Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review & Comments

lgans316

Distinguished Member
@antsims

The grass now definitely looks greener lol. :laugh:
 

steve sph

Well-known Member
Good comprehensive review, though I can't help but think that no matter how good a soundbar this is, for £1600 bar a penny you could get a half decent surround sound system that would blow it out of the water.
Still I suppose for those who don't have that option it will find it's market.
 
I want 😍

Thanks for the review Steve
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Good comprehensive review, though I can't help but think that no matter how good a soundbar this is, for £1600 bar a penny you could get a half decent surround sound system that would blow it out of the water.
Still I suppose for those who don't have that option it will find it's market.
The HW-Q950T is obviously not aimed at those who would build a separate AV receiver plus speaker package, but convenience and simplicity aside, I'd also be surprised if you actually could put together a 9.1.4 system for £1,600.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Good comprehensive review, though I can't help but think that no matter how good a soundbar this is, for £1600 bar a penny you could get a half decent surround sound system that would blow it out of the water.
Still I suppose for those who don't have that option it will find it's market.
Sound quality wise it will but let us know how to get a 7.1.4 or 9.1.4 speaker system for under £1600.
 
For me the appeal of soundbars is the neatness. They take up much less space. My wee onkyo couldn't compete with a proper sound system but my guests are still impressed by it. I live in an old house with thick walls and it creates a good sound field. I'd really like to upgrade to this Samsung sometime next year.
 

steve sph

Well-known Member
The HW-Q950T is obviously not aimed at those who would build a separate AV receiver plus speaker package, but convenience and simplicity aside, I'd also be surprised if you actually could put together a 9.1.4 system for £1,600.
Sound quality wise it will but let us know how to get a 7.1.4 or 9.1.4 speaker system for under £1600.
Yes, but this isn't a genuine 9.1.4 system is it?
It's faux 9.1.4.
I'm not knocking it - I've never heard it and I never will because it's not for me, but for some it will be just the ticket.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Yes, but this isn't a genuine 9.1.4 system is it?
It's faux 9.1.4.
I'm not knocking it - I've never heard it and I never will because it's not for me, but for some it will be just the ticket.
Even if its faux 9.1.4, its still a 7.1.4.

I have moved from 7.2 high end separates to 7.1.4 soundbar like many. I do miss the separates mainly due to the lack of bass on my soundbar sub. Otherwise these high end soundbars can perform as good as separates in small / medium sized rooms. Its not a night and day difference.
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
The HW-Q950T is obviously not aimed at those who would build a separate AV receiver plus speaker package, but convenience and simplicity aside, I'd also be surprised if you actually could put together a 9.1.4 system for £1,600.
From your review, this sounds like a very impressive system. If this generation of soundbar was available in my HTiB days, they would definitely be at the top of my list.

I think I have a good idea of how these kinds of systems sound having gone through a few large and more compact HTiB systems. The compact ones in particular will sound great in isolation and many users will never feel the need to upgrade. At least until you hear a separates system with the Tannoy HTS101xp or other compact speakers. The satellites will sound a little thin in comparison but the main weakness was always the subwoofer.

For all that, I think that even some AV literate users would be happy to have a system as versatile as this (*edit* as @Igans316 as explained above)
 
I'm really bored of comments comparing soundbars to AV receivers and speakers. They are two different markets. Every soundbar thread attracts someone telling us that you could get a better separates package for the same or less price than the soundbar in question, especially at the upper end of the soundbar market.

If you're happy to chase the walls or have cabling around your living room, go for the receiver and speakers package. If you want somethig neater without wires everywhere or a big receiver unit, go with the soundbar.

If you have a dedicated home theatre set-up, go with the receiver and speakers. If you have a modest living room, go with the soundbar.

If you just want something a bit more plug and play than researching receiver/speaker combos go for the soundbar.

Not everyone is an audiophile first and foremost. Most people looking at soundbars do so based on the restrictions of their home environment - room size/shape, significant other, proximity of neighbours etcetera.

Back to the review. This sounds like another fantastic soundbar from Samsung. Lack of Airplay 2 support and abiity to adjust individual speakers is a bit disappointing but I'm sure they need to save something for next years refresh. The Q90R looks excellent value just now.

Some really decent soundbar options from Vizio, JBL, LG, Samsung and Sonos at this time. Glad to see movement towards providing something close to an AV receiver and speaker package without having to go down that route.

My sofa sits back against the wall and is only about 3m from the TV so the Q950T is probably overkill for my situation. I already have some Sonos products so the Arc looks to be the one for me at this time but it's really pleasing to see so many options on the market.
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
I have Samsung's 1st Atmos soundbars and even it sounds good still. But no DV passthrough, no DTS-MA is a major bummer.

This ticks most boxes now unlike mine, but I really don't like Samsung for their lack of updates. Mine has had about 2 since I got it when it came out. Once a new version of hardware is out, they quite happily drop you like a lead weight.

I would like more than 2 inputs too as I don't have an eARC TV, so as much as I don't like Samsung, the top soundbars are not really bettered.
 

Buckster666

Well-known Member
Only 2 HDMI inputs, very disappointing. For £1600 I would expect 4 minimum. Separate AV amps for half the price have more inputs. Sorry Samsung, no sale.
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
Only 2 HDMI inputs, very disappointing. For £1600 I would expect 4 minimum. Separate AV amps for half the price have more inputs. Sorry Samsung, no sale.
Amps are not choice for many though, but 2 HDMI inputs is frankly not useful these days and not everyone has a TV with eARC. Even the Sennheiser Atmos bar at £2100 only has 3.

Soundbars have many appeals to many people, but the lack of room correction for Atmos and such few HDMI inputs is a staggering omission.
 
Last edited:

Steve Withers

Reviewer
The score should be 9 not 10
It's my review and my score – take it or leave it mate. I love the way you're scoring something you've never seen or heard. But whatever, I guess that's the Internet in a nutshell.
 

BOFH_UK

Active Member
I've run a couple of Samsung's high end soundbars now and for the most part they do a really good job at giving a decent Atmos setup without the need for cables or large equipment stacks around the place. This seems to address one of my main niggles as the main bar has shrunk down a little. The old ones weren't too bad but were right on the limit of blocking TV's when placed in front of them and requiring precision remote piloting with an LG OLED to get the power on/off to work.

That said... I'd urge a little caution. Reliability hasn't been the best in my experience. Nothing show-stopping for the most part but little niggles (currently, for instance, the previous gen I'm running will turn on with the TV, show the right input but no sound and the entire bar seemingly 'frozen'. Give it a minute or two, cycle through the inputs and everything's fine). Samsung's software support is slow and there's some small annoyances which really, IMO, shouldn't be there in a product with this price tag. No auto mic setup is ridiculous and *still* only having two inputs is baffling. Might be a personal thing only of course but in my experience ARC never seems to work particularly well, hopefully eARC will be better but even so only having (basically) one extra HDMI port at this price point is ridiculous.

One question I would have is whether or not Samsung have gifted their latest and greatest with any sort of... how to put this... subtlety when it comes to bass. The previous gens have been great at filling the room and shaking the plaster, not so good at preventing evictions from apartment buildings or saving your eardrums from that last gunshot in John Wick 2.
 
Might well buy something like this in the future when my amp gives up the ghost, I hate fiddling with heavy amps and setting them up especially when I recently tried some new amps and they were faulty or didn’t measure up to my Pioneer.
 

Xood

Standard Member
It feels like there is a new model coming around every year and it seems they don't improve the flaws.
Almost exactly two years ago I bought the first one, the Samsung HW-N950.
It replaced my 5.1 system of bigger bookshelf HECO speakers and an Onkyo Series 6 AV-Receiver.

I was actually very impressed how it all sounded. The immersion was pretty much on par and just a little volume was lost. The subwoofer makes up for a lot of the missing base in the tiny speakers.
I definitely recommend the soundbar.

But, like someone else pointed out, Samsung does not really continue to maintain the older products.
Two complaints I got:
- the speakers loose connection every now and then, often observed because the subwoofer won't play anymore (unplugging the soundbar helps, and never turn it on/and off without waiting a few minutes)
- unflexible speaker adjustments and sound output preferences

I like to explain the last one.
In Dolby Atmos mode, the soundbar plays the surround sounds and the two separate bookshelf speakers function as the surround back channels. The issue is, the soundbar needs to bounce the sound off from a wall in order to simulate the surround sound. Which in my case does simply not work. (one side wide open, the other 1 meter from a wall)
Hence I would love an option for the bookshelf speakers to actually play the surround sounds and not function as surround back (where most often not much is going on anyways).
Hence I never watch with Atmos or DTS:X, this way it sounds really nice.

While the hardware is great, the software leaves much to be desired.
And this is where the product could actually really shine, if Samsung cared to invest into.
 

antsims

Distinguished Member

jms_uk

Well-known Member
@Steve Withers

Could you speak any more to the reliability of the rears and subs as you've tested things? Reliable connectivity has plagued Samsung soundbars since the 2016 HW-K950s and hasn't improved in every generation since.

It's relatively well documented that tri-band WiFi networks can cause problems and users either have to disable the second 5GHz band entirely (reducing the usefulness and speed available to WiFi devices that can take advantage of that second band) OR play whack-a-mole by manually adjusting the channel the second band is using due to the use of DFS by their tri-band kit (I've found relative stability by trying to leave it set to channel 100 but it isn't a magic bullet)

Did you test the 950T in an environment with such a Tri-band router (or mesh extender) present (Netgear? Ubiquiti?) - just curious is all... :)

Perhaps the review period wasn't long enough for you to determine definitively? I and many other AVForum-ites do like the Samsung kit, but that speaker connectivity reliability is a real PITA and it is sometimes too easy to just put it down to "Oh well, its your WiFi network that's to blame" :|
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
Great review Steve thanks. Clearly Samsung have come of age with there soundbars , that said i owned an msw 650 a few years ago and rated that pretty highly.
They wont get my money though due to devaluation of the product due to constant introductions of new models, as u mentioned. The last £1500 quid unit they had is now £999, pity the folk who paid full rrp, anyways thats there marketing stratergy.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Great review Steve thanks. Clearly Samsung have come of age with there soundbars , that said i owned an msw 650 a few years ago and rated that pretty highly.
They wont get my money though due to devaluation of the product due to constant introductions of new models, as u mentioned. The last £1500 quid unit they had is now £999, pity the folk who paid full rrp, anyways thats there marketing stratergy.
Mate,

Its nothing compared to the LG SN11RG being offered by Currys for £850-£900 when I paid £1400 for it at richersounds. It has already gone down in value by £600-£700 in 2 months. At least the Q90R only dropped by £500 in over a year.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
@Steve Withers

Could you speak any more to the reliability of the rears and subs as you've tested things? Reliable connectivity has plagued Samsung soundbars since the 2016 HW-K950s and hasn't improved in every generation since.

It's relatively well documented that tri-band WiFi networks can cause problems and users either have to disable the second 5GHz band entirely (reducing the usefulness and speed available to WiFi devices that can take advantage of that second band) OR play whack-a-mole by manually adjusting the channel the second band is using due to the use of DFS by their tri-band kit (I've found relative stability by trying to leave it set to channel 100 but it isn't a magic bullet)

Did you test the 950T in an environment with such a Tri-band router (or mesh extender) present (Netgear? Ubiquiti?) - just curious is all... :)

Perhaps the review period wasn't long enough for you to determine definitively? I and many other AVForum-ites do like the Samsung kit, but that speaker connectivity reliability is a real PITA and it is sometimes too easy to just put it down to "Oh well, its your WiFi network that's to blame" :|
I only had the HW-Q950T for a couple of weeks, but once I had everything setup the wireless connection between the rears/sub and main unit was reliable and robust. As far as my Wi-Fi setup is concerned, I have a dual-band extender in the lounge with 2.4 and 5GHz bandwidths (the actual router is in my office).
 

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