonal evenness makes the Arc a good deal more musical than lesser rivals too, with a fine level of clarity and organisation given to tracks. It's not the most direct-sounding and the quantity of overall bass is relatively modest but we wouldn't consider either of these deal-breakers.

In terms of design, the Arc is a curvy, good-looking bar although it's worth noting that it does stand 8.5cm tall, so just make sure you won't be obscuring your TV's picture once it's in place.

Needless to say, all of Sonos' excellent streaming features come as part of the package, so you can access services like Spotify, Tidal and Amazon Music Unlimited. There's also AirPlay 2 and both HDMI and optical digital sockets. 

Read the full Sonos Arc review

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Test results
SoundDynamoc, detailed and controlled Dolby Atmos performance ★★★★★
FeaturesAll the usual Sonos smarts included★★★★★
BuildDiscrete with a low profile★★★★★
Top Tip
Lewis Empson author profile image
Top Tip
Lewis Empson

Positioning is crucial if you're going to make the most of the sound quality on offer from your new Dolby Atmos soundbar. Place it on a stable surface, with its feet making full contact to minimise the effect of any vibrations. Also, if your bar has upfiring drivers then we wouldn't recommend placing it on a shelf below your TV as the sound will be obstructed by the shelf above.

Best premium

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Max on a side table sat underneath a wall-mounted television

(Image credit: Sennheiser)
If money's no object, this is the Dolby Atmos soundbar to buy.


Connectivity: HDMI out (eARC), 3 x HDMI in, optical, RCA, wi-fi, ethernet, Bluetooth
Format support: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, PCM, MPEG H, Sony 360 Reality Audio
Streaming: Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect
Voice control: Alexa, Siri
Dimensions: 14 x 127 x 17cm (5.3" x 50" x 6.7")
Weight: 18.5kg (40.8lbs)

Reasons to buy

Rich, natural sound
Dynamic and detailed
Convincing 3D surround

Reasons to avoid

Fussy with positioning

Sennheiser's Ambeo Soundbar Max is hugely impressive in both senses of the word. It's a beast, weighing 18.5kg and standing almost 1.3m wide – that's noticeably heavier and larger than the competition. But all that extra space has been put to excellent use. While most soundbars rely on an external subwoofer, the Ambeo simply crams in larger, more powerful drivers – and it works a treat. 

During testing, we experienced spine-tingling 3D audio that sounds totally effortless, backed up by sparkling dialogue and plenty of bottom-end grunt that will make the most of your favourite movie soundtracks. Connectivity is just as impressive, with Bluetooth 4.2, AirPlay 2 and Chromecast for streaming plus three HDMI 2.0 inputs and one HDMI eARC port.

Admittedly its size makes it a little tricky to position. And it doesn't come with a wall mount, so you might need a separate trip to your local hardware store. But once you have it set up correctly, we guarantee the results are breathtaking. 

Read the full Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Max review

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Test results
SoundRich, natural sound★★★★★
FeaturesAll the connectivity you'll need ★★★★★
BuildLarger than most soundbars★★★★★

Best cheap

Sony’s budget Dolby Atmos soundbar performs impressively for the money


Connectivity: HDMI out (eARC), Optical
Format support: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
Streaming: Bluetooth 5.2
Voice control: N/A
Dimensions (HxWxD): 6.4 x 80 x 12cm (2.5” x 31” x 4.7”)
Weight: 3.7kg (8.2lbs)

Reasons to buy

Simple plug-and-play functionality
Crisp, clear dialogue
Solid dynamic expression

Reasons to avoid

Not loads of bass weight
Sound Field mode is a miss
Some rivals are more full-bodied

If you're looking to spend less, the Sony HT-S2000 offers exceptional value for money. It’s a fairly compact bar (slightly wider than the Sonos Beam Gen 2, which is our pick of the smaller bars) that’s focused solely on improving your TV’s audio while keeping the cost down. Sony went with a straightforward design and feature set with the S2000, aiming for an impressive performance over fancy frills.

The soundbar features Bluetooth 5.2 and HDMI eARC – something lacking from comparably priced bars such as the Sonos Ray. It is configured in a 3.1-channel arrangement with a built-in subwoofer and a total power output of 250W. As there are no upward-firing drivers, the height channels for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatible audio are achieved through Sony’s Vertical Sound Engine, its psychoacoustic sound processing system.

During the testing process, we grew to really appreciate this bold little Sony soundbar. We admire that it knows where its strengths lie and how it doesn’t try to spread itself thin with unnecessary features. You can spend more on bigger, weightier soundbars, but at this price, the S2000 offers plenty of quality and will no doubt provide clearer, more direct sound than your TV will ever be capable of. 

Read our full Sony HT-S2000 review

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Test results
SoundClear, dynamic sound★★★★★
FeaturesNo streaming functionality★★★★☆
BuildSolid and compact★★★★☆

Also consider

The best Dolby Atmos soundbar alternatives we've tested:

Sony HT-A3000: in terms of pricing and features, the Sony HT-A3000 is just like the Sonos Beam Gen 2. Its detail and dynamics will improve the sound from a lot of TVs, but the main drawback is that it struggles to match the Sonos in terms of Dolby Atmos audio.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus: this soundbar pushes the dominant Sony HT-A7000 closer than any of its rivals. Dolby Atmos sounds wonderfully spacious and immersive, it's easier to accommodate and the Sennheiser is also packed with useful features including two HDMI inputs.

LG S95QR: the LG is a little different to the others on this list as it comes with wireless surround speakers and a subwoofer in the box. It doesn't have the precision or overhead impressiveness of the Sony HT-A7000 or Sonos Arc, but the connectivity options and features on offer are impressive.

How to choose the best Dolby Atmos soundbar for you

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi?  Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

A slew of Dolby Atmos soundbars have hit the market in the last couple of years, and there's now a range of models to suit most budgets. The more you spend, the more features you tend to get and the more driver units the soundbars tend to use; hence, most of our entries tend to be pricier than ordinary soundbars.

In our experience, spending more also means you should get a more convincing home cinema sound, although some of the poorer-sounding soundbars could easily be outperformed by a more affordable model.

There are a few things to consider when weighing up a Dolby Atmos soundbar. A lot will hinge on the size and dimensions of your TV. This will influence the size of the soundbar you go for; after all, you won't want to use a tiny bar with a huge 77-in TV.

Also, check the height of the soundbar – if you need to place it directly in front of your TV, you don't want it obscuring half the picture. Also, upfiring drivers need a clear line of sight to your ceiling to be effective.

It's important to note that not all Dolby Atmos soundbars have upward-firing drivers. Some decode the format and present it virtually using DSP processing to create an illusion of a 3D soundstage. The performance of virtual Atmos models varies, and while genuine height effects are certainly beyond their scope, there's more to Atmos than just the Y-axis. In some cases, a high-quality virtual Dolby Atmos soundbar can deliver more immersive and engaging sound than a mediocre model with upfiring speakers.

Whenever a soundbar does have height drivers, it's important to remember that you'll get better results if you have low ceilings to bounce the sound off and that the top of the soundbar needs to be uncovered and placed clear of the TV screen.

Typically, soundbars are a single long speaker with several drivers inside, but some come with external subwoofers for extra low-end extension and rear speakers for surround sound effects. Some Atmos soundbars even come with satellite speakers with upward-firing drivers. If floor-shaking bass and encompassing sound are high on your priority list, then these are models you'll want to consider.

Moving on to features and connectivity, Dolby Atmos soundbars tend to boast either ARC or eARC-enabled HDMI ports necessary to handle multichannel audio formats and also allow you to control the volume of your soundbar with your existing TV remote. It's worth considering if having a separate physical remote for the soundbar is important to you or if you're comfortable with controlling settings from a smartphone app.

Most Dolby Atmos soundbars have some options for wireless music playback with wifi streaming via services such as Airplay 2Spotify Connect and Chromecast, as well as Bluetooth connectivity. If you have external devices such as games consoles or a 4K Blu-ray player, keep an eye out for additional HDMI sockets that could make your setup more flexible.

If the highest-quality 3D sound is important to you, you'll want to make sure both your TV and potential soundbar support Dolby TrueHD and eARC. Some Dolby Atmos Soundbars will only have ARC, and while that can handle Dolby Atmos, it can only do so in its lossy Dolby Digital Plus form. In contrast, Dolby TrueHD can deliver full-fat Dolby Atmos in all its lossless glory.

Further down your list of priorities you might want some kind of voice assistant functionality built in. To that effect, some bars do come with built-in mics that allow you to control certain aspects of their performance. Alternatively, you've always got the remote or in some cases, your smartphone to help out here.

You don't have to look far to find Dolby Atmos content. Besides 4K Blu-ray discs, Amazon Prime VideoApple TVNetflix and Disney+ offer plenty of Atmos movies and TV shows. Ready to boost your binge-watching with the best Atmos soundbar? Let's take a look at the options...

How we test Dolby Atmos soundbars

Like the normal models we test, Dolby Atmos soundbars are partnered with a reference TV and are directly compared to a rival at a similar price point.  it could be a current What Hi-Fi? Award winner (which we always have to hand) or another model we've tested recently which we feel is a suitable comparison.

All our reviews are impartial and to make sure we're testing the soundbar thoroughly, we use a mix of video, from daytime TV shows to Hollywood blockbusters to get a feeling of its strengths and weaknesses with a wide variety of audio formats. We give the Dolby Atmos soundbars plenty of running-in time too, to make sure they are ready to be put through their paces.

Dolby Atmos content features heavily, whether played through a video streaming service or off a 4K Blu-ray disc. During the reviewing process, we'll ask ourselves questions such as 'how easy is it to set up?' 'how does it handle dialogue?' and 'how does it process Dolby Atmos soundtracks?'.

We'll also play music through the soundbar to learn more about its audio abilities and streaming skills over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and use the accompanying control app where possible, before checking all the other features on offer such as the HDMI connections.

We have state-of-the-art test rooms in London, and Reading where our team of experienced, in-house reviewers test Dolby Atmos soundbars. One member of the team will write the review but overall verdicts are agreed upon by the team to eliminate any personal preference and to allow us to be as thorough as possible.

There's no input from PR companies or our sales team regarding the verdict, with What Hi-Fi? proud of having delivered honest, unbiased reviews for decades.


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Are Dolby Atmos soundbars worth it?

We think Dolby Atmos soundbars are worth it, especially if you're watching a lot of content that uses the audio format. The best examples, like the Sony HT-A7000, Sonos Arc and the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Max will give you a much more immersive experience compared to just playing content through your TV's speakers. They also have the potential to create a 3D soundfield that traditional soundbars simply can't manage, especially if they also happen to have upfiring drivers.

Can all soundbars do Dolby Atmos?

All soundbars can handle a Dolby Atmos signal, but it's what they do with the signal that matters. Those that don't strictly support it will just strip the standard surround audio off the signal and process it like a standard 5.1 surround sound track, while a proper Dolby Atmos soundbar will take all the information from the audio track and process it differently in order to accommodate the extra 

Does Netflix support Dolby Atmos?

In a word, yes. A multitude of streaming services now support the format, including Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Netflix.

However, you will need to check if the device you're streaming it from also supports Atmos and can output the format to your Dolby Atmos soundbar. Also, Dolby Atmos support only tends to be included with certain subscription tiers. For example, only the top tiers of Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix offer the format for streaming.

Recent updates

  • 10th May 2024: Added the Sony HT-S2000 as Best Cheap option.
  • 19th February 2024: Added new 'Also Consider' section, new F.A.Q section. 
  • 28th September 2023: Changed to new Best Buy format, removed Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus, Sony HT-A5000 and LG S95QR from the main list.
  • 13th July 2023: made specification boxes uniform, added new images for entries.
  • 10th March 2023: Added the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus as Best Premium option. 

Today's best Dolby Atmos soundbar deals

Alastair Stevenson
Editor in Chief

Alastair is What Hi-Fi?’s editor in chief. He has well over a decade’s experience as a journalist working in both B2C and B2B press. During this time he’s covered everything from the launch of the first Amazon Echo to government cyber security policy. Prior to joining What Hi-Fi? he served as Trusted Reviews’ editor-in-chief. Outside of tech, he has a Masters from King’s College London in Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion, is an enthusiastic, but untalented, guitar player and runs a webcomic in his spare time. 

  • bsmurfy
    Reason for the lack of an atmos enabled passive soundbar?
  • Skash
    bsmurfy said:
    Reason for the lack of an atmos enabled passive soundbar?
    Because passive uses the current from the audio to power the speakers where active speakers inject and modifies the sound to actually have better quality where passive degrades the quality, welcome to the laws of physics.
  • boristyk
    What about Samsung's soundbars? No reviews last time...
  • TheWhiteWolf
    You listed the Samsung Q800A as costing $248 but it's a $780 soundbar. The link takes you only to 2 Samsung rear speakers, which are $250 on their own. You should change the $247.99 price you listed to the correct price of $777.99, which is what it costs on Amazon.
  • GLOW
    Seems strange that there is not even a review on the Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar never mind a no rating for the best-rated soundbar by everyone except WHAT HI-FI?