Samsung HW-N950 Soundbar Review and Demo

booBeam Tech Rating
4.5/5

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In this video, we review the new Samsung HW-N950 Soundbar from Samsung and Harman Kardon. Watch our review, hear a demo, and listen to our tips on wall mounting.

Our top tips

During our Samsung HW-N950 Soundbar Review and Demo, the first problem we encountered was mounting this hefty beast to the wall.  At around 10kg’s and 1.2 meters in length, the soundbar itself does need solid mounting brackets, and a solid wall to connect to.

Lucky Samsung supply the mounting brackets within the box, and once drilled to the wall, they do provide a sturdy home for your bar. However, we found it easier to give the brackets a little gentle bend as the sheer weight of the bar does pull them downwards once it is sitting on them.  If you are fixing the bar to a stud (plasterboard) wall, make sure you invest in some high quality raw plugs.

We also suggest asking a friend to help you mount the bar, once the brackets are on the wall, it can be a balancing act of holding the bar in place, while connecting the hold screws underneath the bar.

What we liked

As part of our Samsung HW-N950 Soundbar Review and Demo, we downloaded and tested a few Dolby Atmos and DTS:X demos direct from Dolby.  These have been our benchmark test files for a number of soundbars we have used.   We can honestly say, the Samsung HW-950 is a game changer.  Bass is booming, highs are sweet and the surroud sound is simply stunning. 

Thanks to the up-firing and side-firing speakers, the N950 soundbar delivers an incredibly immersive surround sound experience by enabling objects, such as flying helicopters or birds, to be heard above and around you, putting you right in the heart of the action. Experience no limit to your home entertainment.

The immersive cinematic surround sound with the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technology with 17 individual custom-designed speakers including two rear speakers, provide exceptional object-based sound in three dimensions. High Resolution Audio supports studio quality sound and a separate wireless subwoofer provides powerful bass.

 

What we hated

There is one major draw back to this soundbar, one which we think Samsung could easily fix, but as yet (even though we have tried contacting them for comment) they have not.  That is standby time.  Picture the scene, you are watching the latest blockbuster movie in glorious Dolby Atmos surround sound and your door bell rings.  You pause the movie, and answer the door to explain to the guy from TV Licensing that you DO in fact have a licence.   Upon returning to get back into the movie, you hit play, only to find the amazing sound has reverted back to your tinny TV speakers.  Why?  

Samsung in their wisdom have set a standby timer of 5 minutes to the soundbar, meaning if no audio is received after 5 minutes, the bar switches off.  That means, you have to manually switch the soundbar back on and then go back into your TV settings to select your soundbar output again. 

Frustrating to say the least – Rumour has it, Samsung are releasing an updated firmware to switch off this option, but we will see.

This isn’t just our early release model to have this “feature” either, take a look at the comments posted on our youTube channel to see how many of us share this frustration.

Product Overview

Dolby Atmos & DTS:X
Immersive object-based audio is provided by Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technology. Spatially separated surround sound is placed above and around you, with you at the heart of the action, and you can hear the precise location the sounds are coming from.

17 Built-in Speakers
Seventeen individual speakers deliver powerful and clear audio. Three wide-range tweeters deliver crisp highs and six mid-range drivers ensure punchy and lifelike mid-frequencies. Four upfiring and two side-firing speakers create immersive object-based audio.

Wireless Rear Speakers
Included with the New Samsung HW-N950 Sound Bar, are rear speakers enable you to experience true cinematic surround sound. They link up wirelessly with the sound bar, connecting by cable to the included module which is free to be plugged in separately.

4K HDR Pass-Through
4K HDR pass-through means the HW-N950 can be part of your 4K UHD set-up with no loss of signal quality, for seamless Ultra High Definition entertainment.

Hi-Res Audio
High Resolution Audio provides stunningly realistic sound reproduction. Operating at 96kHz / 24 bit, the quality and richness of the sound is true to the original studio master.

Wireless Subwoofer
Also in the box of the New Samsung HW-N950 Sound Bar is a wireless sub-woofer which provides powerful bass that adds depth and realism to everything you watch. And because it’s wireless you can place it anywhere in the room for maximum impact.

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