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The Samsung 2020 Q-series soundbars are here and include Dolby Atmos 9.1.4, 7.1.2, 3.1.2 and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 soundbars.

Samsung 2020 Q-series soundbars are the pinnacle of Samsung Audio Lab California tuning and design. While they are best for Samsung TVs, their sound quality makes them a great addition to any brand of premium TV.

The Samsung 2020 Q-series soundbars (Q60T/70T/800T/900T/950T) have one main difference when paired to a compatible Samsung Q-series TV (Q80T and above) – Q-Symphony. It uses the TV’s top and side speakers to enhance the Dolby Atmos sound stage.

Q-Symphony does not increase the number of Dolby channels but allows the soundbar to phase sounds and objects across more speakers for a more holistic Dolby experience.

Samsung 2020 Q-series soundbars support (Website here)

  • Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD (except Q60T is Dolby 5.1 only)
  • DTS:X and its lesser variants (DTS:X is an Atmos-like surround sound with object steering)
  • PCM mono, 2.0 stereo and multi-channel
  • Surround Sound (faux upscale)
  • Q-Symphony
  • Adaptive Sound to optimise to content type – dialogue, sports, news, movie
  • Game Mode Pro – highly directional audio
  • Premium textile covering by Kvadrat (Q950/900T)
  • Separate Wireless Sub-woofer
  • Where applicable separate rear speakers or acoustic beam to reflect rear channels off ceilings or walls
  • Most have Alexa voice assistant (no Google Assistant/Chromecast or AirPlay2)
  • Spotify connect
  • Tap and play with Samsung smartphones (via Samsung SmartThings app and cloud)
  • SmartThings compatibility (not Q60T)
  • Wi-Fi AC 2.4Ghz (no Ethernet port)
  • BT SBC RX (Q900/950)
  • BT SBC TX/RX A2DP (800T and below support multi-connection)
  • Passthrough of 4K Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content
  • AAC, MP3, WAV, OGG, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF
  • HDMI 2.0 in
  • HDMI 2.0 eARC (Dolby and all sound formats) and Digital Audio In (PCM)
  • Wall mountable
  • Remote control
  • Not part of a multi-room sound system
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

Samsung 2020 Q-series soundbars base specifications

ItemQ60TQ70TQ800TQ900TQ950T
Price A$74984994915992099
ChannelsDolby 5.1 (Not Atmos)3.1.23.1.27.1.2

9.1.4
Watts360330330406546
Speakers 87 30Wx4+20Wx2
+10W+160W (Sub)
same1620
Physical speaker boxes2same
Acoustic beam for rear L+R
same
24
Rears are L+R and L+R up-firing
Weight Kg3.4+6.23.6+6.23.6+9.87.1+9.87.1+4.2+9.8
Size980x58x105 mm980x60x115 mm980x60x115mm1232×69.5x 138 mm1232×69.5x 138mm
HDMI In1samesame22
Other .Option rear speaker for 5.1.2Samesame for 7.1.2 (not 7.1.4) Have 2 rear and up-firing speakers

SWA-9000S  are $249 for the pair – these are for rear Left and Right and do not have up-firing speakers in them like the Q950T)

SWA-9000S provides rear speakers in Dolby Atmos to a 3.1 Q70T or Q800T to 5.1 but a 7.1 Q900T remains the same

A note on Dolby Atmos and you may need to read this!

  • First, you must have Dolby Atmos content from Blu-ray or some streaming services. That is the same for DTS:X content.
  • Next, you must have HDMI 2.0 cables connecting all devices (information here). These are Premium High Speed (HDMI 2.0) or Ultra-High-speed (HDMI 2.1) although the Q-series 4K TVs and Soundbars only are 2.0.
  • The TV must pass through Dolby Vision/Atmos metadata via eARC to the soundbar (only late model TVs do this)
  • Dolby Atmos means a total of 128 channels routed to up to 64 speakers – it down-mixes to the available channels and speakers.

Notes:

  • The terms overhead, up, up-firing and ceiling speakers are the same and refer to adding overhead sound, e.g. height
  • .1 is for a Sub-woofer which operates on a frequency cut-over).
Dolby Atmos5.1 (and 2/4)7.1 (and 2/4)9.1 (and 2/4)
1. Left frontsamesame
2. Right frontsamesame
3. Centre frontsamesame
4. Left surroundsamesame
5. Right surroundsamesame
6. Left rear surround. same
7. Right rear surround .same
8. Left wide surround ..
9. Right wide surround . .
.2 Left front overhead.2SameSame
.2 Right front overhead.2SameSame
.4 Left rear overhead.4SameSame
.4 Right rear overhead.4SameSame
Samsung 2020 Q-series soundbars

Confused – most are.

If a single soundbar is 5.1 (with a separate sub-woofer), it uses two front up-firing or side-firing front speakers (Samsung call this Acoustic Beam, and we call it psychoacoustic trickery) to bounce/reflect sound off the ceiling or wall and drop it somewhere behind the viewing position where you would normally have speakers 4 and 5 (in our table and #6 above in Dolby parlance) – left and right surround.

If a single soundbar is 5.1.2 (with a separate sub), it uses another two speakers to bounce (usually off the side walls) the .2 channels (#8 in Dolby image).

It is very hard to get 7.1. let alone 7.1.2 from a single soundbar. Samsung’s Q900T has no separate L+R rear speakers. But if the room has the right surfaces and dimensions, you can do it (not tested). But that is why when you add the optional SWA-9000 rear Left and Right surrounds it remains 7.1.2 (not 7.1.4). The speakers in the soundbar that were emulating the .2 then provide sound reinforcement.

Q900T
Q900T produces 7.1.2 from two physical boxes
Samsung 2020 Q-series soundbars
How the Q900T produces 7.1.2 without physical rear speakers
Q950T
Q950T produces 9.1.4 from four physical boxes
Samsung 2020 Q-series soundbars
How the Q950T produces 9.1.4

Phew!