April 14, 2024

When you haven’t skilled the all-encompassing encompass sound phenomenon that’s ]Dolby Atmos, you’re lacking out. In contrast to conventional encompass sound configurations that challenge audio towards you and from behind you, Dolby Atmos provides extra peak channels to the components. The result’s full three-dimensional immersion on your favourite Atmos-ready films, reveals, and video video games.

Investing in even essentially the most primary Dolby Atmos setup will be fairly costly although. On high of two front-firing audio system, two rears, and a subwoofer, you’ll additionally want to contemplate the way you’re going to combine the peak channels that Atmos requires. Are you going to purchase ceiling audio system, or do you have to fork over the dough for these two floor-standing audio system which have up-firing drivers?

Happily, there are some wonderful soundbars that will not ship the identical outcomes as a devoted Atmos encompass system, however many fashions get fairly dang shut. Right here’s our favourite Dolby Atmos soundbars you should buy proper now!

sonos arc review dolby atmos soundbar 3

Simon Cohen / Digital Traits / Digital Traits

Sonos Arc

Greatest general Dolby Atmos soundbar

Execs

  • Wonderful encompass sound
  • Simple and easy setup
  • Respectable Dolby Atmos from a single speaker
  • Alternative of Alexa or Google Assistant

Cons

  • No HDMI inputs
  • Not superb for all music genres

With nice sound, help for Dolby Atmos, and your selection of voice assistants, Sonos is carving out extra space for itself within the premium residence theater class. This all-in-one soundbar can also be on the greater finish of the value spectrum (between $800 and $900), however because it has all of the bells and whistles, that’s maybe not stunning.

The sound high quality of the Arc is outstandingly detailed, it will get loads loud, and it’s bought a great deal of low finish, which is vital for film watching (although you may also add the separate Sonos Sub, or the wonderful Sub Mini, to your equipment if you happen to want extra). Excessive tones are sharp and clear, mids and voices slice by way of simply when watching TV and flicks, and it’s simply as spectacular in terms of music, due to a large soundstage.

However let’s get proper to the primary attraction — what does the Sonos Arc’s Atmos sound like? Our reviewers referred to it as a “stellar audio expertise,” and though the outcomes can differ relying in your room dimension and ceiling heights, the Arc’s upward-firing audio system do an ideal job at creating a way of an even bigger 3D area, with ricocheting bullet sounds and dashing automobiles bouncing off the partitions for some nice film immersion.

The Sonos Arc soundbar is managed through the Sonos app in your smartphone or by asking Google Assistant or Alexa. The Sonos app enables you to take management of your audio system in your house and customise the sound, plus with AirPlay 2, you may stream out of your iPhone and hold extra of the sound high quality.

Sonos Arc

Sonos Arc

Greatest general Dolby Atmos soundbar

2023 Samsung HW-Q990C.

Samsung

Samsung HW-Q990C

Greatest Dolby Atmos soundbar for giant rooms

Execs

  • An all-in-one residence theater resolution
  • Constructed-in Alexa
  • Works with Samsung Q Symphony-certified TVs
  • Spacefit Sound Professional mechanically calibrates sound based mostly on atmosphere

Dwelling theater-in-a-box merchandise are nonetheless pretty standard, particularly for people who simply need to get a encompass sound put in and blasting as rapidly and easily as potential. With manufacturers like Samsung nonetheless providing HTIB options, we thought we’d shine some mild on one in all our favourite all-inclusive Atmos soundbar setups — the Samsung HW-Q990C.

Billed as an 11.1.4 Atmos system, the Q Symphony-certified soundbar has 11 front-firing audio system, together with 4 elevation channels for height-driven sound. That’s on high of two up-firing/side-firing rear audio system and a wi-fi subwoofer. Do remember the fact that these further audio system must be wired to the included rear speaker equipment, and the equipment itself must be plugged right into a wall outlet.

Whether or not you’re utilizing the HW-Q990C to look at films, play video video games, or stream tunes (Dolby Atmos or in any other case) from platforms like Apple Music or Tidal (which each supply Dolby Atmos tracks), the Spacefit Sound Professional function ensures that the Q990C delivers simply the correct quantity of sound for the room it’s positioned in. And so far as good residence automations go, the Q990C additionally has Alexa in-built, which means you’ll be capable to management all the pieces from good lights to good thermostats from the consolation of your front room sofa.

SAMSUNG HW-Q990C 11.1.4ch Soundbar w/Wireless Dolby Audio, Rear Speakers Included Q-Symphony, SpaceFit Sound Pro, Adaptive Sound, Game Mode Pro, Airplay 2, AVA, Alexa Built-in (Newest Model)

Samsung HW-Q990C

Greatest Dolby Atmos soundbar for giant rooms

sonos beam gen 2 hands on review 00016

Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

Greatest compact Dolby Atmos soundbar

Execs

  • Simple setup
  • Immersive, room-filling sound
  • Modern design
  • AirPlay 2

Cons

  • No HDMI inputs
  • Requires appropriate TV for Dolby Atmos

Sonos soundbars have a penchant for delivering huge, daring audio no matter precise speaker dimension, and you would be amazed how a lot Dolby Atmos sound the second-gen Sonos Beam can ship from such a small chassis.

When you’re shopping for an audio product that has “Sonos” someplace within the title, we’re content material in saying you are in excellent palms — not less than when it comes to sound high quality and flexibility. Sonos gear is remarkably straightforward to put in, and the Beam takes that simplicity to the subsequent degree.

Out of the field, the one connection you may be working with is HDMI, though Sonos does present an HDMI-to-optical adapter for TVs with out HDMI ARC capabilities (extra on that in a second), and including the Beam to your Sonos community is only a matter of launching the Sonos app and following the directions.

Onboard help for Alexa and Google Assistant lets you use the Beam as a go-to good speaker, and you may even stream and share audio from an iOS gadget utilizing Apple AirPlay 2.

By way of efficiency, the most recent Beam delivers phenomenal soundstaging, particularly when you think about the dimensions. There’s loads of element within the mid- and high-range frequencies, and the bass is fairly punchy, too. However if you happen to assume you want a bit extra rumble, linking a Sonos Sub Mini isn’t a nasty concept.

All in all, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) grants a formidable entrance into the world of Dolby Atmos sound, and for a comparatively reasonably priced value, too.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

Greatest compact Dolby Atmos soundbar

bose smart soundbar 900 review 00010

Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

Bose Good Soundbar 900

Greatest Dolby Atmos soundbar for Bose followers

Execs

  • Elegant design
  • Good Dolby Atmos results
  • Wonderful music high quality
  • Helpful TV voice management
  • Personal listening headphone sync

Cons

  • Just one HDMI port
  • Fundamental, non-backlit distant
  • Bose Music app lacks some options

If there’s an Atmos soundbar on this checklist that we might pit towards the Sonos Arc, we would tag the Bose Good Soundbar 900 into the ring and not using a second thought.

Two oval cutouts on the high of the bar home up-firing drivers beneath — a key component for any Atmos system, simulated or not. These audio system are designed to shoot sound towards the ceiling, filling out the vertical finish of the Atmos virtualization. For plug-and-play choices, the 900 will be linked to your TV with HDMI or digital optical, however you may need to use the previous (with an HDMI eARC-compatible TV) to get that Atmos sign from A-to-B.

Sadly, this is not an ideal soundbar for HDMI switching, seeing as there’s just one port to play with (and it is an output, not an enter).

Out of the field, the Bose Good Soundbar 900 delivers good articulation throughout mid- and high-range frequencies, with an excellent quantity of bass, too. Nonetheless, we do suggest you obtain the Bose Music app (accessible for iOS and Android units) for adjusting sure features of the EQ (we felt the 900 wanted a bit extra low-end push and a few further quantity for its peak channels).

Bose Music additionally lets you use AdaptIQ to calibrate the 900 to the listening area it is positioned inside, and if you happen to plan on utilizing AirPlay 2, Alexa, or Google Assistant, the companion app is a necessity for getting the Bose Good Soundbar 900 linked to Wi-Fi.

The Good Soundbar 900 is the corporate’s flagship soundbar, and whereas the value is excessive, and the distant management is a bit primary, primary just isn’t the phrase we might use to explain the Atmos expertise you may get with the 900. Unimaginable is extra prefer it.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900

Bose Good Soundbar 900

Greatest Dolby Atmos soundbar for Bose followers

vizio elevate soundbar review

Riley Younger/Digital Traits

Vizio Elevate

Greatest multi-speaker Dolby Atmos soundbar

Execs

  • Easy setup, clear chart displaying connections
  • Splendidly distinctive design
  • Deep management over sound output ranges
  • Exceptionally clear dialogue

Cons

  • Results depending on room
  • Expensive

As we famous, the easiest way to get that overhead audio impact is to have overhead audio system, however when you may’t, upward-firing audio system as a part of your soundbar can go a good distance towards replicating that full 3D sound.

Packed contained in the Vizio Elevate are 18 high-performance audio system with 4 up-firing audio system within the soundbar, plus extra upward-aiming audio system as a part of the 2 rears included on this equipment (a separate subwoofer can also be a part of the bundle). With this equipment, you are actually being surrounded by sound.

The bar of the soundbar truly rotates to goal the sound up and over your head to challenge all that Dolby Atmos goodness to your ceiling. Our Vizio Elevate overview reveals simply what this rotating soundbar can do in additional element.

Elevate’s Adaptive Peak Audio system additionally rotate ahead to blast you with the complete power of the audio that goals to create a much wider soundstage. The Elevate additionally boasts that you simply’ll hear clearer vocals and live performance corridor ranges of energy and efficiency. The bass to shake your area vibrates all the way down to 30hz and the entire system will get as much as 107 decibels, making Vizio Elevate an ideal Dolby Atmos soundbar for gaming, film watching, and listening to music.

Vizio Elevate Soundbar

Vizio Elevate

Greatest multi-speaker Dolby Atmos soundbar

vizio m series 51 soundbar review m51a h6 5 1

Dan Baker/Digital Traits

Vizio M-Collection M51a-H6 5.1 Soundbar

Greatest mid-priced Dolby Atmos soundbar

Execs

  • eARC, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X help
  • Spectacular subwoofer
  • Seamless encompass results
  • Complete management
  • Wonderful constancy

Cons

  • One HDMI enter
  • Much less appropriate for bigger rooms

Using digital encompass as a substitute of the up-firing audio system of a few of the different soundbars on our checklist, the Vizio M-Collection M51a-H6 fills the room with spacious sound, with help for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. This soundbar set additionally comes with a pair of low-profile encompass audio system which are volume-adjustable, plus a 6-inch wi-fi subwoofer for deep bass with energy and growth. A backlit show distant management rounds out the choices contained in the field, making this an ideal get-it-all-for-a-great-price choice.

A versatile setup lets you select two placements on your audio system. They will go historically on the rear or use Entrance Encompass Mode, the place they are often positioned on the entrance of the room for a wider soundstage (additionally helpful for smaller areas with no room behind the couch), or Twin Stereo Encompass Mode, which sends the identical audio to all of the audio system without delay. An HDMI eARC port is an added bonus (and a rarity at this value level), permitting high-bandwidth and lossless audio when paired with a appropriate TV, and the M51a-H6 additionally contains Bluetooth, optical, and USB connections.

The Vizio M-Collection M51a-H6 equipment can also be good, and you should utilize it with Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant units too.

Vizio M-Series 5.1 soundbar (M51a-H6)

Vizio M-Collection M51a-H6 5.1 Soundbar

Greatest mid-priced Dolby Atmos soundbar

sennheiser ambeo soundbar review 04168

Riley Younger/Digital Traits

Sennheiser Ambeo

Greatest ultra-premium Dolby Atmos soundbar

Execs

  • Extremely detailed sound for all codecs
  • Breathtaking Atmos virtualization
  • Polished, intuitive interface
  • Loaded with options
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and MPEG-H decoding

Cons

  • Beefy dimension (and no IR repeater) requires mounting

Underneath the hood, 13 high-end drivers energy the Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar to ship a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos sound expertise, with help for numerous different 3D audio codecs. Sennheiser additionally brags that the Ambeo is able to producing extraordinarily deep 30Hz bass with out the necessity for an additional subwoofer. Plus, outfitted with superior room calibration, it immerses you in studio-grade sound tailored to the specifics of your area for a really fine-tuned sound.

Engineered to provide extra practical highs and lows, extra dimension, and extra nuanced particulars than you ever imagined potential, the Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar enables you to tailor your listening expertise with help for MPEG-H — whether or not you are watching a film, TV present, or listening to music — with a built-in equalizer and three sound modes so you may modify issues to your personal particular person style. Its auto-calibration function makes setting it up on your distinctive listening quirks straightforward, too.

Sennheiser has billed the Ambeo as a soundbar not like anything available on the market, and it flags two features specifically that set it aside: Ambeo virtualization know-how, which creates what it believes to be the very best 3D sound that may be reproduced by a single gadget, and its six proprietary 4-inch, long-throw woofers that obtain improved bass replica with out that exterior subwoofer. For almost $2,000, we would anticipate no much less.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar

Sennheiser Ambeo

Greatest ultra-premium Dolby Atmos soundbar

polk signa s4 review pol soundbar 00031

Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

Polk Audio Signa S4

Underneath $500

Execs

  • Compact design
  • Extremely-simple setup
  • Very clear dialogue
  • Wonderful Dolby Atmos sound
  • Nice for TV-based music

Cons

  • No EQ changes
  • No Wi-Fi/AirPlay/Chromecast
  • No HDMI outputs

When you’re making an attempt to make a thrifty Atmos soundbar buy, you’re not going to do a lot better than $300. However if you happen to can stretch the funds a bit bit, we urge you to try the unimaginable Polk Audio Signa S4. This can be a 3.1.2 soundbar that comes packaged with a wi-fi subwoofer. The bar itself is supplied with two tweeters, two midrange drivers, a one-inch middle, and two elevation audio system to drive residence the Dolby Atmos sound.

So far as sound high quality goes, one can consider the Signa S4 because the Goldilocks of Atmos-fueled soundbars. The spectacular midrange and low-end is greater than we’d anticipate from a $400 audio gadget, nevertheless it doesn’t possess the identical gravitas as one thing just like the Sonos Arc. What’s good although is that Polk Audio was considerate sufficient to incorporate a Voice Regulate function, which actually is useful if you’re watching content material that options soft-spoken dialogue.

Connectivity-wise, the Signa S4 has all of the compatibility you’ll must pair up with on a regular basis units like your smartphone, pill, or laptop computer through Bluetooth or the analog 3.5mm port. As for wiring, you’ll have the selection of HDMI ARC/eARC or digital optical, though you’ll need to select the previous if you happen to’re planning on sending Atmos indicators down the pipeline.

Polk Signa S4

Polk Audio Signa S4

Underneath $500

The Sony HTX8500 Dolby Atmos Soundbar.

Amazon

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Barebones Atmos

Execs

  • Area-saving design
  • Strong sound high quality for the value
  • A number of connections
  • Good audio upscaling

Cons

  • Not as highly effective or feature-rich as different Atmos soundbars
  • No devoted subwoofer

At first look, the Sony HTX8500 doesn’t appear like it could actually deal with way more than two-channel audio. However the truth is, that is truly a 7.1.2 Atmos-certified soundbar with built-in audio upscaling for all non-7.1.2 sources. Does it ship on the Atmos promise although? Sure it does, though this isn’t the kind of soundbar that’s going to blow the roof off your home. Consider the HTX8500 as probably the most bare-bones Dolby Atmos experiences accessible.

When wired utilizing the HDMI ARC/eARC connection, the HTX8500 gives you a reasonably stable Atmos expertise. Whilst you’ll need to be sitting a bit nearer to this soundbar than with different programs, you’ll be handled to a large soundstage with terrific encompass sound results. Sony additionally does a pleasant job at enhancing dialogue and vocals, which makes watching any film or present extra satisfying.

In lieu of a wi-fi subwoofer, Sony went forward and constructed the subs instantly into the soundbar itself. In our opinion, the bass on this method may do with a bit tweaking, as a result of with out the devoted woofer, the low finish can get a bit trampled once in a while. However if you happen to’re all about getting Atmos by any means crucial, the Sony HTX8500 is the mannequin for you.

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Barebones Atmos

Often Requested Questions

What does a soundbar do?

A soundbar can each improve your TV’s usually meager inner audio and streamline your setup by disposing of the messy cables and cumbersome audio system. Now not do you want a number of audio system to get nice high quality audio out of your TV. A soundbar supplies the flexibility to pare down your setup, significantly if in case you have a wall-mounted TV.

What do you have to search for in a soundbar?

There are just a few key elements to look at for when looking for a soundbar, and the primary is audio high quality. Try a number of evaluations of soundbars to ensure you’ll be getting what you pay for.

You additionally need to make sure the soundbar goes to suit your area. In case you have a wall-mounted TV, be sure there are mounting brackets within the again, and it’s good if any further wall mounting {hardware} is included. Double-check the size to make sure the soundbar received’t be wider than your furnishings if you happen to’re opting to position it on a TV stand (that is significantly vital with one thing like Sonos Arc, because the soundbar is lengthy and heavy).

Lastly, chances are you’ll be inclined to buy a shade aside from black. Whereas Sonos makes its audio system and elements in white, many producers don’t, so if you happen to’re contemplating aesthetics, hold this in thoughts.

Do you want a subwoofer with a soundbar?

A wi-fi subwoofer as a part of a soundbar equipment takes issues a step additional by providing higher bass and adaptability in positioning, although it does must be on the ground and unobstructed. Ask your self how a lot you want bass. For lots of us, having some further rumble and thump within the room can take TV viewing and film evening to a complete different degree. Nonetheless, people could discover the extreme vibrations to be an excessive amount of.

Whether or not or not you want a subwoofer together with your soundbar is a matter of private choice. If you need that further low-end functionality out of your soundbar, a separate wi-fi subwoofer is a superb concept. However if you happen to’re OK with what you possibly can name average-sounding bass, you may in all probability be simply advantageous with a straight-up soundbar. With some, just like the Sennheiser Ambeo, the corporate claims there’s merely no want for an additional sub as a result of the soundbar is simply that good.

What’s Dolby Atmos?

With a 5.1- or 7.1-channel residence theater sound system, your system is pushing particular audio to particular audio system, and that helps to make it sound prefer it’s coming from totally different areas within the room. With Dolby Atmos, as a substitute of sending sound to a speaker, it’s pushed to a spot in 3D area, typically by multiple speaker.

Dolby Atmos isn’t the sound or the soundtrack, it’s merely metadata that’s utilized by appropriate audio gear to manage which audio system are reproducing explicit sounds and their location.

Key to Dolby Atmos’ skill to present a extra all-encompassing 3D sound impact is the addition of overhead channels or audio system. In a real Atmos system, you’d have precise audio system overhead. Maybe value noting, the general Atmos overhead impact is finest loved with these devoted overhead audio system. Some Dolby Atmos soundbars use upward-firing audio system to ship this impact, whereas others attempt to replicate the 3D impact just about. Utilizing upward-firing audio system from the soundbar is an efficient dupe for Dolby Atmos, whereas digital replication will be wherever from OK to nice, relying on the soundbar.

Does Dolby Atmos want particular audio system?

In brief, sure. As famous above, these overhead audio system are required to create that further dimension. In a Dolby Atmos soundbar, there are specifically constructed audio system that both direct the sound upward bodily (you may usually see them underneath the grill) or they’ve the flexibility to make use of synthetic intelligence to simulate pushing that sound to the place it must be.

Is DTS:X higher than Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos has some benefits and downsides. Whereas it’s positively been marketed properly, it has a competitor: DTS:X. One other encompass sound system that provides width and directional sound, DTS:X additionally supplies that third dimension of peak for a extra immersive 3D expertise.

DTS:X launched just a few years after Dolby Atmos and presents customers extra business flexibility. Relating to huge theaters, you may solely have as much as 64 Atmos-enabled audio system, however with DTS:X, there’s no restrict. DTS:X prices theater house owners nothing to license, not like Dolby Atmos.

DTS:X can also be extra versatile in terms of the variety of “objects” a sound engineer can place just about in a scene. Whereas DTS permits for just about limitless objects, Atmos limits the objects in a scene to 128.

So is DTS:X higher than Dolby Atmos? Possibly. However Dolby Atmos has an even bigger advertising and marketing machine behind it, so a number of of us could by no means know.

Do Netflix and YouTube help Dolby Atmos?

Netflix does help Dolby Atmos content material, however to get it, you want to be sure completely all the pieces in your setup is Dolby Atmos-ready: The TV, the soundbar and audio system, the content material, and your streaming gadget if you happen to’re not enjoying through the TV.

Whereas it’s potential to seek out loads of Dolby Atmos demo movies on YouTube, they received’t play correctly. YouTube doesn’t have help for Dolby Atmos but.

Is Dolby Atmos value it?

The straightforward reply is sure, however that is a type of applied sciences that you want to expertise. You in all probability thought your outdated SD or HD TV at residence regarded nice till the primary time you walked by a 4K TV in a retailer and puzzled what rabbit gap you’d simply fallen down.

The identical applies to 3D audio like Dolby Atmos. When you’re sitting at residence listening to five.1 encompass sound, you in all probability assume life is fairly good. If any electronics shops close to you’ve a devoted Dolby Atmos show or take a look at room, it’s actually value moving into and listening to the distinction. You possibly can actually see and listen to how a helicopter can take off from the TV display screen on the entrance of the room after which elevate up and over your head earlier than fading off into the background.

The general result’s a extra practical, lifelike sound that feels prefer it’s coming from throughout you, not simply being beamed at you from two or three audio system pointed in your common route.

What’s MPEG-H?

Whereas Dolby Atmos and DTS:X will be the kings of the encompass sound hill, there is a new participant on the town that we’re beginning to see extra of: MPEG-H. We cannot get too into the weeds with it right here — simply go and skim our detailed explainer on MPEG-H — nevertheless it’s a new-ish 360-degree audio format that lets you do some cool issues with the 3D sound area: controlling the place the sounds of some objects are coming from (like a helicopter in an motion scene coming in from above) or how loud they’re (like decreasing the amount of an opposing groups followers throughout a sport) to enhancing dialogue so you may hear what’s being stated higher. MPEG-H can at present be skilled with Sony’s 360 Actuality Audio in addition to with the above-mentioned Sennheiser Amebo soundbar.

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