Dolby Atmos is the best technology you can get for quality surround sound, but do you really have to spend thousands for it? Our audio experts disagree, so we’ve created a list of the cheapest Dolby Atmos soundbars that combine performance and affordable prices for a great home theater experience.
Top 3 Cheap Dolby Atmos Soundbars Reviews
1. TCL Alto 9+ 3.1 Dolby Atmos Sound Bar
The TCL Alto 9+ is a highly compatible soundbar and subwoofer package that can work with a variety of streaming programs. The wireless subwoofer will bring forth the bass tones and the dedicated center channel will enhance the quietest whispers.
As a feature-packed soundbar, the TCL Alto 9+ has Ray Danz Technology, which they utilize to create a wide and multi-faceted soundstage. Along with Dolby Atmos, the most advanced and widely-used technology for surround sound, the Alto 9+ brings the cinematic experience home.
The setup of the Alto 9+ is very simple. It’s a plug-and-play design that can be wall-mounted to be out of your way.
2. Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar
You would expect a soundbar that has both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technologies to cost closer to 500, but the Sony HTX8500 is not the case. Not only does it feature the most advanced audio technologies in the industry, but it also has its own built-in subwoofer.
The Sony soundbar has 7.1.2 channels with Vertical Sound Engine to deliver cinematic sound. The 7 sound modes and voice enhancement will make sure your sound is always tuned perfectly to suit the content.
Finally, the HTX8500 is slim and supports Bluetooth for wireless streaming or HDMI eARC for a cabled connection.
3. TCL Alto 8i 2.1 Channel Dolby Atmos Sound Bar
As one of the more affordable soundbars on the list, our experts were pleasantly surprised by what the TCL Alto 8i had to offer. For one, it has dual subwoofers built-in for more pronounced bass notes.
Dolby Atmos will simulate 3D surround sound whether you choose a cabled connection via HDMI or Bluetooth wireless streaming. There are three specialized sound modes that can improve the audio when you’re watching movies, listening to music, or watching the news.
Design-wise, the slim but substantial design is lightweight enough to be mounted on the wall or placed on a flat surface.
Affordable Dolby Atmos Soundbar Buying Guide
There are many Dolby Atmos soundbars out there, but they’re not made equal. To help you find the soundbar that’s best for you, we’ve listed a few things you should keep in mind.
Alternatively, you can also read our Sakobs computer soundbar review.
Of course, sound quality is the most important thing about a Dolby Atmos soundbar. If you can find speakers with DTS technology paired with Dolby Atmos-worthy technology, that’s a great combination too.
While you can expect soundbars with these specs to provide great sound, it’s still best to read reviews like this to know if a product really conforms to Dolby Atmos standards. Immersive sound is difficult to achieve in speakers, so knowing how a soundbar performs on audio tests is imperative.
Another thing that improves sound quality are sound modes. Sound modes on soundbars will enhance any details like voices which you might have missed with your regular TV speakers.
A soundbar should be sleek and slim to fit easily with your TV. Design is subjective and some speakers are definitely better than others, but it all comes down to your preference.
The thing to consider about design is the size. Your TV may be larger or smaller, and your soundbar should fit under nicely. You can check our round up of soundbars for 40 inch TVs, for instance.
The channels refer to the points of sound emission on your soundbar. Five channels (left, right, center, left and right surround) are the industry standard for surround sound . There are other soundbars though that can go as high as 9.2, such as the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra.
Our experts say it’s best to go with speakers that have at least 3 channels, but if you can find a good budget soundbar with 5 or 7, then those are good options to enjoy surround sound.
The wireless subwoofer is an integral part of the soundbar system when it comes to the bass. If you are someone who enjoys heavy and thumping bass, then you need an external subwoofer to provide exactly that.
Though some highly sought soundbars have subwoofers built-in, they are no match for speakers that have larger and more powerful wireless subs. If you need serious bass, we do recommend going for a model with a separate sub.
You may not need extra bells and whistles in your soundbar, but they do make the entire experience more convenient. Some extra features you can look for include Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
How much does a Dolby Atmos Speaker System Cost?
A Dolby Atmos speaker system can cost up to several thousands of dollars. It depends on whether or not you want extra features, attachments, and more advanced technology. Still, Dolby Atmos soundbars can also cost as little as under 200, such as the first option on our list.
Is a Dolby Atmos soundbar worth it?
Our Top Pick For The Cheapest Dolby Atmos Soundbar: TCL Alto 9+
Our experts have chosen the TCL Alto 9+ as the cheapest Dolby Atmos soundbar. If built-in subs aren’t enough to bring the bass you crave to the forefront, then the Alto 9+ will take it one step further. The soundbar subwoofer combo also works with Ray Danz Technology, Hey Google, has Chromecast built-in, and supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.