Samsung’s Newest Soundbar a Svelte 9.1.4 Solution

This month Samsung will launch its premium soundbars for 2020 and once again lead the industry with its top model.

For the first time, movie buffs seeking home theatre minimalism will be able to buy a soundbar with 9.1.4 channels without the set-up complications of a separates system.

That’s two channels more than Samsung offered in its previous flagship, the HW-Q90R, and ups the ante on its nearest rival in this product group, JBL’s 9.1 Bar.

Whereas JBL’s soundbar has its own unique advantages, it can be configured ‘only’ for 5.1.4 channels.

Samsung’s HW-Q950T ($2199.95) includes two wireless rear up-firing speakers and adds left and right “wide channel” speakers to the previous 7.1.4-channel system (which is being run out for as low as $1590).

Also going on sale is the step-down HW-Q900T ($1599.95), which lacks the rear speakers.

Both soundbars support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and have eARC connections for Dolby TrueHD.

However, while they will pass through HDR10+, Samsung still refuses to recognise the more popular and widespread HDR variation, Dolby Vision.

Of course, that won’t matter if you pair either with one of Samsung’s 2020 QLED TVs, which aren’t Dolby Vision-capable, anyway.

But Samsung claims connecting the soundbars to its premium TV will “further enhance the immersive experience … Q-symphony activates and plays surround sound from both the TV and soundbar, creating incredible audio synergy with compatible TVs.”

Samsung’s also improved the design of the soundbars to make them more practical and elegant.

Their height has been lowered from 83mm to 69.5mm, so they won’t block most TV screens if positioned in front of them.

And they’re wrapped in Kvadrat textile, which not only looks better but also is meant to maximise sound penetration.

The two new models also feature SmartThings App and Alexa voice service (for commanding music streaming services like Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio), two HDMI in and one out, and an optical connection.

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