Samsung HW-Q950T and HW-Q900T Soundbar - Review & Comments

antsims

Distinguished Member
Man this thread deserves to be renamed as Such good sound but so many issues..

I really wanted this but my LG has been rock solid when it comes to usability. Only trying this soundbar when all the fundamental issues are fixed. I don't have the risk appetite at the moment
I thought you’d complained about the LG and was waiting for an uplift authorisation?
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
I thought you’d complained about the LG and was waiting for an uplift authorisation?
That was for the rear bass issue which is infrequent. I was trying uplift and try this one but this seems to have too many usability issues
 

Talkshowchris

Well-known Member
With my Samsung Q90R TV in game mode with either freesync basic or ultimate selected and VRR selected on the Xbox one x (plugged into the soundbar itself so expecting vrr passthrough, it doesn't work! (I'm not on the latest soundbar firmware yet)

The Xbox dashboard is fine but once I go into a game, the display cuts out/goes black for a second at a time every few seconds.. this doesn't happen if I plug the xbox directly into the TV.

Clearly there must be some type of passthrough otherwise the xbox wouldn't enable me to select the option to begin with but in my experience with my combo of Samsung soundbar and TV, the end result is unusable. Depending on your setup, your mileage may vary.
It's when it flicks to HDR I think.
 

jms_uk

Well-known Member
It's when it flicks to HDR I think.
Don't think its anything to do with HDR, clearly looks like a refresh rate issue. As I said, vrr from the Xbox works perfectly if its plugged directly into the Q90R TV
 

benh911f

Standard Member
Yeah, the dts was my sticking point. No idea why they advertise 8k passthrough, but won’t support lpcm (possibly lossless audio in general too). I think a 5.1.4 could still sound great though. I’ve found the q950t dipping down to $999 in few places in the US. Might pull the trigger soon now that eARC is working
Where are you seeing the q950t for $999? I’m in the US.
 

Talkshowchris

Well-known Member
Don't think its anything to do with HDR, clearly looks like a refresh rate issue. As I said, vrr from the Xbox works perfectly if its plugged directly into the Q90R TV
I had bad issues with my Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar and the Xbox one X when I used the TV eArc, exactly as you describe here. Myself and a few others considered it to be a switch to HDR or change in refresh rate that caused it.
The Damson soundbar also did something similar.

The Xbox must do some weird AV tricks.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Unless you are using LPCM, you will be fine.
All the other issues are resolved or very easy to workaround.
Sadly I use ATV iTunes and it's either Dolby MAT or LPCM.
 

bizzlesnoff

Formerly 'xavierov'
Your Apple TV is 99% sending everything in DD+. Also the bar wakes at "Standard" with a weird surround profile and you need to switch profiles back into Standard to make it not upscale. But my bet on that would be DD+. The bar itself only advertises Stereo PCM input, this has been documented multiple times already.
Why would it be sending everything in DD+? And if it were, why would that be a bad thing? The sounds are coming out of the right channels and sound good. What's the problem? If I'd never read this thread I'd not even be aware of the issue. I've switched back and forth between profiles and it still acts the same in Standard with virtualization off. Maybe it doesn't work properly on PC or with files or something, but I've had no issues with it being stereo only when it shouldn't be on ATV 4K. The rears are always active when I expect them to be and surprisingly active many times when I'm not.

The only issue I have with this soundbar other than it being a UX nightmare is occasional drop outs of the sub (pretty rare) and incessant popping in the rear speakers with some types of sounds (low bass is what it seems like). I've gone through three bars so far (2 from Amazon, 1 from an entirely different supplier) multiple different firmwares and disconnected and moved things out of the room and I can't resolve the issue so I'm chalking it up to interference from neighbors (apartment complex) or some other kind of interference. Besides that the bar has been great.
 

lazy 1

Active Member
Man this thread deserves to be renamed as Such good sound but so many issues..

I really wanted this but my LG has been rock solid when it comes to usability. Only trying this soundbar when all the fundamental issues are fixed. I don't have the risk appetite at the moment
I have been tempted by everyones praise of this bars sound, but I had the Q90 a few weeks ago for 1 week before taking it back. It wouldn't switch off with the tv and the app would only connect after unplugging the bar from the mains. I want whatever product I buy to work properly and I think I'll be too frustrated to enjoy the sound. I recently had a mid range Samsung tv which was a joy to use, obviously completely different departments doing the software. As a side note the tv was a 2017 model which broke beyond repair, which puts a niggle in my mind about the longevity of Samsung products to.
Edit
In fact the Q90 came with 1 rear speaker not working at all so another bad mark for quality.
 

PrMinisterGR

Active Member
Thanks!!!!
So there is no need for "us" to tweak the 7 band EQ anymore because you already did this for us correct? I mean: this correction has nothing to do with volume of the band at listening position?

Also, which (free) Apple Store mic. measure app can be used for the initial Dolby Atmos testtone calibration?
No, the opposite. You can use these files along with an app on your phone or something with a microphone to tweak the bar's equalizer for the 7 bands, and the speakers for individual volume using the Atmos file.

I posted the 7.1 LPCM for testing and for @PlanetaryReference as it was hard to find.

Unless you are using LPCM, you will be fine.
All the other issues are resolved or very easy to workaround.
I would add Dolby MAT to that. Battlefront 1 and RE:2 (which are the only two games with Atmos I have managed to test as of yet), have a very peculiar issue.

So, on the PC, the output is set to Dolby Atmos for Home Theater
This is what I get on each ARC setting on my TV, depending on the content I feed it.
FeedeARC - BitstreameARC - PCMeARC - Auto
TrueHD Video7.1/AtmosStereo7.1/Atmos
DD+DD+StereoDD+
DTS:X/DTS-MADTS:X/DTS-MAStereoDTS:X/DTS-MA
Dolby Atmos MATNo audio/7.1 no AtmosStereoAtmos

It was the games that opened my ears to the above fact. I believe my TV is transcoding when Set to "Auto" and that's how I'm getting sound. The behaviour doesn't change between the latest Microsoft HD Audio driver and the latest NVIDIA Audio driver.

The weird part is that when sent via MAT, PCM seems to actually play in all speakers, but it won't trigger "Atmos" on the display. But when trying to test via the Windows control panel there is no audio, since that would be "simple" PCM. I don't even get stereo, just silence.

When I set the TV to "Auto", I always get the rolling "Dolby Atmos" on the bar instantly.

It seems to me that if they fix LPCM, they will fix Dolby MAT alongside, which would be great news especially for Xbox/PC Gaming. At this point everything hands on my LG TV working its magic to make it work.

Why would it be sending everything in DD+? And if it were, why would that be a bad thing? The sounds are coming out of the right channels and sound good. What's the problem?
In that case you could have gotten a N950 with 1/3 of the money or a Q90R with half and not even bother.
 
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antsims

Distinguished Member
That was for the rear bass issue which is infrequent. I was trying uplift and try this one but this seems to have too many usability issues
Ahh ok. Even with issues, the sound on the Q950 far surpasses anything the LG produces, imho.
 

bizzlesnoff

Formerly 'xavierov'
In that case you could have gotten a N950 with 1/3 of the money or a Q90R with half and not even bother.
I paid $1150 closed for my Q950T. The Q950T sounds better than both of those bars. Not double the price better, but I didn't pay that anyways. Even when the Q90R was available on clearance for $999 with tax it would be a wash or a mere $150 difference worst case.

I'm still not understanding 1) why would the ATV 4K convert LPCM content to DD+? and 2) what functional difference that would make even if it is?
 

PrMinisterGR

Active Member
Can anyone play a PC/Xbox game with Atmos with eARC set to Passthrough with firmware 1017.5?

Seems that fixing the eARC basically made clear that the bar cannot do Dolby MAT, so no game Atmos for Windows.

Fml, can't they just enable proper PCM and be done?

EDIT: Just confirmed it with a direct connection to the bar also. I haven't managed to make a single game play Atmos using a direct connection.

IF ANYONE HAS MANAGED TO MAKE A WINDOWS GAME PLAY IN ATMOS WITH THIS BAR WITHOUT TV TRANSCODING, PLEASE TAG ME.

This is worse than the N950, at least with it I was getting everything fine when directly connected.

This one doesn't have PCM and it basically kills Windows/Xbox gaming spatial audio. WTF is Samsung thinking?
 
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Westgod

Member
Can anyone play a PC/Xbox game with Atmos with eARC set to Passthrough with firmware 1017.5?

Seems that fixing the eARC basically made clear that the bar cannot do Dolby MAT, so no game Atmos for Windows.

Fml, can't they just enable proper PCM and be done?
I can test that but what am I looking for exactly?
 

PrMinisterGR

Active Member
@Westgod Just plug your PC on the bar directly, select Atmos for Home Theater in Windows and start any Atmos game.

I checked with Battlefront 1, Resident Evil 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. None of them show Atmos working on the bar.

If you're doing this through eARC make sure you have 1017.5 and that your TV is set to Passthrough, or whatever setting doesn't do any transcoding.
 

Westgod

Member
Just plug your PC on the bar directly, select Atmos for Home Theater in Windows and start any Atmos game.

I checked with Battlefront 1, Resident Evil 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. None of them show Atmos working on the bar.
Ok I’ll try on the Xbox. Are you able to select the sound mode on the soundbar whilst running an atmos game?
 

PrMinisterGR

Active Member
Ok I’ll try on the Xbox. Are you able to select the sound mode on the soundbar whilst running an atmos game?
Please share how you connect the Xbox and the relevant settings on the Xbox and the TV.

When you get Atmos, "Dolby Atmos" should roll on top and you shouldn't be able to change modes.
 

Night Shade

Standard Member
Man this thread deserves to be renamed as Such good sound but so many issues..

I really wanted this but my LG has been rock solid when it comes to usability. Only trying this soundbar when all the fundamental issues are fixed. I don't have the risk appetite at the moment
Stick to the LG for now, I've got both, the Samsung's got great sound when it behaves, can't get it to passthrough audio consistently in Windows 10 and Earc is a mess. LG is a dream to use, also immersion is better imho and it just works.

Is there anyway of telling "roughly" what sound format is playing, apart from Atmos or DTS-X(which is a complete no no for me from the PC).

Can someone test a loseless file on a PC if it works, because its not working for me.
 

PrMinisterGR

Active Member
Is there anyway of telling "roughly" what sound format is playing, apart from Atmos or DTS-X(which is a complete no no for me from the PC).

Can someone test a loseless file on a PC if it works, because its not working for me.
There is no way really. You have the PC directly to it? You can see it only gets Stereo PCM, which almost instantly means it's a no go for Atmos games.
 

Night Shade

Standard Member
There is no way really. You have the PC directly to it? You can see it only gets Stereo PCM, which almost instantly means it's a no go for Atmos games.
Yes, PC is connected directly to it, I can get the Dolby Atmos demo files to play properly only, but anything else is a no no, they play but not in format theyre intended, the LG plays everything in the proper format, never had an issue.
 

PrMinisterGR

Active Member
Yes, PC is connected directly to it, I can get the Dolby Atmos demo files to play properly only, but anything else is a no no, they play but not in format theyre intended, the LG plays everything in the proper format, never had an issue.
The demo files are in TrueHD, the games are Dolby MAT which works over PCM, which this bar supports only in Stereo.

Thanks for confirming I'm not crazy. Please report this to them too, it's the only serious issue left, and it's tied to their PCM support.

This kills gaming with this bar.
 

PrMinisterGR

Active Member
So the file you posted earlier,
Dolby Atmos TrueHD test tones 9.1.6
https://download.dolby.com/us/en/test-tones/dolby-test-tones_9_1_6.mp4

This plays perfectly, just tested it and registers as Dolby Atmos. I'm just confused now, why dont my movie files play nice ?, they play properly on the LG. I use Kodi set on passthrough. Sorry I feel, this bar is making me dumb. or I am.:facepalm:
What's the audio in these files?

Also, six you try any games?

I tweeted this, it would be helpful if it was retweeted.

 

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