Source: Amazon

Best Soundbars with Dolby Atmos iMore 2019

Dolby Atmos is some of the best audio technology around right now. The good news is you'll be able to enjoy movies and TV shows that employ Atmos at home if you pick up a great soundbar or sound system that supports it. If you're looking for the best, we suggest the Samsung HW-Q90R because it just sounds amazing.

Best Overall: Samsung HW-Q90R

Source: Amazon

It's hard to listen to the Samsung HW-Q90R and not be impressed. It has 17 speakers built-in: four that fire upwards, and two that fire to the side. This all ensures that it takes full advantage of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X to give you a full 360-degree sound.

The soundbar is compatible with Alexa (but no other smart home assistants) if you're into the smart home game at all, and with 4K passthrough, Bluetooth, and HDMI connections, you'll be able to play music or sounds from your TV and other devices. While it's expensive, there just isn't another system that sounds like it.

Pros:

  • Complete 7.1.4 system
  • 512W of power
  • 4K passthrough
  • Works with Alexa

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Only works with Alexa

Best Overall

Samsung HW-Q90R

Incredible sound

With 17 speakers built-in for 360-degree sound, this 7.1.4 system delivers that cinema sound experience in a big way.

Best Value: VIZIO SB36514-G6

Source: VIZIO

VIZIO is known for making some great TVs and sound systems that don't cost a fortune, and the Dolby Atmos-compatible VIZIO SB36514-G6 is a great value.

This 5.1.4 system comes complete with a 36-inch soundbar with five speakers inside, two of which fire upward. It has a wireless subwoofer that's surprisingly loud and effective despite its smaller appearance, and two rear satellite speakers each have an upward-firing speaker. The system is a tad more compact than other systems, making it easier to fit into smaller spaces, but the sound fills up even larger rooms well.

As a bonus, the VIZIO SB36514-G6 has Chromecast built-in, so you can easily stream audio through the system, and it even works with Google Assistant, which is nice if you're hooked into that platform.

Pros:

  • More compact design
  • Reasonably priced
  • Chromecast built-in
  • Works with Google Assistant

Cons:

  • Only 5.1 surround

Best Value

VIZIO SB36514-G6

Great performance for the price

With great bass out of such a compact system, the VIZIO SB36514-G6 is reasonably-priced Dolby Atmos system that won't disappoint.

Best for Streaming Audio: LG SL10YG

Source: Amazon

The LG SL10YG soundbar has a gorgeous, minimalist design, complete with upward-firing speakers, as well as three front-facing speakers and a wireless sub. If you're an Android user at all, you'll love the built-in Chromecast, and if you're an Apple TV diehard, you'll appreciate the 4K passthrough. On top of all that, you also have Bluetooth onboard, making streaming audio from any source a breeze, and it even works with Google Assistant.

If you're a fan of high-res audio, the LG SL10YG is capable of playing audio back at a 24-bit/192kHz audio resolution, provided you have the proper source — perfect for audiophiles.

Total power in this system is 570W, so you'll truly fill whatever room you're in with sound, even if it's not full 360-degree sound. If you have a compatible LG TV, you can also use LG Sound Sync, which links your soundbar wirelessly to your TV via Bluetooth.

Pros:

  • 4K Passthrough
  • Chromecast built-in
  • Works with LG Sound Sync
  • HDMI, Optical, and Bluetooth connections

Cons:

  • No rear satellite speakers
  • Only two upward-firing speakers

Best for Streaming Audio

LG SL10YG

Lots of connectivity.

With two HDMI ports, an optical connection, built-in Bluetooth, and Chromecast, this Dolby Atmos system is perfect for anyone for love to stream audio.

Best for Home Theaters : Nakamichi Shockwafe

Source: Amazon

When it comes to pure power, the Nakamichi Shockwafe is the biggest and baddest on the block. This is an impressive 9.2.4 system — that's right — and comes with two wireless subwoofers, four satellite speakers, and a soundbar. Not to mention, it pumps out 1000W of power, meaning it's best used with home theaters and large rooms.

Unlike other systems, the Nakamichi Shockwafe isn't quite as "smart" as other models. There's no smart assistant connectivity or Chromecast on board. Good news, though, the Nakamichi Shockwafe features three HDMI inputs, two optical inputs, a USB input, and can also use Bluetooth, meaning it has plently of connections to hook up any device you can imagine. Plus, it supports 4K passthrough, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR audio through the HDMI (ARC) connection.

Pros:

  • 9.2.4 system!
  • 4K Passthrough
  • Two subwoofers
  • Insane amount of power
  • HDMI, Optical, and Bluetooth connections

Cons:

  • Big and bulky
  • Not cheap

Best for Home Theaters

Nakamichi Shockwafe

A massive system for people who like to go big.

There's no other system out there that offers a 9.2.4 system, making the Nakamichi Shockwafe a must-have for home theater aficionados everywhere

Bottom line

While getting Dolby Atmos in your home sound system is still a newer technology, it's widely be adopted by lots of companies quickly. It remains an expensive investment, but there is no better way to experience home audio.

While the Samsung HW-Q90R is expensive, it sounds incredible. It's packed full of features that every home theater enthusiast would be happy to have, and the staggering inclusion of 17 speakers, makes it one of the most theater-like experience you can get for your home.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Luke Filipowicz is a staff writer for iMore. Audio is very important to Luke who is constantly listening to music, watching movies, and playing games.

Nirave Gondhia is the managing editor of one of our sister sites, TechnoBuffalo, Nirave's ears have heard a lot of tech over the years.

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