Samsung HW-Q990B Review: The Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar

If you are an audiophile, the times when while you needed to spend hundreds of {dollars} on a receiver and persuade your contractor uncle to point out you run cables by 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 explicit, programs like Samsung’s flagship HW-Q990B sound increasingly more like your conventional high-end house theater. This 11.1.4-channel soundbar bundle is the primary ever to function wi-fi Dolby Atmos, and all that 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 full and clear within the heart channel. Unless you’re keen to spend far more time (and cash), it’s downright arduous 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 fascinating expertise, the surface of the bar is extraordinarily boring (and thus straightforward to cover beneath a TV display). The bar is a protracted hexagon, with angled corners to bounce hold forth the partitions, and the rear surrounds are giant, 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 would simply be hidden in any nook of my studio. Put the surrounds on stands. Plug them in together with the subwoofer. Plug the primary bar into energy, and in addition into your TV or projector through the HDMI eARC port. Then you’re off to the flicks! Seriously, it’s that easy.

Those with higher-end programs, or who’re tremendous choosy about their inside design, would possibly wish to mount the primary 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 change your audio gear as ceaselessly, as a result of they have an inclination to last more. In the home-theater world, good sound isn’t by any means a static enterprise, nevertheless it isn’t growing as rapidly as picture processing and display expertise are.

If you get a soundbar that is this high-end, with Dolby Atmos and all the trendy processing that comes with it, I’d count on it to final by a minimum of two TV generations. So in case 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 12 months even by comparability.

Personally, I discover more-immersive audio brings me extra deeply contained in the motion than a higher-end display. It would possibly sound like sacrilege coming from a TV and projector reviewer, however really partaking encompass sound is without doubt one of the few issues that the majority theaters do considerably higher than we do at house. Whenever you bridge the hole with a great audio system, it actually does so much to deliver you again to that movie show headspace.

After all, a significant part of most films and TV reveals is the sound. You’ve in all probability seen most reveals in full decision on a reasonably respectable high quality display, even in case you’ve solely seen them on a mobile phone, however have you ever heard them with full high quality sound, by 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 giant 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 hearth 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 every part from large 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 condo dwellers want concern retribution from their neighbors.

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