Flagship Samsung Q990D soundbar adds 120Hz passthrough

Samsung Q990D soundbar launch

It’ll be easier to group together separate speakers and create an expansive soundscape with the Samsung Q990D soundbar, which has arrived in Australia as part of the brand’s 2024 range.

Coming alongside the line-up of 2024 Samsung TVs, the latest audio devices focus on cohesively bringing together your home entertainment suite. The successor to the excellent Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar, the new Q990D looks similar on paper, albeit with a new “Sound Grouping” feature.

Samsung also launched the slimline S800D soundbar, a more affordable option for when space is limited. After showing off its art-inspired speaker at CES 2024, Samsung also confirmed a local release for the stylish Frame Music.

Samsung Q990D soundbar harmonises living rooms

On the inside, there doesn’t appear to be a huge difference between the Q990D and last year’s Q990C model. Both have 11.1.4 channels that support wireless Dolby Atmos audio, with two rear speakers and a subwoofer. For comparison, the new LG S95TR soundbar features a 9.1.5-channel distribution.

Pretty much all of the connectivity options remain the same: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and Chromecast all come included. One hardware difference comes in the form of HDMI passthrough. The Q990C only supported HDMI 2.0, while Samsung has upgraded the Q990D with HDMI 2.1, meaning it now supports 4K passthrough at 120Hz, which is great for gamers.

The other main difference between the two flagship models is a feature called Sound Grouping. Exclusive to the 2024 model, Sound Grouping syncs the rear speakers with the main soundbar when listening to music. It doesn’t matter where they are, even in different rooms, you can still fill the room with tunes via a wireless multi-speaker setup.

Samsung Music Frame designs
Artwork or speaker? The Music Frame is both! Image: supplied.

Not much else is known about the Sound Grouping feature yet. Another option it enables is a personal listening mode that uses compatible rear speakers for a quieter experience so as to not disrupt others.

As for the Samsung S800D soundbar, it comes with a main unit and a subwoofer, comprising 3.1.2 channels. It may not be as powerful as the Q990D, but it’s much smaller and roughly half the price.

Looking over the fence at its competitors, LG offers a $699 120Hz passthrough solution with the S70TY soundbar. There’s a decent spec difference between LG’s mid-range model and Samsung’s $2,099 top-of-the-line Q990D, but it demonstrates a precedence for bringing high refresh rate passthrough to more affordable soundbars.

Price and release date

Arriving in retailers and on Samsung’s website now, the 2024 soundbar range provides some incremental yet important upgrades over last year’s models. With the addition of the Music Frame, Samsung clearly aims to kit out homes with multi-room speaker setups.

  • Music Frame (LS60D) RRP: $749
  • HW-Q990D Q-Series Soundbar RRP: $2,099
  • HW-S800D S-Series Soundbar RRP: $999

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