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Best Dolby Atmos soundbar 2022: Elevate your TV sound

Introduction

A soundbar solves the issue of poor TV, but if you’re interested in giving the latest Hollywood soundtracks the treatment they deserve, you should consider getting a Dolby Atmos soundbar.

We’ve assessed these soundbars through real-world use, determining whether the soundbars live up to their specification and produce clear, detailed sound quality, as well as deliver on the expectations of Dolby Atmos that audio brands say they do.

These are the best Dolby Atmos soundbars that we’ve tested, ranging from compact soundbars, to soundbar and subwoofer combinations and wireless surround sound systems. See below for comparison of the listed soundbars, along with summaries, deals and links to our main reviews.

How we test soundbars

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

Possibly the best-sounding soundbar in the world
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Pros

  • Superb 3D audio performance
  • As good with music as it is movies

Cons

  • Eye-wateringly expensive
  • Big and not exactly pretty

Sennheiser’s Ambeo Soundbar is a big, costly and also one of the best soundbars we’ve tested.

It’s stacked with support for audio formats that includes Atmos, DTS:X, Ambeo processing and MPEG-H format. In terms of sound, it produces a muscular and hard-hitting performance, with excellent effects steering, clarity and a superbly immersive soundscape.

It’s a phenomenal sounding bar that’s taken the concept of Atmos from a single box and elevated it to another level.

Reviewer: Steve May
Full Review: Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar

Sony HT-A7000

A sonic delight with movie and music
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Pros

  • Well-featured
  • Excellent sonic performance
  • Strong bass for a single bar
  • Terrific music performance

Cons

  • Needs plenty of space
  • Adding subwoofer and rear channels is expensive
  • Standalone bar is pricey

The Sony HT-A7000’s depth of talents means that while it is a soundbar in name, it’s also so much more. For the price it delivers a formidable one-box performance by delivering plenty of height, power, and width for a dynamic and exciting performance.

It is a speaker that needs space to operate, the size of its dimensions makes this a soundbar for bigger rooms (and one to sit on bigger furniture). Though Sony claims it can do virtual surround sound, that side of the A7000’s performance wasn’t as clear cut and adding a subwoofer and rear speakers adds plenty to the soundbar’s already premium price.

But as single bar it has so much to offer with its various streaming options (Chromecast, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect), its Atmos performance is crisp, big, and precise, summoning plenty of taut bass for a one-box system, and it’s a system that’s as good with movies as it is with music. At its price, the Sony HT-A7000 is the immersive soundbar to beat.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: Sony HT-A7000

Sonos Arc

A great going on brilliant Sonos speaker
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Pros

  • Expansive, well-defined and invigorating sound
  • Good impression of audio width and height
  • Fine spec
  • Ample control options

Cons

  • Slightly bumpy frequency response
  • Some treble stridency
  • No MQA support

Sonos newest soundbar is one able to do justice to both cutting-edge movie soundtracks and music. It’s Sonos’ first adventure into Atmos sound and the results are impressive.

Trueplay support allows users to fine tune the sound in a way that suits their room, and the Sonos S2 app provides plenty of ways to feed audio into the soundbar with its huge support for streaming services. The bar sounds excellent, generating a sound that’s far wider, bigger and taller than the soundbar itself, creating the height Atmos needs for flinging sounds above the listener. You will want to pair with a TV that has an eARC HDMI port to maximise its Atmos performance.

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full review: Sonos Arc

Samsung HW-Q900A

Another powerful Atmos bar from Samsung
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Pros

  • Big, spacious sound
  • AirPlay 2 support
  • Alexa integration
  • Big bass performance

Cons

  • Front heavy presentation for “immersive” soundbar
  • Confusing display placement
  • Room calibration feature only possible with Samsung QLEDs

The HW-Q900A’s front-heavy approach means you don’t get the same level of immersion than you would from a system with rear channels, but if you don’t have the room for that, then getting up close to this soundbar might be the better option.

With Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks the HW-Q900A creates a sense of space and scale, firing effects in every direction without over-egging it. The bar consistently delivers enjoyable sound whether it’s playing action films, suspenseful horrors, or dramatic TV series. Height effects are slightly conservatively played, so playing the settings for the upfiring speakers will elicit a clearer cut performance.

Features include AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Alexa support, with Apple’s wireless streaming tech new for the 2021 models and expanding the range of devices that can play with the Samsung. There is no Chromecast support though, and you can’t use Alexa to fire up your favourite Spotify playlist (but you can kickstart your Amazon Music playlist). The subwoofer’s Auto EQ feature also allows for a bass performance that’s more in tune with your surroundings.

Also included is Samsung’s Q-Symphony tech that synchronises that sound from a compatible Samsung TV and the Q900A. The effect is the kind of experience you get from a cinema, sound flowing off the screen while bass is handled by the capable sub. It’s getting steadily cheaper, which makes this a bit of bargain.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: Samsung HW-Q900A

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

A powerful update that brings modern movie sounds to the smaller soundbar
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Pros

  • Clean and balanced sound
  • Upgradeable
  • Excellent size
  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support

Cons

  • HDMI eARC input only
  • No DTS support (coming soon)

The original Sonos Beam was a fantastic effort, sitting at the top spot of a soundbar best buy for ages. This sequel makes a few trims and adds Dolby Atmos making the Gen 2 model a clear step up.

Designed for smaller TVs and rooms, the Gen 2 Beam carries some of the features of its Arc big brother and can wrap sound around you although it’s not as accomplished. It delivers clear and defined audio that outperforms a TV, as well as featuring all of Sonos’ multi-room prowess, this is a soundbar that can deliver a great music experience, fitting in with your existing system, not replacing it.

Some may find the single eARC input restricting for their set-up and though Sonos brought a DTS update to its products later in 2021 it doesn’t support all the DTS formats. Nevertheless, this is an excellent and clever compact Atmos soundbar and will make plenty of space for those who want cinematic sound without having to pay through the nose for it.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Sonos Beam Gen 2

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage

Stylish with cinematic sound
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Pros

  • Superb build quality and design
  • Highly cinematic
  • Multi-room support, with Airplay 2 and Chromecast built-in

Cons

  • Only one HDMI input
  • No dedicated remote control
  • No USB port

The Beosound Stage from Bang & Olufsen is the Danish brand’s first soundbar.

It looks great and supports wall-mounting if you want to save space. For connections, it’s rather sniffy – only one HDMI, and there’s no remote either. This is partially made up for with Dolby Vision, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, built-in Chromecast and multi-room (BeoLink) support.

In terms of Atmos, it does a great job of creating height and width, with its angled drivers expanding the soundstage. There’s no shortage of power either with impressive bass. It’s also very good with standard soundtracks and a superior Bluetooth music speaker to boot.

Reviewer: Steve May
Full Review: B&O Beosound Stage

Philips Fidelio B97

If movie sound is your priority, the Fidelio B97 gets an awful lot right
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Pros

  • Expansive, immersive and convincing movie sound
  • Clever modular design and impressive finish
  • Generally decent music reproduction

Cons

  • Height effect not as pronounced as you might expect
  • Full operation requires multiple apps
  • Quite big – or, rather, long

Philips’ Fidelio B97 is a soundbar that thinks outside the box. Its surround speakers are detachable from the main unit, offering a choice between either have a wide sound or creating the effect of a surround sound set-up. It’s quite a novel way of making a set-up that fits your room.

Plugged into the speaker are numerous drivers, including a couple that fire upwards to reflect off the ceiling to deliver a true 7.1.2-channel Dolby Atmos surround-sound experience., while the accompanying wireless subwoofer gets on with delivering cinematic low-frequency wallop, digging deep, and hitting hard but never overstating its presence and in the process it complements the main unit.

Add a stack of connectivity options – HDMI eARC, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, Chromecast, AirPlay 2 – and you have a number of ways of firing sound at the speaker. IMAX Enhanced certification ensures that with any compatible content the B97 is ready to play it to IMAX’s exacting standards. The DTS Play Fi throws in support for high resolution audio playback and multi-room, though in terms of operating the Fidelio B97 it does require more apps than is convenient.

And though it’s a soundbar that supports Atmos and DTS:X, the height channels aren’t as prominently displayed as you may expect – this is more of a nuanced performer than a brash and overt one. Nevertheless, with a sonic signature that’s as impressive with music as it is with movies, the B97 might justifiably be described as an ‘all-in-one’ just as readily as a ‘soundbar’.

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full review: Philips Fidelio B97

Sony HT-X8500

Popcorn fun by the bucket load
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Pros

  • All-in-one 2.1 design
  • Good with movies and music
  • Plug ‘n’ Play installation

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi support
  • No up-firing Dolby Atmos drivers
  • Pronounced sweet spot

If you’re short on space, the HT-X8500 is a great choice of getting Atmos into smaller living rooms.

While it’s not strictly an Atmos system in the truest sense, it gets past this with Sony’s inventive DSP post-processing to produce a surround sound effect that is genuinely impressive. You don’t get overhead effects, but you do get a sense of space as long as you sit in the sweet spot.

Perhaps not a soundbar for an audience of more than one, but if you’re after a cheap and compact solution, this fits the bill.

Reviewer: Steve May
Full Review: Sony HT-X8500

Denon Home Sound Bar 550

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Pros

  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  • Confident ‘overhead’ performance
  • Entertaining with music
  • Lots of connectivity options

Cons

  • Volume ramping leads to an unbalanced presentation
  • Adding more speakers is pricey

Denon’s entrant into the world compact Atmos soundbars sees it take on Sonos, and it provides a robust challenge against its Californian rival.

The Denon Home Soundbar 550 is a soundbar with plenty of brawn to go with its smarts, creating a compelling and small home cinema package for anyone looking to boost their TV’s performance. At launch it was significantly more expensive than the Sonos Beam 2 (to the tune of £150) but in recent months it’s come down to a figure that mirror its Sonos counterpart.

And it mirrors the Sonos in other ways. It relies on virtual processing to create the sense of height in soundtracks, and for a soundbar its size it is surprisingly adept, managing to place effects accurately on a 65-inch screen. What it doesn’t do as convincingly is project sounds into the room and steer effects. For you may want to consider getting a pair of Home speakers as surrounds.

Music is also well handled, though again the performance is very much from the bar, eschewing any sense of width. It is well-stocked with smarts and connectivity options (better than the Sonos in this sense) to make it the centrepiece of your living room. An assured performer and one of the better attempts at small form factor immersive bar.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: Denon Home Sound Bar 550

Sony HT-G700

An Atmos system for smaller rooms
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Pros

  • Atmos for a compact space
  • Vertical Surround Engine is clever
  • Tight, punchy bass
  • Enjoyable music performance
  • More suited for compact spaces

Cons

  • Overcomplicated menu system
  • Claims of virtual surround sound is overstated
  • Squashed aspect to the sound at times

Sony’s latest soundbar sees it bring Atmos sound to rooms where it isn’t practical to fit multiple speakers. While the claims of surround sound are overstated, in terms of the ‘height’ effect that Atmos/DTS:X requires, the HT-G700 is a success.

It’s not the most expansive sounding bar, but it delivers an entertaining performance with both films and music. And the audio wizardry it conjures up to create height effects without actual upfiring speakers is rather ingenious. If you have a small room this would be a plum choice for filling it.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Sony HT-G700

Sharp HT-SBW800

Atmos at its most affordable
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Pros

  • Big front soundstage
  • Well-integrated subwoofer
  • Informative display
  • Attractive and well-made
  • Great price

Cons

  • No DTS:X support
  • No rear channels or option to add
  • No built-in Wi-Fi

The Sharp HT-SBW800 is designed to deliver a genuine Dolby Atmos experience at an affordable price. It is limited in terms of features with no sign of DTS:X, no built-in Wi-Fi or the option to add rear channels.

However, this is a soundbar that’s easy to set-up, well made and produces an expansive, if rather front-heavy, multichannel experience. Throw in plenty of connections, an intuitive remote control, and an informative display and it becomes something of a bargain.

Reviewer: Steve Withers
Full reviews: Sharp HT-SBW800

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

A compact-sized soundbar with Atmos support
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Pros

  • Compact size
  • Atmos + MultiBeam sound
  • Multi-room support
  • Energetic sound
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Front-heavy Atmos presentation
  • Issue with Dolby Vision passthrough
  • Bluetooth music playback a little lethargic

The JBL Bar 5.0 fits a tremendous amount of value into its compact design and affordable price. Small in stature, its size is about the same as the Sonos Beam so for those facing troubles with finding some space, this conveniently sized speaker should be able to sit snugly into your existing set-up.

Connections number HDMI out/in, optical, USB (service-only in the UK, playback in the US), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Access to a local Wi-Fi opens up the speaker for connection to devices that support AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. Smarts come in the form of Alexa integration so if you’re in that ecosystem she can answer all queries, while there’s added multi-room support with the inclusion of Alexa Multi-Room so you can group Alexa-compatible speakers together and play music together.

When it comes to audio, the JBL’s performance is a spirited one: energetic, engaging, and bigger than you might expect. With JBL’s Multibeam technology activated, the Atmos height channels are delivered effective enough, elevating sounds above the TV while it fires sounds at to the side to create a convincing sense of width. Nudge the Bar 5.0’s volume beyond level 10 and it becomes a different beast altogether, dynamic shifts delivered with rapid-fire intensity and a sound that’s impressively big.

There are aspects where the sound suffers: it isn’t great at dealing with hectic soundtracks with dialogue getting lost at times and as you’d expect for a compact speaker, bass lacks extension and depth – though your neighbours will probably thank you for that.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam

FAQs

What’s the best budget Dolby Atmos soundbar?

The JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam is a contender for that gong. It offers a good performance in creating height channels with the Multibeam technology extending the width of the soundstage. With a slew of connectivity options, it covers plenty of avenues for getting sound to it for the price of £349

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 Sony HT-X8500 is worth considering. It’s a compact effort, that produces a powerful sound, though it does not feature actual upfiring speakers and produces Atmos through virtual processing

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Specs compared

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