The 10 Best Dolby Atmos-Enabled Speakers
This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in August of 2019. When done right, Dolby's object-based Atmos audio processing can turn already great movies and music into immersive soundscapes that transport you directly to the middle of the action (or concert). The overhead channels might be pretty subtle, but they go a long way in adding complex, 3-dimensional height effects. These are some of the best speakers for up-firing or wall-mounted use. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 31, 2020:
Make no mistake, raised satellites can have an important effect when it comes to Dolby Atmos playback. However, the vast majority of users won't notice much of a difference between moderate- and high-quality speakers. To that end, we've elevated the Polk OWM3 to the top spot, because not only are they affordable, they sound good and boast a slim construction that makes them relatively easy to mount in the average home. To take one step up in quality without spending a fortune, consider the Elac Debut 2.0 A4.2, which are also relatively compact compared to some.
August 13, 2019:
First of all, don't make a pair of Atmos-enabled upfiring or height speakers the first or even second part of your home theater. Start with a good pair of towers and some satellites to go with them. You'll also need a compatible Atmos-enabled receiver (Denon makes some very popular models) otherwise you won't even be able to process the Dolby metadata that's programmed into the media.
In keeping with that theme, unless you're an absolutely diehard fan of ultra-high-quality audio, you probably don't need to spend a whole ton on overhead speakers. For most people on a moderate budget, the Polk OWM3 are the best bet; they're not only priced well, they're also quite slim and offer multiple mounting positions and colors, plus they have paintable grilles so you can customize them to perfectly match your decor. The Onkyo SKH-410 are similarly priced and just a touch larger. Up a level in sound quality as well as cost are the ELAC Debut 2.0 and Klipsch RP-140SA, and if you listen to a lot of complex tunes at high levels, you may benefit from their added fidelity. If you demand the best and have already fleshed out most of your system with high-end components, look to the SVS Prime Elevation or even the KEF Q50a, which are notably expensive, but also sound simply wonderful.
Sonos Architectural Generally speaking, Sonos speakers are ungodly expensive, and their architectural line is no exception. But if you're outfitting a high-end home theater with the best equipment possible, you have to at least give them a look. If you can afford them and are willing to do the installation work, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better-performing option. sonos.com
GoldenEar SuperSat There aren't many situations where soundbars are ideal, but if you're talking about atmospheric sound (i.e., not the main left and right channels), a soundbar can actually serve quite handily. These high-end options are of such great quality that they actually do sound great as primary satellites, and if you want seriously lush overhead channels, their slim construction and light weight makes them easy to use in that way, as well. They are, however, more expensive than traditional up-firing speakers. goldenear.com