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Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review: Cinema Quality Audio At Home

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review: Cinema Quality Audio At Home 16

The Samsung HW-Q950T is the company’s lastest flagship soundbar that features Dolby Atmos and DTS:X with a 9.1.4-channel delivery. To be honest, this is the highest channel number I’ve seen after 7.1 and I was really excited to try it out.

The HW-Q950T adds side channels to the width channels, and has integrated support for eARC, Samsung’s proprietary Q Symphony, Tap Sound features, and built-in Alexa.

Samsung HW-Q950T – Specifications

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review
ModelSamsung HW-Q950T Soundbar with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X (2020)
Total Power546W
Number of Channel9.1.4 Channel
Number of Speakers20
Speaker TypeSubwoofer – Wireless Active
Center Speaker – Yes
Up-firing Speaker – Full Range
Side-firing Speaker – Full Range
Wide Range Speaker – Yes
Acoustic BeamNo
Audio FeaturesDolby – Digital Plus, True HD, ATMOS
IMAX – No
Sound Modes – Standard, Game Pro, Adaptive, Surround
Distortion Cancelling – No
HDRHDR10+
4K Video PassYes
Decoding FormatAAC, MP3, WAV, OGG, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF
Connectivity2 x HDMI In
1 x HDMI Out
HDMI ARC (eARC)
HDMI CEC
1 x Optical In
1 x Audio In
Bluetooth – SBC, No Multi-Connection
Wi-Fi – Yes
Ethernet – No
NFC – No
Special FeatureSmartThings App – Yes
Q-Symphony – Yes
Bixby – No
Alexa – Built-In
Spotify Connect
AccessoryRemote Controller
Wall Mount Bracket

Design

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review

The Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar has a sleek and premium finish that would compliment any living room it’s setup in. The redesigned cabinet now has a black Kvadrat fabric finish to make it more lifestyle-friendly, and to subtly fit into your TV cabinet.

Measuring just 69.5mm, it shouldn’t block your TV. In our case, we paired the soundbar with the Samsung 65-inch RU7100 Flat Smart 4K UHD TV. If you don’t want to place it on the TV cabinet, you can always mount it on the wall as the packaging does include brackets for that purpose.

All the speakers from the soundbar itself, to the wireless subwoofer, and wireless rear speakers, they all have a Kvadrat fabric finishing. They all feature angled edges, and match the overall design aesthetics, which I really like.

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review

One problem I have with the soundbar are the controls. The soundbar’s fabric has a black finish, but so does the controls. It makes it hard to see, and to make things worse, the display is positioned at the top when it should’ve been on the front. That also means, once you’re seated, you can’t see the display at all.

Setting Up

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review

Setting up the Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar is pretty straightforward. Just place the soundbar below your TV, the subwoofer on the floor beside the soundbar facing you, and the rear speakers a little behind you on the sides of your sofa. These should all be positioned symmetrically with one another for the best results.

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review

For my setup at home, it’s a little awkward because of my living room layout and the scarcity of power outlets in my home. The rear speakers are active with built-in amplification, so I needed to pull a power plug from the other end of the living room to power them. But, that also means I have cables running randomly on my floor and I’m not a big fan of that. That being said, the only plus side is you don’t need another cable to connect the rear speakers to the soundbar itself. It would’ve been better If I had a floor power outlet under my sofa.

But, I do love how everything is wireless. All you need to plug in is the power cables, and that’s pretty much it. The simplicity of setting up an entire 9.1.4 channel sound system just amazes me, and I got all that done in less than 10 minutes, which I can’t say the same for the Logitech Z607 surround sound speakers I’ve been using for the past year.

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And because this speaker supports the Samsung One Remote feature, you can control the volume directly from your Samsung TV remote. It is only when you need to change the sound modes or tweak speaker settings, that you’ll need the HW-Q950T’s remote.

Turning the speakers on, they should pair up with one another to form the 9.1.4 channel system. Once that’s done, setting up the speakers should be fairly easy. Since I’m using a Samsung TV, configuration is done automatically. You can configure it either using the provided controller, your TV remote, or the Samsung SmartThings app. With the built-in Amazon Alexa, you can also use voice controls to control the soundbar. E.g. “Alexa, volume up.”

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review

If the speakers don’t pair up automatically during initial startup, you can do so manually. Just turn off the soundbar, and hold down the mute button for 5 seconds or until you see the “ID Set” on the display. Then, look behind your subs and rear speakers for the ID set button. Press and hold them till the standby light goes off and the blue indicator light glowing steadily. From there, the speakers should be paired up nicely by then.

Connectivity

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review

The Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar conceals its connectivity ports in a recessed area that is right under the soundbar. You will see two HDMI inputs, as well as an HDMI output port. They both support 4K/60p, HDR (HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision), HDCP 2.2, and Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC). The HDMI output also integrates eARC (enhanced audio return channel) function.

Apart from these physical inputs, you can also stream music or audio content to the soundbar through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You can pair via Bluetooth using the pairing button on the remote, and Wi-Fi connection can be done using the SmartThings app. And no, there isn’t support for Google’s Chromecast or Apple’s AirPlay.

Control

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review

As for controls, as I’ve mentioned before, they are positioned on the top rear of the soundbar. There is multi-function for turning on/off and source select, volume control, and mic on/off. The provided remote control has a minimalist design, where it has a central navigation and play/pause buttons. There is also a sound control button for setting the bass, treble, and audio sync. On the remote, you can also select source, setup Bluetooth pairing, switching between sound mode (Standard, Surround, Game Pro, Adaptive Sound), volume control, a mute button, and a control to set the subwoofer levels.

Here are some useful remote control shortcuts for the Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar:

  • Holding Woofer Button for Five Seconds – Disables Soundbar Control From TV
  • Left and Right Buttons – Skip Music Files Forwards and Backwards
  • Hold Right Button for Five Seconds – Turn Anynet+ On/Off
  • Hold Left Button for Five Seconds – Turn Auto Power Link On/Off
  • Hold Up Button for Five Seconds – Completes ID Set when Connecting Accessory Item
  • Hold Sound Control Button for Five Seconds – Control Frequency Bands

Features

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review

The Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar supports the Samsung Q Symphony feature, which simultaneously outputs audio from the soundbar’s speakers and the TV’s height speakers too. This would require a compatible QLED Samsung TV, and since mine isn’t one, I couldn’t test this out. Note, this feature only works by connect using HDMI or optical cable, and the source needs to be change to D.IN. From there, you will see “TV+Soundbar” option under the Sound Output in your menu.

The Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar also supports the Tap Sound feature. By activating this feature in the SmartThings app, you can change the playback of your music from your smartphone to the soundbar just by tapping it against the HW-Q950T’s cabinet. Pretty cool, huh?

The soundbar supports Amazon Alexa, so you can fully control the soundbar or your home’s smart appliances using just your voice, right from the soundbar itself. Too bad it isn’t using Google’s Voice Assistant, because most of my appliances at home are under Google Home.

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Audio

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the audio quality. The Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar offers truly impressive soundstage and sound isolation. I could hear different sounds coming together from all sides of the room, coming together to form a harmonious performance to my ears.

The front three channels had great sound, and the width channels on the side expanded the soundstage even more. Playing the sounds of a rain, I actually felt it was raining when it’s actually sunny outside. Movies felt even more immersive because you can hear every little detail that’s happening in the movie.

The past weekend I invited over a few friends for a movie party where we watched the Blu-Ray edition of the “Avengers: Endgame” from my PS4 Pro. As soon as we got to the Marvel intro reel and the epic music started playing, I could the hear “whoa”, “ooh”, and “aahh”. It was only then that they noticed the sound was coming from the Samsung soundbar system and not the Logitech. Every fight scene shook the entire house, and you could feel the rumble even if your feet weren’t touching the ground. I felt like I was taking part in the final battle of the Avengers: Endgame movie, being recruited by Captain America when he said “Avengers, Assemble”.

Gaming with it paired to my PS4 Pro, games felt even more real, and the details you can hear from them is just stunning. Every cricket, every grass you walk through, every pebble that rolls on the ground, they’re all brought up to your ears in full immersion.

The highs are bright as trebles are adequately output, the mids give every dialogue a clear and crisp tone to them, while the lows and thumping bass are handled fantastically with the wireless subwoofer.

Conclusion

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review

If you want the best surreal surround sound system you can get and you have the budget for it, go for the Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar. The fact that everything is wireless (except the power cables) is amazing, and the sound you’re getting is just out of this world. To get the most out of your HW-Q950T soundbar, it’s even better if you own a 2020 Samsung QLED 4K or 8K TV.

Priced at RM5,099, it’s too bad that Samsung doesn’t offer detailed individual sound tuning for each speaker. But, even without it, the speakers already perform very well, even in their default state. Currently, Samsung is doing a promotion for the soundbar, where you can get RM300 off, so be quick. You could even stand win more prizes with your purchase. To find out more, check out this link here.

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Written By

Chief Content Developer at The AXO

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