Samsung’s New Soundbar Is a 16-channel Dolby Atmos Monster

Samsung HW-Q950A Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Samsung showed off plenty of new products at CES 2021, including robotic vacuum cleaners, smart fridges, massive MicroLED TVs, a digital cockpit concept for driverless cars, a new Chromebook with a QLED display, and even the future home robot from your dreams. But the company has been remarkably quiet when it comes to its new soundbars for 2021, which is odd because they appear to be quite spectacular.

Related: The best soundbars of CES 2021

It’s a small lineup, with just three new models, but it’s clear Samsung isn’t bothering it. Its new flagship, the HW-Q950A, features an astonishing 11.1.4-channel setup with 21 custom-designed speakers. Four of these are up-trigger speakers (two of which are located on the surround speakers) that provide the immersive 3D sound needed for both Dolby Atmos and DTS: X.

The sleek, black soundbar comes with a fairly chunky wireless subwoofer. You can’t tell from the official photos, but this subwoofer packs Samsung’s Auto EQ technology – a built-in microphone with Samsung’s AI Equalizer technology measures how sound travels and reflects in your room.

Samsung calls this system Space Fit, which is basically a new name for Adaptive Sound. Unlike other soundbars that require the use of an accessory mic for room tuning, or Sonos’ Trueplay, which requires you to shake an iPhone for the same purpose, Space Fit is fully automatic. Better yet, if you pair the HW-Q950A with a Samsung 2020/2021 QLED TV, the TV’s built-in microphones can be used for even more precision.

These room-sensing mics are also used with Samsung’s Active Voice Amplifier, which increases dialogue volume when the room has background noise.

Likewise, pairing the HW-Q950A with a Samsung QLED 2020/2021 TV also activates Q-Symphony, which syncs the TV’s top speakers with the soundbar drivers for even more sound. immersive.

Samsung’s built-in Tap Sound feature uses NFC so you can just put a compatible smartphone on the soundbar and start streaming audio through Bluetooth without having to worry about pairing procedures. Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is built in, but we expect the soundbar will also be controllable through Google Assistant if you already have a Google Assistant smart speaker.

HDMI ARC / eARC, a one-click bass boost function and a Samsung One remote control complete the impressive feature set of the HW-Q950A.

How much will the HW-Q950A cost? We can’t say for sure, but if you consider that its predecessor, the HW-Q950T typically sells for $ 1,800 and has fewer channels and features, we’re guessing $ 1,800 is the least you might expect. payable when it debuts later. year.

If that’s too rich for your blood, you might want to consider the HW-Q800A, a Dolby Atmos and DTS: X soundbar that shares the same design and many features of the HW-Q950A.

With a 3.1.2 channel setup, it will likely be much more affordable than the flagship. The current HW-Q70T, which is also a 3.1.2 system, appears to be the closest match and is currently selling for $ 700. What’s attractive about the HW-Q800A is that you can boost its immersive audio capabilities with an optional set of wireless surround speakers, which would take it to a 5.1.4 system.

Among the features of the HW-Q950A that the HW-Q800A also adopts are Samsung Acoustic Beam, Q-Symphony, Space Fit sound, Adaptive sound, Active vocal amplifier, Tap Sound, Bass Boost in 1 click and Game Mode Pro.

Samsung Lifestyle 2021 Soundbar

Finally, Samsung included an image of a product that it simply calls a Lifestyle soundbar. We hardly know anything about it other than its rounded shape, further softened by the use of a fabric casing that covers the entire speaker. Side speaker grilles are visible at the ends and a set of top-mounted controls is also visible. It’s hard to tell, but it looks like it’s narrower than the HW-Q950A, maybe just under 27 inches, which could make it a good choice for bedrooms as well as the main TV room. .

There is obviously a lot of information that we don’t have yet, but as soon as we have more details from Samsung, we’ll update you with whatever we learn.

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