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Best Dolby Atmos soundbar of 2020

If you're looking to get the most cinematic sound out of your television then a new Atmos soundbar is a relatively affordable and entertaining option. These are the best models with prices starting at $450.

The audio standard named Dolby Atmos has the distinction of being one of our readers' most-requested soundbar features. Atmos and its competitor DTS:X add the dimension of height to your music and movies, which is what distinguishes it from traditional surround sound. Until last year, it used to cost a lot for a soundbar featuring these "immersive" formats.

Thanks to inexpensive speakers like the Vizio SB36512-F6 ($450) and even the Amazon Echo Studio ($200) smart speaker, Atmos audio is increasingly something that many people can afford to have in their homes. They might not provide the same level of height and surround effects as a traditional Atmos receiver and multiple speakers, but they're a lot more compact and simple to set up.

The Vizio is the best Dolby Atmos soundbar for the money and a great place to start, but there are benefits to the more expensive models. These include, at the very least, improved sound quality but also HDMI switching, Wi-Fi connectivity and even voice assistants.  

These are the best Atmos soundbars from $450 and up.

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If you want the full Atmos audio surround experience then you can get an entire setup for the price of an Atmos receiver. The Vizio SB36512-F6 offers excellent movie sound and discreet design. The cheapest Atmos soundbar yet is also the best value for money and CNET's Editor's Choice. Read our Vizio SB36512-F6 review.

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For a couple hundred dollars more the LG SL9YG offers some palpable audio benefits over the Vizio SB36512 including the Google Assistant and Wi-Fi music streaming. The soundbar also sounds better with music as a result of audio tuning by high-end brand Meridian. Read our LG SL9YG review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

With great movie sound and a reasonable price, the Samsung HW-Q70R is an excellent choice for videophiles. The soundbar's got a streamlined design and will pair well with your new Samsung TV even it may not have quite as many features as the competing LG. Read our Samsung HW-Q70R review.

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If you have a bit more money to spend on audio but want as few boxes as possible then the Sony HT-ST5000 is a decent buy. It has some of the best simulated surround sound we've heard under $2000 and it also offers plenty of HDMI connections -- something cheaper bars lack.  Read our Sony HT-ST5000 review.

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Want the ultimate Atmos audio experience with just a single box? It may be a grand more than the Sony but the Sennhesier Ambeo Soundbar offers the best immersive sound we've ever heard. The Ambeo's lack of a subwoofer, while still sounding full, should be especially attractive to apartment dwellers or where space is tight. Read our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar review.

More soundbar coverage at CNET