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)
- 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
|Channels||Dolby 5.1 (Not Atmos)||3.1.2||3.1.2||7.1.2||9.1.4|
|Physical speaker boxes||2||same|
Acoustic beam for rear L+R
Rears are L+R and L+R up-firing
|Size||980x58x105 mm||980x60x115 mm||980x60x115mm||1232×69.5x 138 mm||1232×69.5x 138mm|
|Other||.||Option rear speaker for 5.1.2||Same||same 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)
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.
- 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 Atmos||5.1 (and 2/4)||7.1 (and 2/4)||9.1 (and 2/4)|
|1. Left front||✓||same||same|
|2. Right front||✓||same||same|
|3. Centre front||✓||same||same|
|4. Left surround||✓||same||same|
|5. Right surround||✓||same||same|
|6. Left rear surround||.||✓||same|
|7. Right rear surround||.||✓||same|
|8. Left wide surround||.||.||✓|
|9. Right wide surround||.||.||✓|
|.2 Left front overhead||.2||Same||Same|
|.2 Right front overhead||.2||Same||Same|
|.4 Left rear overhead||.4||Same||Same|
|.4 Right rear overhead||.4||Same||Same|
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.