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Soundbars under 500 Dollars

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: Samsung HW-Q800A

  • 170W (RMS)
  • 160W Subwoofer (Max)
  • Dolby Atmos & DTS:X
  • Upfiring Speakers
  • SpaceFit Sound & Q-Symphony
  • Auto EQ
  • High Volume
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Apple Airplay2
  • Built-In Amazon Alexa
  • Weak Surround Sound
Room size
up to 40 m2
Dolby Atmos
Soundbar + Subwoofer

In our opinion, the 3.1.2 setup of Samsung’s HW-Q800A performs best in this price category. It features side- and up-firing speakers and has a well balanced sound. The Q800A has an HDMI eARC connection, with which Dolby Atmos and DTS:X can be played back uncompressed. Unfortunately though, it downmixes surround content into stereo content in order to reproduce it. Thus, audio almost always sounds as if it is coming from infront of you. However, you can expand the setup with additional Dolby Atmos satellite speakers for an even better sound.

If you don’t like the sound profile, you will be pleased to know that you can not only control the soundbar with Samsung’s SmartThings app, but also adjust the sound to your liking with the graphic equalizer. Especially in combination with a Samsung QLED TV, the soundbar is a highlight, since you can use the Q-Symphony feature. In that case, the speakers of the TV and the soundbar are synchronized with each other, which creates a more immersive sound experience.

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.

Loud & bass-heavy sound: LG DSP8YA

  • Integrated Chromecast
  • Strong bass
  • Center speaker
  • Weak surround performance
  • No built-in voice assistant

The LG SP8YA is a 3.1.2 setup with an external subwoofer and a total power of 440W. It features an HDMI 2.1 connection with eARC and supports 3D sound formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, which are reproduced using its two up-firing speakers. Moreover, the setup includes a center speaker that ensures clear conversations and voices. 

The sound profile of the system is quite bass-heavy. Together with the high maximal volume, the low bass can impress and really fill up your living room. However, the reproduction of surround content leaves room for improvement. That is because the soundbar mixes surround content down to stereo, which does not sound very immersive. 

The SP8YA has a lot to offer for fans of music streaming: It features a Bluetooth connection along with Apple’s Airplay and has Chromecast built-in. If you want to integrate the soundbar into your smart home, you won’t be disappointed either, as it is compatible with any voice assistant thanks to the Wi-Fi connection. 

Soundbars under 500 Dollars in comparison

Best Soundbar under 500 Dollars
Samsung HW-Q800A
Samsung HW-Q800A
Sony HT-G700
Sony HT-G700
Channels 3.1.2 3.1 (7.1.2 virtual) 3.1.2
Dolby Atmos
HDMI 2.1 1x In + 1x Out 1x In + 1x Out
DTS DTS HD-Master + DTS:X DTS HD-Master + DTS:X DTS HD-Master + DTS:X
Room size up to 40 m2 up to 40 m2 up to 40 m2
Dimensions Height x Width x Depth 60 x 980 x 115 mm 64 x 980 x 108 mm 570 x 1060 x 119 mm
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