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Samsung HW-Q900C Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Jul 12, 2023 at 09:00 am
Latest change: Writing modified Jul 12, 2023 at 09:00 am
Samsung HW-Q900C Picture

The Samsung HW-Q900C is a 7.1.2 setup released in 2023 as the next generation of the Samsung HW-Q900A. It's a feature-packed bar that supports many different audio formats commonly found on your favorite streaming platforms and Blu-rays, like Dolby Atmos, and it offers improved sound quality compared to the previous generation model. As with most Samsung bars, there are lots of sound customization tools on hand, too, from the SpaceFit Sound Pro room correction tool to Q-Symphony integration with compatible Samsung TVs. Built-in Alexa gives you hands-free control, too. Since it comes without dedicated satellites, this soundbar is an especially great option for those without space for them behind their couch.

Our Verdict

N/A Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-Q900C is great for mixed usage. This 7.1.2 soundbar is a great pick for those who don't have space behind their couch for dedicated satellites in their living room. With a clear and detailed sound out-of-the-box, you can enjoy everything from music to movies to TV shows. The sub also brings all the rumble in the low-bass for genres like EDM and hip-hop. Without satellites, you don't get the same life-like feel as with more premium bars when listening to Dolby Atmos and other height content.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Extended low-bass.
  • Supports Dolby Atmos.
Cons
  • No discrete satellites included.
N/A Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-Q900C is excellent for dialogue-centric podcasts and TV shows. This bar has a discrete center channel designed to improve vocal reproduction. Dialogue is clearly and accurately reproduced, too, so it's easy to follow along with the conversation on screen. Plus, the dialogue enhancement tool gives you extra control over the quality of voices in the mix. Latency is decent, too, and you can always use the audio sync tool to manually adjust the delay to avoid lip-synching issues.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay support.
Cons
  • No Chromecast built-in.
N/A Music

The Samsung HW-Q900C is great for music. This soundbar offers a balanced sound right out of the box, suitable for listening to many genres. Voices and other lead instruments are clear and detailed in the mix. The sub brings rumbly bass but struggles with the deepest frequencies, which can be noticeable in very bass-heavy music. Still, you have lots of sound customization tools on hand. The room correction tool optimizes the bar's sound based on your room's unique acoustics, while a 7-band graphic EQ and bass and treble adjustments are on hand for manual customization.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Extended low-bass.
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay support.
Cons
  • No Chromecast built-in.
N/A Movies

The Samsung HW-Q900C is great for movies. This soundbar supports many audio formats commonly found on streaming platforms and Blu-rays, including Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos. Though it lacks discrete satellite speakers, it still provides an immersive listening experience to bring all the action on screen right into the comfort of your living room. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow, while the sub brings the thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. You won't get the same sense of sound effects stretching into the space behind your couch without satellites, though.

Pros
  • Extended low-bass.
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
  • Supports Dolby Atmos.
Cons
  • No discrete satellites included.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated Jul 12, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Jul 07, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Jul 05, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Jun 19, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Jun 02, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Samsung HW-Q900C is available in Black, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version of this soundbar, let us know in the forums so we can update this review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung HW-Q900C is a mid-range offering in the manufacturer's 2023 lineup. It falls between more premium models like the Samsung HW-Q990C and the Samsung HW-Q930C, which come with discrete satellites, and more budget-friendly offerings like the Samsung HW-Q800C. As with most Samsung bars, it gives you access to many different customization features, and you can always upgrade it with satellites down the line. As the next generation of the Samsung HW-Q900A, it also brings some small improvements in sound quality.

See also our recommendations for the best soundbars with a subwoofer, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best Samsung soundbars.

Samsung HW-Q990C

The Samsung HW-Q990C is a more premium alternative to the Samsung HW-Q900C. Both setups have the same bar and subwoofer, but the Q990C adds satellites for better surround sound. The satellites improve the height performance, too, as you notice more sound effects in the space behind you. The Q900C is still a good option if you don't have space for satellites.

Samsung HW-Q800C

The Samsung HW-Q900C is a more premium alternative to the Samsung HW-Q800C—notably, the Q900C is a 7.1.2 setup with two additional surround channels compared to the 5.1.2 Q800C. You notice this difference with surround sound and height content, as the Q900C brings a more immersive sound. It gets louder with less compression at max volume, too.

Samsung HW-Q930B

The Samsung HW-Q930B is better than the Samsung HW-Q900C. The Q930B has discrete satellite speakers, which noticeably improve its surround sound and Atmos performances compared to the Q900C. The Q900C is a good alternative if you have a smaller living room without space for extra satellites.

Samsung HW-Q900A

The Samsung HW-Q900A and the Samsung HW-Q900C are similar 7.1.2 setups. However, the newer Q900C has some small improvements over its predecessor—notably, it gets louder with less compression at max volume, and its sound quality is a bit more even out-of-the-box. It has a better build quality, too.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-Q900C comes with the same bar as the Samsung HW-Q990C. It's mostly made of metal and good-quality plastic, with angled sides for a hexagonal look. There's a display screen in front and some controls on top.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Locked
Enclosure
Locked

The sub also matches the model that comes with the Samsung HW-Q990C. It has a rectangular shape, and there's a plastic plate covering the woofer in the front. The manufacturer advertises that there's an acoustic lens inside that helps it reproduce smoother bass, too. You find the port in the rear.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
Locked

You can buy compatible satellites from the manufacturer separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

This wide soundbar isn't meant to fit between the legs of a 55-inch TV stand. Still, since it isn't very tall, you don't have to worry about it blocking out your TV screen.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The sub is a similar size to an average desktop computer. Since it connects to the bar wirelessly, you have a lot of flexibility when placing it in your living room.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Mounting
Mountable Bar
Locked
Bar Brackets Included
Locked
Mountable Satellites
Locked
Satellite Brackets Included
Locked

You can mount the bar to your wall using the included brackets. Screws come included, too, so you don't have to buy any components separately.

N/A
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung HW-Q900C has excellent build quality. This premium setup is made of strong, sturdy materials that withstand traditional wear and tear. Metal grilles on the bar help protect the drivers inside, which is a nice touch. You won't find any fabric on the bar or the sub, either, so you don't have to worry about hair or dust clinging to the bar.

Design
In The Box

  • User Manual
  • Remote with batteries (2x AAA)
  • 4x rubber feet
  • Wall mount guide
  • 2x wall-mount bracket for soundbar
  • Holder screw (x2) and screw (x2)
  • HDMI cable (1.5m / 4.9 ft)
  • 2x power cable (1.5m / 4.9 ft)

Sound
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
7.1.2
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

The Samsung HW-Q900C offers a great stereo frequency response. As with Samsung's other premium models, it comes with a room correction tool designed to optimize audio reproduction based on the unique acoustic characteristics of your living room. You get a nice, neutral sound with stereo content, especially in the mids, where most voices and lead instruments are reproduced. The dedicated sub brings the thump and rumble in the low-bass as well. Overall, this soundbar is suitable for listening to many different music genres, even if it struggles with the low-bass frequencies found in tracks like 'Stay' from the Interstellar soundtrack.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Locked
Suggested Bass Setting
Lock
Suggested Treble Setting
Lock
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

If you prefer a more neutral sound with stereo content, leave the bar at its default settings. There are many customization tools on hand if you want a different sound, which is nice.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock dB

The bar's stereo soundstage is good. It's perceived to be a tiny bit wider than the bar itself, though it doesn't have any tricks to make it seem wider than that. Still, it has good focus, so it's easy to follow specific instruments and sound effects to a pinpoint location in the soundstage.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
Lock dB

This bar gets loud and is a great choice for listening to audio in larger and more open spaces. There isn't a lot of compression when you push it to max volume, either, so you enjoy a clean and clear reproduction of your audio.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

Distortion falls within good limits at an average listening volume, which ensures a clean and clear audio reproduction. As with most soundbars, there's a slight jump in distortion when you push the bar to max volume, especially in the bass range. It's hard to hear with real-life content, though, unless you listen for it.

N/A
Sound
Center
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The Samsung HW-Q900C has a discrete center channel designed to improve vocal reproduction in the mix. The channel's frequency response is quite even and balanced, ensuring that dialogue is clear and easy to follow in your favorite movies and TV shows.

N/A
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock
7.1 Rears
Locked

Unlike the Samsung HW-Q990C, this soundbar lacks discrete satellite speakers. Instead, it uses side-firing channels built into the bar to simulate a phantom surround. These channels offer a balanced frequency response that ensures sound effects are clear and accurate in the mix. However, the overall feel of surround sound isn't as clear or as real as what you get with models with discrete surround speakers. Audio seems to come from a speaker placed in front of you rather than from around your room.

N/A
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The Samsung HW-Q900C has two up-firing drivers that ricochet sound off your ceiling to create the illusion of height with content like Dolby Atmos. Again, these channels have a pretty even frequency response, so sound effects are clear and detailed. Without satellites, you don't have any up-firing drivers placed behind your couch, though, which does take away from the overall immersive feel a bit, especially compared to models like the Samsung HW-Q990C.

Additionally, we subjectively evaluate the bar's soundstage performance with height content. It offers a very good sound overall, especially for a setup without discrete satellites. The front hemisphere is immersive and life-like, with a good sense of height. You notice a clean and clear reproduction of sound effects to your left and right, too. Of course, you don't notice as much detail in the space behind you, but if you don't have room for discrete satellites, this setup is a really good option.

N/A
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Locked
Dialogue Enhancement
Locked
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Locked
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Locked
Bass Adjustment
Locked
Treble Adjustment
Locked
EQ
Locked
Surround Level Adjustment
Locked
Rear Level Adjustment
Locked
Height Level Adjustment
Locked
Virtual Surround
Locked

As with most soundbars from the manufacturer, the Samsung HW-Q900C has many sound customization tools. The SpaceFit Sound Pro room correction tool is designed to automatically optimize the bar's sound, but you can adjust it manually, too. The 7-band graphic EQ is available in Standard mode, and you get access to more traditional bass and treble adjustments when in Surround, Adaptive Sound, or Game modes. The 'CH Level' button on the remote lets you adjust the center, side, wide, and front top levels, and you can also adjust the rear levels if you add on satellites. The Samsung SmartThings companion app is a handy way to adjust these features from your smartphone, too. Plus, if you own a compatible Samsung TV, you can link it up with the bar to integrate the TV and soundbar's speakers.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Locked
HDMI Out
Locked
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
Locked
Full HDMI In
Locked
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
Locked
RCA In
Locked
USB for Files
Locked
Ethernet
Locked
Subwoofer Output
Locked

You can connect the bar to your TV using Optical or HDMI. Two Full HDMI In ports are on hand, too, which is great for video passthrough with your TV and another device like a PC. There's a USB port underneath the bar, too, but it's only designed for service updates, and you can't use it for audio playback.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: ARC/eARC
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
PCM Channels
Locked

This soundbar supports many different audio formats commonly found on both streaming platforms and Blu-rays, including 5.1 surround sound like Dolby Digital and lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
PCM Channels
Locked

Similarly, the bar supports lots of audio formats over HDMI In. It can playback common 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital and lossless and object-based formats.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: Optical
Dolby Digital
Locked
DTS
Locked
PCM Channels
Locked

Over Optical, the Samsung HW-Q900C supports the most common surround sound format in Dolby Digital. DTS is less commonly found on its own, but it's often used as the fallback for the higher-quality DTS HD-MA format on certain Blu-rays.

N/A
Connectivity
Latency
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Samsung HW-Q900C Latency Video Sample
ARC
Lock ms
Optical
Lock ms
Full HDMI In
Lock ms

The bar's latency performance is decent. You don't notice a delay between the audio you hear and the video you see on screen, which is great. Plus, Samsung's Audio Sync feature is on hand in the SmartThings app, so you can manually adjust the delay to your liking. It's especially handy, given that some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently.

N/A
Connectivity
Video Passthrough To TV
1080p Max Refresh Rate
Locked
1080p @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
Locked
4k Max Refresh Rate
Locked
4k @ 120Hz @ 10-Bit
Locked
4k @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
Locked
8k Max Refresh Rate
Locked
HDR10 Passthrough
Locked
HDR10+ Passthrough
Locked
Dolby Vision Passthrough
Locked
HDMI Forum VRR Passthrough
Locked
FreeSync Passthrough
Locked
G-SYNC Passthrough
Locked
ALLM Passthrough
Locked

The Samsung HW-Q900C supports many common resolutions and refresh rates when used as a hub between devices for video passthrough to your TV. It doesn't support HDMI 2.1, so it can't passthrough 4k @ 120Hz @ 10-Bit, and your screen isn't quite as natural-looking with 4k content. Still, you can passthrough some variable refresh rate technologies, which is especially handy if you want a tear-free gaming experience.

N/A
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Locked
Wi-Fi Playback
Locked
Chromecast built-in
Locked
Apple AirPlay
Locked
Spotify Connect
Locked

You can wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar over many different connections.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Locked

A small display on the right side of the bar shows certain settings as you adjust them, like the volume level and the input. The 'i' button on the remote also prompts the bar to show the audio format you're playing. It's a four-character display, so it has to scroll through longer words.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

A few physical buttons on top of the bar give you control over some basic functions: the input, the volume level, and the microphone for the voice assistants.

Additional Features
Remote

A basic remote lets you control most of the bar's features. Also, you can download the Samsung SmartThings app to access additional settings like Audio Sync. You can see a video of the app here.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Locked
Google Assistant
Locked
Apple Siri
Locked
Microphone Mute
Locked

Amazon Alexa support is built right into the bar, so you can easily control it using your voice. However, without a mic mute button, you can't turn this feature off for privacy.