Samsung HW-Q990B Review: The Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Samsung HW-Q990B Review: The Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar Leave a comment

If you are an audiophile, the times when once you needed to spend 1000’s of {dollars} on a receiver and persuade your contractor uncle to point out you easy methods to run cables by way of the wall are lengthy gone. Soundbars, particularly these with devoted rear encompass audio system, have gotten so good that more often than not there’s no real need to splurge on the old-school gear.

In specific, programs like Samsung’s flagship HW-Q990B sound increasingly like your conventional high-end house theater. This 11.1.4-channel soundbar bundle is the primary ever to characteristic wi-fi Dolby Atmos, and all you must set it up is 4 energy retailers and a brief HDMI cable.

In mere minutes, you’ll end up engulfed in fairly astonishing object-based encompass sound. Dragons, alien ships, and helicopters whirr overhead, bullets whiz to the left and proper, and even James Earl Jones’ baritone comes by way of full and clear within the middle channel. Unless you’re keen to spend rather more time (and cash), it’s downright exhausting to get a system that sounds this good in most residing rooms.

Tentpole Setup

While the within of the black-on-black HW-Q990B options loads of cool and attention-grabbing expertise, the skin of the bar is extraordinarily boring (and thus simple to cover beneath a TV display screen). The bar is an extended hexagon, with angled corners to bounce hold forth the partitions, and the rear surrounds are massive, with angled tops to spray sound up and bounce it down as top channels.

The included wi-fi subwoofer is probably the most nondescript of the bunch, a easy rectangle that might simply be hidden in any nook of my studio. Put the surrounds on stands. Plug them in together with the subwoofer. Plug the principle bar into energy, and in addition into your TV or projector by way of the HDMI eARC port. Then you’re off to the flicks! Seriously, it’s that straightforward.

Those with higher-end programs, or who’re tremendous choosy about their inside design, may wish to mount the principle bar or the surrounds. But that may be simply performed with just a few drywall anchors and an influence drill (not included).

The Price of Entry

Spending $1,700 on a soundbar—considerably greater than I’d advocate most folk spend on a current-generation TV—may appear silly. But then, take into consideration the final time you purchased a brand new pair of pc audio system to go together with a brand new laptop computer. You have a tendency to not substitute your audio gear as often, as a result of they have a tendency to last more. In the home-theater world, good sound isn’t by any means a static enterprise, but it surely isn’t growing as shortly as picture processing and display screen expertise are.

If you get a soundbar that is this high-end, with Dolby Atmos and all the fashionable processing that comes with it, I’d count on it to final by way of at the least two TV generations. So in the event you count on your TV to final three to 5 years, a soundbar of this high quality would final 5 to 10 years, which makes the value per yr even by comparability.

Personally, I discover more-immersive audio brings me extra deeply contained in the motion than a higher-end display screen. It may sound like sacrilege coming from a TV and projector reviewer, however actually partaking encompass sound is among the few issues that almost all theaters do considerably higher than we do at house. Whenever you bridge the hole with a superb audio system, it actually does lots to deliver you again to that movie show headspace.

After all, a significant part of most films and TV exhibits is the sound. You’ve in all probability seen most exhibits in full decision on a reasonably first rate high quality display screen, even in the event you’ve solely seen them on a mobile phone, however have you ever heard them with full high quality sound, by way of good audio system or good headphones? Maybe not.

Epic Fidelity

I’ve heard wonderful center-channel soundbars earlier than—Sennheiser’s heinously expensive Ambeo comes to mind—however I’ve by no means heard a bar with such wonderful encompass audio system. The massive two-way surrounds pump out extra quantity and higher constancy than I’ve ever heard from a bar-plus-speakers setup earlier than, offering head-turning tire squeals and whooshes behind your head. At one level whereas watching the most recent Fletch film, I swore that an actual fireplace alarm was going off behind me. Nope, simply the film. 

The bar, subwoofer, and surrounds mix with Samsung’s wonderful digital sign processing to do the whole lot from huge boomy motion films to sultry classic detective films with theater-like ease. Bass is nice, however not huge. You get sufficient rumble from the included woofer to listen to and really feel every step of an evil monster in Stranger Things, however not sufficient that house dwellers want concern retribution from their neighbors.

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