Immersive Dolby Atmos sound for 500 dollars?
Dolby Atmos and practical smart features have already been available in soundbars under 400€, but soundbars that support both are not yet available in this price range. That’s exactly what the soundbars listed here have over these models, and they are also equipped with sophisticated sound optimization features.
In addition, up- & side-firing speakers in combination with the sound format Dolby Atmos are rather rare in cheaper soundbars, so they can only utilize the innovative sound format to a limited extent. Of course, manufacturers reserve such hardware for their more expensive models, but you can still get hold of soundbars with this technology for less than $500.
Best Soundbar under 500 Dollars: LG DSN8RG
- 220W Soundbar + 220W Subwoofer
- HDMI 2.1 & eARC
- Dolby Atmos & Vision / DTS:X
- Up-firing Speaker
- Integrated Google Assistant
- Room correction feature
- No immersive surround sound
- Large dimension
The DSN8YG is an easily expandable Dolby Atmos soundbar from LG. Like most of the 2020 models from the Korean technology company, this one also makes a very high-quality, noble impression and still remains unobtrusive. The soundbar produces an impressive 3D sound, which you wouldn’t normally expect from a soundbar. The up-firing speakers reproduce the Atmos height channels convincingly, which results in a good surround sound.
Nevertheless, a soundbar without satellite speakers naturally cannot produce surround sound from all directions. A wide sound image is created, but the sound from behind is still missing. Therefore, the LG DSN8YG can easily be expanded with satellite speakers to complete the setup. The sound profile is quite well tuned, which means that most genres can be reproduced well. However, the soundbar tends to distort at high volumes, which means that the high maximum volume cannot really be utilized.
The real highlight is LG’s Wi-Fi Speaker App, which can be used to set up and control the soundbar. It enables a very good room calibration to adjust the sound reproduction to the acoustics of the respective room. The app is very comprehensive and even has a multi-room option included. In combination with the integrated Chromecast, the soundbar is very versatile and you can play your favorite streaming providers with the soundbar without any problems.
Virtual 3D Surround Sound: Sony HT-G700
- Vertical Surround Engine
- Night Mode
- Max. Volume
- No internet connectivity
- No Side- & Up-firing speaker
- No Room Calibration
The Sony HT-G700 is a soundbar that was primarily designed for movies. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X in combination with Sony’s Vertical Surround Engine create a convincing, virtual 3D surround sound which cannot fully utilize everything Dolby Atmos has to offer, but still delivers an incomparable atmosphere in this price range. The HT-G700 is also well suited for music and dialogue-heavy content, although the sound is a bit too bass-heavy – but the equalizer presets can correct this to some extent.
However, you have to cut back on the smart features with the Sony soundbar, since it has neither Wi-Fi nor an Ethernet connection. Therefore, controlling it via smartphone app is not possible. However, it can be controlled with the TV’s remote, since it has a fully functional HDMI ARC port with CEC. Furthermore, there is a night mode, through which the volume of different programs is kept at the same level.
Q-Symphony & Acoustic Beam: Samsung HW-S60T
- Q-Symphony & Acoustic Beam
- Integratred Amazon Alexa
- Graphic Equalizer
- No Subwoofer
- No Dolby Atmos/DTS:X
Samsung’s all-in-one solution for music, movies & dialogue-heavy content. The Acoustic Beam technology with side- & up-firing speakers creates an immersive movie experience, but the soundbar would really benefit from an additional subwoofer. The setup is expandable with a subwoofer and satellite speakers to create a true home theater setup.
If you don’t like the sound profile or want to adjust it to different genres, you can freely adjust it with the graphic equalizer. Still, there are soundbars in this price range that have a more balanced profile, so that music in particular can be reproduced a little better. In terms of smart features, the HW-S60T has everything you could want. Internet access is ensured with Wi-Fi, and the integrated Amazon Alexa makes the soundbar really smart.
Soundbars under 500 Dollars in comparison
Best Soundbar under 500 Dollars
|Channels||3.1.2||3.1 (7.1.2 virtual)||4|
|HDMI 2.1||1x In + 1x Out|
|DTS||DTS HD-Master + DTS:X||DTS HD-Master + DTS:X|
|Room size||up to 40 m2||up to 40 m2||up to 25 m2|
|Dimensions Height x Width x Depth||57 x 1060 x 119 mm||64 x 980 x 108 mm||66 x 764 x 125 mm|
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