With its sleek main unit and wireless rear speakers, the Samsung HW-Q90R Soundbar cultivates a true surround sound experience. Going well above and beyond your standard fare, it turned my living room into a veritable entertainment hub, where immersive audio flanked me on all sides. Having been placed dead centre in the middle of the action, my eardrums have soared past a point of no return.
Dripping with quality, the HW-Q90R delivers true Dolby Atmos and DTS: X audio technologies, moving the audio in all directions to produce a life-like sonic atmosphere. Also featured in the soundbar are 17 built-in speakers, including four that fire upward and two that fire from the side. Put it all together and you get the kind of rich and immersive sound that one might find in the nearest movie theatre, and that’s before we even bring the wireless rear speakers into the equation.
By bringing in the rear speaker kit, Samsung takes the concept of surround sound to truly palpable extremes. Upon setting up the gear in my living room and turning on a movie (“Joker,” if you must know), I could practically feel the sonic waves as they scoured across the room, passing through me in the process. Rarely has sound been as tangible an entity as it was here, at least in terms of listening at home. Again, it was akin to being inside a theatre or maybe a concert, where the vibe (i.e. vibration) becomes a literal entity.
Another major feature of Samsung’s HW-Q90R Soundbar is Adaptive Sound. Backed by hard science, this modern technology analyses the sound signal to achieve optimal audio and crystal clear voices, even at low volumes. Just an FYI (for all the true sound junkies out there), the amplifier’s frequency response is 34Hz~17kHz.
Rounding out the soundbar’s many charms is built-in 4K pass-through, which connects to UHD 4K and HDR10 sources. As a direct result, you get seamless synchronicity between the audio and visual components of your entertainment. The device is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and the Smart Things App, allowing you to control functions using just the power of your voice.
While somewhat hefty, the HW-Q90R is effortless to set up and brilliantly durable. I was able to get mine up and running in under 10 minutes, which is no small feat. Because I own a Samsung TV, the two sources synced automatically and without cords thanks to Bluetooth technology. Along similar lines, the wireless rear speakers are easy to instal and integrate. I was in love.
At the front righthand side of the soundbar is a simple LED display, which eschews loud blinking lights in favour of a minimalist vibe. The unit also features touch-sensitive control buttons for things like volume and input. Pick up the remote and you’ll find buttons for everything from the treble and bass levels to audio synchronisation. If you already have a Samsung TV, you’re also welcome to use the all-inclusive One Remote. Heck, you can even use your iPhone as a remote if you’re so inclined. Easy breezy.
Equipped with two HDMI inputs, the HW-Q90R definitely accommodates your gaming console of choice. Whether you get down with Xbox or PS4 or Nintendo’s latest, expect seamless audiovisual interplay between the speakers and graphics. That’s not to mention the fact that this system automatically converts sound to Game Mode Pro once a console is detected. Throw in the surround-sound component and this immersive set-up will even give your fancy headphones a run for their money.
Building upon decades of innovation, the HW-Q90R continues a partnership between Samsung and subsidiary brand Harman Kardon. Working together, these two electronics pioneers consistently push boundaries in their pursuit of unparalleled sound and performance. As someone who’s been using the new soundbar in his living room, allow me to summarise their latest achievement with a simple phrase: mission accomplished.
As you can probably guess, Samsung’s HW-Q90R Soundbar works best with Samsung TVs and relatively big ones at that. By keeping it in the family, you’re making the most out of the gear’s impressive ability to launch and syncronise with speed. Of course, if you have a TV from another brand, don’t let that stop you from picking up this exceptional kit. Prepare for a transformative experience.