Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar for 2022

Wi-fi subwoofers and Bluetooth connectivity are nice, however CNET readers’ most requested soundbar function is Dolby Atmos audio. Like DTS:X, Dolby Atmos differs from normal {surround} sound by including peak to your music and films for a extra dynamic and immersive listening expertise. 

Dolby Atmos soundbars at the moment are extra reasonably priced than ever, particularly in contrast with a conventional Atmos receiver and surround-sound audio system. These soundbars are additionally extra compact and simpler to arrange than a house theater system, with the trade-off being they cannot present the identical stage of efficiency.

The Vizio M512a is my favourite Dolby Atmos soundbar for underneath $500 — it affords each devoted peak channels and {surround} audio system, and high quality sound into the discount. Some rivals on the value — such because the Sonos Beam Gen 2 and Sony HT-G700 — can solely provide simulated peak audio system, when you can hear the distinction the devoted peak audio system of the Bose Sensible Soundbar 600 makes.

Whilst you can simply cease on the $500 mark, there are advantages available from the costlier fashions: improved sound high quality, music streaming and voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. For instance, the $900 Sonos Arc is an all-in-one soundbar which affords nice sound, beautiful construct high quality and glorious multiroom capabilities.

These are my favourite Atmos soundbar choices from $400 and up, periodically up to date as I evaluate new merchandise. Bear in mind: A few of these merchandise are presently on backorder, so test again periodically if a particular mannequin is out of inventory.

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The Vizio M512a improves on its predecessor in virtually each approach: it seems higher, it sounds higher, and it is simpler to make use of. Whereas it retains Bluetooth functionality it does lose the flexibility to stream over Wi-Fi. Should you’re on the lookout for probably the most cost-effective approach so as to add Dolby Atmos to your tv that is the one.

Learn our Vizio M512a-H6 evaluate.

 

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The Polk Signa S4 is the most cost effective soundbar with Dolby Atmos on board but, however it does not sacrifice efficiency to get that value down. This can be a 3.1.2 channel soundbar with a number of helpful sound modes and Bluetooth streaming. The wi-fi soundbar and devoted heights assist it belt out Atmos soundtracks, and it sounds nice with music too.

Learn our Polk Signa S4 evaluate.

 

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Should you like a little bit of “excessive tech” in your tech then look to the Vizio Elevate. This can be a 5.1.2 soundbar system that makes use of motorized drivers to change between Atmos and regular {surround} sound. It is not only a gimmick — it additionally sounds good! As well as, the Elevate contains the whole lot else you need from a contemporary soundbar, together with a number of HDMI inputs and Wi-Fi music streaming.

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Many corporations have tried making a compact, reasonably priced soundbar that may additionally play Atmos, however arguably just one firm has to date succeeded. The Bose Sensible Soundbar 600 affords devoted peak audio system in a compact soundbar, and its sound high quality is prime notch. The speaker additionally provides in multiroom music and the Alexa voice assistant as nicely.

Learn our Bose Sensible Soundbar 600 evaluate.

 

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In order for you the very best Dolby Atmos sound from a single bar however balk at paying $1,000 or extra, the Sonos Arc is for you. This soundbar is a bit quirky, as you may want a 2019 or newer 4K TV to benefit from it, and but it nonetheless performs higher than most. The Arc affords a bunch of nice options too, together with a alternative of voice assistant and Sonos’ glorious streaming structure.

Learn our Sonos Arc evaluate.

 

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Need the final word Atmos audio residence theater sound system expertise with only a single field? It could be a grand greater than the Sony however the Sennheiser Ambeo standalone soundbar affords the very best immersive sound we have ever heard. Google Chromecast and Bluetooth connectivity are in-built for a seamless expertise. The Ambeo’s lack of a subwoofer, whereas nonetheless sounding full, must be particularly engaging to condo dwellers.

Learn our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar evaluate.

 

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How I take a look at

At CNET I take a look at audio gear from compact soundbars although to {surround} sound audio system methods, however whatever the system my methodology is basically the identical. I at all times evaluate merchandise in opposition to a number of reference units which provide the very best efficiency at an analogous value. 

With regards to soundbars I need to see how nicely a system performs with music in addition to with motion pictures, as most individuals will need to do each. I watch from a handful of take a look at scenes from 4K Blu-ray or streamed from a 4K streaming service (Vudu, for instance) and consider facets equivalent to bass efficiency and dialog readability. I additionally use a variety of take a look at music tracks and consider any streaming options equivalent to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It is methods that may carry out nicely with each sorts of leisure that inevitably rating the best.

Different soundbars I’ve examined

Take a look at my soundbar shopping for information for extra concerning the options and issues you must think about when on the lookout for a brand new system.

FAQs 

Do I want HDMI 2.1 to hearken to Atmos?

Dolby Atmos could be performed over a standard HDMI ARC reference to streaming companies which use the Dolby Digital Plus codec, and when it really works it is nice. In order for you the full-blooded Dolby Atmos expertise then it’s possible you’ll must improve to a brand new TV with an HDMI 2.1 port, as it would allow greater high quality Atmos streams from Blu-ray gamers and gaming consoles.

Is a Dolby Atmos soundbar value paying further for?

Should you’re a gamer or take pleasure in watching the most recent blockbusters, then sure, a Dolby Atmos soundbar is value paying extra for. However you want to just be sure you have a TV with an HDMI ARC port (for Dolby Digital Plus) and a Dolby Atmos-capable supply such because the Xbox Sequence X or the most recent Roku streamers.

Which connection is finest for a Dolby Atmos soundbar?

The brief reply is HDMI. The lengthy reply is that there is two methods to get Atmos into certainly one of these audio system — the primary, and finest, is to have a TV with an eARC port (HDMI 2.1). This port is a function of many new TVs and permits Atmos info to be fed out of your TV (by way of both good apps or one other linked system) to an exterior speaker. Regular HDMI ARC will work for some streaming companies that supply Dolby Atmos. 

Alternatively, when you have an older TV and an Atmos supply equivalent to a Blu-ray participant, you may want a soundbar that has a couple of HDMI port. The Vizio M512a lets you join exterior units straight by HDMI.

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