The Samsung HW-Q900A is a 7.1.2 channel soundbar released in 2021. It’s the follow up to the Samsung HW-Q900T. This newer model supports Apple AirPlay 2 and comes with an Auto EQ room correction feature. It has features compatible with Samsung TVs to create a more immersive sound, like Q-Symphony and SpaceFit Sound+, and offers a pretty neutral sound profile, so it’s suitable for listening to different types of audio. It can also get pretty loud and has many customisation options.
List of Specifications
|Product Dimensions||1232.0 x 69.5 x 138.0 mm (Soundbar)
210 x 403 x 403 mm (Subwoofer)
|Weight||7.1 kg (Soundbar)
9.8 kg (Subwoofer)
|Wireless Audio Protocol||Bluetooth
|Audio Decoding Codecs||eARC
Dolby Digital Plus
DTS:X (eARC only)
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
|Subwoofer Type||1 x HDMI Out
2 x HDMI In
1 x Optical TOSLINK
|Special Features||SmartThings App
Active Voice Amplifier
- Customisable sound via the graphic EQ
- Bluetooth, WiFi and Airplay2 support
- Dialogue enhancement features
- Gets loud
- Immersive sound
- Could use a little more bass
- Atmos performance is a bit lacklustre
What’s in the Box?
- User Manual
- Mounting template
- 2x mounting brackets
- 2x mounting screws
- 2x mounting collars
- Rubber feet pad
- Remote with batteries (2xAA)
- 2x power cord
- HDMI cable
Design and Build
The Samsung HW-Q900A soundbar is fairly wide and heavy. It is mostly plastic, with fabric tightly draped across the top. Ventlike openings for the surround speakers appear on the slightly angled sides of the bar.
The build feels solid and durable due to the soundbar’s plastic shell, but the fabric feels a little fragile such that it could be torn or collect dust easily.
At 1232.0 x 69.5 x 138.0 mm, this soundbar is fairly wide and will not fit between the stand legs of a 55” TV. The bar isn’t tall and it won’t block your view unless the TV sits on its stand directly. It won’t be a problem for a wall-mounted TV though.
It also comes with brackets to mount on a wall. The back of the bar has a small opening for the inputs. There’s also an input for the power cable.
The subwoofer is mostly made of wood. The speaker opening on the side is covered by fabric. It’s about the same size as a desktop PC and due to its wireless design, you can position it pretty much anywhere as long as there is access to power.
On the back of the sub, there’s a plastic port and a pairing button. The input for the power cable is located near the bottom.
This soundbar has a small display on the top. It shows the volume level, speaker settings, and input.
Four physical controls also sit atop the bar. These let you adjust the volume and turn the microphone on or off. The fourth is a multifunction button that lets you change the input. You can also press and hold it for five seconds to turn the Voice Feedback feature on and off, which lets you know when you’ve adjusted a sound mode.
The Samsung HW-Q900A soundbar also comes with a remote in the same style as Samsung TVs. Although this remote isn’t universal, it lets you control the bar’s basic settings without having too many options to make it overwhelming.
This soundbar has built-in support for the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, and you can also mute the mic if you don’t want it to hear you.
Another control feature of this soundbar is HDMI CEC. This lets you use your TV remote to control the bar’s basic functions.
The final control option on this soundbar is the app. The Samsung SmartThings app lets you control some of the bar’s features. You can use it to change the source, play music from your device, adjust the volume, select different sound modes, and adjust the EQ.
That said, you’ll have to use the remote to access some features, like the Virtual Surround feature, the Sync feature, and the Center, Side, Wide, and Top Level controls.
The Samsung HW-Q900A supports most of the audio inputs and outputs of current generation devices. The back of the bar houses most of the standard inputs you are likely to use, such as the HDMI, Optical Audio In, and the Full HDMI In slot. However, it does not come with a 3.5mm AUX port and RCA inputs so some older devices might not be supported.
It has Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity built-in. This model also comes with Airplay2 as well. These allow you to stream audio from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. The subwoofer connects to the soundbar wirelessly. You just need to plug it into power.
The Samsung HW-Q900A has fantastic audio format support via ARC. It supports eARC, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, DTS:X (eARC only), Dolby TrueHD (eARC only), DTS-HD MA (eARC only), 5.1 PCM (eARC only).
It also supports a lot of these formats via HDMI In. Including Dolby Atmos DTS:X, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, and 5.1 PCM.
The Samsung HW-Q900A soundbar has a 7.1.2 Channel configuration with a dedicated subwoofer. It has a very neutral default sound profile, a wide and focused soundstage, and many sound customization options.
It doesn’t come with satellite speakers as standard so the sound will not be as immersive as one might expect. But it can get really loud, and with its customizability that provides versatility, it should fit the requirements of different users.
The centre channel on this bar puts on a great performance. The dedicated centre speaker does a good job reproducing the speech sections of the audio.
The surround sound from this soundbar, though, leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn’t come with satellite speakers but they can be bought separately. The surround experience is more immersive when these are added. In its default setup, it uses side-firing speakers to bounce sound off the walls. As a result, objects in the soundstage don’t sound as clear and accurate as they would in a setup with dedicated surround speakers.
The Dolby Atmos experience on this device isn’t that great either. It is ok at best. This is because it achieves the effect by pushing sound up to the ceiling where it is reflected back to your ears. The effect isn’t as good as the case where ceiling mounted speakers push sound downwards to our ears.
The $1,199.99 price that the Samsung HW-Q900A commands isn’t exactly chump change. One would expect it to be a world-beater. How does it stack up against the competition?
The Samsung HW-Q900A is an upgraded version of the Samsung HW-Q900T and as such the latter is cheaper. There isn’t much between these two save for a few features in the newer model like the Apple Airplay2.
The LG SP11RA is a premium 7.1.4 setup which means more channels hence a more immersive sound. Similar to the Samsung, it can auto adjust the sound settings based on the room. The lack of a graphic EQ is a let down though if you want deeper sound customisation.
It also doesn’t look as great as the Samsung albeit more sturdy.
If you are looking to have great sound in your living room for movies, music or dialogue, the Samsung HW-Q900A will do the job adequately. The sound customisation features will let you tune it to your liking lessening the cons of the device like a lack of deep bass.
The plethora of connectivity options means most of your devices will connect to it without a problem.
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