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

Unknownuser1

Active Member
@PrMinisterGR:
You gave me the EXACT perfect input! I forgot to check the Zidoo settings (tunnelvision ;)) and this was the problem. It was on uncompressed. Changed it to RAW and now it works like a charm.

A few more questions since you seem to be the Samsung bar guru :D

I downloaded an iOS app called Decibel X. With this tool I can measure with my iphone. First question I have is about the measuring method. There is ITU-R 468, A, B, C and Z as methods to choose from. Which is the best setting to use?
I tried some initial measuring and I have the channel volume pretty good now (you where right, I get completely different settings than yours). But the volume of the subwoofer seems hard to measure for the iPhone. Maybe it is the measuring method.

Then the is the measuring per band: 150 - 10K. When I tilt or turn my phone just a little bit the Db is dropping (or lifting) too much. How did you manage to measure the bandwidth accurate?

And how did you measure the Bass and Trebble? I did some altering of these and they don t seem to affect the sound at all. Or does is only affect non-atmos material?

And last question is avout the subwoofer: to me it seems that the subwoofer has to be lowered to -6 or even the -12 setting to get it toned down so it does not dominate that much. Is that with your setup too?
 

narcospablo123

Active Member
I was playing Ori in the first photo which does have Dolby atmos. When I switch the Xbox to one of the soundbar ports, see pic. I turned it earc off and same result. I also turned earc back on to see what happens and it went to loss of signal and back to game picture but still PCM stereo. Playing gears of war now to test in another game and still the same PCM.
I believe it will say PCM on the tv settings because the soundbar is doing the audio work with the direct connection so the tv won't necessarily get that dolby atmos signal. I had a similar question to this 2 months ago and talkshowChris said that's the case. Does the bar slide across and say dolby atmos on the screen when playing gears 5 when you start it up? Try switching soundmodes when the game is playing ie from standard to surround, if it's not letting you, you're probably in dolby atmos and you're good.

does that make sense?
 
you're saying dolby atmos isn't working on the XBOX direct connection or eARC because it's Dolby MAT?

This is weird because it was 100% working at the start of september for me for direct connection. I'm not at home at the moment but I had to return my original soundbar and replaced it with a newer version to get the 50% discount for it. It's still all packaged up so it will have the old firmware on it. Are you sure maybe the new update messed up the Dolby MAT functioning of the bar? My LG E9 literally had dolby atmos pop up when playing modern warfare, as well as dolby atmos demo videos, and I couldn't change soundmode from standard?

When I'm home I'm gonna test this out before updating the soundbar and see what occurs.
There are a few things to unpack here. First of all your E9 shouldn't have Atmos popup when playing if your Xbox was directly in the bar.

Can you please share the exact connection of the devices and the output settings for them? I know fore a fact that Dolby MAT is using PCM (see the links directly from Microsoft's mouth above), so I bet that your Xbox either transcodes or does something else.

i have my Xbox>TV>soundbar and this is what I’m getting, see pic. I’m assuming I’m getting atmos? When I had the Xbox connected to soundbar, I couldn’t achieve atmos. My tv is Vizio OLED with earc on. View attachment 1383978
You are getting Atmos, but lossy one. Either your Xbox is sending it this way because your TV can't support lossless, or your TV is transcoding it for your soundbar.

My C9 does the same if I set the HDMI eARC to "Auto" instead of Passthrough. It will encode DD+ on the fly and "Atmos" does appear on the bar. But the whole point of eARC is to avoid the transcoding delay and get uncompressed audio, otherwise I would have stayed with my N950.

I was playing Ori in the first photo which does have Dolby atmos. When I switch the Xbox to one of the soundbar ports, see pic. I turned it earc off and same result. I also turned earc back on to see what happens and it went to loss of signal and back to game picture but still PCM stereo. Playing gears of war now to test in another game and still the same PCM.
If I understand correctly, you have the Xbox on your bar directly, and not on the TV. In that case the TV ARC setting shouldn't matter at all, as the TV won't be receiving any audio.

Can you please share your Xbox Audio out settings and if you are getting "Dolby Atmos" rolling on the bar when you play an Atmos game?

@PrMinisterGR:
You gave me the EXACT perfect input! I forgot to check the Zidoo settings (tunnelvision ;)) and this was the problem. It was on uncompressed. Changed it to RAW and now it works like a charm.
What is the difference between uncompressed and raw? The first is probably PCM and the second is probably bitstreaming, hence it's not working. Does it have any more settings, or any other explanation about these?

I downloaded an iOS app called Decibel X. With this tool I can measure with my iphone. First question I have is about the measuring method. There is ITU-R 468, A, B, C and Z as methods to choose from. Which is the best setting to use?
I tried some initial measuring and I have the channel volume pretty good now (you where right, I get completely different settings than yours). But the volume of the subwoofer seems hard to measure for the iPhone. Maybe it is the measuring method.
I am not expert at all. @PlanetaryReference is much closer to that field. What I did was I downloaded the app I linked, and using more or less the instructions from this Reddit post ( )
I initially used the Dolby file to make sure that all the speakers had the same volume from the center of my seating space, and then I used the tone files to try and make every frequency have the same volume also. That was pretty much it.

Then the is the measuring per band: 150 - 10K. When I tilt or turn my phone just a little bit the Db is dropping (or lifting) too much. How did you manage to measure the bandwidth accurate?

And how did you measure the Bass and Trebble? I did some altering of these and they don t seem to affect the sound at all. Or does is only affect non-atmos material?

And last question is avout the subwoofer: to me it seems that the subwoofer has to be lowered to -6 or even the -12 setting to get it toned down so it does not dominate that much. Is that with your setup too?
I put the phone on a bunch of books and disabled the screensaver, and moved around it as not to cut contact from the speakers it was playing from. I didn't touch Bass and Treble, but as @PlanetaryReference says, the EQ seems to stay no matter what the bar says, at least it feels that way.
From measuring the sub should have been at -12 for me, but I left it at -6 for some extra oomph. These measurements (including the frequencies) will be slightly different for all of us depending on our space.

I believe it will say PCM on the tv settings because the soundbar is doing the audio work with the direct connection so the tv won't necessarily get that dolby atmos signal. I had a similar question to this 2 months ago and talkshowChris said that's the case. Does the bar slide across and say dolby atmos on the screen when playing gears 5 when you start it up? Try switching soundmodes when the game is playing ie from standard to surround, if it's not letting you, you're probably in dolby atmos and you're good.
does that make sense?
Yeah, this sounds like the case. If the Xbox is directly on the bar, the TV should just get an empty PCM layer, effectively. The whole point is what the bar will show in that case.


So, has anyone managed to play a game on Windows with the computer directly on the bar, and have Atmos working?
 

narcospablo123

Active Member
There are a few things to unpack here. First of all your E9 shouldn't have Atmos popup when playing if your Xbox was directly in the bar.

Can you please share the exact connection of the devices and the output settings for them? I know fore a fact that Dolby MAT is using PCM (see the links directly from Microsoft's mouth above), so I bet that your Xbox either transcodes or does something else.


You are getting Atmos, but lossy one. Either your Xbox is sending it this way because your TV can't support lossless, or your TV is transcoding it for your soundbar.

My C9 does the same if I set the HDMI eARC to "Auto" instead of Passthrough. It will encode DD+ on the fly and "Atmos" does appear on the bar. But the whole point of eARC is to avoid the transcoding delay and get uncompressed audio, otherwise I would have stayed with my N950.


If I understand correctly, you have the Xbox on your bar directly, and not on the TV. In that case the TV ARC setting shouldn't matter at all, as the TV won't be receiving any audio.

Can you please share your Xbox Audio out settings and if you are getting "Dolby Atmos" rolling on the bar when you play an Atmos game?


What is the difference between uncompressed and raw? The first is probably PCM and the second is probably bitstreaming, hence it's not working. Does it have any more settings, or any other explanation about these?


I am not expert at all. @PlanetaryReference is much closer to that field. What I did was I downloaded the app I linked, and using more or less the instructions from this Reddit post ( )
I initially used the Dolby file to make sure that all the speakers had the same volume from the center of my seating space, and then I used the tone files to try and make every frequency have the same volume also. That was pretty much it.


I put the phone on a bunch of books and disabled the screensaver, and moved around it as not to cut contact from the speakers it was playing from. I didn't touch Bass and Treble, but as @PlanetaryReference says, the EQ seems to stay no matter what the bar says, at least it feels that way.
From measuring the sub should have been at -12 for me, but I left it at -6 for some extra oomph. These measurements (including the frequencies) will be slightly different for all of us depending on our space.


Yeah, this sounds like the case. If the Xbox is directly on the bar, the TV should just get an empty PCM layer, effectively. The whole point is what the bar will show in that case.


So, has anyone managed to play a game on Windows with the computer directly on the bar, and have Atmos working?
Yes correction I implied when it was connected in eARC atmos was popping up. However, at the time I believe it wasn't proper trueHD atmos due to eARC issues.

I don't have the devices with me at the moment but I believe the 2 connections were:

1. eARC: passthrough on the tv settings. xbox one x hdmi out to TV---> eARC port TV Soundbar eARC ( this was making atmos pop up)

2. direct: passthrough still on the tv settings. xbox one x hdmi out to hdmi in soundbar--> soundbar to TV arc ports ( this was showing dolby atmos on netflix, dolby atmos demo videos, and modern warfare on soundbar screen on previous update. )
 
Yes correction I implied when it was connected in eARC atmos was popping up. However, at the time I believe it wasn't proper trueHD atmos due to eARC issues.

I don't have the devices with me at the moment but I believe the 2 connections were:

1. eARC: passthrough on the tv settings. xbox one x hdmi out to TV---> eARC port TV Soundbar eARC ( this was making atmos pop up)

2. direct: passthrough still on the tv settings. xbox one x hdmi out to hdmi in soundbar--> soundbar to TV arc ports ( this was showing dolby atmos on netflix, dolby atmos demo videos, and modern warfare on soundbar screen on previous update. )
The first case was because the eARC was really ARC and we were getting it via DD+. I think this might have been the case with Modern Warfare also. The videos have the bitstreamed audio there already.

Any chance to try with the game again directly on the bar, and share your exact game and Xbox settings?
 
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AlanT1

Active Member
Excuse me if I’m being lazy but there is so much content on this thread which goes way over my head.
I have an LG C9, Virgin V6 box and Sony 4K player. I do used Prime video and Netflix a lot. Are there any problems with my setup?
I tried the B&O stage recently but it had a problem so I sent it back.
Currently using Samsung MS650 and whilst watching Medway last night the sound was not up to the standard I require.
Don’t want the hassle if this bar have too many issues.
 

LostMyMarbles

Standard Member
Thanks all for the clarification. When I have the xbox connected to the soundbar I was able to scroll through the different sound modes while playing gears. Atmos does not scroll on the display.

Xbox settings were bitstream out and Dolby atmos for home theater. I am using these HDMI Cables.

ill do more tests later tonight when I am home, curious maybe I missed something. Will update and put exact settings too.
 

narcospablo123

Active Member
The first case was because the eARC was really ARC and we were getting it via DD+. I think this might have been the case with Modern Warfare also. The videos have the bitstreamed audio there already.

Any chance to try with the game again directly on the bar, and share your exact game and Xbox settings?
Not at home mate. When I am next week I’ll let you know.
 

narcospablo123

Active Member
Thanks all for the clarification. When I have the xbox connected to the soundbar I was able to scroll through the different sound modes while playing gears. Atmos does not scroll on the display.

Xbox settings were bitstream out and Dolby atmos for home theater. I am using these HDMI Cables.

ill do more tests later tonight when I am home, curious maybe I missed something. Will update and put exact settings too.
that is weird. Is your soundbar on the latest firmware?
Hmmm, not sure what to suggest as Prminister is saying that the demo videos have a prerecorded bitstream format and the gaming Dolby Atmos is different.

If this is an issue, then that’s a massive massive problem, one that doesn’t sit right with me. Although I do like my Dolby TrueHD Atmos bluerays, gaming is a massive aspect for me and if it’s not working properly then that’s fudgeed.
 
that is weird. Is your soundbar on the latest firmware?
Hmmm, not sure what to suggest as Prminister is saying that the demo videos have a prerecorded bitstream format and the gaming Dolby Atmos is different.

If this is an issue, then that’s a massive massive problem, one that doesn’t sit right with me. Although I do like my Dolby TrueHD Atmos bluerays, gaming is a massive aspect for me and if it’s not working properly then that’s fudgeed.
To anyone willing to help, just connect your computer directly to the bar, select Dolby Atmos for Home Theater and try to load any game that supports Atmos, and see if you get a rolling "Dolby Atmos".


@PlanetaryReference you have a PC directly hooked up to it, is there any chance you might try with an Atmos game?
 

Chaybee1

Active Member
After catching up on about a weeks worth of the thread I just wanted to confirm/concur a couple simple things I read:
I'm in the US and I too was unable to get the Smart Things app to update the new firmware. An hour ago I did the USB method and it updated. Make sure to unzip and copy and paste the file onto your USB stick. Also make sure to turn the soundbar on before plugging the USB into the bottom.

@Talkshowchris I too lost my Left Rear speaker after the update, unplugged it and plugged it back in and was back to normal so far.

I have also noticed a difference in sound but cannot pinpoint exactly what it is, maybe more crisp and punchy? I always though it sounded great but I definitely notice a difference now.

What I had really hoped the new firmware fixed was moving the display to the front of the bar LOL
 

BayAreaAudiophile

Active Member
And this isn't talked about often, but the way they configured the HDMI ports is really annoying too. It's only a matter of time until the bend on of those causes it to fail. Really annoying fundamental aesthetic mistakes for this bar. Otherwise, still love it.
True my Belkin cables already have a permanent bend mark on them...
 

Vana

Standard Member
Sorry to ask such dumb questions 🙈🙈
But I recently bought the soundbar and a Q95t ( will arrive in 4-5 days) .

- if i play a song on my phone ( connected via bt) , is there a Sound mode witch uses all speakers incl rears ? Wanted to test it , but as mentioned before at the moment without a tv🤣
- anyone has problems with the short power cables ? Especially with the rears ? Can you buy longer ones ?

thanks in advance , have a nice day
 

Chaybee1

Active Member
Sorry to ask such dumb questions 🙈🙈
But I recently bought the soundbar and a Q95t ( will arrive in 4-5 days) .

- if i play a song on my phone ( connected via bt) , is there a Sound mode witch uses all speakers incl rears ? Wanted to test it , but as mentioned before at the moment without a tv🤣
- anyone has problems with the short power cables ? Especially with the rears ? Can you buy longer ones ?

thanks in advance , have a nice day
Besides Standard mode, the three other modes all upmix to 9.1. You cannot buy longer cables as I believe they are proprietary to the rears (unless someone knows differently) but I *think* they are 6 ft. so no issues on my end with an outlet right next to the Right Rear and a power strip running under my couch for the Left Rear.
 

Vana

Standard Member
Besides Standard mode, the three other modes all upmix to 9.1. You cannot buy longer cables as I believe they are proprietary to the rears (unless someone knows differently) but I *think* they are 6 ft. so no issues on my end with an outlet right next to the Right Rear and a power strip running under my couch for the Left Rear.
Thanks😊😊
 

Westgod

Standard Member
O
Thanks all for the clarification. When I have the xbox connected to the soundbar I was able to scroll through the different sound modes while playing gears. Atmos does not scroll on the display.

Xbox settings were bitstream out and Dolby atmos for home theater. I am using these HDMI Cables.

ill do more tests later tonight when I am home, curious maybe I missed something. Will update and put exact settings too.
i can confirm the same thing happens with me.

xbox one x directly into the sound bar with bit stream out and Dolby atmos for home theatre setting. No Dolby Atmos scrolling across the sound bar when playing atmos enabled games.

tv settings: Earc enabled, pass through

edit: I am also updated to the latest firmware 1017.5
 

Bwlmog

Active Member
Just ordered this bar as my first foray into Atmos. Yes it has its faults but for the price at the moment £1,499 with 50% cashback when bought with a TV makes it an interesting proposition.

I'll be using it with a PS4+, PS5, Xbox One, Apple TV, Sky Q and soon a Nvidia Shield Pro. My current TV doesn't have EARC. But coming from a 6 year old Yamaha YSP2500 I'm hoping to see a marked improvement in overall sound performance.

Thank you to everyone who has and continues to contribute to this feed. The discussions have been brilliant in helping me understand this system and I join the masses in hoping that the current PCM issues get resolved soon.
 

Bwlmog

Active Member
As a matter of interest, what HDMI cables are people using with this soundbar as I understand the angles for connection are quite tight
 

ryu4000

Member
As a matter of interest, what HDMI cables are people using with this soundbar as I understand the angles for connection are quite tight
I just use cheap ones for the soundbar seem to work fine now i use for my 3080 to lg cx i use this one Zeskit 8K
it's the only cord i can find that works for the size i needed 4k 120hz dolby atmos etc.. all works with this cable through earc.
 

Night Shade

Standard Member
To anyone willing to help, just connect your computer directly to the bar, select Dolby Atmos for Home Theater and try to load any game that supports Atmos, and see if you get a rolling "Dolby Atmos".


@PlanetaryReference you have a PC directly hooked up to it, is there any chance you might try with an Atmos game?
I've tried the Dolby Atmos App from the Windows store. After installing, set the Speaker Setup to sound to Dolby Atmos for home theatre. Give an error 'Failed to play test tone' Just plays the tones on 2 speaker setup...what a farce.
 
O

i can confirm the same thing happens with me.

xbox one x directly into the sound bar with bit stream out and Dolby atmos for home theatre setting. No Dolby Atmos scrolling across the sound bar when playing atmos enabled games.

tv settings: Earc enabled, pass through

edit: I am also updated to the latest firmware 1017.5
That's exactly what I get in the PC, thanks for confirming.
If you connect the Xbox to the TV, as long as you have Passthrough as the eARC mode on the TV, it will do the same.

If you set the TV eARC to PCM you'll only get stereo, and "Auto" will play Atmos since it will transcode it too a lossy DD+.

It's amazing that the LG TV is handling audio better than the Samsung home theater.

Please, please report this too them to put some pressure in them.

I've tried the Dolby Atmos App from the Windows store. After installing, set the Speaker Setup to sound to Dolby Atmos for home theatre. Give an error 'Failed to play test tone' Just plays the tones on 2 speaker setup...what a farce.
The app works, as its demos are either DD+ or TrueHD pre-recorded streams. It sounds like you either need to update your OS or your HPU/HDMI Audio driver.

Anything experiencing this, please share your settings here.
 
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PlanetaryReference

Active Member

This bar is useless for gaming if it doesn't get LPCM support.
The link says:

“Dolby Atmos, the proprietary object-based spatial audio technology developed by Dolby, is slowly becoming more ubiquitous as more devices, including smartphone, support it.

Yes, but my microwave oven has superior Dolby Atmos, as does my vacuum cleaner, jug and personal grooming device.

That site should at least know that Atmos object sound can't be reproduced by smart phone. :facepalm:
 

Multipack

Standard Member
That site should at least know that Atmos object sound can't be reproduced by smart phone
Strictly speaking you can use Airpod Pro's with Spacial Audio and they will playback atmos I believe. People I know who have tried it said it was pretty good although I havent had a play myself.
Its no full atmos setup but its still supposed to be impressive thanks to the atmos playback.
 

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