Samsung HW-Q90R Soundbar Review & Comments

MadMaelstrom

Active Member
Hi all,

I have owned the awesome HW-Q90R for a few weeks now so I thought I would update on its performance and any issues.

First of all the latest firmware resolves the issue where the rears or sub were cutting out. This does NOT happen anymore and it has worked perfectly since the update. If you are having this issue still then either a) you have not updated the rears and sub only the soundbar itself, or b) you have a defective unit.

Onto performance, I have a PS4 Pro and an Xbox One X hooked up via its 2 HDMI ports. The Xbox One X outputs full uncompressed Dolby Atmos when watching 4K UHD disks and it sounds incredible. If you want to test out some amazing sound try the following movies:

* Ready Player One
* Alita Battle Angel
* Avengers Infinity War

Also the Dolby Access app on the Xbox store has some impressive demo's.

Certain games also support Atmos including Gears of War 4 and Resident Evil 2. In fairness though, everything sounds really good, even standard 5.1 and 7.1.

Games also fair really well overall on both Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, powerful and incredibly clear. Much better than my old 5.1 setup with Yamaha amp and Canton speakers/sub, with much less cables which is awesome.

Finally I have an Apple TV 4K directly connected to the TV (LG C8) which passes the sound via arc (not eARC) to the sound bar. Within apps such as Netflix it CAN output Dolby Atmos via ARC (but with compression, that I honestly can't hear). Two things worth mentioning here 1) The Netflix app does not state 'Dolby Atmos' for titles I know are, and instead shows the '5.1' badge on the summary screen (where it also shows the badge for 'Dolby Vision' etc). However, upon playing the movie the soundbar scrolls the Dolby Atmos logo. 2) You need to have the sound settings set correctly on your TV for it to pass through Dolby Atmos to the soundbar, I think in the case of the C8, setting Dolby Digital + was the key setting.

Note: As part of this upgrade I have also replaced all of my HDMI cables with Belkin Ultra High Speed cables (48Gbps), which believe it or not actually make a noticeable difference. The Apple TV 4K in particular has known issues with any other lesser cables including blanking and sparkles. A quick search online and you will see what I am referring to. The other noticeable difference comes when switching inputs on the soundbar which happen much quicker with these cables. I am sure many of you in the past have switched inputs and witnessed a black screen or 'no signal' and wondered if it was going to actually switch. Anyway that's also gone with these cables, and they are also future proofed for 8K and HDMI 2.1 devices.

So to summarise, I have had a very good time with this setup, lets hope Samsung doesn't mess anything up with future firmware updates as it seems to be running perfectly now. Any questions just ask, but if you are on the fence about buying this setup my advice would be to go for it and enjoy yourself.

Edit: There is one remaining issue I forgot to mention that only happens occasionally. When using the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X (which are plugged into HDMI1 and HDMI2 respectively) sometimes the input automatically changes itself to Arc mid game and I have to manually reselect the HDMI input with the remote. Not sure of the cause yet.
I guess the key point you're missing here is that there's a lag between the XB1X and soundbar when using Atmos - and its not minor - the Demo's work great but when playing a game the lag is up to a second - personally I've set mine to something else other than Atmos
 

Huw Phillips

Active Member
I guess the key point you're missing here is that there's a lag between the XB1X and soundbar when using Atmos - and its not minor - the Demo's work great but when playing a game the lag is up to a second - personally I've set mine to something else other than Atmos
Can’t say I have seen anything like that myself to be honest. Winning games as usual and not seeing anything unusual. I am also using 48Gbps cables if that makes any difference but to be honest it seemed fine before with an 18Gbps cable.

Edit: thinking about it, up to a second? That’s insane. Definitely not seen anything of the sort.
 
Last edited:

Masterstroke

Active Member
So far the sounds seems pretty good. Compared to the 5.1 setup the front isn't as wide due to speaker placement but it's not bad. Bass is a bit too overpowering so I've had to turn it down. Rears are pretty good but I might turn them up as they're a little quiet. Overall I'm still getting used to it but am much happier with a neater system (no AV amp, precarious front speaker stands, cables etc) I've ordered a couple of Atmos Blu-rays to test it out thoroughly.

The stand is good. I went for it because a) it stated it was compatible with the exact Vesa dimensions of my TV, b) it looked sturdy and I would be able to trust it with my new TV c) it didn't have a glass base, as I saw at least one person whose base had shattered d) there was one on Gumtree so I got it for £55!
How are you able to turn the rears up? I've not yet discovered a facility for control over them.
 

San5324

Active Member
How are you able to turn the rears up? I've not yet discovered a facility for control over them.
Put the others softer?
My settings are like this.

Treble +4
Bass +2
Front, side up + 3
Rears + 6

It also depend on the movie keep that in mind. I was watching conjuring on Netflix and they were not as intense as IT.
 

Masterstroke

Active Member
Put the others softer?
My settings are like this.

Treble +4
Bass +2
Front, side up + 3
Rears + 6

It also depend on the movie keep that in mind. I was watching conjuring on Netflix and they were not as intense as IT.
I have control of the frequencies via Samsung's Smartthings app, but not over the actual drivers. How do you manage that?
 

eddingo

Novice Member
Did anyone of you had the opportunity to compare the HW-Q80R with the HW-Q70R? I'm looking for a new soundbar to replace my HW-MS650 + SWA-9000S and I'm not sure which one to get. The Q70R retails for about 480€, where as the Q80R costs about 630€ in my country. I'm planning to keep my SWA-9000 rear speakers, which should also be compatible to the Q70.

The Dolby Atmos performance is not the deciding factor, as there aren't any Atmos tv series or movies on Netflix / Amazon in my native language (German).
 

knewt22

Active Member
Mine arrived today (photo on Panny GZ thread :)). Will have to run without the rears initially, but I'll (hopefully) get them up before too long.
 

magree

Active Member
Can’t say I have seen anything like that myself to be honest. Winning games as usual and not seeing anything unusual. I am also using 48Gbps cables if that makes any difference but to be honest it seemed fine before with an 18Gbps cable.

Edit: thinking about it, up to a second? That’s insane. Definitely not seen anything of the sort.
The lag with Dolby ATMOS enabled on the XB1X is definitely present, noticeable in games with dialogue as well as certain apps. I’ve tried two different sets of 48 Gbps and several 18 Gbps cables which make no difference.

The Dolby Atmos performance is not the deciding factor, as there aren't any Atmos tv series or movies on Netflix / Amazon in my native language (German).
The Netflix series ‘Dark’ is native German Dolby Atmos and 4K Dolby vision. It looks and sounds gorgeous. Great series too.
 

eddingo

Novice Member
The Netflix series ‘Dark’ is native German Dolby Atmos and 4K Dolby vision. It looks and sounds gorgeous. Great series too.
That's partly correct, Atmos is there for season 1, but not for S2. And I have already seen S1 two times ;).
 

San5324

Active Member
Sorry, not sure what you mean. What steps are you referring to?
sh*t confused u with somebody else.. Do below steps and ur Arc is back.


1. Take of power cables of TV and Soundbar.
2. Take all hdmi cables out your one connect.
3. Leave it like this for 30 min. Hold the power button for 15 sec from your TV remote
4. Switch everything on (don't put in hdmi cables.
5. Put the soundbar on digital input
6. Now put in the hdmi cable in the soundbar and TV.

This worked for me when I checked community website from Samsung because there are soooooooo many people with this problem
 

McBorg

Novice Member
Hi everybody.
I'm willing to buy this soundbar and I read everything on the web. Eventually I was able to find a store with the actual soundbar available on the shelf. But I must say that I was terribly disappointed with the sound. And therefore my post... Could it be the poor location (it was laying among several other items and in an open space)? I think the subwoofer was offline too... But the Bose 700 also sounding nearby had terrific bass even without the sub on, especially with a music track.
Since it is impossible to try out the soundbar (no other stores more "hify friendly" have it here), I want to be sure I'm going to "blind buy" a real good deal at 1230 €...
 

San5324

Active Member
Hi everybody.
I'm willing to buy this soundbar and I read everything on the web. Eventually I was able to find a store with the actual soundbar available on the shelf. But I must say that I was terribly disappointed with the sound. And therefore my post... Could it be the poor location (it was laying among several other items and in an open space)? I think the subwoofer was offline too... But the Bose 700 also sounding nearby had terrific bass even without the sub on, especially with a music track.
Since it is impossible to try out the soundbar (no other stores more "hify friendly" have it here), I want to be sure I'm going to "blind buy" a real good deal at 1230 €...
Trust me when I say the subwoofer is awesome.. I have it +2 and can't put the volume higher than 12 due to the loudness (and very clear) from the speakers combined.
 

McBorg

Novice Member
The subwoofer must have been switched off, evidently.
I'm worried about the positioning in my room, since the tv and soundbar would be on the long side of it and the ceiling has two different height (more or less 30/40 cm) right in the middle of the "viewing-listening line": so, the side speakers could be missing their hits and the "over the head" sound could be not homogeneous.
I wonder why this product is so "rare" that even Amazon.it does not sell it right now
 

Maximus33

Novice Member
So I'm having an issue all of a sudden and need some help if possible please. Everything has been working fine until today. I switched on the tv, and am getting sound thru the soundbar when I watch free to air tv and also netflix thru the app on the tv. when I try to watch youtube, kayo or any other app on the tv there is no sound at all. if I switch to TV speakers the sound is fine. I have a sony bravia x95g if that makes any difference..?
 

sukhy5

Active Member
Mine came a couple of days ago. Mrs and kids off to the in-laws for the long weekend. I'll be opening, setting up and testing over those days. Ready Player 1 via my Zidoo Z10 is ready. Oh I can't wait xxx
 

San5324

Active Member
So I'm having an issue all of a sudden and need some help if possible please. Everything has been working fine until today. I switched on the tv, and am getting sound thru the soundbar when I watch free to air tv and also netflix thru the app on the tv. when I try to watch youtube, kayo or any other app on the tv there is no sound at all. if I switch to TV speakers the sound is fine. I have a sony bravia x95g if that makes any difference..?
Maybe disconnect everything for some time and connect it again?
 

Old Bill

Active Member
I currently have a K950 which is as buggy as anything. Is the Q90R a big step forward ? Are there any major problems to be looking out for ?
I have made a deal with RS for £1149. Is this a good deal ?
 

50W

Active Member
I currently have a K950 which is as buggy as anything. Is the Q90R a big step forward ? Are there any major problems to be looking out for ?
I have made a deal with RS for £1149. Is this a good deal ?
That is a good price. May I ask how you got them to go so low?
 

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