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Samsung HW-Q990D Review: Innovative and powerful soundbar

Samsung HW-Q990D Review
Samsung HW-Q990D Review
Tech Week Score
Tech Week Score

Samsung HW-Q990D is a 2024 flagship series soundbar that contains a complete soundbar package, rear speakers and a subwoofer. Moreover, it has many features. Although this soundbar is similar to its predecessors, the Samsung HW-Q990D promises some innovations that could change everyday life.

Are the number of channels and different features enough to be the best among competitors in the same price category? Is the HW-Q990D worth buying? In this review of the Samsung HW-Q990D we will try to answer these and other questions.

Samsung HW-Q990D review

Design

The design of the Samsung HW-Q990D soundbar has not changed compared to its predecessors. Since the Samsung HW-Q995B, the biggest concern has been the barely readable display, which can only display three or a maximum of four characters at a time. Now you can at least add a voice announcement that will tell the device what the user is currently selecting.

This makes processing a little easier. The metal grill on the surface of the panel is also unlikely to win any awards for original design. After all, the build quality is good and the subwoofer is even visually impressive thanks to the acoustic lens. Everything else looks pretty familiar. I wonder if there will be a redesign in 2025?

Samsung HW-Q990D design

Configuration

The layout of the speakers in the Samsung Q990D soundbar is quite familiar. At least if the user is familiar with one of its predecessors. The device has 22 speakers distributed across four devices. They all work hand in hand to provide 11.1.4 surround sound .

The soundbar itself has seven channels in width and two in height. Each of the two rear speakers has two speakers that provide sound from the rear and sides, as well as one speaker that operates on the upstream principle. The sound is directed to the ceiling and reflected there, creating sounds emanating from the ceiling.

To make it really loud, the package also includes a subwoofer that provides low frequencies. He really does his job very well. Even in dynamic shooters played on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X , you can literally feel the reality of shots or explosions. In addition, the subwoofer level can also be adjusted. It is generally not recommended to use the Game sound mode. In Standard mode, the action looks more cinematic.

Control

As for controls, there are several buttons on the soundbar. You can also use the included remote control, which allows you to make some settings. You can also communicate with the soundbar using the voice assistant Alexa or Bixby.

Ideally, you can download the SmartThings app for iOS or Android, but this is not necessary. On the other hand, this application would be useful for the first setup. It allows you to enable the SpaceFit Sound Pro option. When enabled, the soundbar will adapt the soundbar and subwoofer sound to the room on a daily basis.

The soundbar has four playback modes. In Standard mode, the sound is played as is. Surround distributes sound across all speakers, while Adaptive Sound matches the classic upmixer. In other words, it can generate 3D audio from a surround sound source.

 

Game mode boosts mid and high frequencies to provide better detection of hazards. Unfortunately, only in the standard sound mode you can use a full seven-band equalizer to adapt the sound to your needs.

Samsung HW-Q990D review

Smart House

Of course, you can’t miss a feature like SmartThings Hub, which first appeared in 2023. This option can be used to control a smart home. For example, program a washing machine or turn on a light. Since the Samsung Q990D soundbar has a microphone for voice commands, it can be used as a control center in a smart home.

Sound quality

Whether it’s all-in-one soundbars or entire soundbars with surround sound, everything will have to be compared to the Samsung HW-Q990D in 2024 as its surround sound is definitely worth considering. The soundbar, subwoofer and speakers support each other so smoothly that it feels like you’re sitting in a sphere with sounds bouncing around it.

For example, when in the movie Mission: Impossible 7 the train leaves and rushes through the tunnel, the viewer hears all the sounds around. Of course, for such effects, you should insert a 4K Blu-ray disc into the player to be able to enjoy Dolby Atmos losslessly . The HW-Q990D soundbar also supports DTS:X .

So, if a 3D soundtrack comes your way, the Samsung kit is ready to play it. Because of this, it seems like you can’t find better home theater sound in any soundbar with Dolby Atmos in this price range.

In particular, the rear speakers, which also emit sound from the sides, ensure that the boundaries between the soundbar and speakers complement each other in Atmos mode. If something is flying in a circle, then it is a circle, not a triangle, in which the sound switches from speaker to speaker.

Samsung HW-Q990D rear speakers

 

Artificial intelligence

Is there any point in having the best home theater if it’s hard to understand the dialogue in a movie? It is in 2024 that Samsung solves this problem with the help of artificial intelligence. It is expected that artificial intelligence will use machine learning to recognize spoken words, separate the voice from the rest of the soundtrack, amplify it and thereby make it more understandable without distorting other sounds.

In practice, the result of this technology does not significantly improve the intelligibility of dialogue. In fact, the dialogue just sounds a little louder. Fortunately, this is not unnatural. The rest of the sound effects are also practically unaffected.

In other words, it’s a plus, but it’s not really necessary. After all, regular sound modes are already well mixed and therefore convey voices clearly. This can certainly be a good addition for just some films.

Night mode features

Also new this year is a special night mode. Unlike many other soundbars, it doesn’t just mute certain frequencies that might disturb other people at night. Instead, Samsung’s Q990D soundbar suddenly only starts working with the rear speakers. The reason for this effect is quite simple.

Typically you sit much closer to the rear speakers than the soundbar. In Night mode, the sound remains wide and detailed, but the mode still serves its purpose. Only in films where the level of dialogue is so low can voices get lost. However, this technology is truly a practical innovation.

Playing music

One of the important innovations is the fact that the Samsung HW-Q990D soundbar supports Roon for the first time. It’s sort of a management system for your music, but you can add different music streaming services as well. Thus, the user gets access to all his music in the shortest possible time.

If you don’t use Roon, you can just as easily stream music via Bluetooth, Spotify Connect or AirPlay 2 , as well as Chromecast added in 2024. As for the power, it is quite enough to throw a party. The bass is clear, the stage is wide, and voices sound great. But if the composition is more demanding, then there may be a lack of detail in the mid frequencies.

For the 2024 model, Samsung is offering a party mode. In this mode, all speakers in the set should sound more balanced and equal. And indeed, the “rear” works just like the “front”. Where the listener is in the room at this time is almost irrelevant. However, even in this mode, classical music is not the soundbar’s strong point. On the other hand, the soundbar reproduces rock, house and the like very well.

Samsung HW-Q990D interfaces

Connections

When it comes to connections, there are no big surprises here. Like Samsung TVs, everything here is designed for a digital signal – especially HDMI. But there are three such connections. One serves to connect to a TV and, of course, supports HDMI eARC . The other two are inputs to which you can connect a console. These ports feature 120Hz at 4K resolution, as well as VRR and ALLM options.

There is also a digital optical input. Some Samsung TVs can be connected to the soundbar without an HDMI cable. For this purpose WLAN or Bluetooth are used. They are even compatible with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. Q-Symphony technology is also available. For even more surround sound, you can add Samsung Music Frame.

Conclusion

Chances are you won’t find a home theater this powerful again for the money. Gaming is no less interesting, but when it comes to music, it depends on the genre you listen to.

The package is complemented by good day-to-day handling and quick setup. The only reason for criticism is the design that users are accustomed to seeing year after year. If design isn’t a concern, the soundbar is pretty hard to beat.

Samsung HW-Q990D specifications:

Brand Samsung
Series HW-Q900D
Type Soundbar (soundbar)
Sound
Sound scheme 11.1.4CH
type of instalation Shelf/wall-mounted
eARC Yes
UltraHD (4K) support Yes
Rated power 656 W (total)
Soundbar power 456 W
Impedance 6 Ohm*
Subwoofer
Wireless subwoofer Yes
Acoustic design Bass reflex
Power 200 W
Dimensions (WxHxD) 220 x 413 x 410 mm
Weight 11.7 kg
Interfaces
Wireless Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Physical optical digital input, 2 x HDMI input, 1 x HDMI output
Audio decoders Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, DTS Express, DTS 5.1
Other
Control Remote control (Alexa, Bixby)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 1232 x 69 x 137 mm
Weight (total) 28.1 kg
Color Black

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