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Samsung HW-Q950A Soundbar Review: Theater-Like Sound

HW-Q950A Soundbar Review:

Obtain proper surround the sound in your home needed research. You’ll have to scour forums (and before that, passionate magazines) to find the latest and greatest equipment to reproduce theater-like sound in the home. But nowadays everything is cheaper and more convenient. High-end soundbars like the Samsung HW-Q950A come with everything you need except power outlets: a single included HDMI ARC cable plugs directly into your TV for instant cinematic madness .

Tons of premium bars are trying to bridge the gap between standalone A / V systems with receivers and speaker cables, but very few achieve what this Samsung soundbar does. Close your eyes to a small to medium sized living room with a ceiling flat enough for the overhead channels to bounce off you, and you’ll swear you’ve rented a private viewing room. If you’re an apartment owner or an esthete who doesn’t want to stare at unsightly speakers, this is a perfect match.

Functional form

The HW-Q950A is the successor to Samsung’s previous flagship, the HW-Q950T, which sounded fantastic. The new model looks almost identical. You get a long, fabric-covered bar, along with a rectangular subwoofer and rear speakers. They’re all black and mostly blend into the background, but hey, they’re not ugly.

Let’s take a quick look at surround sound terminology: What do numbers like 5.1, 7.1, and 5.1.4 mean? Figures refer to the total number of drivers. The first is the number of front and surround speakers, the second number is the number of subwoofers, and the third number (if there is one) is the number of height channels you get. Height channels are either directed downward from the ceiling via physical speakers or, as in this case, bounced off the ceiling from angled speakers in the soundbar and speakers.

 

So, with what many would call the traditional 5.1 surround sound setup, you get five speakers (three in the front and two in the back) and a subwoofer. Samsung’s new bar goes way beyond: 11.1.4 channels versus 9.1.4 of its predecessor. These extra channels are meant for the sides, to make the audio more immersive. Other upgrades include support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 standard and an Auto Room Correction EQ mode, which adjusts the EQ to match your room acoustics through a built-in microphone. subwoofer.

These extra drivers, when enabled (we’ll talk about them later), mean the HW-Q950A physically pushes more sound in more directions than most soundbars you can buy. When it comes to theater sound, in general, the more dedicated driver space, the better.

Installing the sound bar is as easy as plugging the surround speakers, subwoofer, and main bar into power outlets. (Have an extension cord or two handy if you don’t have a ton of outlets in your room.) Then just plug the HDMI cable from the bar’s HDMI eARC (“enhanced audio return”) port into an HDMI port. of your TV. It’s incredibly easier than the speaker wire of the old days when I was hiding cables under the carpet or in the walls. From unboxing to viewing What we do in the shadows, it took me about 15 minutes to get the HW-Q950A ready to play vampire whistles.

You can very easily change the sound to your liking via the included remote control and the built-in LED display of the bar. I would like to formally thank the engineers at Samsung for this screen. I hate having to use dots or color coded messages to figure out what I’m changing on a soundbar or what input I’m using. With this screen, which uses real words, I’m never confused.

True surround sound

Photograph: Samsung

I haven’t yet tested a soundbar (or speaker system) that bounces sound off the ceiling or walls and dedicated speakers for those locations, but the HW-Q950A does. closer than most.

 

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