The Samsung HW-Q990B carries on the recent history of the firm to provide its flagship soundbar with four physical boxes; however, up until this point, Samsung has constantly been able to cram more channels into those four boxes. Due to the total channel count remaining at 16, unchanged from the previous year, Samsung must rely on other advancements to continue the soundbar story.
Fortunately, all of the Samsung HW-upgrades Q990B’s have been made to enhance the sound quality that those 16 channels provide, making it among the greatest soundbars of the year. The rear smart speakers, for example, have a new angled top and small pedestal stands to produce purer and better-positioned effects. The subwoofer, on the other hand, wears a fancy new Acoustic Lens atop its massive 8-inch driver to make bass more smooth and refined.
In order to maximize the performance of its unrivaled channel count, Samsung has now included an auto-calibration mechanism to its most recent flagship soundbar as well (also heard in the impressive-sounding Samsung HW-S800B). For an even larger soundstage, you can even get it to collaborate with the speakers in many of Samsung’s most recent TVs.
However, as this Samsung HW-Q990B review will show, it is self-sufficient. The Q990B produces the most comprehensive and immersive surround sound experience we’ve ever heard from even the greatest Dolby Atmos soundbars by introducing new control, balance, and precision to the immense power and channel counts its predecessors have come to be known for.
Samsung HW-Q990B review: Design
Surprisingly, every physical portion of the Samsung HW-Q990B package deviates significantly from the company’s previous two flagship soundbar generations in terms of design. First off, a grilled metallic finish has taken the place of the felt cover that was formerly utilized on the primary soundbar and the rear speakers. Personally, I like the new appearance over the old, especially since the former felt appearance used to be a magnet for dust that was difficult to remove.
A very nice addition is a tiny LED that appears on the front edge of the Q990B and displays information like as the input you’ve chosen, the volume level, the sound mode you’ve chosen, and more. Samsung had unhelpfully placed this LED to the top edge of the samsung soundbars for the previous two generations, where you couldn’t see it while seated on your sofa. It’s wonderful to have it back in its proper place. The Q990B has a few control buttons on its top edge, but most users will interact with it via the remote control that comes with it via the Samsung Smart Things app. Although the new remote control’s flatter, narrower shape and much flusher buttons make it harder to use than its chunkier, more angular predecessor, both work reasonably well.
Samsung HW-Q990B review: Connectivity and Features
The Q990B can be used wirelessly and cordlessly with a premium Samsung smart TV’s from 2022 or later. Samsung’s Q-Symphony function enables compatible Samsung TVs to add their own speaker drivers to the system’s library. However, HDMI eARC offers the best functionality and audio quality, even if the soundbar also accepts digital optical audio input. The Q990B supports Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect and may wirelessly connect to your home Wi-Fi network.
Despite only supporting the basic SBC codec for music playback, it can also pair with your phone over Bluetooth. This is disappointing because a high-end sound system with this much power and size should benefit greatly from high-resolution codecs like LDAC. The Q990B lacks an on-screen interface for setting management while having two HDMI ports to enable video pass-through for two devices to the TV. The LED display or the Samsung SmartThings app both show each time you use the remote to control the soundbar.
Amazon Alexa voice control is made possible via a built-in far-field microphone array. To do this, you must use the Samsung SmartThings app to connect your Amazon account to the sounder. I had trouble getting Alexa to work the first time, but the problem was resolved the second time I went through the process. Once operational, it performs the same functions as other Alexa-enabled speakers, including responding to questions and letting you operate compatible innovative home appliances.
Dolby Atoms soundbar and DTS:X spatial audio are both supported in full on the Q990B. Rather than mixing each channel at the source level, these object-based surround standards place sounds in various points on a sphere surrounding the listener. Based on the location information and the available drivers, compatible speaker systems then blend the sounds. The Q990B can deliver accurate spatial audio imagery since it has 11 horizontal surround channels and four height surround channels that fire upward.
Samsung HW-Q990B review: Sound quality
Let’s address the subject of whether this soundbar can actually offer Atmos surround effects before I go into detail about how this system sounds. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Dolby Atmos basically adds separate height sound. By incorporating top-down sound for a dome-of-sound impression, it tries to improve the sound field. This is done in movie theaters by a number of speakers that are situated in the ceiling and fire downward. Using in-ceiling speakers, downfiring conventional speakers, or upfiring speakers that reflect sound off the ceiling, like the ones in this system, you may achieve a similar Dolby Atmos experience at home.
Now, for the best impact, the up-firing bouncy sound technique actually does call for a flat ceiling that isn’t excessively raised. Additionally, acoustic tiles should not be used in a drop ceiling since they are designed to try and absorb some sound rather than reflect it. I conducted a few things to evaluate the Atmos sound power of this system.
In order to make the up-firing drivers the loudest sound source in the system, I first set the level of every driver in the system except for those that fire upwards to its lowest setting. In a series of A/B tests, I also contrasted the performance of the system with the Atmos drivers turned up against the performance of the system with the Atmos drivers turned down. I even covered the Atmos drivers to make them essentially inactive.
Samsung HW-Q990B review: Performance
The Samsung HW-Q990B is surprisingly simple to install despite its inherent complexity. When first turned on, the subwoofer and rear speakers function perfectly together, and the SmartThings app easily locates and connects the soundbar to the Wi-Fi network. It’s just as easy to use the improved SpaceFit Sound Gen II, which makes sure the soundstage is adjusted for the space and gets rid of the worse aspects. Additionally, the subwoofer is effectively incorporated with the other speakers, resulting in a coherent setup with well-balanced bass.
However, there shouldn’t be a need to do so because SpaceFit Sound automatically optimizes the acoustics and periodically corrects when necessary. The menu offers multiple parameters for manually adjusting the volumes of the different channels and the subwoofer.
The Q990B’s bigger drivers and overall breadth make it a very capable music speaker. Good stereo separation is present, and adequate room correction enables the beefed-up subwoofer to deliver a strong foundation of bass that feels tight and controlled. The delivery also has a nice clarity, with a clean midrange and a crisp treble. While the center channel keeps conversation on-screen clear and focused, the side-firing speakers give the front soundstage considerable width.
Samsung HW-Q990B review: Price and availability
The HW-Q990B has a class-leading collection of features, as we’ve come to expect from a flagship Samsung soundbar, but it comes at a premium price. The Q990B costs £1,599 in the UK. In the US, it costs $1,899. also $2,099 Australian dollars. That’s a sizable sum of money, around the same as an AV receiver and speaker bundle purchased separately. To see if you may save money, be sure to browse our Samsung coupon codes.
The convenience, compatibility, and compactness that soundbars offer, though, make the separates comparison essentially irrelevant if you’re considering one, even one like the Q990B, which is made up of four different components. you can purchase this product from amazon.
Samsung may have been a little concerned about the Q990B because it doesn’t have the typical ‘look, more channels!’ story to tell, but in reality, the company’s decision to improve quality rather than simply tack on additional specifications has paid off handsomely. The HW-Q990B significantly outperforms its already industry-leading predecessor in practically every regard, both for music and movies, making it the most immersive soundbar money can currently buy. a tremendous sound experience.