Sonos 5.1 v Dolby Atmos soundbars

  • 8 March 2019
  • 4 replies
  • 17392 views

Userlevel 1
Badge +5
What would be your opinion on a Sonos 5.1 setup vs Dolby Atmos soundbars like these https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com.au%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F123316040405

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

4 replies

I’ve had a few of the atmos sound bars from the first LG SJ9 and SK9y bars to the Samsung 950 and the Sony ST5000. They all sounded good IMO. The LG handled rear audio quite poorly and didn’t have a way to add true surrounds. That bothered me. Even with the Y series that had dedicated tears available it sounded staged and not a true experience. The Sony is a beast in terms of sound but the atmos effect is not anywhere near as good as the LG. Additionally, again there are no rear speakers so the surround aspect is nonexistent. That leaves the Samsung where my isssue was price as when I had it the unit cost around $1,300. For that price you could get a true wired unit that could do more. It didn’t have all of the bells and whistles of what was being promised down the line and Atmos was fairly limited at the time in quantity.

So how does it compare to Beam + play + sub?

IMO, none of these units provided true surround with atmos experience. The LG did the best with the atmos effect but didn’t do good surround. The Samsung did better surround but the atmos effect wasn’t there and the Sony was all front based. The Sonos unit I have now sounds crisper than the three alternatives with true surround but obviously no atmos effect. Additionally it all runs through ARC and since eARC is new it only supports DD5.1 or at most if they activate it via firmware DD+ whereas the others have wider codec support.

If atmos is a must right now I’m hearing the LG sk10y is better than the 9 I had and the effect is great and with a sale it is about the same price running off of google instead of Alexa. It doesn’t really expand much between a 5.1 and cannot be a whole home system like sonos and cannot be expanded past 5.1 (while I’m new obviously due to my profile I have hopes for DD+ and 7 speaker staging with the beam over ARC) however and it is bounced atmos effect so if you have angled ceilings or you plan on putting it on a shelf, the effect is lost. I wouldn’t even consider the other two.
Userlevel 1
Badge +5
I’ve had a few of the atmos sound bars from the first LG SJ9 and SK9y bars to the Samsung 950 and the Sony ST5000. They all sounded good IMO. The LG handled rear audio quite poorly and didn’t have a way to add true surrounds. That bothered me. Even with the Y series that had dedicated tears available it sounded staged and not a true experience. The Sony is a beast in terms of sound but the atmos effect is not anywhere near as good as the LG. Additionally, again there are no rear speakers so the surround aspect is nonexistent. That leaves the Samsung where my isssue was price as when I had it the unit cost around $1,300. For that price you could get a true wired unit that could do more. It didn’t have all of the bells and whistles of what was being promised down the line and Atmos was fairly limited at the time in quantity.

So how does it compare to Beam + play + sub?

IMO, none of these units provided true surround with atmos experience. The LG did the best with the atmos effect but didn’t do good surround. The Samsung did better surround but the atmos effect wasn’t there and the Sony was all front based. The Sonos unit I have now sounds crisper than the three alternatives with true surround but obviously no atmos effect. Additionally it all runs through ARC and since eARC is new it only supports DD5.1 or at most if they activate it via firmware DD+ whereas the others have wider codec support.

If atmos is a must right now I’m hearing the LG sk10y is better than the 9 I had and the effect is great and with a sale it is about the same price running off of google instead of Alexa. It doesn’t really expand much between a 5.1 and cannot be a whole home system like sonos and cannot be expanded past 5.1 (while I’m new obviously due to my profile I have hopes for DD+ and 7 speaker staging with the beam over ARC) however and it is bounced atmos effect so if you have angled ceilings or you plan on putting it on a shelf, the effect is lost. I wouldn’t even consider the other two.

Thanks for the detailed explanation. Dolby Atmos soundbars are being marketed heavily and wanted to get an idea if they are worth it in place of Sonos setup as I haven't had a chance to test the sound quality but reading your comment I will skip them for now.
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
If you want a quick answer

* If you already have a Sonos 5.1 setup, DO NOT buy another soundbar right now
* If you only have TV sound and want to upgrade to a surround sound soundbar, buy the Samsung N950 kit or LG SK10Y + Wireless rears
* But by all means, if you want to upgrade to a Atmos dedicated AVR setup then go right ahead you will love it

I'll explain why - Atmos is nice but the content is very limited, is tricky to get working and is not worth sacrificing sound quality over. So if you already have a good 5.1 setup with crisp sound like Sonos, then I don't think right now is the best time to try and upgrade due to the sacrifice in sound quality and lack of Atmos content to enjoy. Upgrading to a 5.1.2 AVR setup with dedicated speakers is obviously the best choice if you have the space and can afford it, then you get even better sound quality than Sonos AND Atmos.

Otherwise if you already have Sonos and only want a soundbar, I'd suggest waiting a couple more years until Atmos content becomes more widespread and then look at your options again
Userlevel 1
Badge +5
If you want a quick answer

* If you already have a Sonos 5.1 setup, DO NOT buy another soundbar right now
* If you only have TV sound and want to upgrade to a surround sound soundbar, buy the Samsung N950 kit or LG SK10Y + Wireless rears
* But by all means, if you want to upgrade to a Atmos dedicated AVR setup then go right ahead you will love it

I'll explain why - Atmos is nice but the content is very limited, is tricky to get working and is not worth sacrificing sound quality over. So if you already have a good 5.1 setup with crisp sound like Sonos, then I don't think right now is the best time to try and upgrade due to the sacrifice in sound quality and lack of Atmos content to enjoy. Upgrading to a 5.1.2 AVR setup with dedicated speakers is obviously the best choice if you have the space and can afford it, then you get even better sound quality than Sonos AND Atmos.

Otherwise if you already have Sonos and only want a soundbar, I'd suggest waiting a couple more years until Atmos content becomes more widespread and then look at your options again

Thanks for sharing your advice 😃