How to Find the Best Movies to Play on Your Soundbar: Guide

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Selecting the best movies to showcase the capabilities of your soundbar should be a top priority for soundbar owners.

With the right film, you can really experience the immersive power of a soundbar.

The key is to find movies with a dynamic sound range that includes a variety of sound effects, and a compelling musical score.

Your soundbar deserves content that highlights its strengths.

Whether you’re enjoying an action-packed adventure that rattles the room or an intricate musical score that highlights the nuance in each note, the content you play can make a significant difference.

By identifying films known for their sound design, you can create an immersive audio experience that will make your movie nights so much more enjoyable.

It’s also important to consider films that have been mastered with high-quality sound formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS.

These formats offer a more enveloping sound experience by adding overhead audio and full three-dimensional soundscapes.

Titles that make effective use of these technologies will give you a sense of audio moving around and even above you, pulling you into the storyline with a new level of realism.

Criteria for Evaluating Movies for Soundbars

When selecting movies to highlight the capabilities of your soundbar, you need to consider certain elements.

Audio Mix Quality: Look for films renowned for their award-winning sound editing and mixing. Movies with a high-quality audio mix will display the clarity, detail, and dynamic range of your soundbar.

  • Surround Sound Encoding: Films with Dolby Atmos or DTS soundtracks will utilize the immersive audio capabilities of your soundbar more effectively. These formats are ideal for experiencing directional audio that moves around you.

Dynamic Range and Bass: Evaluate movies with scenes exhibiting a wide range of sounds, from subtle whispers to thunderous explosions. The dynamic range will test the soundbar’s ability to transition between soft and loud sounds effortlessly.

Musical Score: Consider movies with iconic or complex musical scores. A robust score can showcase the soundbar’s ability to handle multiple layers of audio.

  • Action Sequences: High-octane action sequences with intricate sound effects, like those found in John Wick, can demonstrate the soundbar’s responsiveness and power.

Visually-Driven Sequences: Some movies, like Life of Pi, offer scenes with minimal dialogue but intense visual focus, which can be paired with nuanced soundscapes that test your soundbar to the max.

Genre-Specific Recommendations

An easy shortcut to find the best movies is to consider genre. Some provide more immersive sound mixes than others.

Action and Adventure

When watching action and adventure movies, you must have a soundbar that delivers powerful bass and crisp sound effects to bring every explosion and chase scene to life.

If you dont have a soundbar already then you need to look for soundbars with dedicated subwoofers and technology that enhances on-screen action synching, such as the Samsung HW-Q990C, an 11.1.4-channel system known for it’s detailed spatial audio performance.

Science Fiction

Science fiction films often transport viewers to other worlds with their intricate soundscapes.

A soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos or DTS will enhance the otherworldly atmosphere with 3D surround sound.

A great option is the Sonos Beam Gen 2, It supports Dolby Atmos and can be paired with existing Sonos speakers and/or subwoofer.


For musicals, sound clarity and vocal definition are key.

Your soundbar should provide balanced audio to ensure that dialogue, music, and singing blend harmoniously.

Some soundbars also include mode settings tailored for music, making them a great-choice at preserving the authenticity of a musical’s soundtrack.

How to Easily Identify Movies with Great Sound for Your Soundbar

Identifying movies with great sound isn’t hard once you know what to look for, lets explain in this section.

Award Winning Soundtracks

When seeking films that will showcase your soundbar’s capabilities, start by looking at those with award-winning soundtracks.

Movies that have received accolades such as the Academy Award for Best Original Score are often ideal choices.

For example, films like Lord of The Rings have been recognized for their Incredible Scores.

However, there are great scores that have not won any awards, a good example of this is Back To The Future

Critically Acclaimed Sound Design

Another indicator of a movie with great sound is critically acclaimed sound design.

Look for films that have won or been nominated for awards like the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing or Best Sound Mixing.

Critics and industry professionals often highlight movies where the sound design plays an integral role in storytelling.

Titles such as Top Gun Maverick or American Sniper are noteworthy for their exceptional sound design, which can be deeply appreciated through a high-quality soundbar.

Understanding Soundbar Capabilities and Formats Supported

Before you settle in for movie night, it’s crucial to understand the capabilities and formats your soundbar supports to ensure an optimal audio experience.

Dolby Atmos/DTS Support

If you’re aiming for cinema-quality sound, ensure your soundbar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS audio formats.

These advanced sound technologies are designed to create a more immersive audio experience by adding height channels to the traditional surround sound setup.

  • Dolby Atmos employs ceiling-reflected sound to create a three-dimensional soundscape.
  • DTS, likewise, provides object-based audio, which allows for flexible speaker layouts and heightens the realism of audio cues.

By choosing a soundbar with these features, such as the JBL Bar 9.1, you can be fully immersed in the soundscape as if you were in a movie theater.

Personal Picks: Top 5 Best Movies to Play on Your Soundbar

The films selected here are renowned for their outstanding soundtracks and sound design, which are best experienced through a high-quality soundbar.


Dune offers an audioscape as vast as the universe it portrays, with a soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer. The film’s blend of ambient melodies and heart-pounding action sequences will showcase the range of your soundbar.

Star Wars

The Star Wars saga is iconic for its sound effects—from lightsaber battles to spacecraft dogfights. A soundbar can capture all of this.

Mad Max Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is an auditory thrill ride, featuring relentless action and an adrenaline-pumping score. Your soundbar will bring the chaos of the post-apocalyptic world right into your living room.

Blade Runner 2049

The sequel to the classic Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049 is a masterpiece with its atmospheric soundtrack and immersive soundscapes.

A soundbar will enhance the experience, making you feel part of the cybernetic future.


Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk uses sound to put you right in the middle of the action.

The sound of ticking clocks, roaring plane engines, and the suspense-filled score will make great use of your soundbar’s capabilities.

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