The Samsung 2021 soundbar range is now available with the Q950A 11.1.4 Dolby Atmos soundbar leading the pack at a very reasonable $2,099. And it is offering a 100-day money-back satisfaction guarantee. We can’t find specs or retailers yet, but they will be available via the usual major CE retailers and Samsung’s website.
Dolby Atmos (DA) – a quick guide for the Q-series.
If you are confused about the number of channels, read our Dolby Atmos (DA) Soundbar guide here. The numerical terms are 0.0.0, meaning
First ‘0’ is the number of horizontal sound channels, typically 2, 3, 5, 7 (e.g. includes front left and right plus optionally centre, front left and right surround and rear left and right surround. Note that tweeters use a crossover frequency and do not count as channels. This is not DA
Second ‘0’ is for the wired or wireless subwoofer. Most of the time, it will be one or two
Third ‘0’ is for DA 3D spatial/vertical/overhear height. 2 means front left and right, and 4 means added rear.
If a soundbar has DA capability, it will mix the 130 or so audio channels to the speaker configuration. Note you must have DA content and at least two up-firing speakers to add 3D spatial height.
Unless the soundbar has discrete rear speakers, it bounces the surround and height sound of walls and ceilings. We call this psychoacoustic trickery, and it only works with said nearby walls and typical height 2.4m ceilings.
The Samsung 2021 soundbar range comprises
Apologies – Samsung has not provided specs or links. We will endeavour to fill in the gaps soon.
Q-series (Q-symphony compatible with 2021 Samsung TVs)
Q950A 11.1.4 with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 2.0.2 rear speakers at $2099
Q900A $1599 (we assume this is 9.1.4)
Q870A with Dolby Atmos 2.0.2 rear speakers at $1499 (we assume this is the Q800A 3.1.2, making it a 5.1.4)
When paired with a 2021 TV, it can also use the TVs speakers to add more sound definition. It also has a ‘Space Fit Sound’ feature that analyses the room acoustics via the TVs microphone and automatically re-calibrates to suit. This is useful for irregular shaped rooms or higher ceilings where a soundbar relies on bouncing sound off walls.
Some of the above feature Adaptive Sound, Active Voice Amplifier, Tap Sound, 1-click Bass Boost, and Game Mode Pro. If used with another brand of TV, there is a basic Space EQ that tunes the sub-woofer. It has AirPlay2 as well as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Bixby support. Note the 2.0.2 rear speaker can pair with some 2020 Samsung soundbars to add the extra two rear side-firing channels.
A-series (no specs)
A650 3.1 $599
A550 2.1 $499
A450 2.0 $349
S-series (no specs)
S61A 2.0 $599
Terrace IP55 outdoor TV compatible (Not DA)
LST7T 3.0 (L+R+Centre) 210W, only for the Terrace TV – no HDMI ports $1299