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The HW-Q90R delivers exciting, immersive sound, but we expected more features given the sky-high price tag.

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Ben Patterson/IDG

The HW-Q90R’s simple, ergonomic remote is easy lớn use in the dark.

The HW-Q90R’s remote is very similar to what Samsung provides with its smart TVs, và it’s identical khổng lồ those I’ve seen that come bundled with other recent Samsung soundbars. It isn’t backlit, but it has a pleasingly ergonomic design & only a few well placed buttons, making it easy lớn control even in the dark. A couple of prominent volume rockers (one for the main volume, the other for the subwoofer) sit near the middle of the remote, at thumb level, while mute, sound mode, and settings buttons are directly above, along with a four-way navigation pad.

If you’re lucky enough to lớn own a Samsung QLED TV, you can access the HW-Q90R’s settings from the thực đơn of the TV, as well as via the Samsung OneRemote. As I’ve previously noted, I own an LG TV, not a Samsung, so I wasn’t able to chạy thử this feature.

Ben Patterson/IDG

The Samsung SmartThings app only gives you limited control over the soundbar.

The Samsung SmartThings tiện ích also gives you some basic control over the soundbar. Besides being able to power it on & off, you can also switch input đầu vào sources, tinker with the EQ settings, adjust the volume of the wireless subwoofer, và set a sleep timer. Unfortunately, the ứng dụng won’t let you change sound modes or fiddle with other settings.

Finally, you can control the HW-Q90R using Alexa voice commands, such as “Alexa, turn Samsung soundbar volume down” or “Alexa, switch to công nghệ bluetooth on Samsung soundbar.”

Connecting the Samsung HW-Q90R khổng lồ my iPhone XS via bluetooth không dây was a snap; I just pressed the công nghệ bluetooth không dây pairing button on the remote, & the soundbar appeared in my iPhone’s công nghệ bluetooth settings screen as an available device. The HW-Q90R also functions as a Spotify Connect device, và I was easily able to funnel my Spotify playlists khổng lồ the soundbar from the Spotify app.

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Samsung’s latest soundbars have impressed me with their big, powerful sound, and the top-of-the-line HW-Q90R is (as one would hope) the best of the bunch, boasting a wide soundstage (thanks khổng lồ those side-firing drivers), deep but not overpowering bass, và refined high-end details. You’d expect nothing less from a soundbar this pricey, and thankfully the HW-Q90R delivers.

First, a few words about the HW-Q90R’s quartet of sound modes. First, there’s the Standard mode, which presents the audio more or less as its creators intended, & without any upmixing for the height or extra surround channels. Adaptive mode is similar to Standard mode, except it’s designed lớn boost the sound of dialog. Game Pro mode significantly boosts the width of the soundstage và adds some height presence (or at least, that’s how it sounds lớn my ears). Finally, Surround mode upmixes all sound sources to 7.1.4 audio, perfect for those who want to lớn hear those height channels even while they’re watching 5.1 or even stereo content. Unfortunately, there’s no night mode, so you’ll have khổng lồ be careful when cranking the volume while your housemates và neighbors are dozing.

To kiểm tra out the HW-Q90R’s Dolby Atmos performance, I teed up 1978’s Superman, which was recently remastered for Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos. The swooshing and spectacular opening credits of anh dũng never fail to lớn give me chills, and the HW-Q90R did a nice job of adding a palpable sense of height as Marlon Brando’s credit soared up và over the screen. I also liked the sound of the twirling Phantom Zone as it sailed above my right shoulder & captured General Zod và his minions.

Next, I tried one of our favorite Atmos demos: the sequence in X-Men: Apocalypse when a younger Scott Summers wrecks a bathroom stall with his nascent energy beams. The key moment in this scene isn’t the crashing & booming, but rather the shower of tiny plaster particles that fall from the ceiling. Again, the HW-Q90R’s four up-firing speakers give you the sense of debris falling around your head, a subtle yet impressive height effect.

I also tried the HW-Q90R with some non-Atmos content. Streaming Avatar on Disney+, the soundbar’s Surround mode did a fine job of upmixing the film’s 5.1 soundtrack, adding plenty of noticeable height effects during the big, airborne battle scenes in the final third of the film.

Switching khổng lồ music, I played the title track of Bruce Springsteen’s The Ghost of Tom Joad, and I was struck by the detail of the lean acoustic intro as The boss plucked his guitar strings và let loose with his harmonica, as well as the warm swell of the synthesizer & the gentle percussion. Moving on khổng lồ Vlado Perlemuter’s rendition of Ravel’s solo piano works for the Nimbus Records label, I enjoyed the subtleties of Perlemuter’s keystrokes as well as the atmospherics of the concert hall. (For the Ravel, I tried both the Surround & non-upmixed Standard sound modes, & the Standard mode maintains plenty of atmospherics compared lớn the 7.1.4 Surround upmix.) Finally, I cranked Ciara’s “Level Up,” & I got a kick out of the pounding yet restrained bass (no need to dial down the subwoofer) as well as Ciara’s crisp (but never harsh) vocals.

Bottom line

While it’s missing such key features as a night mode & room correction, the Samsung HW-Q90R delivers the goods when it comes lớn killer 7.1.4 audio. The soundbar’s two HDMI inputs and easy-to-use remote are also a plus, as well as word that lossless-high-res-audio-friendy eARC support is supposedly on the way. That said, the HW-Q90R’s $1,700 price tag is a tough pill to lớn swallow.

Chuyên mục: Tin Tức