Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar review Page 2

This multichannel system fills a room with a fantastically full-blooded and immersive soundstage. What's more, there are no obvious gaps in the remarkably three-dimensional 'dome' of sound it creates. I don't think I've heard any other soundbar that's been able to create such a fully realised Dolby Atmos/DTS:X bubble.

This is a key point when it comes to justifying the Q950T's £1,400 price. Go down the traditional home cinema route of AVR and speakers, and the cost of building a 7.14 or 9.1.4 setup will start to bite. This Samsung is a tempting alternative, and does minimal damage to your room decor too.

321samsound.remTry as I might, I couldn't really find any movie soundtrack content that caused the Q950T to struggle. Its 8in subwoofer, for example, tracked the massive bass drops at the start of Blade Runner 2049 (4K Blu-ray) without them sounding boxed in or distorted, suggesting some smart DSP behind-the-scenes. And despite the depths it can plumb, the sub is nimble enough to attach itself cleanly and effectively to the bottom end of the Q950T's mid-range, becoming part of a wider, full-range sound.

Dialogue, delivered via the 'bar's dedicated centre channel, is clear and effectively contextualised, no matter the racket elsewhere. Even the infamously subdued chatter in the opening scene of Tenet (4K Blu-ray) becomes tantalisingly close to full comprehensibility.

The soundbar also slightly elevates vocals, so there's more of a sense of them emerging from your screen rather than somewhere below. This will be especially true if you have an upper-tier Samsung TV with the brand's Q Symphony feature, where the TV's speakers combine with the soundbar, rather than being replaced by it.

The cohesion of the soundstage is startlingly good despite the dependence on reflected sound for some channels. There's also impressive precision in the Q950T's presentation of subtle and/or specifically placed effects in the 3D field. So, for instance, during the sprint across the battlefield in 1917 (4K Blu-ray) each explosion feels perfectly placed as it lands.

This 1917 sequence and the excellently subtle, creepy mix of The Invisible Man's opening scene (4K Blu-ray) also reveal more willingness to get involved from the Q950T's wireless rears than those of its predecessor.


In fact, the Q950T avoids all the common soundbar pitfalls, leaving you free to become lost in what you're watching. One rider I'd add to this effusive praise is that the success of the system depends to some extent on being able to place the soundbar in a position where its reflective speaker channels are able to work well. Vaulted or heavily beamed ceilings would be a problem, and it's helpful if the left and right side-firing drivers are aimed at roughly equidistant walls. It's also a pity that a system of this ambition isn't equipped with an automated calibration tool to help it optimise itself.

The Q950T can upscale non-Atmos/DTS:X soundmixes to fill its 9.1.4-speaker count, and with movies especially this is a lot of fun. There's also a Game Pro mode designed to remap non-object based game soundtracks into a 3D space. Again, this is worthwhile, and can help your console sessions feel more intense and enveloping.

Made For Movies
Any system with this many channels is unashamedly designed for movies, so it's not surprising that its muscular and aggressive nature doesn't seem quite so suited to music replay. It's certainly not a bad option for listening sessions, but there are more 'hi-fi' soundbars around.

But this is a trait that can be overlooked. When it comes to home cinema, the Q950T's precise soundstaging, detail, dynamism and full-range impact is as good as soundbars get at this price. Five stars, despite that LED display...

HCC Verdict

Samsung HW-Q950T

Price: £1,400

We say: While expensive by soundbar standards, the 9.1.4-ch ormance prowess to match. An excellent all-in-one home cinema solution.

Overall: 5/5


DRIVERS: 20 in total across Left/Centre/Right, Surround, Rear, Atmos and wireless surround speakers ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 546W (total, inc. subwoofer) CONNECTIONS: 2 x HDMI inputs; 1 x HDMI eARC output; optical digital audio input DOLBY Atmos/DTS:X: Yes/Yes SEPARATE SUB: Yes. 8in driver REMOTE CONTROL: Yes DIMENSIONS (Soundbar): 1,232(w) x 69.5(h) x 138(d)mm WEIGHT (Soundbar): 7.1kg

Features: Apple Music, Amazon Music, Samsung Music, Spotify, TuneIn and Deezer support; Bluetooth; Wi-Fi; Game Pro mode; AAC, MP3, OGG, FLAC, ALAC and AIFF file playback; HDR10+ and Dolby Vision passthrough; Adaptive Sound; Tap connect; Alexa voice control