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With its clear, precise, and immersive sound, the Samsung HW-Q910B makes for a stellar, compact, and feature-packed soundbar, although some of its best tricks are reserved for those Samsung TVs and smartphones with Q-Symphony support. Packing Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, along with built-in Alexa and Airplay 2, this 9.1.2ch soundbar is the best you can get if your budget can’t stretch enough to get the spectacular Samsung HW-Q990C 11.1.4 channel soundbar.
The HW-Q910B delivers rich, controlled sound, while its slender housing prevents it from blocking the bottom of your TV screen. However, some of the Q910B’s most impressive features – including “Q Symphony” audio technology and room-correction tech only work with Samsung TVs. That’s the case with all of Samsung’s latest soundbars, which means owners of other TV brands will not get the most bang for their bucks.
For the under $1000 price, I can say that’s pretty reasonable given the feature set, and it will still work fine with other TVs without necessarily relying on the Samsung TV-driven functions.
Samsung has increased the HW-Q910B’s channel over last year’s HW-Q600C soundbar (3.1.2 channel) flagship, it remains its most headline-grabbing feature. After all, it’s not every day to you get a soundbar rocking a 9.1.2 configuration of real (not virtual) audio channels; though the 2023 HW-Q990B flagship takes everything a not-higher with an 11.1.4 channel configuration.
That is made up of a front center, front left, front right, side left, side right, front side left, front side right, rear left, and rear right, on the soundbar (the “9” in the soundbar’s 9.1.2 designation), along with a subwoofer for low-frequency effects (the “.1”, and up-firing drivers for height effects (the final “2”).
Now that we’ve listed all that lot, you’d be wondering where else Samsung might have found other channels for the 11.1.4 configuration in its latest HW-Q990B soundbar. To do that, they added rear side left, rear side right, two front up-firing drivers, two rear up-firing drivers, plus, of course, the subwoofer.
The expansive channel output count is made available, of course, to help the soundbar deliver the best audio experience possible when playing Dolby Atmos or DTS:X soundtracks for object-based surround sound audio output.
Connections on the HW-Q910B are similar to those of its predecessor. This is great as you’re getting two HDMI inputs alongside the HDMI output. The HDMI output has eARC support, meaning it can receive lossless Dolby Atmos or DTS:X soundtracks passed on via compatible TVs, and the HDMI loop supports both the HDR10+ and Dolby Vision ‘premium’ HDR formats, as well as the more basic HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range systems.
While that sounds like great connectivity, it’s disappointing that such a pricey soundbar lacks support via the HDMI ports for the latest 4K/120fps variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto-low latency mode (ALLM) gaming features. So, if you own some of the next-gen consoles or PCs, you’ll have to route your gaming device through the TV and use the eARC feature to pass game soundtracks to the soundbar.
The HW-Q910B supports plenty of wireless connections, including AirPlay 2 and Samsung’s newest Wireless Dolby Atmos system. This can receive Dolby Atmos tracks from compatible TVs without a physical HDMI eARC connection. Additionally, you can establish a wireless connection for sharing songs from most recent Samsung phones by simply tapping them against the soundbar’s bodywork. Supported audio file formats include AAC, WAV, MP3, FLAC, AIFF, OGG, and ALAC.
For a soundbar that consists of four individual parts, it’s interesting to see how the HW-Q910B is easy to set up and keep running.
All four parts are wireless, so unless you need to, there’s no need to run cables between them, and for the most time, all four elements never fail to automatically find and connect right away, without input. Still, for added fidelity, I’d go for the eARC connection over a wireless connection, as it lets you utilize the soundbar as a hub for two or more HDMI devices.
If you have a newer Samsung QLED TV such as the Samsung QN95C, the wireless surround and subwoofer will connect automatically, since the TV identifies the soundbar and activates its Q-Symphony Sound function, which leverages the TV’s built-in speakers to boost the overall soundstage. Q-Symphony Sound feature is available on all recent Samsung QLED TV models.
While the Q910B can function on a wireless setup, it has decent cable management, too. The soundbar has up to three HDMI cables, and you’ll appreciate how cleverly the power cords for the surround speakers run out of the bottom of the speakers. The only issue here is the length of the cords; at only 3 feet long, they will work for most folks, but I just wish they were a little longer for better speaker positioning.
The new Space Fit auto-calibration system is a great addition to the setup as well. Once you’ve run it once, it rechecks itself daily, making it a much better way of interacting with the system. It eliminates the process of trying to balance channels manually as required with previous Samsung soundbars.
Day-to-day use is very straightforward, too. The soundbar’s front-mounted led makes it easy to track volume levels, sound formats, and the selected inputs, and the remote control keeps buttons to an easy use minimum. Plus, you can control the HW-Q910B soundbar via the visual interface of Samsung’s Smart Things app, and there’s built-in Alexa control support if you’d rather have an interactive voice chat with your soundbar.
Design And Features
The entire Samsung HW-Q910B package weighs around 50 lbs in total, with the main soundbar weighing around 11.9 lbs and measures 46.7 x 23 x 10.9 inches, with the left and right front panel corners rocking a diagonal design. For all four pieces, the whole front and top surfaces are covered with a metal grill that shields the drivers, as well as a compact panel that houses four rubber buttons for play/pause, volume up/down, and mic on/off on the soundbar.
On the main soundbar, an LED display on the right side of the front grille displays the status of the bar, as well as the current input and volume level. From experience, the metal grille looks better and emphasizes the premium character of the HW-Q910B, and is much better than the traditional speaker grille cloth.
Still, the fact that the Q910B comprises four components makes it a standout among top-tier soundbars: The main soundbar, a subwoofer, and a pair of rear speakers. All of these bars carry multiple channel drivers each, three in each rear, and eleven in the main soundbar.
The main soundbar is slim enough to fit under most TV without obscuring the bottom picture, and the rears are of a good size to fit on a typical bookshelf. As expected, the subwoofer has some heft to it, but its new Acoustic lens fitment makes it look a bit cool, while the newer dispersive design touches make it easier to tuck out of sight – maybe under a sideboard or next to a sofa.
As seen in the Samsung HW-Q990B, Samsung finally returns the little LED to the soundbar’s front edge, where you can see it while seated on your sofa, rather than repeating the tragedy of its previous flagship soundbars where the LED was placed on the top edge – where you had to be standing to read it.
The Samsung HW- Q910B might be easy to set up and jam-packed with features, but the real show-stopper is its sound quality. For this soundbar, Samsung does an excellent job of creating a full-blooded Dolby Atmos soundstage in your living room.
Each of its 15 channels is made to be heard – especially as the integrated new auto-calibration system excellently balances the channels to their optimal levels without any manual input. You feel completely immersed in a sound bubble that wraps around the sides of your seating position, and extends right around the back of your head, and even in a jazzed-up fashion, right over your head.
To create such a seamless hemisphere of sound, Samsung ensures that Dolby Atmos is fine-tuned to count. After all, Dolby Atmos is meant to leverage its object-based sound format to deliver a carefully crafted 3D audio space rather than just directed at specific speakers. That means, if your sound system can’t create that 3D space efficiently, it can’t then place those specific sound effects within that space correctly.
Sure, last year’s model also delivered sound quality, which was, at the time, an unmatched Atmos sound stage via 16 channels, but the HW- Q910B does it even better. Partly, I think, because of the extra channels, and in large due to the extra self-calibration tools it now carries as well, alongside the improved design of the soundbar’s rear and subwoofer speakers.
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The extra refinement together with the SpaceFit sound feature, means the soundbar’s bass, while ever-present, hardly draw too much attention to itself, instead, everything resonates appropriately and sounds just like another fine-tuned part of the wider mix. The main soundbar components, meanwhile deliver the magical pairing of crisp detailing, huge power, unbridled impact, and well-balanced channel steering that we heard from last year’s model.
Other than finding its handling of DTS:X soundtracks a little underwhelming, you’ll struggle to find a missing mark on the HW- Q910B, even if its move and dialogue performance is top-notch. As with most previous Samsung flagship soundbars, however, music performance is a little uninspired, but it still does a good job with native Dolby Atmos mixes, but deeply layered tracks sound a little congested.
Luckily, the Samsung HW- Q910B has a solution of sorts for this issue in the way of its Adaptive sound preset. With this feature, remix tracks can take advantage of the soundbar’s full array of channels, and it delivers remarkable results. While the Adaptive preset won’t appeal to most hi-fi audiophiles, it balances the musical elements much better than the straight stereo Music mode, as well as making the sound appear much less congested.
Samsung HW- Q910B Review – Verdict
If you’re a sucker for multi-channel soundbars that are easy to set up, the Samsung HW- Q910B is among the best soundbars you can get right now. It’s easy to set up thanks to wireless satellites and a sturdy wireless subwoofer that punches above its weight to deliver well-balanced Dolby Atmos acoustics.
As a package, the Samsung HW- Q910B impresses with a simple-to-setup solution that delivers rich audio and impressive Dolby Atmos sound. With the upgraded wireless connectivity and software, it’s as feature-complete as I’d like at this price.
If you want a full surround-sound experience, the Samsung HW- Q910B with its impressive rear and a main soundbar with lots of sound-enhancing features make for a complete and immersive Dolby Atmos experience. It comes highly recommended, but the flagship Samsung HW-Q990C (2023 model) remains our Editors’ Choice for high-end soundbars.
How do I get my TV to play through my soundbar?
On the back of your TV, look for an input HDMI port labeled RC (Audio Return Channel) or eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), then locate the TV-Out (ARC) port on the back of your soundbar and then connect the HDMI wire to both slots.
Is HDMI better than optical when connecting a soundbar?
The versatility of HDMI makes it a superior option over optical when connecting a soundbar to your TV. Again, HDMI cables are quite inexpensive, they can relay video and transmit audio formats such as Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X playback.
Is a soundbar better than my TV speakers?
While we have seen a few TV models come with built-in soundbars, most, especially in the budget range come with normal speakers. In that case, soundbars come in handy to improve your audio experience beyond what your TV speakers can offer. Additionally, soundbars come with extra features such as the ability to integrate various devices throughout the household.
The Samsung HW-Q910B soundbar is a fantastic entertainment unit that impresses with its tight, precise, and immersive sound, although its best tricks are reserved for those with the latest Samsung TVs and phones.
- Immersive, precise sound
- Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and AirPlay 2 support
- Built-in Alexa
- Low-profile design
- It’s not cheap
- No 4K 120Hz/VRR passthrough
Last update on 2023-12-04 at 05:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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SAMSUNG HW-Q910B 9.1.2ch Soundbar w/ Wireless Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Rear Speakers, Q Symphony, Built In Voice Assistant, SpaceFit Sound, Airplay 2, Adaptive Sound, Game Pro Mode, Alexa Built-In, 2022
$1,197.99 in stock
2 used from $1,027.25