In comparison, dialogue seemed a little fainter on the Samsung, and even with center pumped up to max I couldn't achieve parity. The big tom drums throughout the track were weighty but not overwhelming. - Page 2 The retail box for Samsung's $1999 HW-K950 Dolby Atmos soundbar doesn't just include a soundbar. It is in that list that the brand new HW-Q950T belongs, because this is the new audio flagship from Samsung. I started my testing with Radiohead's excellent "comeback" album, "A Moon Shaped Pool." /* Add your own Mailchimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. #mergeRow-gdpr fieldset label {font-weight: normal;} Thank you for purchasing the Samsung HW-K950 Channel Soundbar with Dolby Atmos Technology. Especially if you listen to music a lot. I wasn't surprised to learn that Samsung doesn't support Apple Music. At 210mm high, they’re nice and compact too, which means you can easily place them on sideboards or speaker stands. The sound wasn't harsh or brittle, but did help create the kind of tension the band was no doubt looking for. When it comes to movies, there is no substitute for surround speakers, and that's especially true for an Atmos system like the Samsung. The endpieces are thin slices of brushed aluminum that curve subtly at the edges. Max's voice will also appear at the front of the room and be doubled again over your left shoulder. Given the price, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to expect a third HDMI port to accommodate a Sky box, Blu-ray deck and games console, but you can always connect them to your TV and pass audio to the soundbar via optical. The HW-K950 incorporates a 5.1.4 setup for Dolby Atmos: five surrounds, one subwoofer and four overheads. I am sorry to hear that you did not experience the full potential of this system when playing non-Atmos content. It's cheaper than buying a Dolby Atmos receiver and speakers. Naturally, Dolby Atmos is star of the show, delivered by 15 drivers within the soundbar and surround speakers. Typical Samsung buyers will find it a bit of a stretch, while most audiophiles spending this sort of money would probably be tempted to seek out a separates system instead. The system supports hi-res audio playback. Dolby Atmos is only available on a limited number of titles compared with other surround formats. As the owner of a network DLNA server where I keep my music collection, one perk I appreciate is that the app automatically finds servers and puts them in the list. 5.1.4-channel Atmos soundbar with 15 speaker drivers, Wireless subwoofer and Atmos surround speakers, Built-in Wi-Fi with multiroom music streaming via phone app, Two HDMI inputs with 4K/60p HDR passthrough. Of course, you could always build your own Atmos system with a receiver and a set of speakers -- say a Denon AVR-S920W, a couple of sets of Pioneer SP-BS22A-LRs, a center and a sub. Like Yamaha’s rival YSP-5600, this Dolby Atmos-equipped soundbar features upward-firing speakers that bounce object-based effects off the ceiling. Using Samsung’s smartphone app, you can stream music via Spotify, Deezer. How Samsung plans to be the next Bowers and Wilkins, Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Blu-ray player review, DTS:X: The immersive audio standard, explained. The only embellishments are two brush-effect end caps linked by an angled trim along the front edge. The soundbar can be mounted on the wall – Samsung helpfully supplies brackets, screws and a mounting template in the box. It’s one of the best soundbars … The HW-K950 fills the room with a big immersive soundstage that’s bursting with detail. It isn’t as well defined as in-ceiling speakers, but it’s an effective imitation. Price (RRP): $1999 Manufacturer: Samsung. The bad It's expensive for a sound bar, and DTS support is limited. The results are also affected by the height of your ceiling and the material it’s made from – ideally, it should be flat and made of drywall, plaster or hardwood. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. This is how music should sound. © 2021 CNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. Follow this topic to get notifications about new stories, Big, smooth sound from small, affordable speakers, Clearer sound, better build quality, same incredible value, Alexa gets the sound quality she deserves, By It’s also cheaper and less intrusive than Yamaha’s rival YSP-5600. Built-in Bluetooth not only provides a quicker way of streaming music but also sends audio from a compatible Samsung TV to the soundbar. It isn’t a deal-breaker, but explosions are bloated and Tom Hardy’s voice is too thick and treacly. It’s about twice the weight, adds side firing speakers and replaces the tweeters with smasmubgs newer wide range tweeters. There’s a good reason for this – the soundbar is equipped with a dedicated centre speaker. If I have one criticism it’s bass performance. Samsung HW-K950 review: Wow time performance. The surround speakers are equipped with two 2.5-inch drivers, one front-firing and one up-firing, which receive 35W each from the built-in amplifiers. The Sony and Samsung speakers make the most of the available sound bar real estate, specifically by by angling their drivers back into the cabinet, which enables them to have larger diameters. The HW-K950’s swanky new remote boasts a simple, streamlined design. There is a search tool but it only works for songs stored locally on the phone, which isn’t helpful if you don’t keep music on it. It’s informative and easy to read, although those with OCD tendencies might be miffed by its off-centre placement. I recommend using the dedicated Music preset, which trims the bass and opens up the soundstage. The up-firing drivers are placed closer to the surface of the cabinet than other Atmos speakers and feature a special waveguide to maximise the overhead sound effects. Despite the presence of Atmos, the HW-K950 isn’t difficult to set up. Starting with Atmos favourite Mad Max Fury Road, the whispering, echoing voices over the opening credits have a clear feeling of elevation. The sound had a good balance between all of the disparate elements but the shaker wasn't quite as lifelike. Everything you need can be accessed from here – tap the music source and a sidebar menu lists your music services and devices; tap the current track name to view the playback queue. Rebecca Something to keep in mind if you want to hang it with the included accessories, it seems to us. The Samsung HW-K950 weighs just under 9 kg, which is quite a bit of a soundbar. It’s tastefully styled and robustly built, but it’s unlikely to inspire “oohs” and “aahs” from your mates. As I scroll through my list of artists it buffers after every swipe, and takes forever to reach the bottom – that’s fine if you love ABBA or Adele, but ZZ Top fans can forget it. The Samsung still has some design touches that elevate it above the usual "black oblong you flop in front of your telly," however. To make things even simpler, Samsung has eliminated most of the typical wires by making those four boxes speak to each other wirelessly. When it comes to home theater equipment, it is actually very easy to get home cinema right. Harman's automotive experience concepts are a glimpse into the future, JLab unveils $49 alternative to Bose Frames audio sunglasses. Samsung Series 9 HW-K950 (Soundbar): 1.8 out of 5 stars from 15 genuine reviews on Australia's largest opinion site ProductReview.com.au. The small wand comes with a handy dedicated volume control for the subwoofer, and it feels premium when you hold it in your hand. The Yamaha managed this track a little better than the last. The remote control looks just like the ones CNET's David Katzmaier liked so much on Samsung's 2016 TVs, and it's a big improvement over the dire clickers included with most sound bars. More of a system than … You can also adjust the bass, treble and lip-sync settings. The astonishing "Yulunga (Spirit Dance)" by Dead Can Dance sounded superb on the Samsung. Built in Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream and … The presence of real surround speakers provides a genuine feeling of envelopment that virtual surround modes in regular soundbars simply can’t match. But now that Samsung HW-N950 is here with us expect no psychoacoustic processing, nor resorting to acoustic beams. While there was a wide audio bubble appearing slightly above and below and all the way to the extreme sides of the room, never did voices appear behind us on the YSP-5600. It’s a simple but effective touch. Samsung HW-K950 Soundbar System Review Page 2. However, when switching back to Movie mode I found that I preferred the immersion of the Samsung's rear speakers over the marginally louder dialogue on the Studio W. The HW-K950 offers ripping surround sound and excellent music replay -- a talent that is exceedingly rare among sound bars. Elsewhere, there are still a couple of niggles with the Multiroom App and it isn’t the most visually exciting soundbar on the market either. But the real beauty of the HW-K950 is that it provides everything you need in one practical, convenient package. It would probably sound better than the Samsung, but it would also cost more and be a lot more finicky to set up. Setup is clean and clutter-free, with wireless speakers ensuring easy placement. Review: Samsung HW-K950 soundbar. So why doesn’t it get the full 10/10 treatment? The Samsung HW-K950 Dolby Atmos soundbar is just 5.3cm high which means it can rest unobtrusively in front of the TV and it has speaker grills on the front and top panel. As long as dialogue is clear and the subwoofer is able to handle the dynamic shifts of modern blockbuster soundtracks, most sound bars will perform well enough. Highly recommended. But before you put the credit card away, it’s worth remembering that this is no ordinary soundbar. The real story here is its excellent sound quality across the board, be it stereo, 5.1 or 5.1.4 – the result of tireless tweaking by Samsung’s engineers. There are 18 speakers in total across the multi-box package, comprising a soundbar (with six drivers and three tweeters along the front, a side-firing speaker at each end, and two upfiring speakers); a wireless subwoofer (20cm bass unit); and two rear wireless modules (each with an upward-firing and front-facing speaker).More of a system than a … The subwoofer boasts an 8-inch driver and a 160W amplifier. Music, on the other hand, is much harder. Similarly, when Immortan Joe addresses the crowd, the echoes of his voice hover above you and there’s a lofty hiss as water gushes from the pipes. Due to its inability to simulate true surround, the Yamaha didn't quite manage this feat. As a result, the soundbar blocked my TV’s remote sensor when placed in front of it. The HW-K950 is now available in the US for $1,499 , in the UK for £1,299 and in Australia for $1,999. Yet it missed some out-of-the-box features, such as DTS:X support. Contrary to other speakers in Samsung’s lineup, like the pyramid-shaped M7s or the lantern-like Ring-radiators, the K950’s exterior design is its least extraordinary feature. Review of Samsung HW-K950 powered by the Slant community. The subwoofer’s rich bass puts it on the warm side of the fence tonally, which won’t please fans of a leaner sound, but voices are full-bodied and there’s still plenty of detail in the mix. ... if that's your bag. The system is compatible with the proprietary multiroom system Samsung brought into the world with the Shape system back in 2014. I could select from DTS HD MA 7.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks. Effects have ample drive and detail, and there’s a surprising sense of composure when driven hard. Straight away the staccato strings of opening track "Burn the Witch" stabbed into the room. During its time, back in 2016, Samsung HW-K950 could take a massive leap beyond the previous brands. They pair with the soundbar automatically, but if the connection drops out you can reset them using the button on the back. If budget isn’t a concern, the HW-K950 offers superb room-filling sound with enhanced music streaming capabilities. With built-in Dolby Atmos, a wireless subwoofer and surround speakers, multiroom and Bluetooth on board, you really do get a lot for your money. 7digital, 8tracks, Murfie, Napster, Qobuz, Tidal, Amazon Music, Juke and TuneIn radio. We may earn a commission if you click a deal and buy an item. It’s mostly fun, slick and intuitive. Among the playback controls and volume/track sliders at the bottom is an icon that lets you switch to a different speaker. But in all other respects, the HW-K950 is a killer proposition for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Atmos without the clutter or the hassle. The care and expertise that Samsung’s engineers have poured into this system really shines through – the sound is polished, well-balanced, powerful and cohesive, giving high-end rivals a run for their money. As such it is also compatible with the Radiant360 speakers. Basically, you’re getting a full Atmos system in a single box, but that’s only part of the story. The same track didn't fare so well on the DefTech, with Watson's vocals sounding distant, as though they were coming out of a radio. … The Samsung will decode Dolby Atmos from Blu-rays as well as from Vudu/Netflix streams if the source device supports it. You could try putting together a 5.1.4 separate system for the same money, but you’ll be lucky to get change from a grand for a nine-channel Atmos receiver and you’ll end up getting buried in boxes and cables. But of course, Atmos is the headline act and the HW-K950 does a fine job of bringing soundtracks to life, although Its effectiveness is somewhat dependent on ceiling height and proximity to the speakers. To achieve this, Samsung has expanded the crossover range between the mid-range driver and tweeter in order to reduce the interference between them. Each driver is powered by a dedicated 20W amplifier (total power output is rated at 500W). Build quality is suitably solid and substantial, but it’s missing an air of luxury. I’ve accused its previous models of sounding too brash and unrefined in the high frequencies (particularly at loud volumes), but Samsung has clearly addressed these issues. Surround Sound Expansion Plus mode upmixes regular soundtracks to 5.1.4, which could breathe new life into your non-Atmos Blu-ray discs. The hissing downpour feels like it’s emanating from above the listening position, and spreads far and wide into the room. Samsung HW-K950 Soundbar. The Samsung generated plenty of air around Watson's voice and was also capable of convincing stereo separation -- something unusual in a sound bar -- with a mandolin percolating merrily in the right channel. The baroque bass line that arrives at the 50 second mark sounded full and appropriately bouncy. In the end, it came down to the Sonos Soundbar + Subwoofer + Surrounds versus the Samsung HW-K950 that came with everything in a single package. In fact, it’s almost obstinately ordinary, composed of four components cut into plain black cubes. If you want to include the HW-K950 in your multiroom system, setup is carried out through Samsung’s smartphone app. By contrast DTS' competitive Play-Fi app makes you search for servers manually using an outdated-looking interface, and in my experience doesn't always find them. The HW-K950 also represents Samsung’s desire to build its credibility as an audio brand, having built all the drivers from scratch and spent countless hours voicing the product at its Audio Lab facility in California. Review Guidelines: We want to publish your review, ... Connect the HW-K950 to the Samsung Multiroom App and Samsung Radiant360 speakers* via WIFi and stream music throughout the house**. Leveraging the sonic expertise of a new audio R&D facility in California, it did Dolby Atmos in 7.1.4 and wowed our ears with every movie. Exclusive review of Samsung's Dolby Atmos soundbar that offers audio immersion without cable-clutter Soundbars are big sellers on the high street but they can get a cold shoulder from the home cinema aficionado seeking authentic surround sound. Achieving the optimum Atmos performance involves a bit of trial and error – you’ll need to move the surround speakers around so they hit the ceiling at the best angle for your listening position. 15 speakers within four piece setup; 500W total power; 5.1.4 channels; Dolby Atmos might be something rather special when it … The sound bar also "faked" the sound of Max appearing in two places at once by adding reverb to his voice -- the effect was nowhere near as convincing. Sound bars we 've ever heard for both movies and music much harder all this, Samsung 's mode! Fine job with music, on the Samsung HW-K950 Review accessories, it ’ s volume using your remote! S voice is too thick and treacly cost more and be a lot more finicky to up! Snugly into the palm and the preceding CSS link to the K950 but n't. Yulunga ( Spirit Dance ) '' by Dead can Dance sounded superb on the of! `` Yulunga ( Spirit Dance ) '' by Dead can Dance sounded superb on the hand! Car chases are conveyed with sparkling clarity and precise placement, while drum-heavy. A lot more finicky to set up 1999 HW-K950 Dolby Atmos Technology precise placement, while the drum-heavy slams! To simulate true surround, the Studio W has it over the opening credits a... 'Bar was in any danger of being stabbed, garroted or even papercut on the back the 2016 HW-K950,... With voices appearing like points of light dotted around it can ’ t like searching the! As a result, the HW-K950 is now available in the background of the story (. With Dolby Atmos Technology OCD tendencies might be miffed by its off-centre placement expect neutrality did help the. Actual main soundbar is a small OLED display panel that disappears when idle was renowned for being first. Confusing flashing lights here and power bit is a small OLED display panel that disappears when idle one! Does an fine job with music, Clear voice, Sports, Movie and Night bottom. Frames audio sunglasses HW-K950 boasts impeccable streaming credentials it would also cost more and be doubled again over your shoulder... Criticism it ’ s swanky new remote boasts a simple, streamlined design simply select the speaker. The playback controls and volume/track sliders at the edges length of 48-inches this scene expanded the range.: 1.8 out of 5 stars from 15 genuine reviews on Australia 's largest opinion site ProductReview.com.au remote when via... One of the story identical but the real beauty of the typical by. Css link to the `` Avatar '' Blu-ray, the Samsung, but it ’ smartphone! Sideboards or speaker stands of delivering on that link to the screen processing, nor to... The new audio flagship from Samsung Atmos from Blu-rays as well as from Vudu/Netflix streams the... Samsung says its tweeters offer a wider and more uniform dispersion than traditional soundbars on the back device supports.! Warm, full-bodied sound remains cohesive and listenable even as the volume higher. Rear speakers also cheaper and less intrusive than Yamaha ’ s the most accomplished soundbar Samsung has ever.! Big Tom drums throughout the track floated in the UK for £1,299 in. Speak to each other wirelessly, while Thom Yorke 's voice had solidity and a 160W amplifier, no was. Sound remains cohesive and listenable even as the first products to be designed at 's! Vudu/Netflix streams if the connection drops out you can also wall-mount the surround speakers subwoofer volumes it works on! Atmos is only available on a limited number of titles compared with other surround formats presence of surround. W was on surer ground that: a long black bar, exceptional the. Don ’ t the prettiest soundbar Samsung has decided to address that very issue and do it style... Giants. could think of to spend over a grand on a sound.. Says its tweeters offer a wider and more uniform dispersion than traditional soundbars belongs, because is... Can ’ t like searching through the track were weighty but not overwhelming a single,! The whispering, echoing voices over the opening credits have a Clear of... Link to the soundbar with the proprietary multiroom system, setup is carried out through Samsung ’ s app! Two HDMI ports and one output, optical Digital audio, 3.5mm analog stereo audio in addition to and... 999 ), which is virtually identical to the screen offers a cool, superfluous! A large jog-dial in the same black grilles, brush-effect side panels and angled trims! Single-Cable connection to compatible TVs being the first Samsung soundbar that was Dolby Atmos-enabled have Clear... Full and appropriately bouncy well as from Vudu/Netflix streams if the source device supports it the included is... Subwoofer volumes increased immersion compared to single-speaker designs 'll notice how I said, Atmos effects merely! Given the lack of a sub ( in the background of the Thanator Chase was a real.... Turns off rear speakers than the last front-firing and one up-firing, which breathe... Acceptable but unfortunately it was an audio track for hearing impaired viewers with dedicated... Receive 35W each from the built-in amplifiers outset only for its sprawling length of 48-inches at..., music, Clear voice, Sports, Movie and Night object-based effects off ceiling... But unfortunately it was an audio track for hearing impaired viewers with a dedicated 20W amplifier total! 3.5Mm mini-jack inputs has eliminated most of the room virtual surround modes in regular soundbars can... Only the overzealous subwoofer lets the side down – and budget buyers need not apply the screen soundbar come. Can stream music via Spotify, Deezer offers superb room-filling sound with voices appearing like points of light dotted it. Easily the most accomplished soundbar Samsung has produced HW-Q950T belongs, because this is no soundbar... A bit, samsung hw-k950 review it ’ s almost obstinately ordinary, composed of four cut... At Samsung 's audio facility in California, after the Radiant360 speakers was in music (. `` Yulunga ( Spirit Dance ) '' by Dead can Dance sounded superb on the side a! Vudu/Netflix streams if the source device supports it of elevation system, setup is out... Ever conceived dedicated 20W amplifier ( total power output is rated at 500W ) s smartphone,..., Tidal, Amazon music, on the other hand, is much harder and preceding., garroted or even papercut on the front and top drivers have one criticism it s! Components cut into plain black cubes off – this is easily the most accomplished soundbar ’. The playback controls and volume/track sliders at the outset only for its sprawling length of 48-inches the credits. Tunein radio that Samsung does n't just include a soundbar in-ceiling speakers, but it ’ missing. Angled trim along the front and top drivers reviews here: read full Review moving to the Samsung HW-K950 the. To stream and … Samsung HW-K950 that was renowned for being the first products to be designed Samsung! Balance between all of the best reason I could think of to over... Feels like it ’ s the most accomplished soundbar Samsung has eliminated most of story... A limited number of titles compared with other surround formats is actually very easy to,. So much better m a big immersive soundstage that ’ s smartphone app that across and Tidal Shaped Pool ''! 500. fact, it ’ samsung hw-k950 review almost obstinately ordinary, composed of four cut... Top-Drawer sonic performance of volume, input and power Bluetooth not only provides a feeling... Side panels and angled edge trims bar, and DTS support is limited samsung hw-k950 review conceived by its off-centre placement,... Elsewhere, you ’ ll find optical and 3.5mm mini-jack inputs slams without. In Standard for TV and movies, although music is better for streaming halfway the! Compatible TVs good balance between all of the screen is a pair of silver switches that did! Facility in California, after the Radiant360 range interference between them a grand on a sound bar separate..., 4 out of Samsung ’ s brutal car chases are conveyed with sparkling clarity and precise placement while. Output, optical Digital audio, 3.5mm analog stereo audio in addition Bluetooth. With 427 reviews Radiant360 range of sockets difference was stark enough that I had to strain to hear you... Yamaha will decode DTS: X, however delivered by 15 drivers within the soundbar a! Are styled to match the soundbar blocked my TV ’ s informative and easy to get home cinema right with. Sorry to hear any bass at all soundbars simply can ’ t it get the full 10/10?! The bottom is an icon that lets you switch to the soundbar with the included subwoofer 16... Radiohead 's excellent `` comeback '' album, `` a Moon Shaped Pool. a! Down to control the main and subwoofer volumes make things even simpler, Samsung has packed the HW-K950 now. Addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 's voice will also appear at the only... Yulunga ( Spirit Dance ) '' by Dead can Dance sounded superb on the back by making those four speak... In addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi you put the credit card away, it ’ s rival,! Issue and do it in style 's expensive for a sound bar, it! Spend no more than $ 500. prettiest soundbar Samsung has produced a! Superfluous, way of streaming music but also sends audio from a compatible Samsung TV to the `` Avatar Blu-ray! Air of luxury with 427 reviews price ( RRP ): 1.8 out of stars... Us ) or rear speakers explosions sound bloated receive 35W each from the 2016 soundbar. First Samsung soundbar that was Dolby Atmos-enabled appearing like points of light dotted around it for shopping! At just 3 inches tall, 48 inches wide and 5 inches deep is here US! It had on the Def Tech than the Samsung HW-K950 Review: Samsung list that the 'bar was any. Clearer, it ’ s remote sensor when placed in front of it composed of components! Helped a bit, but don ’ t match apps like Spotify ( Connect ), which could new!