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Samsung HW-Q900T Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Sep 21, 2020 at 08:33 am
Samsung HW-Q900T Picture
8.0
Mixed Usage
8.2
Dialogue/TV Shows
8.1
Music
7.7
Movies
Channels
7.1.2

The Samsung HW-Q900T soundbar is a premium-looking 7.1.2 setup with a dedicated subwoofer. It has a very neutral default sound profile, a wide and focused soundstage, and many sound customization and connectivity options. The manufacturer advertises that Alexa voice assistant is built into the bar, but we don't test for this. It also supports surround and Dolby Atmos content, though it lacks satellite speakers so it doesn't provide the most immersive listening experience. On the upside, it can get loud, and its versatile overall performance should please many different listeners.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-Q900T soundbar is very good for mixed usage. This 7.1.2 setup has a dedicated center channel that makes it ideal for reproducing dialogue-heavy content like TV shows clearly and accurately. Its well-balanced default sound profile is suitable for many different types of music genres and audio content. While it supports surround and Atmos content, it doesn't have dedicated surround speakers, so its sound isn't the most immersive. On the upside, it has many sound customization features.

Pros
  • Dedicated center channel.
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
Cons
  • Poor surrounds and height performances.
8.2 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-Q900T soundbar is impressive for dialogue and TV shows. Thanks to its 7.1.2 setup, it has a dedicated center channel that makes dialogue-heavy content clear and accurate. Its default sound profile is very well-balanced, especially in the mid-range, which is ideal for accurately reproducing voices. If you want dialogue to sound more clear and crisp, there's even a dialogue enhancement feature available. It can also get loud, and you can stream podcasts to the bar wirelessly via a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Dedicated center channel.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible.
Cons
  • No auto-volume mode.
8.1 Music

The Samsung HW-Q900T soundbar is great for music. It has a very neutral, well-balanced default sound profile, so it's suitable for listening to a wide range of music genres. It has a dedicated subwoofer, which helps reproduce a deep, extended bass that can please fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM. If you prefer a different sound, there's a graphic EQ and presets available in the Samsung SmartThings app.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
Cons
  • No room correction feature.
7.7 Movies

The Samsung HW-Q900T soundbar is good for movies. Its neutral sound profile is suitable for lots of different audio content, and its extended bass helps reproduce the deep thumps and rumbles from explosions and other action-packed scenes. The bar can get loud, too. Unfortunately, while it supports surround and Atmos content, it doesn't provide the most immersive listening experience.

Pros
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
  • Supports Atmos and DTS content.
Cons
  • Poor surrounds and height performances.
  • 8.0 Mixed Usage
  • 8.2 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 8.1 Music
  • 7.7 Movies

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung HW-Q900T soundbar is a 7.1.2 setup from the company's 2020 lineup. It supports Samsung's Q Symphony technology, and it has Alexa voice assistant built into the bar, though we don't test these features. Unlike the Samsung HW-Q950T, it doesn't come with rear satellite speakers but can still play Dolby Atmos and DTS content. Its main competitors include the Samsung HW-Q80R and the Samsung HW-Q90R from 2019, the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers, and the Samsung HW-Q950T.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-Q900T is a sleek-looking soundbar that looks like the Samsung HW-Q950T. The front and top of the bar are covered in a tightly-wrapped fabric, and the rest of the bar is made of plastic. The sides of the bar are slightly angled with vent-like openings for the side surround speakers. Unfortunately, the display screen is located on top of the bar, so you can't read it from your couch.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The Samsung HW-Q900T's subwoofer is mostly made of wood. The right side of the speaker has an opening that's covered with fabric, which seems like it could easily rip or get dirty. There's also a port and a pairing button on the back.

Design
Style - Satellites

This setup doesn't come with any satellites.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 48.4" (123.0 cm)
Bar Height 2.8" (7.0 cm)
Bar Depth 5.4" (13.8 cm)

The Samsung HW-Q900T is a very wide, large soundbar. It doesn't fit between the legs of a 55" TV. Unless your TV sits flush on the table, it isn't tall enough to block your screen.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Sub Width 8.2" (20.9 cm)
Sub Height 15.8" (40.2 cm)
Sub Depth 15.9" (40.3 cm)

The subwoofer is about the size of a large desktop PC. It can also be used wirelessly, which is convenient.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Sat Width N/A
Sat Height N/A
Sat Depth N/A

This setup doesn't have satellite speakers.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting Type
Universal (holes on underside)

On the back of the bar, there's an opening for the inputs. The power cable attaches at the back of the bar. If you want to wall-mount it, there are universal holes on the underside of the bar.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the subwoofer has a port and a pairing button. The power cable also connects at the bottom.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

This setup doesn't come with any satellite speakers.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung HW-Q900T has a good build quality. The bar is mostly made of plastic, which feels solid and durable. However, the fabric covering the bar and the opening on the subwoofer feels like it could rip or get dirty easily.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
5.0 ft (1.5 m)
Digital Optical Cable Length
N/A

  • 2x AA batteries
  • HDMI cable
  • Remote
  • 2x Power cord
  • Wall-mount template with bar brackets and screws
  • User manual

Sound
8.4
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
-0.15
ST Std. Err.
2.83 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
28.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
14.7 kHz

The Samsung HW-Q900T has a great stereo frequency response. Its sound profile is very neutral and well-balanced, making it suitable for a wide range of audio content. Its bass is extended, so it delivers a deep thump and punch that can please fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. You can also customize the sound to your liking using the graphic EQ and presets.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
7.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.53 dB

The Samsung HW-Q900T has a good stereo soundstage. The bar is wide and the soundstage feels like it's about the same width. It's well-focused, so objects like instruments or voices seem to be coming from an accurate, pinpoint location rather than a more general area.

8.3
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
99.5 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
2.17 dB

The Samsung HW-Q900T has great stereo dynamics. This soundbar can get loud, which is ideal for listeners who want to use it in a large room or a crowded environment like a party. However, there's a bit of compression present at max volume, but it shouldn't be too noticeable.

8.4
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.18
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.24

This soundbar has an impressive total harmonic distortion performance. There isn't a lot of distortion at normal listening levels, resulting in a clean and pure audio reproduction. At max volume, there's some distortion present, but you might not hear this with real-life content.

8.8
Sound
Center
C Localization
Discrete
C Slope
0.36
C Std. Err.
3.45 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
96.2 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
0.21
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.29

The Samsung HW-Q900T has an excellent center channel performance. This 7.1.2 setup has a dedicated center speaker, which results in more accurate and clearer reproduction of dialogue.

4.1
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Phantom (Side Firing, Bar)
Rears
No
Sr Slope
1.51
Sr Std. Err.
7.64 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
89.4 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.49
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.16

The Samsung HW-Q900T has a poor surrounds performance. It doesn't come with dedicated surround speakers, and instead, it uses side-firing speakers to bounce sound off the walls. As a result, objects in the soundstage don't sound as clear and accurate as they would in a setup with dedicated surround speakers.

4.4
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
H Slope
3.15
H Std. Err.
7.15 dB
H SPL @ Max Volume
87.3 dB SPL
H Weighted THD @ 80
1.12
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.84

This soundbar has a poor height performance. It uses up-firing speakers on the bar to reflect sound off the ceiling and back to the listener, giving you the impression of height. However, the localization of objects is diffused, and the sound profile is quite bright and lacking detail. If you're looking for a similar soundbar but with a better height performance, check out the Samsung HW-Q950T.

6.1
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
No
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
Yes
Rear Level Adjustment
N/A
Height Level Adjustment
Yes
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Samsung HW-Q900T soundbar has a passable amount of sound enhancement features. If you like to customize the sound, there's a graphic EQ and four preset modes ('Standard', 'Surround', 'Game Pro', 'Adaptive Sound') available. The 'Adaptive Sound' feature works as a dialogue enhancement mode, so it makes voices sound more crisp and clear. There are four in-app EQ graph modes: 'None', 'Pop', 'Jazz', and 'Classic' to help you find your preferred sound. If you have a Samsung QLED TV, you can also sync it to the TV for a more immersive sound using the Q Symphony feature, although we don't test for this.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1 (shared)
HDMI Out
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
2
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
No
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
No

The Samsung HW-Q900T can be used as a hub between different devices like your TV and your gaming console thanks to its HDMI ports. There's also a USB port for servicing and firmware updates. Unfortunately, there isn't a 3.5mm AUX port, so you may not be able to plug in older devices.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Yes
Dolby Atmos
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
Yes
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Yes
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Yes
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Yes

The Samsung HW-Q900T supports all standard surround formats via its HDMI ARC port. It supports eARC, so you can use it for lossless surround formats.

9.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Yes
DTS:X
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
Dolby TrueHD
Yes
DTS-HD MA
Yes
5.1 PCM
No

This soundbar has outstanding support via its Full HDMI In port. It can play almost all audio formats, so you get a more immersive experience when watching movies from Blu-ray discs or streaming platforms. However, in our tests, 5.1 PCM files wouldn't play on the center channel.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
Yes

When connecting to this soundbar via its Optical In port, you can play Dolby Digital or DTS content, which is typically found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+.

8.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
No

You can stream content from your smartphone or tablet to the Samsung HW-Q900T wirelessly using a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. Alexa voice assistant is also built into the bar, though we don't test for this.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Yes
HDR10 Passthrough
Yes

The Samsung HW-Q900T soundbar can passthrough the highest bandwidth signals. When you use it as a hub between your PC and your TV, text looks clear and crisp.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the soundbar. It just requires a power cable.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

The Samsung HW-Q900T doesn't have satellites.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The Samsung HW-Q900T soundbar has a small display located on the top-middle of the bar, near the controls. The display shows you the volume level, the speaker settings, and the inputs. In the front of the bar, there are three small lights that appear, flash, or disappear depending on the commands.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The bar's controls are located on the top-middle, towards the back. There's a multi-function button that controls the input, volume controls, and a button that lets you mute the microphone.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The Samsung HW-Q900T's remote has the same style as the remotes from the latest high-end Samsung TVs.

Additional Features
App
App Name Samsung SmartThings
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts as the Remote
Limited Support
Controls Soundbar's Settings
Some
Casts Device Files
Audio Files Only

This soundbar is compatible with the Samsung SmartThings app. You can use the app to change inputs, control the volume, select sound modes, and access the EQ. Also, the app lets you cast music from your device to the bar. However, you need to use the remote to control levels of the bar's left, center, right, side, and top speakers.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Auto-off
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

This soundbar has an auto-off function that turns the bar off after 18 minutes of inactivity or no audio signal. It also supports HDMI CEC, so you can control some of the bar's features using your TV remote.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung HW-Q900T is a premium, versatile 7.1.2 setup released in 2020. It has a neutral, well-balanced sound profile, and many sound customization options. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS content, and it has Alexa voice assistant built into the bar. It's also compatible with Samsung's Q Symphony feature, which syncs the bar with your Samsung QLED TV to create a more immersive listening experience, though we don't test for this. That said, it lacks dedicated surround speakers, so it doesn't provide the most immersive surround experience. If you're looking for other soundbars, check out our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best soundbars for movies, and the best Samsung soundbars.

Samsung HW-Q800T

The Samsung HW-Q800T and the Samsung HW-Q900T are both very versatile soundbars with different configurations. The 7.1.2 HW-Q900T provides a more immersive listening experience for surrounds content, as it doesn't downmix it into stereo like the 3.1.2 HW-Q800T. The HW-Q900T also has a larger soundstage and less distortion when it's played at max volume. That said, the HW-Q800T is better-built.

Samsung HW-Q950T

The Samsung HW-Q950T and the Samsung HW-Q900T are very similar, very versatile soundbars. The HW-Q950T provides a slightly more immersive listening experience because it comes with two rear satellites. It also has fewer compression artifacts present at max volume, and the sound profile when playing Atmos content is better-balanced and more suitable to a wider variety of content. That said, both soundbars have lots of sound customization and connectivity options.

Samsung HW-Q80R

The Samsung HW-Q80R is a better soundbar for watching movies than the Samsung HW-Q900T. The 5.1.2 HW-Q80R has a better-balanced sound profile when playing surrounds and Atmos content, which creates a more immersive listening experience. It's also better-built than the HW-Q900T. That said, the HW-Q900T comes with preset modes and is compatible with Samsung's Q Symphony technology, unlike the HW-Q80R, and its overall performance is still quite versatile.

Samsung HW-Q90R

The Samsung HW-Q90R is a better soundbar for watching movies than the Samsung HW-Q900T. The 7.1.4 HW-Q90R comes with two satellite speakers, unlike the HW-Q900T, which helps provide a more immersive listening experience. The HW-Q90R is also better-built, and its surround and height channels have more neutral, better-balanced sound profiles. That said, both soundbars have very versatile performances overall.

Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers

The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is a better overall soundbar setup than the Samsung HW-Q900T. The Sonos is better-built, and it comes with satellite speakers, unlike the Samsung. It has a wider soundstage and more sound customization features, including a room correction feature. Also, it has a better-balanced sound when playing Atmos and surround content. However, the Samsung supports DTS content and has a Full HDMI In port that supports 4k passthrough. Also, the Samsung has fewer compression artifacts at max volume.

Sony HT-ST5000

The Sony HT-ST5000 and the Samsung HW-Q900T are both premium, versatile 7.1.2 setups, and depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Samsung has a better-balanced default sound profile and more sound customization options including a graphic EQ. It gets louder than the Sony, and it has less distortion at max volume. However, the Sony is better-built, comes with more connectivity options, and is compatible with Chromecast built-in. Also, the Sony has a better-balanced sound profile when playing Atmos and surround content.

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