The Samsung Q950T Soundbar Review is a high-end soundbar that offers excellent sound quality and a wealth of features. It’s one of the most expensive soundbars on the market, but it’s also one of the best. If you’re looking for the best possible sound quality from a soundbar, the Q950T is a great option.
- 1 Pros And Cons
- 2 One-minute Review
- 3 Price and Availability
- 4 Design and Features
- 5 Audio performance
- 6 Setup and Operation
- 7 Should I Purchase the Samsung HW-Q950T?
- 8 FAQs
- 9 Conclusion
Pros And Cons
- Mighty sound
- Unprecedented channel support
- Elegant and slim design
- Soundbars are expensive
- Displays that are not helpfully positioned
- There is no auto-calibration system
Although the Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar review may not be the most recent model, it is still a strong contender in our list of best soundbars.
Even though it is only a few years old, the former flagship has a remarkable channel count compared to its predecessor. It also features a Dolby Atmos/DTS: X-friendly 9.1.4 configuration.
The slimmer design allows for a wide range of intelligent features and introduces some handy new features. It costs less than the HW-Q90R predecessor.
It is great to see the soundbar has become slimmer. This means that it will fit better under different sizes of TVs. The new angles at the front are also very stylish.
The 9.1.4 soundbar is quite remarkable and was designed to handle the object-based sound delights offered by today’s Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio formats.
Audio streaming can be done over WiFi or Bluetooth. This includes the Hi-Res Audio file format. You can even connect to certain phones by simply tapping their bodies against the soundbar.
A premium soundbar with two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, including eARC support to obtain lossless Dolby Atmos/ DTSX soundtracks from compatible TVs, is considered physical connectivity.
The audio quality of the Samsung HW-Q950T review is simply exceptional. The Q950T’s ability to deliver movie mixes that are dense, complex, and layered with great power without any distortion or weakness from the many speakers is its core strength.
Even large living rooms can be filled with sound, which delivers a level of bass depth, midrange openness, and treble detail unmatched in any other large-speaker system.
Price and Availability
- The HW-Q950T can be found all over the globe.
- It costs PS1,499/$1,399/AUS$1949
- The Q900T is also available in a 7.1.2-channel version with no rear speakers.
Samsung’s 2020 top-end soundbar, the Q950T, is no surprise. It also comes at a high price. However, as we’ll see, you get plenty for your PS1,499/$1,399/AUS$1,949 in raw power, speaker channels, and features.
The LG SN11RG is the closest competitor to the Q950T in that they offer Dolby Atmos speaker sets, including rear-mounted channel drivers and front-mounted height channels drivers. The LG SN11RG is a PS200 less expensive but doesn’t have rear-channel drivers like the Samsung HW-Q950T review.
The Samsung HW-Q950T is a great partner for Samsung’s new high-end TVs. Its Q-Symphony feature allows the TV speakers and soundbar to work together. This adds height and presence to your soundstage.
Also available is the Q900T, a version of the Q950T without included rear speakers, which costs PS1,099/PS1,099/AU$1,549.
Design and Features
- The soundbar has a slimmer profile.
- Included are a wireless subwoofer and rear speaker
- 9.1.4 channel configuration
The Q950T’s compact but sturdy rears and subwoofer look almost identical to its HW-Q90R predecessor. Kvadrat cloth has been added to each speaker’s driver. This is an exciting difference.
The Q90R’s soundbar element is very different. It measures just 69.5mm and is almost 14mm thinner. Although it may not seem like much, the Samsung HW-Q950T is significantly smaller in real life. This means that the Samsung HW-Q950T will fit under a wider variety of TVs.
The main bar of the Q950T has a new metallic finish. It now features black Kvadrat felt at its top and front edges.
The soundbar’s front corners now angle back at 45 degrees. This is the most significant design change. This design change makes the soundbar look better and allows for adding two new left and right surround sound speakers (for a configuration of 9.1.4). These speakers reflect sound off your walls to create an even more ‘filled-in’ sound circle around you.
The ‘.4″ part refers, as with the flagship Q90R, to two upfiring drivers within the soundbar and one in each of the rear speakers.
The Q950T’s redesign made a bizarre mistake. Its LED moved from the front to the rear of the speaker’s back. You can only see it if you are standing right next to it. The button that allows you to toggle on or off an Alexa-enabled far-field microphone has it paired in this bizarre new position.
The indicators at the front of the Samsung HW-Q950T are a trio of small lights illuminating when volume changes are registered. A small red light illuminates if the far-field microphone is turned off.
The US-based Audio Lab at Samsung has designed all 20 drivers used to produce the Q950T’s fourteen channels of sound. Samsung has improved some aspects of its drivers by doing all the work in-house.
Dual woofers are used in the leading left, right, and center channels. The upfirers have new processing to increase the soundstage’s impact and coverage.
For a premium soundbar with two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output (with eARC support to obtain lossless Dolby Atmos/ DTSX soundtracks from compatible TVs) and optical digital information, physical connectivity is acceptable.
Although a third HDMI input would be appreciated, and possibly a USB port to play audio from USB drives, what is included should be sufficient for most people.
You can wirelessly connect your Samsung phone to the soundbar by tapping it against the main soundbar chassis. You can also stream audio from other networks via Bluetooth or WiFi connections, as you’d expect.
With Samsung’s SmartThings tablet/phone app, WiFi supports streaming from Apple Music and Amazon Music. TuneIn, Spotify, TuneIn, and Deezer accounts. Audio file format support includes Hi-Res Audio and Hi-Res Audio.
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content will cause the soundbar’s default playback mode to be used. However, three processing modes can be used to ‘enhance’ other audio content.
One of the most intriguing modes is the Game Pro mode. This claims to provide a more immersive sound experience. The different way is Adaptive Sound. It automatically selects the best experience based on real-time analysis.
Q-Symphony is the last new feature. This feature allows you to combine soundbar audio with TV speakers to create a bigger soundstage.
- Powerful and detailed bags
- A 3D audio experience that is complete and rich
- The subwoofer produces a rich, meaty bass
After turning it on, all your worries about the Q950T’s slimmer design affecting its audio quality have been dispelled. It sounds even more potent than its foundation-rocking predecessor.
It can reach huge volumes without any distortion, rattling, or fuzziness. The sound does not become muddy in its mid-range or have harsh trebles when you drive it harder. The sound gets better and more dynamic the louder it is gone.
The soundbar has a vast dynamic range. The subwoofer produces the kind of deep, booming rumbles that you would expect from a separate high-end system. The Samsung HW-Q950T can handle the vast bass drops in Blade Runner 2049 – and there’s no more challenging test in the movie industry.
The subwoofer can adjust its frequency and volume to avoid the ‘all-or-nothing’ trap soundbar subwoofers often fall into.
Bass levels feel integrated into the soundstage because of their agility and the inexplicable dynamic range of soundbar elements. They aren’t there to distract from the top of the mix.
The voices sound very clear and well contextualized. And most importantly, they are delivered with enough dispersion to sound as if they were coming from the images, not the soundbar.
However, the Q950T’s explosive power is not its only advantage. One of the most significant improvements to the Q950T over the predecessor is its ability to pick out the minor details in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X mixes.
Birds tweeting, distant dogs barking and leaves gently stirring in the wind, creaking floorboards, chirping crickets… all these sounds are perfectly audible, without exaggeration, shrillness, or exaggeration.
The rear speakers are equally as effective in placing effects as the main soundbar. This reveals that the Q950T’s rear speaker is more responsive and willing to participate than its predecessor. The Q90R’s sound format is excellent, but the Q950T has a significantly better three-dimensional staging.
The rear side channels have been updated to ensure no sound gaps, even in massive rooms. Additionally, the front/rear balance has been improved, and new height channel processing ensures that Dolby Atmos’ familiar dome of sound does not sound uneven.
These improvements are also very beneficial when it comes time to portray sounds pan across a movie mix accurately.
The Q950T’s sound quality is unsurpassed by soundbar standards. It has abundant power, which means it can quickly increase its performance to handle even the most complex mixes. The LG SN11RG’s presentation tends to lag when a lot of pressure is applied, but the Q950T keeps the amps blazing to handle any movie mix. It is truly spectacular for home theater.
Given how well the Samsung HW-Q950T has been tuned for Dolby Atmos/DTS:X movies, I was a little unsure about its ability to handle the music. Although the Q950T’s approach to music is muscular, the new drivers have enough refinement to ensure that the content feels balanced and convincing.
There are plenty of subtle details and a pleasant stereo presence. The vocals sound slightly higher (vertically) but never shrill or swallowed.
Music continues to show a remarkable dynamic range, with bass levels that you may not have known existed in your favorite songs. This ensures low frequencies do not become too dominant or thuddy.
I recommend you stick with the Standard playback mode when listening to music. The adaptive method can get too aggressive/over-dynamic, while Surround sound and Game modes can be a little artificial.
It’s pretty interesting to use the Game mode for its intended purpose. The Game preset works well with non-Dolby Atmos soundtracks. Atmos tracks default to Atmos mode.
It creates a richer surround sound experience for home theater that feels more like an object-based soundstage. Sound effects appear to be coming from thin air rather than the speakers.
While I would still recommend using a Dolby Atmos and DTS:X mixer on a PC or gaming console, the Q950T’s Game mode with other gaming systems is worth considering. This soundbar is perfect for Gaming.
Setup and Operation
Setting up the Samsung HW-Q950T is simple: place the soundbar underneath your TV, ensuring that nothing is blocking the drivers. Next, position the subwoofer towards the front and the surround speakers towards the rear.
The subwoofers should be mirrored by the front soundstage and provide enough space for the upward-firing drivers of the speakers to bounce off the ceiling to create the rear overhead channels.
The soundbar’s upward-firing drivers should be aimed at the ceiling in the first third of the room to create the overhead channels. To work well, the upward-firing drivers need a flat, reflective top.
The side-firing drivers are designed to bounce off side walls and create the illusion of surround speakers. You want walls that reflect the corner speakers to get the best results. This makes the side surround sound channels.
The wireless speakers and subwoofer will pair with the soundbar automatically, creating the 9.1.4-channel system.
You will need a Dolby Atmos and DTSX test disc and an SPL Meter (if you don’t have one, you can download a variety of SPL apps) to adjust the levels for the subwoofer channels, width, top, rear, top, and center. The display is now located on top of the soundbar, making it more challenging to take SPL measurements.
To get the best soundbar placement, ensure the speakers are symmetrically within the room. Also, make sure the rear speakers are at the same distance from the primary listening position at your home.
Because the volume control for each speaker affects all pairs simultaneously, you cannot change any channel individually to adjust for asymmetric distances.
If you are carefully positioning everything and setting the channel levels correctly, you will get a coherent soundstage with well-integrated basses.
Samsung should offer individual-level controls for each speaker, which would make it easier to set up the HWQ950T in asymmetrical rooms.
To make setting up the HW-Q950T easier in asymmetric rooms, I would like Samsung to add internal test tones or an automated room correction (as LG did this year). Most people don’t have access to or know how to use an SPL Meter and don’t even know what Dolby Atmos is.
SmartThings is an alternative control method connecting the Q950T with your wireless network. Pairing the soundbar with another Bluetooth device is easy. Press the Bluetooth pairing button on your remote and select ‘Samsung SoundbarQ950T’ from the source device.
It would be fantastic if the soundbar’s settings menus could be accessed via the app. This would eliminate the need to view the display and make it easier to find its new location.
A recent Samsung TV will automatically configure the soundbar. However, if your TV is from another manufacturer, you’ll need ARC/eARC to be set up correctly. The HW-Q950T can be operated using the supplied controller, TV remote, or the SmartThings App.
You can play audio from another Samsung device via Group Play. This gives you control over the soundbar and other smart home appliances. Amazon Alexa is built-in, so you can use your voice to control the soundbar. Use phrases such as Alexa, volume up, or Alexa, volume down.
I tested the Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Bluray player (for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X) and a Manhattan TV3-R Freeview set-top box connected to my LG77C9 4K OLED television. I also tested the Atmos offered by the C9’s built-in Netflix and Amazon apps.
To establish a Bluetooth connection, I selected the BT function. The soundbar was then paired to my Apple iPhone X. This enabled me to test the soundbar’s ability to stream music over Bluetooth and stream content using SmartThings.
Should I Purchase the Samsung HW-Q950T?
It’s a good deal if…
- Fantastic movie sound is what you want.
The Q950T is the best soundbar for raw power and dynamic range. It also boasts an unprecedented number of channels that create an immersive soundstage.
You could buy a decent set of separates for as low as the Q950T, but the full Samsung system offers much more performance from a compact set of speakers.
- Your soundbar should be used with many sources.
The Q950T has two HDMIs and an optical sound port. It also features simple-to-setup Bluetooth and WiFi support. You can connect your Android 8.1 Samsung phone to the soundbar simply by tapping the soundbar’s surface.
It’s not worth the risk if…
- You don’t have to be bothered by the size of the speakers
You may be able, with some research, to create a full sound system that slightly exceeds the Q950T. However, such a system could cause clutter in your room with prominent speakers and cabling.
- Rear speakers are not necessary.
You can get rid of the Samsung HW-Q950T rear speakers and save a few hundred dollars by choosing the Q900T system.
- You don’t have enough cash.
While its power and performance justify its PS1,499/$1,399/AUS$1,949 asking price, this is still a lot of money to spend on a surround-sound audio system. You can get a subwoofer/soundbar system at a fraction of the cost if you are tight on cash and understand the performance compromises (or have tiny living rooms).
What is the wattage of the Samsung HWQ950T?
Samsung HW-Q950T 546 Watt 9.1. 4 CH Atmos Soundbar, 20 Speakers. Dolby Digital Plus. DTS-X. Bluetooth.
How can I pair my Samsung Q950T soundbar?
Bluetooth PAIR Change the Soundbar’s Bluetooth pairing mode to Bluetooth PAIR. Wait for the screen to display BT PAIRING, and then press the button.
How can I reset my Samsung Q950t soundbar?
Read full our article How To Reset Samsung Soundbar?
What does D in stand for on a Samsung soundbar?
D.in or Digital In All are all digital inputs on a soundbar. Digital input can also be called digital optical input. It is used to transmit a digital audio signal over fiber optic cable from the source to the speaker.
The Samsung Q950T soundbar has been praised for its sleek aesthetic, enhanced bass, and outstanding Bluetooth connectivity, earning a good rating from The Verge. Seeking to provide an immersive TV audio experience for its customers, Samsung has crafted a surprisingly refined soundbar. From its sleek design to its wireless compatibility, the Q950T review is a worthy investment.
Maybe, more importantly, Samsung Q950T Soundbar does not break the bank either. You can get one for less than $1000 on some sites, which is more than fair considering the soundbar’s design and functionality.
Hooke Audio hopes our review has helped you decide whether the Q950T is right for you. And if you need more help, we will be checking out other Samsung products and looking at their soundbars and Smart TVs soon.