Samsung HW-Q90R Soundbar Review & Comments

Discussion in 'Soundbars, Soundplates & Soundbases' started by Phil Hinton, May 22, 2019.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. dickyarundel

      dickyarundel
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      Hi Steve,fantastic in depth review.
      Just one question.When calibrating the front centre channel,is it "locked" together with the front left and right as some suggest on the n950 or are the front left and right "fixed",leaving the centre completely independent from those two,as others suggest?I have read conflicting reports on this and would love a definitive answer.
       
    3. OledMasterRace

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      Fantastic review apart from one little thing I found hilarious.

      “If your strapped for cash spend £1200 instead of £1500”

      Lol maybe re-word that something like “if you wanna save £300 buy last years near identical model”
      Who on earth being strapped for cash would even waste their time reading a review of a FIFTHTEEN HUNDRED POUND SOUND BAR?

      Strapped for cash means two very different things to me and you Steve :)
      Otherwise great review as always, not working properly with the best pound for pound TVs on the market for the last 3 years makes it a non starter for me and, I’m guessing many others! what are Samsung playing at?
       
    4. Flecky81

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      I think I heard this today in Curry’s with the Samsung 75Q90R TV it was really good and would sit nicely below this TV too.
       
    5. chopples

      chopples
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      Hi mate

      attached is a pic from the Q90R manual, this suggests to me that adjustment control is identical to last years model

      cheers
      Screenshot 2019-05-22 at 19.21.45.png
       
    6. chopples

      chopples
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      @Steve Withers Sorry for the double post, I have read that the Q80R can now add the atmos rears if purchased separately. Is this something Samsung have told you?

      I only ask as there is nothing in the manual to suggest that this is the case. Like the N850 before, it only mentions rear level adjustment with optional surround speakers and is lacking the rear top adjustment needed for the up fires

      edit... see attached from q80r manual

      Screenshot 2019-05-22 at 19.41.28.png


      cheers
       
    7. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I think this has already been answered, but you can set the centre, sides, rears, front top, and rear top separately.
       
    8. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Fair enough about the value aspect. I might reword that slightly. As for Atmos over ARC, it might not be a Samsung issue. Have you considered that? Anyway, I’m sure it will be sorted out.
       
    9. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      That’s what Samsung told me, but I’ll double check with them tomorrow.
       
    10. dickyarundel

      dickyarundel
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      Sorry,I might not have made myself clear.I am not talking about side-firing speakers.I meant the 9 speakers along the front.Are they all classed as centre?
       
    11. bogart99

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      Atmos problem and 3 cons after the pros but scores a 10 seems very odd to me.
       
    12. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      No, the three drivers on the left are the left channel, the three in the middle are the centre channel, and the three on the right are the right channel. All three are discreet and you can set the level of the centre channel separately from the left and right.
       
    13. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      The three cons are all minor and the Atmos issue might be an LG problem, since the Q90R works fine with other manufacturers’ TVs. There’s no other soundbar that does object-based audio properly, so it’s a 10 from me!
       
    14. chopples

      chopples
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      Apols if this has been tried and it may actually seem counterintuitive, but with ARC have you tried it with the LG's Dolby atmos setting disabled? might be worth giving it a go with Jack Ryan.

      It just doesn't make sense, as you say its just a DD+ container and the TV should be unaware of whats contained within when its passed, unless it is attempting to alter it in some way

      cheers
       
      Last edited: May 22, 2019
    15. Elavarasan

      Elavarasan
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      Hi @steve_withers

      Are the q90r rear speakers louder then last years n950? When playing none atmos content?
       
    16. OledMasterRace

      OledMasterRace
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      LG are far from infallible so there’s every possibility it’s on them, Samsung though are even worse (in my experience) so I’m gunna blame them until proven otherwise.

      How come you don’t do the YouTube video reviews anymore? They helped me no end 3 years ago when I was traversing the tv choosing minefield, always clear, packed with all the info you could need (without being incredibly tedious unlike others who’ll remain nameless) and concise!
       
    17. Dunners

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      The lack of room EQ test tones / microphone setup really makes this another compromise bar.
      There's no way I can get surround speakers to be equidistant in my lounge... and if adjustment can't be made per channel, only as the stereo pair - it will end up with a poor effect (too loud on one channel typically).
      Also - missing Airplay (let alone Airplay 2) or Chromecast is all sorts of fool hardy.
       
    18. Rizvan

      Rizvan
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      Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision both work on my LG C8 via the in-built Amazon Prime app over ARC to the HW-N950.
      A good review for the HW-90R but it doesn’t seem a big leap over the N950.
      To be fair Samsung created a decent system to start with.
      Looking forward to their next generation as things can only get better..... :)
       
    19. rck010

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      Nice, solid review Steve. Well done!

      Successor of an already great Soundbar, minor upgrade compared to the N950 if you ask me. E-ARC is great if you have a TV that supports it, but perhaps the N950 is getting it with a firmware update as well?

      Adaptive sound and all these sound enhancers, I usually avoid like the plague. Most of the time, they screw up the sound more than enhance it.

      The subwoofer upgrade is great, but honestly I’ve never encounter something wrong with mine. Placement is key to success with any sub.

      I’m glad I got my hands on the N950 for about £700, feels like a steal compared to the £1499 price tag of this one.
       
    20. connect

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      As an iPhone user using Spotify. Can I stream or control to this sound bar? It sounds like I can’t use AirPlay and Spotify connect is only available if you use Alexa?

      If that’s correct I’d need to connect Alexa to the sound bar then I could use Spotify connect?
       
    21. chopples

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      John Archer said in his review of the N850 that Samsung told him they where working on an EARC update. Samsung can often communicate confusing messages, they also have previous when it comes to abandoning older models so I would take this with a pinch of salt.

      Hi mate, on the N850 u can use Spotify connect, it shows in the available devices and the bar will switch to the wifi input once connected, volume control works.

      I have no reason to think this will be any different on the new bars

      cheers
       
    22. dickyarundel

      dickyarundel
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      Thanks again for details.You and Steve have kindly made it very clear that the centre channel is indeed discreet and can be adjusted individually.Looking at the manual,does that mean that the remaining three speakers either side+side firing speakers are "grouped" together,making up the left and right side channels respectfully, when making adjustments?I hope this makes sense.
      Thanks in advance.
       
      Last edited: May 23, 2019
    23. lgans316

      lgans316
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      Great review.

      Ideal for neutered Disney Atmouse mixes lol.
       
    24. chopples

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      Hi mate

      Front left and right is grouped, with no adjustment allowed in the settings
      side left and right is grouped
      front top left and right is grouped
      rear left and right is grouped
      rear top left and right is grouped
      Centre is grouped (on its own)

      IMO if using a meter and test tones then the best way to approach it is to set the front left and right using the master volume and then use the available individual controls to set the other groups to the same level as the front left and right.

      Caveat being you may need to find a balance when doing individual adjustments as left and right from a group may offer different levels due to how the sound is bouncing around the room

      hope this helps


      cheers
       
    25. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Chopples has already answered this perfectly.
       
    26. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I don't think the rears perform any differently to the N950, but the surround channels are often used subtly by sound designers. As I mention in the review, I could certainly hear them clearly with a mix like Edge of Tomorrow that has plenty of surround action.
       
    27. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I did try that. I'm beginning to think there is an issue with the ARC on my C8 because it wouldn't connect at all with the Q90R after a while. That's why I connected it to my B7 as well, and that TV connected via ARC without any issues. However I still couldn't get it to pass Atmos back via ARC. As you say it's just a DD+ container, and the Q90R supports it so there's no logical reason why. What I can say is that as soon as connect the B7 to the Q90R via HDMI-ARC the Atmos logo on Netflix content changes to 5.1. As I said in the review, I don't know if the problem is at LG's end or Samsung's.
       
    28. Mister_Tad

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      I read a review of a 140m superyacht the other week in spite of being strapped for cash (at least in the context of 140m superyachts). Far from a waste of time (though my unnatural interest in superyachts does sometimes give me slight sad-pangs that short of discovering I'm a descendant of middle-eastern royalty I won't ever experience such a thing).

      Now on the other hand, if someone strapped for cash was reading the review and evaluating whether they purchase said soundbar or not, I would suggest they take a few steps back and seriously re-evaluate their life!

      It doesn't entirely make sense, but I just can't get my head around a £1500 soundbar... particularly a £1500 soundbar from a consumer electronics company. It's not badge snobbery or anything like that, at least I don't think it is. I think because it's all in the one box... in a box that you would be more likely to find in John Lewis or Currys than Sevenoaks or Frank Harvey. I suppose if I was to add a couple of satellites and a sub to by own Bluesound soundbar it would tot up to more than £1500, and it's at least an order of magnitude less costly than my main AV setup, but to me that's different... for... reasons.

      Maybe if the HK branding was more front and centre that would help me out, or even co-brand with something even more esoteric in Samsungs vast portfolio. Not sure how much cross-pollination there is with Mark Levinson, Arcam, Revel etc, but I wouldn't for a second question a £1500 soundbar from any of them... so perhaps it is badge snobbery.

      I did say it didn't make sense.

      EDIT: Thinking about it, perhaps it's an aspirational product in it's own right. Someone in Curry's wanting the latest and greatest TV and a sound system to match, but isn't "into" hifi or AV knows Samsung, knows that they're an electronics 800lb gorilla, and respects the name, and probably hasn't ever heard of half of Samsungs "hifi" brands.
       
      Last edited: May 23, 2019
    29. avjon

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      One of the real issues I have is that you get to Currys to look at this bar and it is shoved in some shelf and someone who knows nothing about the product plays a random selection of movie clips and expects you to pay out £1500 for the privilege of being told nothing of any importance about the product.
      That is why reviews such as Steve's are so important. They give us the real, important information about the product so that we can make a real, informed purchasing decision. I am still looking for a soundbar but £1500 seems like a lot of money for a Samsung product, even if it is the best you can buy. As Mister_Tad says, it doesn't make sense.
       
    30. davejones2

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      Sounds like it's not much leap over the n950 which isn't really surprising given how good the n950 was.

      Subwoofer on the n950 is very placement-dependent and I'm not surprised that's the one area that's been improved (not sure it would be £300 worth but I've not heard the new one).

      The major flaw I have with the n950 is the lack of any inbuilt test tones.

      Steve; you make it sounds like getting access to an Atmos or DTS-X test disc is very easy. Unless you can point me to an accessible source I think this is an extremely misleading comment as I've been trying to find one that isn't ridiculously priced for 5 months! You imply that it is necessary to get the most out of the soundbar but in my experience it is next to impossible to find an Atmos disc with test tones.

      I've tried my Panasonic uhd player, appletv 4k, a variety of PC media streamers and the Panasonic TV itself and none of them can stream or output Atmos from a downloaded file.
       

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