Samsung Q900A vs Sonos Beam Gen 2 (with Sonos one SLs) vs others

MrClark1000

Novice Member
Hi all,

so just wondering if I should go down the route of Q900A or Sonos. I already have a Sonos one so can get 15% discount on the Gen 2.

Amazon has a deal on the Q900A for £750, and I could add rears for about £200 at a later date.

the Sonos Beam with discount is £380 plus one additional One SL would make it about £550, without a sub, but here lies the problem. My TV (Samsung MU6120 only has ARC and doesn’t appear to do pass through so Atmos would be out the question on the Sonos with it’s one port. I would have to spend an additional 200 on getting the HDfury box. So that makes a Sonos solution without a sub 750, so bang on the same as the Q900A.

what would the experts do in this situation? Would be good to know people who have had both setups.
thanks
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
Samsung, Sonos is no match without sub.

I assume this is for movies watching mostly?
 

MrClark1000

Novice Member
Samsung, Sonos is no match without sub.

I assume this is for movies watching mostly?
Thanks. Bit of everything to be honest. I do like the sound of Sonos certainly from my experiance of the One, and music is very important as well as TV duties.

Also noticed that Samsung site has a deal where the £849 Q900A gets £300 off when you by an adjustable bezel for 59, making the Q900A £608!!!

Still undecided though as the So is Beam gets great reviews and might be better for music?
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
Thanks. Bit of everything to be honest. I do like the sound of Sonos certainly from my experiance of the One, and music is very important as well as TV duties.

Also noticed that Samsung site has a deal where the £849 Q900A gets £300 off when you by an adjustable bezel for 59, making the Q900A £608!!!

Still undecided though as the So is Beam gets great reviews and might be better for music?

It could be better for music, exactly my thoughts.

Samsung will obliterate it for movies though, if you have no sub.


Depending on your space, consider active speakers as an alternative to a soundbar.
Music will be fantastic and movies will be great too, obviously no Atmos etc etc
 

MrClark1000

Novice Member
So decided to give the Sonos Beam a try, ordered today and also another One SL for doing the surrounds. Figure it’s a safe bet to try with their returns policies.

At some point I will then get the HDFury and a sub. But at least taking this approach I can do incremental upgrades and the big benefit I see is I can easily sell Sonos stuff off without much depreciation, similar to how Apple stuff holds its value. Something like the Samsung would depreciate like a lead balloon and be worthless after a few years so whilst cheaper initially doesn’t hold up so we’ll long term.
 

MrClark1000

Novice Member
Just thought I would drop in an update should anyone be interested.

So I setup the Beam Gen 2, with two Ones for the surrounds, some observations and notes:
  • £381 spent on Beam Gen 2 using upgrade discount from previous One we had (pretty much wasn't used much in previous position)
  • £169 spent on additional One SL
Total for system without sub = £550

This setup sounds very good for dialog, the beam being very good for vocals. Music also sounds fantastic, really nice and far far better sounding than the Echo Studios I had set up as cinema pair with Fire TV Cube.

Now, here are the negatives. Whilst the Beam Gen 2 sounds super sharp and tight compared to the Echo Studios, as the studios were widely separated, the beam is very "Narrow" sounding, even on 5.1 / Atmos content.

Secondly, as my TV doesn't have eARC, I don't have good experience with Atmos - With the echos, I would get Atmos on Netflix, Disney+ and Prime. With this TV config, I only get Atmos through Disney+ for some reason. As the Fire TV Cube doesn't see the TV as Atmos capable, it doesn't allow it in Netflix, Prime, etc. However, for some strange reason, Disney+ ignores that flag and I can get Atmos via Dolby Digital+. Movies sound great, but still very narrow at the front.

Now the Xbox is a problem here. The lag is terrible. I can only get Dolby 5.1 or DTS 5.1, sounds great but at least 200 - 500ms of lag. Only way to eliminate this is via setting to PCM stereo, but that defeats the point.

So at this juncture, I love the music quality, I can see this setup with the Sonos Sub being awesome for music. Movies are OK, could do with more width at front, so I guess an Arc might have been better here.

To solve lag issue and limited Atmos, I would have to get the HDFury Arcana, which is £205 delivered. So now total system cost without Sub is running at £755!

So, thought I would see about the Samsung Q900A again. With the discount it runs at £608 delivered. With surrounds (9500S) for £200 that's £808 all in. Also, would allow me to sell the original Sonos One on eBay for about £100 as don't need it really anyway and maybe the silly TV bezel thing that was part of the deal for something like £15 so all in, maybe a running total of £693. As Samsung have big partnership with Paypal, I'm also paying the Q900A via £16 a month for 36 months, 0%. This makes it incredible value in my book, far far better than Sonos.

So, that's all ordered now and we will see how they both compare on Tuesday. The returns with either Sonos or Samsung seem very good so not going to lose much trying either setup.

I'm hoping the Q900A sounds good with music as that might be the defining factor here.
 

MrClark1000

Novice Member
Hi all, so a bit of an update on this one.

So the Q900A and the 9500S arrived this week. Very easy to setup, the rears paired straight away and there was no issues there. Same goes for the sub, all very easy.

Great surround sound, Atmos works well, but not spectacular with overhead feels. Overall the surround sound is great. Music is good too but not on par with the Sonos setup.

It’s hard to describe but something isn’t quite there. The Sonos system with the Ones as rears with music actually has a HiFi sound to it, comparable to my old and expensive valve amp setups and Cambridge Audio speakers, just sounds nice, not tiring and highly detailed. This Q900A / 9500S setup doesn’t tickle that. Something seems missing.

not sure what it is, but it is good, but not great musically, same goes for vocals. Seems quite muddy, but detached, whereas Sonos system brings the vocals to the front.

Sonos setup whilst it lacks width, seems so much more detailed and seems to have this depth and warmth to it.

I’ve done a few A/B sessions and I’m leaning to the Sonos system right now. It does mean added expense for a HDFURY and shortly to be a Sub too, but long term I think I would be happier with the Sonos. Just seems more HiFi and sure as hell takes up less space.
 

Eyesnears

Active Member
Hi all, so a bit of an update on this one.

So the Q900A and the 9500S arrived this week. Very easy to setup, the rears paired straight away and there was no issues there. Same goes for the sub, all very easy.

Great surround sound, Atmos works well, but not spectacular with overhead feels. Overall the surround sound is great. Music is good too but not on par with the Sonos setup.

It’s hard to describe but something isn’t quite there. The Sonos system with the Ones as rears with music actually has a HiFi sound to it, comparable to my old and expensive valve amp setups and Cambridge Audio speakers, just sounds nice, not tiring and highly detailed. This Q900A / 9500S setup doesn’t tickle that. Something seems missing.

not sure what it is, but it is good, but not great musically, same goes for vocals. Seems quite muddy, but detached, whereas Sonos system brings the vocals to the front.

Sonos setup whilst it lacks width, seems so much more detailed and seems to have this depth and warmth to it.

I’ve done a few A/B sessions and I’m leaning to the Sonos system right now. It does mean added expense for a HDFURY and shortly to be a Sub too, but long term I think I would be happier with the Sonos. Just seems more HiFi and sure as hell takes up less space.
Most soundbars play music well but are not "fantastic". Sonos products tend to the better product if music is your priority.

The Q900 with the tears sounds very cinematic and is fabulous for gaming. However it is overkill for those who infrequently playback action packed Atmos content.
 

cuke2u

Well-known Member
MrClarke1000: Congratulations, you seem to be finding the ideal soundbar that suits your own home environment, your ears and audio tastes...
 

MrClark1000

Novice Member
Hi all, thanks for comments.

Just an update. So finally committed to the Sonos setup. Wanted to just jot down this here just in case anyone really cares or might be in same position, as to where to spend a fair amount of money on something that should last a fair amount of time.

So, Samsung Q900A and 9500S is all packaged back up ready to go back.

Main reasons for siding with Sonos - Clarity. It is simply far better in terms of high definition clarity. Yes the Beam is better for Vocals due to the slightly EQ bump in that range but it's more than that, as it is better for Bass (talking about Soundbar alone) and better for mids and the highs on the beam don't have any indication of sibilance, I found the Q900A slightly too sharp on the highs, even adjusting the EQ.

I mean, the Sonos system is super sharp, not lacking in any way, but just seems to bring it all together a little more cohesivly than the Samsung.

Another thing I noticed was the surround sound. On the Q900A, the sound signature is different on the Soundbar as it is on the surrounds. This meant that on certain panoramic soundscapes, I could notice a difference in sound signature as it moved around. The Sonos doesn't have this. The rears sound Sonos like, the front sounds Sonos like.

This is of course my take on things and everyone has a preference.

Based on this I've doubled down on the Sonos and ordered a HDFury Arcana (2nd hand) and Sub Gen 2 (brand new, old stock) so hoping that will finalise this setup for some time yet.
 

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