A small however important replace

A small however important replace

Samsung’s HW-Q990C was the very best total soundbar I examined final yr, largely because of its stellar audio and the truth that a subwoofer and rear audio system got here with it. The corporate didn’t change a lot for the 2024 model, the HW-Q990D, however one tweak delivers a function final yr’s mannequin ought to’ve had: HDMI 2.1. There are some new audio modes too, however you’ll find these on different Samsung soundbars. The Q990D is as highly effective as ever, nevertheless it’s nonetheless dear at $2,000. In the event you already purchased a Q990C, the corporate hasn’t given you a cause to improve simply but.


The most important addition to the Q990D is a function Samsung’s flagship soundbar ought to’ve already had.


  • HDMI 2.1
  • All-in-one encompass setup
  • Wonderful, immersive audio
  • Useful options

  • Expensive
  • Not an enormous replace over final yr’s mannequin

$1,748 at Walmart

The most important addition on the Q990D is HDMI 2.1. With this, Samsung addressed my predominant criticism of the Q990C, which debuted final yr at a time when a lot of the competitors had already adopted the usual. HDMI 2.1 delivers 4K passthrough at 120 frames per second, which is able to enhance the visuals in the event you join your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Collection X on to the soundbar.

The Q990D additionally arrives with new audio modes. Non-public Listening turns off all the front-firing drivers and makes use of solely the rear satellite tv for pc audio system. It’s principally an expanded model of the night time mode lots of firms supply on soundbars, geared toward decreasing boomy bass when household or roommates could be asleep. My home has an open flooring plan and my TV faces in direction of the hallway to the bedrooms, which suggests any soundbar will beam noise in that path. Non-public Listening sends the audio the other means, and whereas you must sacrifice some total high quality, it’s ok for all of the instances it is advisable to be quieter.

There’s additionally a brand new Get together Play mode that gives extra balanced sound between the soundbar and rear audio system for a greater expertise whenever you’re internet hosting a rager. When that is energetic, you get the total audio vary somewhat than simply the channels particularly programmed for the audio system behind you. I truly turned the audio system round and confronted them out of the lounge to venture the re-tuned audio into different communal areas. This makes a much bigger distinction for motion pictures and TV as a result of music already performs from the rear audio system with extra balanced ranges.

These two modes aren’t distinctive to the Q990D; the remainder of the 2024 Q-series lineup will be capable of use them too. That is the primary time I’ve examined them although, and it’s notable that they really work nicely on Samsung’s most costly soundbar.

Samsung Q990D soundbar from the left side showing the side-firing driver. Samsung Q990D soundbar from the left side showing the side-firing driver.

Billy Steele for Engadget

The mix of a driver-packed soundbar, massive subwoofer and more-robust rear audio system produces immersive sound that envelops my front room. Whether or not you’re listening to music or the soundscape of Dune, the Q990D retains the sonic prowess of its predecessor. Dolby Atmos content material from Disney+ is as immersive as ever. I might hear the finer particulars of Knowhere within the opening scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, together with the life-like reverb of Radiohead’s “Creep” taking part in over a loudspeaker. The directional sounds of the city, together with the hustle and bustle of individuals shifting round, make it look like you’re standing proper there.

For music, there’s deep, boomy bass when a observe requires it, and that crisp element that I heard in motion pictures is right here too. Justice’s Hyperdrama reveals off the Q990D’s vary, with driving low-end tone on songs like “Neverender” accompanied by textured synths. Quieter genres like jazz are a blanket of sound too, with albums like Miles Davis’ Type of Blue providing subtleties that make you are feeling such as you’re within the studio.

The factor I like most in regards to the Q990D is that every little thing you want for a whole encompass sound setup is included within the field. The subwoofer and rear audio system include the soundbar and don’t require a further buy. These satellite tv for pc audio system additionally home up-firing and side-firing drivers, which isn’t at all times the case on comparable equipment from the competitors. And the setup is as simple as plugging every little thing in as a result of pairing with the remainder of the system occurs robotically.

One of the rear speakers for the Q990D sitting on a wooden table. One of the rear speakers for the Q990D sitting on a wooden table.

Billy Steele for Engadget

An all-in-one setup is nice, however that additionally means the Q990D is dear. At $2,000, it is a appreciable funding even in the event you’re getting every little thing you want within the package deal. The Q990D is at present on sale for $1,750, however we don’t know the way lengthy that low cost will final. For comparability, Sony’s upcoming Bravia Bar 9 is $1,400. The most cost effective subwoofer and rear audio system you will get for it are $400 and $350 respectively, which places your complete price at $2,150. In fact, with Sony you’ve got two choices for subs and rears, and also you don’t have to purchase all of them. LG provides some respite if you wish to go that route, with its S95TR coming in at $1,500 and together with the subwoofer and rear audio system with up-firing drivers.

The general dimension of the soundbar is one thing else you’ll want to contemplate. The Q990D homes 11 front-facing audio system, two up-firing drivers and a subwoofer. All of these elements want area, and accommodating them means this soundbar finally ends up being fairly massive at 48.5 inches huge. Whereas that’s not a deal-breaker per se, it does require some planning, so simply know you’ll want ample room.

Like soundbars from different firms, the Q990D has some useful options which can be reserved for Samsung TVs. For instance, Q-Symphony, which makes use of your TV audio system along with the soundbar to broaden the audio capabilities, requires a suitable 2020-2024 Samsung TV. The Q990D sounds nice with out this, however simply know you’re not getting the total bag of tips except you even have a supported TV.

Until you take care of the newest HDMI requirements, the Q990D doesn’t supply an enormous improve over final yr’s mannequin. Their design and options lists are practically an identical, besides for 2 new sound modes and 4K/120 passthrough. And a few of these additions can be found on more-affordable Samsung soundbars. So in the event you already sprang for final yr’s Q990C, there’s most likely not sufficient cause to make one other sizable funding. In the event you don’t already personal a Samsung flagship soundbar, the Q990D provides boomy, immersive sound in an all-in-one package deal that now has all the trendy conveniences it ought to.

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