Build quality is suitably solid and substantial, but it’s missing an air of luxury. The only problem I have is that it doesn’t like searching through the thousands of songs on my WD NAS drive. The retail box for Samsung's $1999 HW-K950 Dolby Atmos soundbar doesn't just include a soundbar. As noted in reviews of other Samsung multiroom speakers such as the R7 and R5, the Multiroom App is beautifully designed but flawed in some areas. Straight away the staccato strings of opening track "Burn the Witch" stabbed into the room. While there was a wide audio bubble appearing slightly above and below and all the way to the extreme sides of the room, never did voices appear behind us on the YSP-5600. Price (RRP): $1999 Manufacturer: Samsung. The astonishing "Yulunga (Spirit Dance)" by Dead Can Dance sounded superb on the Samsung. It works best during scenes with obvious spatial or height cues, such as the part in The Hobbit where the dwarfs are trudging through the rain. As a result, the soundbar blocked my TV’s remote sensor when placed in front of it. We may earn a commission if you click a deal and buy an item. It works best on fairly low ceilings covered in flat, reflective material. While there's probably no such thing as an "ultimate sound bar," the Samsung HW-K950 is the closest you might get for the money. With built-in Dolby Atmos, a wireless subwoofer and surround speakers, multiroom and Bluetooth on board, you really do get a lot for your money. So the Samsung was light years ahead of the Yamaha Atmos speaker, but how did it cope against a "musical" sound bar like the Definitive Technology W Studio? As such it is also compatible with the Radiant360 speakers. At 210mm high, they’re nice and compact too, which means you can easily place them on sideboards or speaker stands. The Yamaha will decode DTS:X, however. Samsung Series 9 HW-K950 (Soundbar): 1.8 out of 5 stars from 15 genuine reviews on Australia's largest opinion site Also included is a subwoofer and rear speakers which all connect to the soundbar wirelessly – but each of these speakers need their own power source. In fact, it’s almost obstinately ordinary, composed of four components cut into plain black cubes. In the meantime, Samsung's Multiroom app is one of the best following an update earlier this year. The larger the driver, the better it can sound. The strings sat like a porridge in the background of the track and Yorke almost sounded bored in comparison. The presence of real surround speakers provides a genuine feeling of envelopment that virtual surround modes in regular soundbars simply can’t match. The Samsung HW-K950 weighs just under 9 kg, which is quite a bit of a soundbar. The Sony and Samsung speakers make the most of the available sound bar real estate, specifically by by angling their drivers back into the cabinet, which enables them to have larger diameters. #mergeRow-gdpr fieldset label {font-weight: normal;} I started my testing with Radiohead's excellent "comeback" album, "A Moon Shaped Pool." There are six sound modes to play with: Standard, Music, Clear Voice, Sports, Movie and Night. The HW-K950 is one of the first products to be designed at Samsung's audio facility in California, after the Radiant360 range. The HW-K950 fills the room with a big immersive soundstage that’s bursting with detail. By contrast DTS' competitive Play-Fi app makes you search for servers manually using an outdated-looking interface, and in my experience doesn't always find them. It’s mostly fun, slick and intuitive. The Samsung still has some design touches that elevate it above the usual "black oblong you flop in front of your telly," however. The system is compatible with the proprietary multiroom system Samsung brought into the world with the Shape system back in 2014. The Samsung does an fine job with music, but don’t expect neutrality. The Samsung will decode Dolby Atmos from Blu-rays as well as from Vudu/Netflix streams if the source device supports it. The HW-K950’s swanky new remote boasts a simple, streamlined design. While the Samsung will decode Dolby in all its forms, unfortunately for movie fans the sound bar is unable to decode DTS:X, and further will only decode DTS streams in stereo. The small wand comes with a handy dedicated volume control for the subwoofer, and it feels premium when you hold it in your hand. The good The Samsung HW-K950 is one of the best sound bars we've ever heard for both movies and music. At the beginning of the epic "Mad Max: Fury Road," you hear voices appear all around you on a good Atmos system -- from newsreaders to politicians to Max Rockatansky's personal ghosts. It would probably sound better than the Samsung, but it would also cost more and be a lot more finicky to set up. The HW-K950 system comprises a total of four separate speakers, but within those four boxes lurk nine individual speaker channels plus a subwoofer. As the first soundbar to come out of Samsung’s Californian audio lab, the HW-K950 Dolby Atmos soundbar was a real gamble. Despite all this, I’m a big fan of the HW-K950. Among the playback controls and volume/track sliders at the bottom is an icon that lets you switch to a different speaker. Richard Stevenson | Oct 23, 2018 We were huge fans of Samsung’s HW-K950 soundbar, launched in 2016. The Studio W was CNET's favorite high-end sound bar, with great looks, wireless streaming and superb sound for movies, but the Samsung has eclipsed it in almost every way. The synth bass balanced the strings nicely, while Thom Yorke's voice had solidity and a distinct place in the soundstage. I wasn't surprised to learn that Samsung doesn't support Apple Music. Unsurprisingly given the lack of a sub, the drums lacked the oomph the Samsung had. I can count on one hand the sound bars I would try to listen to music on, and you've probably guessed by now that the Samsung is one of them. Samsung HW-K950 review: Verdict. How Samsung plans to be the next Bowers and Wilkins, Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Blu-ray player review, DTS:X: The immersive audio standard, explained. The lack of a subwoofer really hurt the presentation, and I had to strain to hear any bass at all. The HW-K950. You can also wall-mount the surround speakers, but you have to source your own brackets. The output is ARC-enabled, offering a convenient single-cable connection to compatible TVs. To make things even simpler, Samsung has eliminated most of the typical wires by making those four boxes speak to each other wirelessly. As the owner of a network DLNA server where I keep my music collection, one perk I appreciate is that the app automatically finds servers and puts them in the list. The included subwoofer is 16 inches tall and deep, and half that across. On the front of the soundbar is a small OLED display panel that disappears when idle. The system supports hi-res audio playback. On my visit to the Samsung audio lab, the technicians explained that the drivers are paper-based, which they claim has better acoustic properties than other popular materials such as Kevlar. Each driver is powered by a dedicated 20W amplifier (total power output is rated at 500W). It’s about twice the weight, adds side firing speakers and replaces the tweeters with smasmubgs newer wide range tweeters. But in all other respects, the HW-K950 is a killer proposition for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Atmos without the clutter or the hassle. It’s informative and easy to read, although those with OCD tendencies might be miffed by its off-centre placement. Well, the Studio W has it over the Samsung in the design department, with its solid aluminum billets and its massive subwoofer. A row of buttons on the side allows for up-close control of volume, input and power. The up-firing drivers lack the fine detail and finesse I’ve heard from better-quality Atmos speaker separates, but overall their immersive qualities make you feel part of the action, rather than a mere bystander.After trying out a few non-Atmos Blu-ray discs with Surround Sound Expansion Plus, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Typical Samsung buyers will find it a bit of a stretch, while most audiophiles spending this sort of money would probably be tempted to seek out a separates system instead. The soundbar is a great upgrade from the 2016 Hw-K950 soundbar. The Yamaha managed this track a little better than the last. It's expensive for a sound bar, and DTS support is limited. The bar itself is exactly that: a long black bar, exceptional at the outset only for its sprawling length of 48-inches. As the Thanator bounded and clawed after Jake through the jungle the Studio W's sound helped raise the hairs on the back of my neck. The Samsung HW-K950 combines the discreet looks and simple setup of a sound bar with truly impressive sound for both movies and music. From a marketing perspective Dolby Atmos is undoubtedly this soundbar’s key feature, but in truth it only plays a small part in the HW-K950’s success. If you want to include the HW-K950 in your multiroom system, setup is carried out through Samsung’s smartphone app. Dolby Atmos is only available on a limited number of titles compared with other surround formats. Play the “Leaf” trailer and the swishing leaf appears to arch overhead amid a floating layer of chattering insects, while the hissing monsoon in the “Amaze” trailer will have you reaching for your brolly. It sounds clearer, it's a more capable streamer thanks to the Samsung Multiroom app, and it has superior features. The bottom line The Samsung HW-K950 combines the discreet looks and simple setup of a sound bar with truly impressive sound for both movies and music. You could try putting together a 5.1.4 separate system for the same money, but you’ll be lucky to get change from a grand for a nine-channel Atmos receiver and you’ll end up getting buried in boxes and cables. It's not the discreet, hide-under-the-couch size of the sub that comes with the Vizio SB4551-D5, but it's not toweringly ugly, either. It's cheaper than buying a Dolby Atmos receiver and speakers. Fleenor. The Samsung generated plenty of air around Watson's voice and was also capable of convincing stereo separation -- something unusual in a sound bar -- with a mandolin percolating merrily in the right channel. In comparison, dialogue seemed a little fainter on the Samsung, and even with center pumped up to max I couldn't achieve parity. As always, the killer advantage of a sound bar over separate speakers is discreet design. Only the overzealous subwoofer lets the side down – and budget buyers need not apply. The price tag of 1,500 euros may have already revealed it, but we are talking about a very special soundbar from the highest class. Max's voice will also appear at the front of the room and be doubled again over your left shoulder. $1,197.99. It includes the Achieving the optimum Atmos performance involves a bit of trial and error – you’ll need to move the surround speakers around so they hit the ceiling at the best angle for your listening position. If budget isn’t a concern, the HW-K950 offers superb room-filling sound with enhanced music streaming capabilities. #mc-embedded-subscribe-form .mc_fieldset{border:none;min-height: 0px;padding-bottom:0px;}. Samsung's Clearvoice mode helped a bit, but I lost the surround ambiance, as this option turns off rear speakers. The list is quite comprehensive and includes most of the big apps like Spotify (Connect), Pandora, Amazon Music and Tidal. Surround Sound Expansion Plus mode upmixes regular soundtracks to 5.1.4, which could breathe new life into your non-Atmos Blu-ray discs. The care and expertise that Samsung’s engineers have poured into this system really shines through – the sound is polished, well-balanced, powerful and cohesive, giving high-end rivals a run for their money. The other is the HW-K850 ($999), which is virtually identical to the K950 but doesn't include rear speakers. Given the relatively small number of Atmos-encoded titles on the market this is a welcome feature, although it can be turned off if you’re not feeling it. You get two HDMI inputs and one output, all able to pass through 4K/60p HDR video signals from Ultra HD Blu-ray players such as Samsung’s UBD-K8500. The Samsung HW-K950 Soundbar is a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos surround sound system, and Samsung adhered to Dolby’s standard for 5.1.4 speaker setup quite nicely. In fact, with its dual wireless surround speakers, 15 … Jennifer However, when switching back to Movie mode I found that I preferred the immersion of the Samsung's rear speakers over the marginally louder dialogue on the Studio W. The HW-K950 offers ripping surround sound and excellent music replay -- a talent that is exceedingly rare among sound bars. Moving to the "Avatar" Blu-ray, the Studio W was on surer ground. With its premium-priced HW-K950, Samsung has decided to address that very issue and do it in style. Especially if you listen to music a lot. I tested it with an Nvidia Shield (3.2 firmware) and found it was able to output Dolby Atmos test scenes from Vudu correctly. The remote control looks just like the ones CNET's David Katzmaier liked so much on Samsung's 2016 TVs, and it's a big improvement over the dire clickers included with most sound bars. Samsung says the optimum ceiling height is between 2.7 and 3.6 metres (minimum 2.3m, maximum 4.3m). Once you’ve found the best place for the soundbar, you can adjust the volume of each channel to find your preferred balance using the remote and front-panel display. HW-K950/ZA SKU: 5507159. Like Yamaha’s rival YSP-5600, this Dolby Atmos-equipped soundbar features upward-firing speakers that bounce object-based effects off the ceiling. Something to keep in mind if you want to hang it with the included accessories, it seems to us. The numbers 5.1.4 means it will have 5 speaker units – two at the front, one at the center, and two more at the back to give off that wrap-around sound experience. Samsung’s HW-K950 Dolby Atmos soundbar delivers quite a punch and is an excellent system both in quality and value. The baroque bass line that arrives at the 50 second mark sounded full and appropriately bouncy. You can also control the soundbar’s volume using your TV remote when connected via the optical and AUX inputs. Sound quality doesn't typically take a massive leap beyond this amount, because the necessity of keeping cabinets small and bar-like restricts how good they sound. With built-in Wi-Fi, multiroom and Bluetooth, the HW-K950 boasts impeccable streaming credentials. There’s nothing wrong with a low profile for a soundbar, … In the past year I've been rethinking my approach after hearing excellent-sounding models such as the $899 Sony HT-NT5, the $1,100 Definitive Technology Studio W, and now the $1,500 Samsung HW-K950. Most sound bars don't come with rear speakers, but the ones that do, including the K950, provide a sense of immersion during movies that faux surround 'bars can't match. Mad Max’s brutal car chases are conveyed with sparkling clarity and precise placement, while the drum-heavy score slams hard without distortion. The HW-N950 is a whole-hearted upgrade on Samsung's previous HW-K950 – one of the first Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbars on the market that launched back in 2016. But of course, Atmos is the headline act and the HW-K950 does a fine job of bringing soundtracks to life, although Its effectiveness is somewhat dependent on ceiling height and proximity to the speakers. The latter would be acceptable but unfortunately it was an audio track for hearing impaired viewers with a speaker voice. Built in Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream and … This is what you hear on the Samsung. The Samsung HW-K950 is the best reason I could think of to spend over a grand on a sound bar. But before you put the credit card away, it’s worth remembering that this is no ordinary soundbar. Especially if you listen to music a lot. The competition for multiroom music is fiercer than ever, but I expect things to consolidate in the next year or two, thanks largely to the influence of Google Cast/Home. The front has a black steel mesh that conceals a blue LED text readout -- no confusing flashing lights here. Effects have ample drive and detail, and there’s a surprising sense of composure when driven hard. After a lot of research, I decided that I wanted the best possible soundbar to compete with my existing 7.1 setup with minimal wiring and footprint. I am sorry to hear that you did not experience the full potential of this system when playing non-Atmos content. The Samsung HW-K950 is the best reason I could think of to spend over a grand on a sound bar. But whereas Yamaha’s effort generates surround channels using sound beam projection, Samsung is the first to include a pair of physical surround speakers with up-firing Atmos drivers. I recommend using the dedicated Music preset, which trims the bass and opens up the soundstage. The difference was stark enough that I had to double-check that the 'bar was in Music mode (it was). #mc-embedded-subscribe-form input[type=checkbox]{display: inline; width: auto;margin-right: 10px;} A wireless subwoofer completes the full 5.1.4 package. Never one to skimp on spec, Samsung has packed the HW-K950 with features. For the longest time my recommendation for people shopping for sound bars was "spend no more than $500." And if you can afford it and desire superb sound quality from your 'bar, the Samsung HW-K950 should be at the top of your list. You'll notice how I said the Samsung is better than the DefTech in almost every way. The room was a huge globe of sound with voices appearing like points of light dotted around it. It stifles dialogue clarity and makes explosions sound bloated. The only embellishments are two brush-effect end caps linked by an angled trim along the front edge. Using Samsung’s smartphone app, you can stream music via Spotify, Deezer. */ Contrary to other speakers in Samsung’s lineup, like the pyramid-shaped M7s or the lantern-like Ring-radiators, the K950’s exterior design is its least extraordinary feature. The Samsung HW-K950 Dolby Atmos soundbar is just 5.3cm high which means it can rest unobtrusively in front of the TV and it has speaker grills on the front and top panel. Review: Samsung HW-K950 soundbar. Samsung says its tweeters offer a wider and more uniform dispersion than traditional soundbars. On top are two upward-firing 2.5-inch Atmos drivers. It is one of two Samsung sound bars that can handle Dolby Atmos. Samsung HW-K950 Soundbar System Review Page 2. High praise, indeed, coming from Steve! It’s one of the best soundbars … Samsung HW-K950 has the hardware to reproduce 7.1 sound but unfortunately not the software support to reproduce DTS surround. Naturally, Dolby Atmos is star of the show, delivered by 15 drivers within the soundbar and surround speakers. It’s a simple but effective touch. Rebecca User rating, 4 out of 5 stars with 427 reviews. The sound had a good balance between all of the disparate elements but the shaker wasn't quite as lifelike. 5.1.4-channel Atmos soundbar with 15 speaker drivers, Wireless subwoofer and Atmos surround speakers, Built-in Wi-Fi with multiroom music streaming via phone app, Two HDMI inputs with 4K/60p HDR passthrough. Basically, you’re getting a full Atmos system in a single box, but that’s only part of the story. Built-in Bluetooth not only provides a quicker way of streaming music but also sends audio from a compatible Samsung TV to the soundbar. Elsewhere, you’ll find optical and 3.5mm mini-jack inputs. The endpieces are thin slices of brushed aluminum that curve subtly at the edges. Connections include two HDMI ports and one output, optical digital audio, 3.5mm analog stereo audio in addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

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