The Samsung HW-Q990B is the top-of-the-line offering from the manufacturer's 2022 lineup. With its 11.1.4 setup, it's the next generation of the Samsung HW-Q950A, with a new and improved design overall. It seems more sturdy, with more rumble in the bass right out-of-the-box, and new angled rears that add lots of detail to your favorite movies. It's larger and more expensive than the 9.1.4 Samsung HW-Q930B, with two more channels and a big sub that packs a potent punch in the bass range. As with most Samsung bars, you get access to a wide range of sound enhancement features, so you can customize its sound and pair it with compatible Samsung TVs for extra tools like Q-Symphony.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is excellent for mixed usage. This 11.1.4 bar offers versatile performance, with a neutral sound that makes it suitable for everything from vocal-centric TV shows to music to movies. You have access to lots of customization tools, making it easy to adjust the bar's sound based on your preferences. Its rear speakers bring an immersive quality to the sound, so audio seems like it wraps all around you. There's good height, especially with Dolby Atmos content, bringing a cinematic experience right to your living room. It's a great bar, but its premium price tag may not be ideal for everyone.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is amazing for dialogue-heavy TV shows and podcasts. It's an 11.1.4 setup, so there's a discrete center channel included to improve vocal quality in the mix. With its balanced mids, voices are clear and detailed, so you don't have trouble following the action on your screen. You can even use its 'Voice Enhance' dialogue enhancement tool if you wish. When it comes to podcasts, you have lots of wireless streaming options, from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi. However, without Chromecast support, it doesn't fit as easily into your Google ecosystem.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is excellent for music. As with most premium bars on the market, it has room corrections tools to optimize its audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics. With it on, the frequency response is neutral, especially in the mids, where most voices and lead instruments reproduce. It's suitable for listening to many different genres, and the extra punch in the bass range brings bass-heavy genres like EDM to life. If you prefer a different sound, there are lots of customization tools available, including a 7-band graphic EQ as well as bass and treble adjustments.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is amazing for movies. With its two surround speakers, you get a really immersive feel with lots of common audio formats, from 5.1 surround sound like Dolby Digital to object-based formats like Dolby Atmos. Sound effects are clear and detailed, with audio stretching all around you, so you really get the sense that you're sitting in the middle of your favorite movies. The sub provides plenty of rumble in the bass, so your chair shakes during intense scenes as if you're in a cinema. Subjectively, it's one of the best Atmos bars we've tested.
The Samsung HW-Q990B's sub has a unique design. It's mostly made of wood, and on the side, there's a round plastic plate to protect the woofer.
The Samsung HW-Q990B's satellites have a similar design to those that come with the Samsung HW-Q930B. Their build resembles the bar itself, with plastic and metal grilles on the sides. The top and bottom of the satellites have an angled design that's unique compared to last year's models.
The Samsung Q990B is quite wide, especially compared to the Samsung HW-Q930B. It likely won't fit between the legs of a 55" TV. That said, it's not very tall, so it doesn't obscure your TV screen.
The Samsung HW-Q990B's sub is larger than the version that comes with the Samsung HW-Q930B. It resembles a larger desktop computer. Since it connects to the bar wirelessly, you have more flexibility when arranging it in your room.
The Samsung HW-Q990B's satellites are a similar size to those that come with other top-of-the-line models. You can place them on pedestals or mount them to your wall.
The back of the bar has some openings for the inputs as well as an input for the power cable. If you want to mount the Samsung Q990B to your wall, you can use the holes under the bar. The mounting kit is included, too.
There's a port on the back of the sub. You also find an input for the power cable, as well as a button to pair it with the bar.
The back of the satellites are plain. There are holes if you choose to mount them to your wall, and the power cable input is beneath the satellites themselves.
The Samsung Q990B has an excellent build quality. The bar and the satellites have a similar plastic build, with metal grilles to help protect the drivers inside. It feels more much premium than the fabric used in last year's Samsung HW-Q950A. The sub is quite premium-looking, too, with a wood build and a plastic plate on the back. There's plastic covering the woofer, which is more solid than the usual fabric covering.
The Samsung Q990B has an impressive stereo frequency response. Its balanced mids and treble make it suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, as voice and lead instruments reproduce with clarity and detail. There's plenty of rumble in the bass, especially compared to last year's Samsung HW-Q950A. You feel the thump in the bass, especially with bass-heavy genres like hip-hop and EDM.
In addition to a 7-band graphic EQ, you have some EQ presets to help you customize its sound. When listening to music, audio sounds pleasant on 'Standard' mode. However, 'Adaptive Sound' makes audio seem more diffused, almost as if it's been forced through a filter. 'Adaptive' is more suitable for listening to movies, while 'Standard' is better for music and other stereo content.
If you prefer a more neutral sound, you can set the Samsung Q990B's bass to '-3' and its treble to '1'. Overall, the sound is more balanced, and you notice less boom in the bass range. Voices and lead instruments remain clear and present in the mix, too.
The Samsung Q990B has a good stereo soundstage performance. It has good focus, meaning that it's easy to pinpoint sound effects to pinpoint locations around you. For example, if you listen to an orchestral recording, each instrument seems to come from a particular spot on stage. On 'Standard' mode, the soundstage is about as wide as the bar itself, but unlike the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 or the Sonos Arc, it doesn't have any tricks to make it seem wider than that. The soundstage is a little wider on 'Adaptive Sound', but it seems more diffused, and audio is forced towards the back wall. In our view, 'Standard' is the better choice for stereo content overall, but your subjective impressions may vary.
The Samsung Q990B has an excellent dynamics performance. This bar gets really loud, so you have no trouble filling larger living rooms with sound. There's not a lot of compression at max volume, either, so audio reproduction remains clean even at louder volumes.
The Samsung Q990B has a good stereo THD performance. At a normal listening volume, distortion falls within good limits, so audio reproduction is clean and pure. While there's a jump in distortion at max volume, it's hard to hear. You aren't likely to notice it unless you're an audiophile.
The Samsung Q990B has an amazing center channel performance. It's an 11.1.4 setup, meaning that it comes with a discrete center channel to help improve vocal quality. Overall, dialogue is localized to more accurate locations in the soundstage. With its balanced frequency response, voices are clear and detailed in their reproduction.
The Samsung Q990B has a great surrounds performance. It comes with two discrete surround speakers, which offer a more clear and real representation of sound effects in the space around you. For example, if you watch a car chase scene, cars seem to race from one location to another. Audio stretches all around you, rather than sounding like it's just coming from a speaker placed in front of you.
The Samsung Q990B has up-firing drivers built into the bar and the satellites, which bounce sound off the ceiling and back down towards you to create the impression of height. With its balanced frequency response, sound effects reproduce with detail and accuracy.
Subjectively, the Samsung Q990B offers a similar Atmos performance to the Samsung HW-Q930B—making it one of the best bars for movies we've tested to date. On its 'Adaptive Sound' mode, details are especially crisp, and you hear dialogue with great clarity. The sub adds plenty of rumble in the bass, so you feel your chair shake with intense movie scores and action-packed scenes. The bar does a good job representing height, and sound stretches all around you. It performs well in 'Standard' mode, too, but the details aren't quite as impressive as with 'Adaptive Sound'.
The Samsung Q990B has a fantastic selection of sound enhancement features. You have a lot of tools on hand if you want to change up its sound, including bass and treble adjustments and a 7-band graphic EQ. There are many EQ presets, too, including 'Standard', 'Surround Sound', 'Game', and 'Adaptive Sound'. Like most premium offerings, there are features to optimize its audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics. The first is called SpaceFit Sound, and it adjusts the bar's sound. Auto EQ, meanwhile, controls the subwoofer's output.
Like many other manufacturers, Samsung offers a feature that lets you pair the bar with a compatible Samsung TV—it's called Q-Symphony. Essentially, it synchs the bar with your TV, so your TV speakers play along with the bar itself. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a real impact on the sound. Audio doesn't seem more immersive, and it isn't louder or more accurate. If you don't have a compatible TV, you aren't missing out on much.
The Samsung Q990B has lots of physical inputs. You can connect the bar to your TV over Optical or HDMI, and there's even an HDMI cable included in the box. You have an additional HDMI In port compared to the Samsung HW-Q930B, which is handy. The USB port under the bar is only for firmware updates.
The Samsung Q990B supports lots of audio formats via ARC. It plays back common surround sound formats like Dolby Digital as well as lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos. You can even press the 'i' button on the remote to confirm which format is playing. While there are some reports of Dolby Atmos issues when using the bar with LG OLED TVs, we didn't have any problems when pairing the bar with an LG C1 TV.
The Samsung Q990B supports many audio formats via HDMI In, too. If you watch a lot of content on streaming platforms, you're likely to come across formats like Dolby Digital as well as Dolby Atmos.
Via Optical, the Samsung Q990B can playback both common surround sound formats, Dolby Digital and DTS. Dolby Digital is commonly found on streaming platforms, and you're likely to come across DTS with most Blu-rays.
The Samsung Q990B has a great latency performance. It offers relatively low latency, so the audio you hear is in sync with the video you see. There aren't any lip-synching issues, either. If you have a compatible Samsung TV, you can also connect to the bar over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. There aren't any noticeable issues with lip-synching over these connections, either. While some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, the AV Sync feature is always available if you have issues.
The Samsung Q990B lets you wirelessly playback audio from your mobile devices over a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Apple AirPlay 2 connection. Samsung's Tap Sound feature is another way to play audio from your phone on the bar. It works through Bluetooth, so you tap your compatible phone against the bar to get it to play audio from your phone. It's handy, but if your phone isn't compatible, you can still just stream audio wirelessly via Bluetooth.
The Samsung Q990B can passthrough some of the highest-quality bandwidth signals, meaning you can connect the bar between your TV and your PC for clear and crisp text on screen. There's Dolby Vision Passthrough support, too, though you can't passthrough 4k @ 120Hz.
The sub needs to be plugged into a power outlet. It connects to the bar wirelessly.
The satellites only need to be connected to a power outlet, as they connect to the bar wirelessly.
The Samsung HW-Q990B has a small interface on the right side of the bar. It's a four-character display that shows the volume level and the input as you change these settings, and it scrolls for longer text. You can also press the 'i' button on the remote to see what format is playing.
The buttons on top of the bar can change the input, adjust the volume, and mute and unmute the microphone.
The Samsung Q990B's remote is simple and lets you access many different features, from the sound modes to the 7-band EQ.
With built-in Amazon Alexa, you can control the bar with your voice from your couch. If you want, you can also mute the microphone to turn this feature off.
We had issues during our testing connecting the bar to the Samsung SmartThings app. However, forcing a firmware update through the USB drive beneath the bar solved those issues. Overall, the app is an easy-to-use tool that acts as a remote. From your couch, you can control all of the bar's features, including the SpaceFit Sound room correction feature as well as the different EQ modes.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is available in 'Black'. 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 discussions, and we'll update our review.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is a premium bar suitable for everything from movies to music to TV shows. It'll please most types of listeners, although it doesn't give the same immersive soundstage as other premium offerings like the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module or the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers. It's bigger than the Samsung HW-Q930B, with a little more rumble in the bass and added features like additional side-firing drivers in the satellites. If its hefty price tag isn't to your liking, the Q930B is a solid alternative at a more affordable price.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is the next generation of the Samsung HW-Q950A, and it's a better bar overall. They're both 11.1.4 setups, but the Q990B packs more punch in the bass range right out of the box. It has an improved design, too, with metal grilles that feel more solid than the 950A's fabric sides. Its redesigned satellites add a lot to the sound, especially if you watch a lot of movies. It gives a more immersive listening experience overall.
The Samsung HW-Q990B and the Samsung HW-Q930B are the top-of-the-line offerings from Samsung's 2022 lineup—and you can't go wrong with either bar. The Q990B is the best of the bunch. It's an 11.1.4 setup with two more channels and a bigger design that brings a little more punch in the bass range. The Auto EQ allows you to adjust its subwoofer's reproduction based on your room's acoustics, which the Q930B lacks. The extra two channels don't make much difference in the sound. You can still get an awesome sound with the Q930B for less.
Whether you choose the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module or the Samsung HW-Q990B, you won't be disappointed. They're both really premium setups with versatile performances overall. The Bose is a touch better, thanks to its wider, more immersive soundstage. It doesn't come with as many sound enhancement features as the Samsung, but given its neutral sound out-of-the-box, you don't really need them. If you watch a lot of Blu-rays and want DTS support, check out the Samsung, which also has an HDMI In port. Otherwise, the Bose is the better bet.
The Samsung HW-Q990B and the LG S95QR are both very premium setups with versatile performances. However, the Samsung soundbar is better overall. Its default sound is more neutral, which less boominess in the bass and more detail in the treble. Its surround sound and Atmos performances are better, too, so sound effects in your movies are more clearly and accurately reproduced. You can customize the LG with its bass and treble adjustments, but the Samsung is more customizable with its graphic EQ.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers and the Samsung HW-Q990B are both premium soundbars with impressive performances, so you can't go wrong with either choice. The Sonos is a touch better, especially if you watch many movies. Its soundstage is wider, so you feel more immersed in your audio from all angles. With surround sound and Dolby Atmos content, details are more clear and more detailed in the space around you. While the Sonos doesn't bring as much bass right out of the box, you can easily use its bass and treble adjustments to get a similar response to the Samsung. The Samsung soundbar's still a great choice and comes with more customization tools.
The Samsung HW-Q990B and the JBL Bar 9.1 are both very premium Dolby Atmos setups—however, the Samsung is better overall. The Samsung has better performances with surround sound and Dolby Atmos content, so sound effects in your favorite movies reproduce more accurately. It has more sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ to customize its sound.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is better than the Sony HT-A7000 with Speakers + Bass Module. The Samsung has better surround sound and Dolby Atmos performances, meaning that sound effects are more clear and present in the mix. It gets louder with less compression at max volume, too. With its graphic EQ, it's more customizable, too. The Sony is still a very premium bar with a versatile performance.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is a bit better than the Samsung HW-Q950T. The Q990B is a newer bar with more features, including room correction to optimize the sound based on your room's unique acoustics. Its surround sound and Atmos performances are better, so sound effects reproduce more accurately in your favorite movies. The Q950T is still a really good bar, so you can't go wrong with either pick.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is a bit better than the Samsung HW-Q90R. The Q990B has more sound enhancement features, including a room correction mode to optimize its performance based on your room's acoustics. Its performance with surround sound and Dolby Atmos content is better, too, so sound effects reproduce more accurately. It supports Apple AirPlay 2, too, and there's built-in voice assistant support, unlike the Q90R. The Q90R is still a versatile bar, so you can't go wrong with either pick.
The Samsung HW-Q990B and the Sony HT-A9 with Bass Module are two very different setups. They're both very versatile Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the Sony soundbar's unique speaker design means that you can place them anywhere in your setup, resulting in a better soundstage. That said, the Samsung soundbar reproduces more low-bass. It gets louder, and there's less compression at max volume, too. With its discrete center channel, the Samsung soundbar's vocal reproduction is better, too. Both bars will please most listeners, but your personal preferences will decide which is best for you.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is better than the Samsung HW-Q900A. The Q990B has discrete satellites, so it has better surround sound and Atmos performances. It's better built, with more low-bass in the mix to help you feel the thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. The Q900A is a good alternative if you don't have space for rear speakers, though. Also, you can always add speakers separately if you want to improve its performance.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is better than the Klipsch Cinema 1200. The Samsung is a better-built setup, and its surround sound and Atmos performances are better. As a result, sound effects in your favorite movies reproduce more clearly. There are more sound enhancement features, too, thanks to its room correction feature, and unlike the Klipsch soundbar, it supports DTS content. The Klipsch is still a really good bar, but it's not quite as versatile as the Samsung.
The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar and the Samsung HW-Q990B are two very different soundbars. They're both premium setups with Dolby Atmos support, but the Sennheiser is a standalone bar, as opposed to the Samsung, which has a subwoofer and satellites. The Samsung's a more versatile pick, with more bass out-of-the-box and a better soundstage. It's better for surround sound and Dolby Atmos content, with more enhancement features on hand. If you don't have room for a sub and satellites, the AMBEO is a good alternative. Its large, heavy design isn't for everyone, though.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is better than the LG SP11RA. The Samsung has better surround sound and Atmos performances, so sound effects are more clear and real in the mix. Its default sound is a bit more neutral, without the extra boominess of the LG. With its graphic EQ, it's more customizable, too. That said, the LG's bass and treble adjustments still allow you to get a similar sound to the Samsung.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is better than the Samsung HW-Q800A. The Q990B comes with rear speakers, so it offers better surround sound. Its Atmos performance is better, too, making it a better choice for watching movies. There are also more customization tools on hand, including room correction. The Q800A is a good alternative if you don't have space for rear speakers or if you don't watch a lot of movies.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is better than the LG SP9YA. The Samsung comes with rear speakers, meaning its surround sound performance is more clear and real. Its Atmos performance is better, so sound effects reproduce more accurately in the mix. There's even a graphic EQ on hand, which makes it more customizable than the LG. However, if you don't have room for rear speakers in your room, the LG is still a versatile alternative.