5 December, 2022 New York
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Samsung HW-Q990B overview: Most immersion, minimal fuss


(Pocket-lint) – Whilst soundbars are getting higher and higher at recreating the revel in of a complete encompass sound device, they nonetheless include some plain obstacles to their talents. Fortunately, soundbar producers are an increasing number of conscious about the center floor that is forming – of house cinema fanatics that need the efficiency of a complete device in a extra handy bundle.

The Samsung HW-Q990B is a type of applications, made up of the corporate’s flagship soundbar, along a sub and wi-fi rear audio system to make an 11.1.4-channel device. It builds at the good fortune of previous fashions through no longer most effective refining the class-leading immersive speaker structure, but additionally bettering a couple of different issues, reminiscent of a redesigned cupboard and enhanced subwoofer. However does it grasp as much as its flagship standing?

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Our fast take

The Samsung HW-Q990B is an outstanding soundbar device, which is able to pride house cinema fanatics through providing object-based audio while not having to lodge to an AV receiver and speaker bundle. It additionally manages to ship most immersion with the minimal quantity of inconvenience.

This soundbar’s high-end specifications are headlined via make stronger for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, along side HDMI connections that cross each and every model of HDR together with Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10+. Most effective the loss of passthrough for 4K/120p and VRR disappoints within the technology of next-gen consoles.

There’s a number of different options, together with room correction, integrated Alexa and integration with supporting Samsung TVs the use of Q Symphony. There’s additionally a succesful far off app, make stronger for high-resolution audio, or even wi-fi Atmos for many who are averse to extra cables.

The HW-Q990B is an incredible performer because of more than one drivers, wi-fi rear audio system, entrance and rear upfirers, and an upgraded subwoofer. The result’s a staggeringly immersive 11.1.4-channel revel in with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio codecs.

The whole sound high quality is very good, the engineering spectacular, and the SpaceFit Sound characteristic permits you to proper for the extra egregious facets of any room. It’s no longer reasonable, and further HDMI inputs could be great, however you received’t discover a extra sonically achieved soundbar.

For

  • Extremely immersive sound
  • Seismic ranges of bass
  • Auto room correction
  • Alexa integrated
In opposition to

  • No 4K/120 and VRR passthrough
  • Most effective two HDMI inputs

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Design and construct

  • Soundbar dimensions: 1232 x 70 x 138mm (WxHxD) / Weight: 7.7kg
  • Rear audio system dimensions: 130 x 201 x 140mm / Weight: 3.4kg
  • Subwoofer dimensions: 220 x 413 x 410mm (WxHxD) / Weight: 11.7kg
  • Black end most effective

The Samsung HW-Q990B sports activities a big cupboard with angled corners and a powerful steel mesh grille. The design is intentionally unassuming and does not draw consideration to itself beneath your TV. Samsung has sensibly moved the show again to the entrance the place it might probably if truth be told be observed.

SamsungSamsung HW-Q990B photo 1

The matte black end is non-reflective, the construct high quality is very good, and the soundbar’s dimensions go well with TVs with display sizes of 55 inches or greater. There is a selection of stand or wall mounting, and if making a decision at the latter Samsung contains devoted brackets for this function.

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The subwoofer and rear audio system also are completed in matte black, with the latter the use of a brand new curved cupboard, and the similar steel mesh grille because the soundbar. This creates a better feeling of aesthetic concord, and those rear audio system can both be stand or wall fastened.

The subwoofer has been stepped forward this yr, and now boasts an 8-inch driving force mixed with an acoustic lens design that produces bass with higher uniformity, making the low-end extra actual and clearer. In fact, whilst each the sub and rears are wi-fi, they do require an influence socket.

Connections and keep an eye on

  • HDMI output (eARC); 2 x HDMI enter; Optical virtual enter
  • Wi-Fi; Bluetooth; AirPlay 2
  • Complete far off keep an eye on
  • SmartThings app (iOS/Android)
  • Alexa integrated

The Samsung HW-Q990B has a fundamental set of bodily connections housed in a recess on the rear. Right here you’ll be able to in finding an optical virtual enter, two HDMI inputs and an HDMI output that helps eARC. With regards to wi-fi connectivity, you additionally get Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and AirPlay 2.

Pocket-lintSamsung HW-Q990B photo 2

A few further HDMI inputs could be great, however all of them cross 4K/60p, and each and every model of HDR (HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient) too. Additionally they make stronger ALLM, however no longer the brand new next-gen gaming options of VRR and 4K/120 excessive body fee, which seems like a neglected alternative.

The redesigned One Far off Keep watch over provides extra buttons however stays at ease to carry and intuitive to make use of. The SmartThings app could also be successfully designed, making setup simple through permitting customers to briefly create a Wi-Fi connection, configure Alexa, and replace the firmware.

With regards to the daily operation of the HW-Q990B, customers have a selection of both the buttons at the soundbar itself, the equipped far off, the SmartThings app, voice keep an eye on via Alexa, or the use of their TV far off by way of HDMI-CEC – so there are many choices for purchasing it to do what you wish to have.

Options

  • 11.1.4-channel device
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  • SpaceFit Sound Gen II
  • Q Symphony
  • Hello-Res Audio (24-bit/192kHz)

The Samsung HW-Q990B’s headlining characteristic is a shockingly immersive 11.1.4-channel speaker structure. It utilises this capacity to its fullest extent through internally deciphering maximum multi-channel codecs, together with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio.

Pocket-lintSamsung HW-Q990B photo 3

The device consists of entrance left, proper and centre channels, entrance and rear overhead channels, width channels on the entrance, and facet channels on the entrance and rear. The soundbar makes use of up-firing wide-range tweeters as a substitute of the former acoustic beams to increase the frequency differ.

The rear audio system and subwoofer hook up with the soundbar wirelessly, and in case you like the theory of protecting the cabling to a minimal, you’ll take a look at Wi-fi Atmos. This permits the structure to be transmitted wirelessly by way of Wi-Fi the use of Dolby Virtual Plus from supporting 2022 Samsung TVs.

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SpaceFit Sound Gen II makes use of a microphone constructed into the subwoofer to calibrate the bass reaction for higher integration with the opposite audio system, whilst concurrently optimising the room correction for a selected setting. It periodically adjusts this if essential, reminiscent of any adjustments in structure.

For non-Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content material, the AI Sound routinely complements voice readability at low volumes, in addition to optimising the sound in accordance with scene-by-scene research of the content material for a greater total efficiency. Moreover, there are settings for Same old, Encompass, and Recreation, however we discovered the AI mode labored effectively sufficient for us to stay with it for the majoirty of content material.

The brand new Q Symphony Gen II characteristic permits homeowners of suitable Samsung TVs to make complete use in their further audio system through concurrently synchronising sound from each gadgets to supply a larger entrance soundstage that utilises as much as a complete of twenty-two channels (relying at the TV).

The inclusion of Amazon Alexa no longer most effective turns the HW-Q990B into an absolutely functioning sensible assistant, but additionally supplies get entry to to Amazon Track. This implies you’ll concentrate in your favorite songs, or even experience tune jumbled together Dolby Atmos when you’ve got an Limitless subscription.

You’ll be able to additionally get Atmos tune from Tidal (when you’ve got a Hello-Fi subscription) and Apple Track (when you’ve got an Apple TV). In the end, there is Hello-Res Audio make stronger, Faucet Sound for supporting Samsung gadgets, and the Energetic Voice Amplifier (AVA), which will also be useful in noisy setting.

Efficiency

Regardless of its inherent complexity, the Samsung HW-Q990B is unusually simple to put in. The subwoofer and rear audio system pair flawlessly when first powered up, and the SmartThings app discovers and connects the soundbar to the Wi-Fi community with out factor.

SamsungSamsung HW-Q990B photo 1

The upgraded SpaceFit Sound Gen II is similarly easy to run, making sure the soundstage is calibrated for the room, getting rid of the extra egregious facets. The subwoofer could also be correctly incorporated with the opposite audio system, making a cohesive device with balanced bass.

The menu supplies a large number of controls for manually converting the degrees of the quite a lot of channels and the subwoofer, however there must be no wish to modify those as a result of SpaceFit Sound routinely optimises the acoustics, and periodically corrects when essential.

With regards to tune, the Q990B is actually succesful because of its greater drivers and total width. There may be excellent stereo separation, whilst the beefed-up subwoofer supplies a cast basis of bass that feels tight and regulated because of the efficient room correction.

There may be additionally a satisfying readability to the supply, with a blank midrange and a transparent treble. The side-firing audio system supply actual width to the entrance soundstage, whilst the centre channel guarantees discussion is apparent and targeted at the display.

The HW-Q990B builds on those strengths relating to multi-channel audio, with the rear audio system making a cohesive 5.1-channel sound box. Any encompass results are effectively outlined and expertly prompt across the room. The wi-fi connections also are freed from delays and dropouts.

Once you progress directly to fully-immersive object-based audio soundtracks that use Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, all of the 11.1.4-channel soundstage comes into play. The sense of sonic envelopment is outstanding, and awesome to another soundbar – or even some AVRs.

Pocket-lintSamsung HW-Q990B photo 5

Using entrance and rear up-firing audio system makes a large distinction, permitting the device to transport sounds round a practical sonic bubble. Then again, the up-firing drivers effectiveness in growing overhead channels depends on your ceiling – the decrease and flatter, the easier.

The whole soundstage is massive, with results prompt exactly and positioned across the room inside of a hemisphere of sound. There’s enough amplification to retain superb dynamic differ, and sufficient energy to fill a decent-sized room. The brand new subwoofer supplies exceptionally deep and strong bass, with out dominating the opposite channels or swamping the soundstage.

This was once completely demonstrated when observing Blade Runner 2049, which boasts a legitimate design that is steadily overwhelming in its sense of scale and skill to mine the low-end depths. The tune is unfold around the entrance of the room, discussion is apparent and targeted, and results like flying vehicles and drones zip overhead. The sub performs its section, however at all times stays easy and regulated.

The efficiency is similarly spectacular with gaming, and the entire tonal steadiness manner results transfer from speaker to speaker with out sounding noticeably other. That is very efficient right through first individual shooters, growing a unbroken acoustic revel in as you exchange your perspective.

So, whether or not you might be observing TV or motion pictures, taking note of tune or taking part in video games, the HW-Q990B delivers an enticing, relaxing and extremely immersive efficiency that is certain to delight.

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To recap

The Samsung HW-Q990B is a class-leading soundbar that flawlessly delivers Dolby Atmos and DTS:X the use of a room-filling and extremely immersive 11.1.4-channel device. Efficient room correction guarantees the entire device is appearing optimally, with tight and well-integrated bass, and the entire sound is very good, with quite a lot of energy, immersion and low-end have an effect on. There are a number of helpful new options, and excluding some minor gripes concerning the HDMI connections, it’s laborious to fault. It is a number of the soundbars to overcome this yr.

Writing through Steve Withers. Enhancing through Verity Burns.