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Best Dolby Atmos speakers in 2024

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VIZIO-Elevate-Soundbar-P514a-H6-1

Founded in 1965, Dolby was the first to offer noise reduction and immersive audio technologies for commercial theater sound. The company powered noise reduction in home cassette decks throughout the 1980s, then expanded into home theater in the 1990s.


Dolby’s current iteration of immersive audio, dubbed Atmos, aims to create a truly 3D sound stage by directing sound upward and off the ceiling. Movies and even musical recordings that have been mastered for Atmos take on exciting new dimensions, but you need compatible speakers to take advantage.


Selecting the Dolby Atmos speakers

Selecting the best Dolby Atmos speakers for you requires weighing your needs, space, and budget against a few different types of systems. These range from compact single-unit soundbar setups to configurations with multiple dedicated speakers including surrounds.

In addition to audio quality, things to look for in Atmos speakers include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth audio streaming support, physical connectivity such as HDMI inputs, and control with popular voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. We’re here to help you cut through the clutter, so let’s get started!

Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 Home Theater System

Best overall

All-round excellence

$700 $799 Save $99

The Vizio Elevate delivers excellent, full-size sound for home theater, games and music with a center channel speaker, subwoofer and dedicated surrounds. In a technological twist, the Elevate soundbar leverages motorized speakers that revolve to fire upward for home theater content. While they work great, we do wonder how the moving drivers will age.

Pros

  • Excellent sound for movies and music
  • Compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  • Dedicated sub and rear speakers
Cons

  • Rotating speakers may not age well
  • Could be more user-friendly
  • No Apple AirPlay support

While it’s not inexpensive, the Elevate delivers versatile capabilities for music, movies and games with its formidable soundbar, large sub and dedicated surround speakers. The system offers excellent clarity and lively, dynamic performance, with good bass response provided by the sub. For movies and games the system is a winner, with Atmos and its dedicated surrounds. Atmos and DTS:X content are adeptly delivered thanks to the Elevate’s rotating drivers, which tilt up for 3D content. The soundbar houses 13 drivers, including a dedicated center channel that contributes to a crystal-clear presentation of dialog. One caveat: there’s no way to be certain how well the mechanized speakers will hold up after years of usage.

In terms of connectivity, the Elevate has you covered. There are three HDMI ports including an HDMI eARC connection, in addition to optical digital and 3.5mm analog audio inputs. Adding to the impressive feature list, the Elevate also has USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. While it doesn’t support Apple Airplay, the Elevate does work with Spotify and Chromecast. The Elevate’s remote layout can be a bit confusing, while the setup and its interface could be more elegant. On the whole, however, the Elevate is an excellent sounding system with great features, earning it our pick for best overall.

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Sennheiser Ambeo Max Soundbar

Premium pick

Pinnacle of performance

An update to the original and widely-praised Ambeo soundbar, the Sennheiser Ambeo Max sits at the pinnacle of single-unit soundbar performance. Among its attributes, the Ambeo Max provides large bass, clear highs for music and home theater dialog, and a deeply enveloping soundstage. The Ambeo Max is a great option if you want premium features and performance without a lot of gear clutter.

Pros

  • Powerful, detailed sound
  • Excellent Atmos performance
  • Broad format support
Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Too bulky for tight spaces
  • Wall mount not included

The Ambeo Max leverages five tweeters, two upfiring drivers for 3D audio, and six front- and side-firing woofers to deliver best-in-class standalone performance. Cinematic dialog is clear, music and games are dynamic with a broad and enveloping soundstage, and the Ambeo’s bass response is palpable. The Ambeo Max is one of the best Atmos and DTS:X soundbars available, helping it earn our premium recommendation.

The Ambeo Max has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and supports a broad array of formats and technologies, including AirPlay and Spotify Connect. It also supports Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, meaning you can stream 3D Music from Sony over Tidal and Amazon Music. In addition to HDMI eARC, the system has three HDMI inputs, RCA and optical audio inputs, as well as a subwoofer output. However, dedicated surrounds are not supported. At approximately 50-inches across and 40 pounds, the Ambeo Max is a behemoth, and overkill for smaller spaces. Unfortunately, a wall mount is not included.

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Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

Best value

Sonos for smaller spaces

An update to the original Beam, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a mid-size soundbar designed for movies, games and music. The Beam (Gen 2) includes Dolby Atmos support for immersive 3D cinema and music experiences, and it sounds better than the first generation Beam. The Beam (Gen 2) is a great starting point or add on for your Sonos-based whole-home system. Its accessible price point, solid performance and Sonos capabilities make the Beam (Gen 2) a strong choice for mid-size home theaters.

Pros

  • Compact and affordable
  • Great sound for movies, games and music
  • Supports Sonos ecosystem
Cons

  • Lacks bass presence
  • No DTS:X support
  • Limited connectivity

The Beam (Gen 2) features dedicated class-D amplifiers that drive a center tweeter, four midwoofers, and accompanying passive radiators. The Beam (Gen 2) offers clear and engaging sound for videos, games, and music. Its bass response is controlled but not powerful. Although it does not have dedicated upfiring drivers for the most advanced Atmos performance, the Beam (Gen 2) still offers a good immersive experience. Unfortunately, it does not support DTS:X.

Especially if you’re a Sonos owner or want to build a network-based system around Sonos products, the Beam (Gen 2) is good value. It easily integrates with your Sonos whole-home audio system via Wi-Fi, but unfortunately, doesn’t include Bluetooth. It does offer an HDMI eARC port, but that’s about it in terms of physical device connections.

The Sonos Arc

Sonos Arc

Innovative excellence

Sonos’s best soundbar

$839 $899 Save $60

The Sonos Arc is a large soundbar that delivers excellent sound for movies, music and games. Like other Sonos products, it easily integrates with Sonos whole-home audio systems and can be controlled and configured via the Sonos app. If you’re a Sonos user or want to become one, the Arc makes an excellent centerpiece.

Pros

  • Rich, detailed sound
  • Works with Sonos ecosystem
  • Good bass without a sub
Cons

  • No DTS:X support
  • Limited connectivity
  • No Bluetooth

At 45-inches wide, the Arc is too large for smaller home theaters, but it hits the spot for larger spaces that require more powerful sound. This all-in-one Atmos soundbar comprises eight elliptical woofers and three tweeters to deliver a full, powerful sound. Its performance is superb for movies, games and music, hallmarked by clear dialog, strong dynamics and excellent depth of soundstage. Upfiring drivers ensure immersive Atmos experiences, but DTS:X is not supported. Bass response is powerful and tight – no need for a subwoofer here, unless you really want to go huge on the low end.

The Sonos ecosystem is innovative and awesome. It allows you to create a completely modular whole-home audio system one piece at a time, if you wish to do so. However, the Arc’s physical inputs are limited to a single HDMI eArc port and an optical digital input. The Arc supports both Google and Amazon voice assistants, AirPlay, Spotify Connect and other major streaming platforms. Unfortunately, audio streaming is limited to Wi-Fi as Bluetooth has been omitted here.

Samsung-HW-Q990C-1

Samsung HW-Q990C

Great for large spaces

Top-tier performance for movies and music

$1598 $1898 Save $300

The Samsung HW-Q990C is a full-fledged home theater speaker system that includes a robust soundbar, two surround speakers and a dedicated subwoofer. Ideal for larger home theaters, the HW-Q990C delivers excellent performance for Dolby Atmos content as well as non-Atmos movies, music and games. While it is quite expensive, Samsung’s flagship soundbar system raises the bar on Atmos performance.

Pros

  • Fills large spaces
  • Superb Atmos performance
  • Includes rear speakers and sub
Cons

  • Pricey
  • Odd display implementation
  • Lacks highest-resolution Bluetooth audio support

With its soundbar nearly 49 inches wide, the HW-Q990C is best suited for larger rooms. The soundbar incorporates an impressive 11 front-firing drivers – while most Atmos soundbars have two up-firing drivers, the HW-Q990C incorporates four, giving it a clear and noticeable advantage when it comes to immersive 3D audio. Combined with the surround speakers and the subwoofer, this configuration adds up to a highly engaging, premium home theater experience. The system is well-balanced and also handles music with aplomb.

In addition to Atmos, the system supports DTS:X 3D audio, Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2. You can stream audio via both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Unfortunately, only the SBC standard is supported for Bluetooth streaming, which is a drawback compared to systems that support higher-resolution transmission using the AptX standard, for example. Moreover, while the soundbar has an integrated display, it’s oddly placed behind the soundbar grille, which can make readability a challenge. Physical connections include two HDMI 2.0 inputs, HDMI eARC and optical digital audio. The system supports both Google and Amazon voice assistants.

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Sonos Era 300

Sonos Era 300

Sonos surrounds

Complete your Sonos system

With four directional tweeters and two woofers, the Era 300 delivers a rich and full sound. Connecting a pair of Era 300s along with a Sonos soundbar, such as the Arc, creates a killer home theater experience. Like other Sonos speakers, the Era 300 offers the key benefit of modular integration with Sonos whole-home audio systems with centralized control via the Sonos app.

Pros

  • Excellent sound
  • Works as a surround or main speaker
  • Sonos ecosystem integration
Cons

  • Expensive for surround speaker duty
  • Limited physical connectivity
  • Lacks Google voice assistant

The Era 300 makes an excellent surround speaker when paired with a Sonos soundbar. Its performance is detailed, rich and dynamic, far surpassing the typical surround speaker. It creates an enveloping rear 3D soundstage with six total drivers aiming to the front, sides, and top. However, the pleasure will not come cheaply, as you’ll need two Era 300s to serve as your surround speakers. The Atmos-capable Era 300 is also a superb main speaker for music, and can be moved around the house with relative ease to create different configurations with other Sonos products, making it exceptionally versatile.

It’s worth noting that despite its versatility, the Era 300 is not a suitable Atmos soundbar substitute, mainly because it doesn’t have physical HDMI inputs. The Era 300 has USB-C line-in audio connectivity via an optional dongle, but that’s about it in terms of physical inputs. In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, the Era 300 offers Bluetooth audio. The Era 300 supports Amazon’s voice assistant but unfortunately omits Google support.

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The Bose Smart Soundbar 600

Bose Smart Soundbar 600

Sonos alternative

Excellent 3D performance

If you’re seeking a mid-priced soundbar with Dolby Atmos support, the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is worth a look. A close rival to the Sonos Beam, the 600 features dedicated Atmos height drivers that create an immersive soundfield with Atmos content. Its relatively compact size makes the Smart Soundbar 600 a good choice for small- and mid-size home theaters. As a standalone unit, the 600 performs well with videos, games and music, but some users may wish to add a subwoofer for more bass.

Pros

  • Broad soundstage and clear dialog
  • Audio via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Relatively compact
Cons

  • Only one HDMI input
  • Middling bass presence
  • No DTS:X support

The 600 is a very good sounding speaker powered by five total drivers, where one fires forwards, two to the sides, and two upwards. The dedicated height drivers provide immersive Dolby Atmos performance, and it also delivers center channel dialog with notable clarity. On a whole, the soundstage is very immersive and leaves little to be desired. That said, bass lovers such as EDM fans or those who really want to feel the explosions in action movies will likely want to add a dedicated subwoofer to the system.

At a hair more than 27 inches long, the 600 is a fairly compact soundbar that’s perfectly suited for small- and mid-sized home theaters. In addition to supporting audio over both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the 600 includes a single HDMI eARC input, optical digital input, and a subwoofer output. Streaming support includes Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2, and Spotify Connect. Amazon’s Alexa is on-board, but Google’s voice assistant is not directly supported. DTS:X is also unsupported. The Bose app is well-designed and provides system configuration and control capabilities along with the included remote.

Klipsch-R-41SA-Atmos-Speakers

Klipsch R-41SA

Best add-on

Atmos speaker for traditional systems

American audio house Klipsch has been a player in home audio for decades, offering some of the best sounding hi-fi speakers on the market. The R-41SA is no exception, and is an excellent choice for those looking to add 3D audio capabilities to a dedicated speaker system built around an Atmos-capable AV receiver.

Pros

  • Dedicated Atmos speaker
  • Works with traditional home theater systems
  • Excellent sound
Cons

  • Fairly expensive
  • Wired speaker without “smart” capabilities
  • Best for Klipsch-based speaker systems

Sold in pairs, the R-41SA is a two-way wired speaker with a 4-inch woofer and a 1-inch driver, a considerably beefier configuration than you’ll get with the upfiring drivers integrated into soundbars. The speakers are powerful and do an excellent job of bouncing sound off the ceiling to create full 3D immersion when used with Atmos or DTS:X encoded content. If you’re constructing a system from scratch, consider paring the R-41SA speakers with other Klipsch Reference series speakers such as the R-820F or the R-51M, for optimal matching.

Their purpose-built design with an angled back means you can simply place the R-41SA speakers on top of your mains for easy installation and optimal performance. Alternatively, the RS-41SA speakers can be wall-mounted above your mains as an elevation speaker, or mounted to the wall as a surround speaker.

Final recommendations for the best Dolby Atmos speakers

As we’ve explored in this roundup, there are a number of different approaches you can take to build the the Dolby Atmos sound system of your dreams. The best choice for you really comes down to your individual needs, preferences, and budget.

The versatile Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 system earned our pick for best overall with its novel, yet effective mechanized drivers and superb sound. The pricey Sennheiser Ambeo Max got our nod for premium pick by delivering huge, detailed sound and rich bass from a single soundbar unit. And last but not least, our budget pick went to the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) for providing great sound and an affordable gateway into the whole-home audio world of Sonos.

VIZIO-Elevate-Soundbar-P514a-H6-1

Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 Home Theater System

Best overall

All-round excellence

$700 $799 Save $99

The Vizio Elevate delivers excellent, full-size sound for home theater, games and music with a center channel speaker, subwoofer and dedicated surrounds. In a technological twist, the Elevate soundbar leverages motorized speakers that revolve to fire upward for home theater content. While they work great, we do wonder how the moving drivers will age.

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