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Samsung - Harmon Kardon 7.1.4-Channel Soundbar System with 8" Wireless Subwoofer and Dolby Atmos - Midnight Black-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars with 148 reviews

82%
would recommend to a friend

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Superb Sound

    Posted
    DaveW
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    I have had the Samsung N950 hooked up for a little over a week in my main media room and have put it through all of my daily media uses. Streaming Netflix/Hulu, playing Xbox, watching movies, and listening to some music. I pitted the 7.1.4 soundbar against my traditional 7.1 speaker setup that resides in my media room before ultimately transitioning it to my den TV. My 7.1 (non-Atmos) setup includes a Yamaha Aventage RX-A750 receiver, and a full Klipsch (2 floorstanding, center, 2 bookshelf in front presence, rear surrounds, and 10" woofer) speaker system. I wanted to put them head to head out of curiosity, but also because Samsung claims this to be a suitable stand in to a traditional speaker system. I will get into my thoughts on the soundbar system, and then finish up with what I found in the comparison. Design: The system is built like a tank. I had difficulty bringing the box in and up a flight of stairs on my own. The shipping info said it was 61lbs..I believe it. Taking the speakers out of the box is a pretty simple exercise - just a couple of pieces of foam and wrapping and all of the equipment is out. I like when items are well packed because if they put some thought into something disposable like packaging then they surely put a lot of thought into the product. The soundbar, speakers, and woofer all come in an attractive black finish. The soundbar is quite sturdy feeling, and pretty hefty - it has 13 speakers in it for crying out loud! The rear surrounds also have a nice build and weight to them - the weight makes them feel more premium. The woofer is a pretty standard black box that will be fine tucked away or out in the open - nothing really special here. The soundbar and speakers have very nice metal perforated grills that live up to the systems premium price. The WAF (wife acceptance factor) for this system is pretty high, the speakers and soundbar are elegant and fit nicely with the decor. The soundbar itself is pretty large. I have a 60" TV and it is only a few inches narrower (48.25"), so make sure you have enough space for this beast to reside (dims are 48.25 W x 5.25 D x 3.25 H). The power rating, per the manual is 18W x 10 + 10W x 3. The rear speakers are larger than your standard satellites, but still weigh about 5 lbs apiece (dims are 8.25 H x 5.5 D x 4.75 W). Power rating is 35W x 2 for each speaker. The rears have threaded inserts (1/4-20 I believe) for mounting to stands or for wall mounting. If wall mounting, be sure to get mounts that can handle 15+ lbs (mounts rated to just 10 lbs will likely sag). The subwoofer dims are 8.5 W x 15.5 D x 16.5 H, and its rated to 162W peak (so probably 75-85W RMS). The remote is nicely done. It feels good in the hand and has a dead simple layout. For the most part you will be concerned with the volume button, which is a nice rocker switch that has a good tactile feedback when moved. I like when remotes have a simple layout and don't try to do too much. There is a small display on the front of the soundbar that you navigate with the remote. I didn't care for the display due to its size, and the fact it only displays 3-4 characters across at a time (longer menu items scroll). To me this is the only part of the design that feels half thought out. I understand there are constraints due to the number of speakers contained within the bar, but I felt this could have be better laid out. I had trouble navigating the menus with any sort of speed due to this limitation. This setup screams for an on-screen display (OSD) on the TV. Keep the small screen for when you are playing music (i.e. TV is off), but utilize the HDMI passthrough to add a simple OSD. It would have made configuring things so much easier. Initial Setup The initial setup was a breeze. It took me longer to unpack the speakers and necessary cords than it did to set it up. I plugged the soundbar in to power, followed by the rears, and subwoofer. They all automatically connected/paired, which was impressive. The pairing time was only a few seconds (I had to unplug and move things a few times, and they always reconnected super fast). I hooked my Xbox into HDMI1, and another cable went out to my TV. All together it took about 10 minutes to hook up. The right-angle power cord plugs made it easy to plug in behind things, which sped up the process. Sound Setup (Calibration) The sound setup for this system is pretty basic. This is a plus and a minus. On the plus side it keeps things pretty easy for people to configure. On the downside it affects your ability to truly fine tune the system. You can adjust each speaker and subwoofer to +/- 6. Same goes for bass and treble. There are also 3 sound effect modes to choose from that output different channels (2.1, 5.1, 7.1, or 7.1.4) depending on the input. The manual has a nice chart explaining this. I have my XBox set to mix Dolby Atmos for all of its output (Look for the app in the Xbox store - its $15 I believe), so these modes were unavailable to me since it will always output 7.1.4. This is as far as you can adjust the system without downloading the Samsung Smartthings app. From within the app you can adjust the equalizer settings further than just bass and treble. To be honest I would have loved to have seen a microphone calibration setup like I have had with my receivers over the years. It is such an easy way to adjust each speaker for your intended listening position, but I can understand that it may be difficult to implement due to the nature of the soundbar. Sound Quality I felt the sound quality to be, hands down, the best I have ever heard from a soundbar setup. The soundstage was broad, each speaker channel could be identified, and the Atmos mixing really made things come alive. The system filled the room with sound, and made for an immersive listening experience. Watching TV shows on Netflix/Hulu was pretty good. Dialogue came through great, and was very crisp. Some shows are mixed better than others, which is somewhat noticeable at times when the sound becomes a little too sharp. I'm not sure if this is due to the processing being done by my Xbox or the speaker system. Either way it's not too bad, but something to keep in mind. Playing games with the system was excellent, and it really added to the immersion. I played Rise of the Tomb Raider (a game that supports Atmos), and it was awesome to hear the the sounds coming from above. I played a number of other games without native Atmos support (Halo 5, Battlefield One, and PUBG), and I felt they got a little extra bump in immersion with the 'upconverted' signal. Overall pretty great gaming experience. Music reproduction was pretty good. The mids and highs were really handled well, and vocals were super crisp. The lows, and bass were a little lacking for me, but it is tough to get really good lows without larger woofers. Where the system really shined was with Atmos mixed movies. I watched several movies: Thor: Ragnarok, Skyscraper, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The sound was fantastic for these movies! The battle at the end of Thor was made that much better with the extra Atmos channels. You could hear the T-Rex roaring above you in Jurassic World, and the helicopters flying overhead in Skyscraper. It was a pretty cool experience to say the least. My only gripe is I wish the subwoofer had a little more kick. I love bass, so this may be a personal preference coming through. At times I wish I could turn the sub up more, but I already had it maxed out. Keep in mind I still found that this subwoofer is still one of the better, if not best, I have heard from a soundbar setup. It never became muddy or overblown even at max levels, which is impressive. Comparisons I said I would wrap up with a comparison to my existing system. My current system definitely comes at a steeper price point - right around 3K, so the Samsung comes in quite a bit cheaper. The amount of setup time required for my original system is in the order of a few days. Running wiring inside walls, mounting speakers, terminating wires, etc. took so much time and effort. Am I glad I did it, yes. Would I do it again, yes - but I would loathe it. The Samsung system took 10 minutes - I can set this system up a hundred times, and still be faster. Sound quality was tough to evaluate. My media room has a vaulted ceiling and a large open area to one side This really affected the Samsung system. It still sounded great, but threw the listening positions out of whack (the ceiling-reflected sound landed up closer to the TV than it did me). My original system for sure sounded better in that room. That is why I moved the Samsung system to my den. It has a flat 8' ceiling with walls closer in on the sides. In a room like this the Samsung sounded, so much better than before. I would not recommend using this system with a vaulted ceiling unless you are able to get those listening positions just right. Overall sound quality - my original system was still better by a decent margin. It provided a richer sound across all EQ levels, a broader soundstage, and greater fine tuning. It didn't require reflecting sound, so the room config didn't hurt it. Was it a couple of grand better - no, and the effort it took to get to that point was tremendous. The Samsung system did trump my original setup with its ceiling-reflected sound, though. It was such a cool listening experience to hear things above your head like that. That is something my current system can't match. Wrap-Up So this brings me back to Samsung's claim that this soundbar system can be a good stand in for a discrete surround sound/receiver setup. To that claim I wholeheartedly agree. This is really a great system, and it is so much easier (and less expensive) to implement. I'm not sure I would have gone the full speaker setup route in the first place if this had been on the market. Take a listen and see for yourself.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Superb, Powerful, and Immersive Audio System

    Posted
    optimummind
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 10 ContributorTop 10 Contributor

    ==== Summary ==== The Samsung HW-N950 is a fantastic soundbar system that offers genuine 7.1.4-channel surround sound with clear and focused dialogue, crystal-clear sound, excellent dynamic range and soundstage, thundering bass, and excellent object-based audio (Dolby Atmos & DTS-X). All the hardware components are built with premium materials and the fit-and-finish is excellent. Besides the remote, the soundbar can also be controlled & updated via the intuitive SmartThings app. Samsung and Harmon Kardon have hit it out of the park with this premium and great-sounding audio system that enriches your multimedia experience at home. It is a sensational product. *Pros: -17 speakers deliver amazing surround sound - from the front, the sides, and from above. -Genuine 7.1.4 speaker configuration - no psychoacoustics or virtual audio processing trickery. -Dolby Atmos & DTS-X deliver an immersive and dimensional sound experience. No gimmicks. -Thunderous & hard-hitting bass. -4K Pass-Through. -Easy and simple setup (not even 5 minutes). -Can stream music through Bluetooth and Wifi. -The SmartThings app provides additional control over the soundbar. -Amazon Alexa integration & control. Samsung Bixby is supported as well. -Cheaper than building a comparable system using a 9-channel AV receiver with a 5.1.4 speaker package. *Neutral: -Expensive. *Cons: -None. ==== Design & Connectivity Options ===== The first thing I noticed during my unboxing was how BIG and heavy the box was. It was no wonder as each part of the system has quite a bit of weight. The main soundbar unit weighs ~20 lbs, the subwoofer weighs ~21 lbs, and the two rear speakers weigh ~9 lbs. Out of the box, the HW-N950 is a thing of beauty. It's modern, sleek, and clean in design. It is a bit minimalist but I appreciate that quality for its simplicity and ability to easily blend in. The thing feels solid and premium with metal components. It's built like a tank~! Keeping things clean, the soundbar has 4 buttons (Power, Source, Volume Down, Volume Up) and an LCD read-out display that is easy to view from afar. The Source button toggles between Optical Digital Input, ARC HDMI, HDMI, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Another thing that caught my attention was how much longer and thicker the soundbar was compared to my previous Polk MagniFi Max soundbar system. The soundbar is longer than my 55" TV~! It is understandable, however, when you look closely at the specs. Altogether, Samsung has managed to fit in 11 amplified speakers around a total of 17 drivers. After adding in the rear speakers and the subwoofer, there is a total of 512W of audio power goodness. Besides looking good, the HW-N950 is very easy to setup and control as well. As instructed in the manual, I plugged in the subwoofer first, followed by the Left and Right surround speakers and then main soundbar unit. I used the ARC HDMI port to connect to my 55" 4K Samsung TV and used one of the HDMI ports to connect to my LG 4K UHD Blu-Ray player. All the speaker components synced right up and the system was ready to play under 5 minutes. The remote controller is another item of minimalist and clean design. Besides fitting inside the hands comfortably and being pretty light, all the buttons and the general layout was intuitive in use and function. With the remote, one can control additional aspects of the sound system - Subwoofer volume level, Mute, Bluetooth pairing, Sound Mode (Standard, Surround, & Smart), track control when playing music via Bluetooth or Wifi (Play, Pause, Skip), and volume control over each of the speakers (Center, Side, Front Top, Rear, and Rear Top). In addition, Treble and Bass levels can be adjusted. If you connect the N950 to your home Wifi and launch the SmartThings app like I did, then even more configuration options are opened up. For instance, one can open the Equalizer setting and create your own custom EQ setting or select from one of the three predefined ones (Pop, Jazz, and Classic). You can also use the Sleep Timer function to automatically turn off the soundbar after a set amount of time (max of 1 hr & 30 mins). If you want to create custom voice commands to control the power state of the N950 or its volume level, you can do so via the Samsung Bixby app with a compatible Samsung phone (I have a Galaxy S9+). Amazon Alexa is onboard as well for those with an Amazon Echo device. Finally, manual firmware updates can be handled inside the SmartThings app which is very convenient. All in all, Samsung has done a tremendously good job crafting the HW-N950. It's a great-looking system with a clean design, premium build materials, and it's packed full of the latest and greatest audio components and technologies. ==== Performance ==== "Wow~!" and "Dang~!" were the first words that came out of my mouth when I watched Avengers Infinity War, a title that supports Dolby Atmos, after everything was set up. The sound quality and immersion blew me away because it was just soooo good. This is my first experience with an object-based audio technology such as Dolby Atmos and I came out of it truly impressed and awed. It really does feel like you're watching the movie inside a theater. Sound separation is excellent, soundstage is wide and accurate, dialogue is clear and focused, the bass is thunderous and yet clean, and all the environmental sound effects shift around the room seamlessly with good balance. Experiencing such high-quality and immersive audio firsthand was a definite eye-popping and ear-opening experience. Samsung has created a truly magnificent 7.1.4 audio system and I can't say enough good things about it. My wife isn't easily impressed in general when it comes to audio but she gave the N950 a complete thumbs-up. Even when watching regular content such as TV or 2-channel and 5.1/7.1 content, the N950 delivers a great auditory experience. Ditto for music and music videos. Everything just sounds fantastic on this system. ==== Verdict ==== The Samsung HW-N950 receives a 10 out 10 from me and it is a complete win from Samsung. They have created a visually appealing soundbar system that is packed with the latest & greatest audio technologies and outfitted it with premium build materials. The setup process is painless and fast, the remote control functionalities are thoughtful and intuitive in design and usage, and the additional control of the system via the SmartThings app is well-integrated and helpful. And that audio experience...what a fantastic experience it is being immersed and bathed in 7.1.4 audio bliss sound field. If the N950 fits within your budget and/or you don't want to bother with setting up a complicated receiver + multi-speaker setup with numerous wiring, do definitely add the N950 to your home and experience TV and movies in new & fresh ways. You won't be disappointed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Be Surrounded. Feel the Action. Hear the Voices

    Posted
    MarkusKong
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    Samsung 7.1.4 Channel Soundbar System with 8" Wireless Subwoofer and Dolby Atmos (HW-N950/ZA) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***** The Review ***** The Samsung HW-N950 boasts a 7.1.4 channel configuration and it supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X; all which is also tuned by Harman Kardon. The N950 utilizes authentic 7.1.4 channel speaker layout. Don’t forget that the N950 also includes a wireless subwoofer and two speakers to provide and deliver a true“immersive” experience during your favorite shows, movies, or music. Samsung has done an excellent job with the build quality and design of the N950. The design of the soundbar is metal mesh-like and it surrounds the front, top, and sides while there’s brushed metal at the edge and rear of the soundbar. With the included wireless subwoofer and two speakers, it rocks the same excellent design that Samsung chose. Simply put, the N950 by Samsung is beautiful. Something to note, the soundbar is quite large; you’re looking at about 48 inches wide (perfect for a 55” TV and above). Do make sure that you have ample space prior to installation, about 3.3” beneath the screen and at least 5.5” in front of the TV. Keep in mind, the soundbar is quite heavy weighing in at around 20 lbs; you are provided a wall mounting bracket so make sure you know what you’re doing prior to wall mounting. Did I mention that the N950 by Samsung sports a minimalistic design? It’s not flashy by any means as there’s only an ordinary LED display that is located to the right of the soundbar. What type of connections does the Samsung HW-N950 have? Well, underneath the soundbar you’ll find two HDMI inputs, HDMI output with ARC and an optical digital input. The N950 also has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. Along with that, you also have a USB port just in case any of you want to plug one in to play music, videos, or display images. With setting up the Samsung HW-N950, it was super simple. All you have to do is set the soundbar below your TV, position the subwoofer so that it’s facing towards the front of the room, and the 2 speakers at the rear. Keep in mind, the N950 was created so that the soundbar projects sound upwards towards the ceiling while the side speakers increase the width of the sound. I would highly recommend that you put some time into strategically planning the arrangement of your setup as this will give you the best “immersive” experience. I went ahead and plugged in the Samsung N950 with my LG C8 OLED TV. Fired up a movie and tested the sound quality of the N950. The sound quality of the N950 is extremely satisfying and superb. Vocals were not only clear but they also projected beautifully. I was truly impressed and immersed in the “surround sound” setting. The rear 2 speakers that I set up complemented sound effects and dialogue perfectly. With the N950, you will not have any problem filling sound to a large living room. Let's put it this way, if you have neighbors that are extremely picky with “noise”, be careful with the N950 as the N950 will even rattle your furniture. For me personally, where the N950 shines the most is with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The sound that the N950 produced with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X blew me away. The sound was dense and it filled the room with a “3-D” like experience. You literally felt like you were “in” the movie. Where I was left amazed with the N950 is where even with everything going on during the movie(s) that I played, dialogue always remained clear. I don’t know how many times with other soundbars that I’ve had, action was always loud yet I couldn’t hear dialogue clearly; the N950 does not have this problem. My conclusion is this… What are you waiting for? I can safely say that the Samsung N950 can compete against an AV receiver combo. I can also safely state that the Samsung N950 is one of the best soundbars that I have ever experienced and/or owned. If you’re currently shopping for an AV receiver combo, I HIGHLY suggest that you check out the Samsung N950 prior to making that purchase. If you’re looking for an immersive experience, clear dialogue, 3-D like experience, and a beautiful setup; the Samsung HW-N950 is the way to go. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***** Quick Features on the Product ***** Works with Amazon Alexa Dolby Atmos Wireless subwoofer Dolby Digital decoder Bluetooth music streaming High Resolution Audio Inputs Include: 2 HDMI, 1 Optical Digital Audio HDMI Output Feel like you are in the theater without leaving home. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technologies, plus 17 speakers - including upward and side-firing speakers - move sound naturally around and above you. Integrates seamlessly with Samsung televisions By combining Samsung's innovative mastery in home entertainment solutions with 60 years of Harmon Kardon's audio technical expertise, the two brands continue to push boundaries to bring state-of-the-art sound to the home entertainment experience Sound surrounds you from 17 speakers, including four that fire upward and two that fire from the side With upward firing drivers, the rear speakers deliver the ultimate home cinema surround sound Ask Alexa to play something by simply saying the title or a few lines of the song’s lyrics. No matter what kind of music you’re in the mood for, Alexa will find it (An Amazon Echo Device is required to use this feature. This service is provided by Amazon and can be terminated at any time) Connect to the SmartThings Hub and use the SmartThings app on your smartphone as a remote to control for your soundbar and all of the smart devices in your home With 4K Pass-through, a simple HDMI connection delivers the best in audio and picture quality. Connect any 4K video source like a game console, through the Samsung Panoramic Soundbar to your TV for rich sound and 4K picture quality Upscale any of your music files up to 32bit UHQ Audio for richer, more dynamic sound --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***** What's in the box ***** HW-N950/ZA Soundbar, Subwoofer, x2 Rear Firing Speakers Remote Controller Batteries Operation Manual Mount

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Near Perfect 7.1.4 Soundbar System

    Posted
    CB675
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I am replacing a Vizio S4251 B4 Soundbar (5.1 SS) connected to my LG 65 OLED B7. I have the AppleTV 4K connected to HDMI 1 (not ARC) of my TV. PS4 Pro is connected directly to the Samsung HW-N950. Setup (9/10): I connected the Samsung sub first to power , then the rears and last the Soundbar and everything paired seamlessly. My rears are on Atlantic stands I bought for Vizio rears and reused the adhesives to mount. Due to the power cord being extremely short and both ends are too big to pass through either end of the rear stands, I had to run the cord song the back of the rear stand and use velcro ties to make it look clean. I have my LG OLED B7 connected via the HDMI ARC and it recognized it immediately. My harmony elite remote also noticed my TV was outputting sound via ARC and volume automatically adjusted the Soundbar using TV control. I did not perform an update on firmware due to numerous customer concerns on Samsung and AVS Forum. Samsung is known to not provide release notes on the firmware and the firmware update can cause new issues if you were not having problems from stock firmware. In other words, if you are experiencing zero issues upon setup, update the firmware at your own risk. Note: If you connect the soundbar via the Samsung smarthings app or built in WiFi, the soundbar will update the firmware automatically. The app does allow you to turn off auto updates but I am unaware if you are able to turn it off before the update begins. Built-In LG Apps Test: Played Atmos Demo from LG TV App and it sounds great. I have 10 foot ceilings in my apartment and I could definitely tell effects above. I would rate it a 7/10 as far as Atmos effects from demo. I did not feel as if it was always directly overhead but in the general area of my head. The entire soundstage was beautifully engulfing around me. So for overall sound stage including Atmos I would give it a 9/10 for initial setup. The sub has not been over powering at all on default setting. I have it on an isolation pad and have only turned volume up to 22 since it was late evening and I’m on third floor of apartment. I did not modify the default sound settings initially and was underwhelmed by the Atmos effects. I then tried +3 and +6 for both the front and rear up firing speakers and I noticed a more pronounced above presence but the difference between +3 and +6 at the time did not feel like it made a noticeable difference. Note: Dolby recommends placement of rear speakers 3-5 feet from center axis and Samsung recommends 135-150 degree separation from center. I played with placement some and it improved above effects slightly. Apple TV 4K Test: ATV4K connected to HDMI 1 of the LG and ARC to Soundbar and the Soundbar does scroll Dolby Atmos during shows (I watched Iron Fist S2). iTunes movies I already purchased and were upgraded to Dolby Atmos played and the soundbar scrolled Dolby Atmos notification recognizing the content. PS4 Pro Test: Using HDMI to connect your Blu Ray device or gaming console directly to the soundbar allows uncompressed audio to output from the soundbar. I played various Blu Ray movies (non 4K or Atmos due to Sony's questionable reasoning to not include the updated hardware in the Pro) and the sound was beautiful. Games sounded great also. I left the PS4 audio output to Linear PCM due to forums stating audio will be uncompressed which means the content you are playing will dictate whether full surround will kick in or only a few channels. I also tested Amazon Video on LG app and it shows Dolby Vision and UHD symbol and when playing Jack Ryan Dolby Atmos displayed on the Soundbar also. The Apple 4K TV amazon video app did not show Dolby vision but does say UHD but it did not pass Dolby Atmos to Soundbar so maybe that’s another update amazon needs to pass to Apple TV. Price (7/10): I understand this is suppose to be a flagship soundbar so as a company they decide how much the product is worth and the profits wanted from the sale. Unfortunately I do not agree with the MSRP 1699.99 price tag. My expectation for a soundbar of this price would be minimum of 3 HDMI inputs (4 should be standard), better support for firmware and resolutions to issues, and calibration tools of some kind (here's looking at you Bose).Since Samsung has discounts through Unidays or your employer negotiated discount, I would suggest taking advantage of that which can save you a few hundred dollars and brings the price down to a more consumer friendly price point. Overall (8/10): HW-N950 is leaps and bounds better than my Vizio 5.1 I previously had connected for past 5 years. I love being able to increase the volume by +1 increments compared to Vizio where you were only given "dot" increments which could be anywhere from +5 to +8 between each increase. The rears only come in when the video you are playing calls for it but I don’t notice it being quiet during Dolby Atmos movies/shows. During normal TV and YouTube TV streaming the rears will be silent depending on the show. The Atmos effects are there but I wouldn’t say jaw dropping from above just noticeable. I still need to get a dedicated 4K Blu Ray player to test lossless Atmos and see if it makes a difference.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic Soundbar in every respect

    Posted
    SouthwestJoe

    We purchased this flagship Samsung soundbar along with a 75" Samsung TV. I've had a number of previous soundbars, including a recent LG SK9Y. Simply put, this soundbar excels in every respect compared to every other unit I've owned. First, build quality is outstanding. All metal construction, with large enclosures for both the subwoofer and rear speakers. Connections are all wireless, and our setup went flawlessly, lliterally plug-n-play. Rear speakers on this soundbar including 2 separate drivers: rear surround, and rear-top speakers. Integration with our Samsung TV went perfectly as well. The soundbar talks to the Samsung via HDMI-ARC. It's smart enough to switch between ARC channels (when using the TV native apps) and HDMI inputs on the soundbar (when using DirecTV mini-Genie or our 4K Apple TV), all automatically. I didn't have to teach the family a bunch of tricky remote operations, they just select the source and go, the soundbar switching perfectly. The HDMI pass-through works great for 4K/HDR10. Volume control was perfect, and the volume changes quickly. The volume level is shown on the TV, and reflected on the soundbar display. The soundbar display is big and easily read across the room, and TURNS OFF after a few seconds, thank you! (The LG soundbar drove us nuts, the display sitting there saying "optical" or "arc" constantly and never turning off). Sound from this unit is absolutely fantastic, the best of any soundbar I've ever heard. 3D imaging was very apparent with titles such as Netflix 4K-streaming "Lost in Space". You could close your eyes, and just point to various sound sources in full 3D glory from our viewing position. Level adjustments are easy enough with the included remote, and include the ability to set all the Atmos levels including front, center, side, rear, sub, and front-top and rear-top levels. Bass was crisp and clear. There's a full 10-band equalizer available in the "advanced" settings within the app, if you so desire. The "auto" mode for surround processing has worked fantastic. For normal TV/News, the sound field is front and center, coming from the TV itself. Switch to a 5.1 source, and the sound field expands and fills the room. We've not yet tried Dolby Atmos (I think, see below), as I'm waiting for the 4K Apple TV to support this. Honestly, "Lost in Space" via the native Netflix app on our 2018 Samsung 75" TV sounds like its streaming Atmos, but the info in the app says its only 5.1 . It sure sounds way better than other 5.1 material I've heard, so perhaps Atmos is working with the Samsung native apps after all. I'll know for sure once Apple TV opens up Atmos in TVoS 12. Regardless, the 3D sound fields we have experienced with this are just wonderful. Not overpowering, but very movie-like. We've been startled more than once with side- or rear-effects in various movies and streams. All-in-all, I'm just thrilled with this soundbar. Full 3D sound fields and great sound, wonderful construction, seemless integration with our Samsung TV, it all just works. My only (minor) suggestion would be a better iphone app to allow finer control of various elements of the settings (like level control, which a present can only be set via the remote). Also, mic-based setup would be nice at this price point for auto-levels and auto-equalization. None-the-less, our results out of the box are stellar. Highly recommended.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Samsung

      SouthwestJoe,

      Thank you for purchasing the Samsung HW-N950. I am very sorry to see that you have run into issues after the last firmware update (ver. 1003.0, released Sep. 3). Please know that we are attempting to duplicate your issues in our lab and will post an update shortly.

      We greatly value your feedback. Should you need assistance in the meantime, please feel free to reach out to us at any of the following options:
      1) Toll-free calling: 1-800-SAMSUNG
      2) LiveChat or Email: https://www.samsung.com/us/support/#contact_us_for_support
      3) Facebook Messenger: http://m.me/samsungsupport
      4) Twitter: https://twitter.com/messages/compose?recipient_id=18768513

      Samsung is committed to providing the best possible product experience, quality, and value, and we are always here to help with any of your questions or concerns.

      ~ Samsung Solutions Samsung

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Next Generation of Soundbar

    Posted
    JakeNH
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    This is my first time owning a soundbar system, and I am glad that my first experience was with the N950. I have another traditional home theater setup (reciever, towers, center and rears) in my larger family room so my expectations with this soundbar at this price point were high. Getting the entire system out of the box was definitely easy to accomplish, and with no serious wiring to connect, except for the power, it wasn't long after that I was up and running. The build quality is something to behold, sleek metal components with a solid look and feel to them; very impressive. I set the N950 up in a smaller family room that has a 50" Toshiba Fire TV and XBOX One. The TV rests on a large TV stand and once I had placed the soundbar in front of the TV I noticed that the bar is slightly taller than the bottom edge of the TV; so there is some minor over lap. We primarily stream various services and play games in here so the soundbar was the logical choice to get installed and have immersive sound for our gaming and streaming experiences. Once I had the rears and sub connected to the soundbar I connected the XBOX to HDMI 1 and the TV via the ARC HDMI input. At this point I expected to turn on the TV and be surrounded by Dolby Atmos sounds, but to my disappointment I did not have that instant plug and play experience. Not one to be easily frustrated I immediately dove into the TV settings figuring I need to configure it to play sound to an exterior system (which I have done with other TVs). The Toshiba Fire TV seems to have a non-traditional setup interface than I am used to, so I did not resolve my issue at first. After some research I discovered I needed to enable the HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) function which essentially allows the TV to control other devices connected to it. As soon as this was enabled the N950 came to life! My last complication I ran into was finding Dolby Atmos content on Netflix, which I know there are titles available. After some more research I found out Netflix only allows/offers Dolby Atmos titles over certain media (please note you must also have Ultra HD streaming subscription) - the list is below for reference: The following devices support Dolby Atmos with Netflix: - Apple TV 4K (requires tvOS 12 or later) - LG OLED TVs (2017 or newer models) - Pixela 4K Smart Tuner - Sony BRAVIA Android TVs (2018 models) - Windows 10 app (requires Windows 10 RS3 Build 16299 or later) - Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X So in order to get Dolby Atmos running on Netflix I had to use the XBOX One... No big deal! I switched over to HDMI 1 and went into the options to configure the output for Dolby Atmos. I had to download the Dolby Access app to complete the setup (there is an option to buy but it s for headphones to use Atmos, the sound system is free) and clicked a few options and it was done. The app then gives options for some Atmos demo's which were really, really cool. At this point I was amazed by the sound quality and the depth and angles I was hearing sound come from. I then went into Netflix and watched a newer horror release with Atmos that was (scary) excellent! Lastly, I connected my phone with bluetooth to hear some music. It was extremely easy; I didn't have to get out of my chair since the BT button is on the remote (great move engineers). Music is clear and rich with deep bass. I cranked it pretty loud to where I thought I might be filling the neighborhood with my playlists. I was really blown away with the quality. Overall, I think the sound quality, design, wireless performance and Dolby Atmos fit the price point for the N950. For reference, I have 2 Definitive Technology tower speakers with the option to add a speaker to each to enable Atmos. Each additional speaker retails around $400 while the towers are about $650 a piece; so with the N950 you get a full wireless package for a great price . I am super pleased with the system as a whole and only had minor frustration with initial setup that was easily researched and resolved. Highly recommend!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Pleasant Sound Quality

    Posted
    sgriesch
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    This soundbar is my first upgrade to the home theater I have in my master bedroom. The bedroom is about 20’x20’, so it’s a larger bedroom, but not necessarily a big room. I am using it currently with an older 52” TV and a HD player. The audio system came with one soundbar, one subwoofer, two rear wireless speakers, a hdmi cord, remote, and an owner’s manual. The box is pretty large (weighs roughly 60 pounds) and may not fit in some smaller cars. The setup was really easy. I expected the wireless connection to be more difficult, but it worked surprisingly well. Plug in the speakers in the order the manual specifies, and they connect. There are 2 HDMI inputs and 1 output. There is also an optical input. Each speaker has its own power cord, and the soundbar acts as the receiver as well as front speakers. The N950 has some extra options that give it more functionality. I was able to connect my phone through Bluetooth and play music. Also, the soundbar can connect to wi-fi and act as a wireless speaker. I was able to get Spotify to connect through “Devices Available” and play music through the system. The soundbar can also use the wireless connection to communicate directly with certain newer Samsung TVs. The wireless connection requires the use of the SmartThings app which was a little clunky to get to work with the N950. My TV is older and could not connect wirelessly this way. Also, I didn’t have a way to test the Dolby Atmos feature which is one of the better features. As I mentioned, this is the first part of upgrading the home theater system. After trying both a movie and music these were some of the pros and cons that I found: Pros The overall sound quality was really good even at low volumes. It was pleasant to listen to. The ability to use both Bluetooth and Wireless connectivity. It came with an HDMI cord (always a bonus). The optical input allows you to bring audio from the TV to the soundbar. This is useful if you just want to use the TV audio sometimes. Also, it can allow more items to be connected by going through the TV first. Cons It’s one of the higher price points for a soundbar package. It’s not a super high end audio system. The sub is good, but I like a little more lower-end bass. It’s not a true 7.1 surround sound. I feel like there’s a little missing by not having speakers between front and rear. There are only 2 HDMI inputs. Something as this level should have more capability to connect things. SmartThings app was clunky to get to connect. The owner’s manual is an abbreviated version in the box. You must go and download the full version from Samsung. I needed that extra information to get it to work on the wireless setting. Samsung should have sprung for the extra 14 pages of manual. Overall, the N950 Soundbar is a good set-up. The audio is clear, it’s easy to set up, and has a wide variety of functionality. I’d prefer to see more input/output connections, but it really depends on what you plan to hook up to it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Amazing Sound & Dolby Atmos - But Some Issues

    Posted
    RDizzle
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    If you are looking for one of the best Dolby Atmos sound experiences, this sound bar will not disappoint. It's a great system where you don't need separate receives and speakers. A lot of the new Netflix releases now come with Atmos, as well as Blurays. You'll need a Dolby Atmos compatible device (XBOX One X, Apple TV, etc) connected to one of the HDMI ports and the sound bar connected to your TV via HDMI ARC. (Dolby Atmost does not go through the Optical Cable connection.) You get very immersive '3D sound'. You'll hear sound effects from literally all around you including up above which makes for a very cool and immersive experience. So this is a great sound bar for someone looking for Dolby Atmos and wants to keep up with the latest sound technologies. So why the 3 rating? Well, for a sound system costing nearly $2000 with tax, you would expect it to be feature rich with few issues. Unfortunately this sound bar does not deliver in that regard. Sound bar lacks many very basic and common features that take away from the experience. For example, there is no current way at the time of this review to disable automatic shutdown. Power savings makes the sound bar shut off within 5 minutes of no sound activity. So if you have a movie paused for a bathroom break, expect it to turn off and come back to basic TV speaker sound. Another frustration is how the options are 'too simplistic'. With only 3 basic sound modes, and no option to enable a night mode or modify the dynamic range. Another reason to bring down the rating is due to some very annoying crackling I've noticed from the rear speakers. This occurred during Dolby Atmos content (Daredevil on Netflix) during loud explosion scenes. Crackling from the rear speakers too away from the experience. I wasn't sure if it was an issue with the wireless sync between the speakers and the soundbar, the loud Dolby Atmos effect, or a defect in the hardware. But it happens so rarely I decided to ignore it. Lastly, another major frustration is it comes with an optical port and an HDMI ARC port, but it won't be able to switch between the two. For example, I have the sound bar connected to my TV with HDMI ARC and a turntable connected via Optical Cable. Hitting the input button on the sound bar will switch between HDMI ARC, HDMI1, HDMI2, Bluetooth, and Wifi. No Optical option is available if the HDMI ARC is detected. Disconnecting the HDMI ARC will open that input option for Optical. So I have to choose between the two. The only workaround for this is making sure my TV is turned off so it is not detecting an HDMI ARC signal, and then the Optical option for the turntable will be available. But kinda crappy that I have to resort to this to use a $2000 sound system with an optical source. Even with the minor issues and the large investment, I still don't regret my purchase and love this sound bar.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Samsung

      RDizzle:

      I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues with this model despite the fantastic Dolby Atmos sound quality.

      Please give us the opportunity to troubleshoot and resolve the crackling noise you are experiencing, by contacting us via any of these options:
      1) Phone: 1-800-SAMSUNG
      2) LiveChat or Email: https://www.samsung.com/us/support/#contact_us_for_support
      3) Facebook Messenger:  http://m.me/samsungsupport
      4) Twitter:  https://twitter.com/messages/compose?recipient_id=18768513

      Samsung is committed to providing the best possible product experience, quality, and value, and we are always here to help with any of your questions or concerns.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

      - Samsung Solutions Samsung

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Perfect sound with multiple connectivity options

    Posted
    Nate34
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

    Ive had a few soundbar with subwoofer systems in the past, but this is next level. In the box you get the main soundbar, the subwoofer, left and right surround speakers, remote control with batteries, 3 power cords, HDMI cable, and various install hardware. Setup of course depends on your system, in my case connecting to a 55” Samsung 4K TV via HDMI. First connect power to all components, figure out and layout the soundbar and your speakers where you want them, thankfully the speakers all automatically connect to the soundbar so there is no pairing required. There is a manual sync if it fails for some reason. Next is connecting to your TV via HDMI. This is the easiest way to get it all set up in my opinion. But you can also connect via optical audio cable or wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. So its awesome to have so many connection options since not everyone has the same set up. Then you just connect your devices. For me this is my Direct TV receiver and gaming console with Bluray player built in. Again easily done via HDMI. There is also a Smart things app you can use to assist in connecting as well. I did not need this, but again its nice that its yet another option available in assisting with connectivity. Another cool option is to connect the system to an Alexa enabled device. You can then use it to voice control the soundbar system. Yet another one of the many options to control and use your system. The components themselves are very solid,well built, and fit in well with my other components in my entertainment center. The soundbar has a very well layed out and simplistic button set up. Just a few buttons to control it all. The remote is a lot like the one I already have for my TV so it isnt at all hard to get used to. Its button layout is very much like my Samsung TV's main remote. And controlling, changing settings, etc. are very easy and not overwhelming at all. I really prefer the simplicity over other more complicated setups. And of course the sound. The system fires from 17 different speakers from all different angles that literally “surrounds” you. Amazing directional sound that works great for gaming as well. Locating is very important in gaming and this isnt sacrificed at all with this soundbar system. The whole system sound is sublime. Amazingly clear vocals, perfect mids and highs, and solid booming sound from the subwoofer. Movies, music, and video games sound great, with perfect directional sound, crisp voices, and accurate sound location that you can feel. It is truly amazing how far Samsung has taken soundbar systems. You no longer have to worry about where to install a lot of speakers all over a room to get perfect surround. Just 4 components here gives you perfect surround sound. Overall this is the best surround system I have ever had. And that includes all soundbars, as well as traditional surround systems. With easy set up, minimal components to worry about, a ton of connectivity options, and superb sound this is the surround system to get in my opinion. If you want top notch sound, without having to worry about multiple speaker locating, wire running, etc. you cannot go wrong here. Cant recommend it any higher!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Immersive Audio...at a Price

    Posted
    IndyTim
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I am into home theater. I listen to home theater-related podcasts and browse the related internet forums. I read and watch reviews related to the hobby. I don't really have a home theater, per se. I simply turned a spared bedroom into my man cave. That said, I wanted a good sound system to pair with my LG B7 OLED, which brings a great 4K HDR experience to the home. Previously, I had a Vizio 5.1 sound bar. It did a good job, but the rear speakers rarely seemed to come alive. I often wondered if my system was set up correctly. I had been looking at Atmos systems for a while, but they were all expensive. The Samsung HW-N950 falls into that category, as well. Even with the sale price knocking a couple hundred bucks off of it, and having a coupon, it was over a grand. My Vizio was a fourth of what I paid for the Samsung. The Samsung is a larger unit, for sure. From the sound bar itself, which is over 48" long, to the subwoofer and the surrounds, every speaker is larger than my Vizio. I also like the design of the Samsung, although, the Vizio was nice, too. So, it really came down to performance. The Samsung performs well. Quite well. The immersive audio experience trumps 5.1. Hands down! While I don't often hear sounds above me, the audio is immersive in that it fills the room and there is some height to it. The audio just blends together well. My room is something like 11'x13' with 8' ceilings. It is a joy to watch films at home with this sound bar. Professional reviews sold me on this sound bar, to be honest. The well-known sites had praised it, with one reviewer exclaiming he was selling his receiver and separates to get the Samsung for its high quality and simplicity in set up and use. Some may say that is extreme, and it really depends on your needs. Would I put this into a dedicated home theater? Probably not. But then, I don't have one and probably never will either. So, this works for me. And I don't need to spend hours running cables and futzing with ceiling speakers and the whole bit. So, I would recommend the sound bar. As of this writing, it is the only 7.1.4 Atmos sound bar out there. It is in a class all its own. And if you were to buy separates and a receiver, you'd be out a good chunk of change. Heck, even a receiver can be $300-$500 on the low end. You could spend on a receiver, or a sub, or a single speaker more than the cost of the Samsung. So, when you look at it that way, the price isn't so bad. That is how I looked at it. I figured I was going to spend more money to buy everything I would need to replicate this with separates, and I would need to run wires all over the room and argue with the spouse over aesthetics and getting speakers on the ceiling. So, this was a great option for me, and the spouse even approved.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Great sound....if it works

    Posted
    Alrobmoe
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I had the previous model (HK950) and it worked great for about 8 months. The Dolby Atmos sound was amazing, especially with the rear speakers that created the fully immersive Atmos effect. Unfortunately after 8 months, the soundbar stopped picking up my TV (2017 LG OLED B7) through the ARC connection and kept showing the message D.IN instead of ARC. I spent hours on the phone with Samsung Support and sent the soundbar back to Samsung on three separate occasions over a 3-month period before Samsung determined they couldn't fix it and offered me a full refund, which I appreciate. With a full refund in hand, I set out to get a new Atmos soundbar and went with the N-950 because of the rear speaker setup, figuring Samsung would have fixed the bugs with the previous model. I brought it home and set it up, and everything was great. The soundbar even allowed Atmos over ARC for the TV Apps, which the previous model did not allow. I put in a DVD directly connected to the HDMI port of the soundbar to test the Atmos sound and it was amazing. But then as I tried to switch back to the ARC input, I got the dreaded D.IN instead of ARC again. In addition, I could not connect the soundbar to the internet through the Smartthings App. The setup would stop every time at 39%. I looked online and apparently these were common issues other users are having with the N950, just like with the HK950. I couldn't bear the thought of sitting on the phone for hours again with Samsung Support for the same ARC issue, so I took the soundbar straight back to Best Buy that evening. Didn't even last one day. Come on Samsung, this is unacceptable. I own several Samsung products, and your brand has definitely been downgraded in my book. Especially for AV equipment. So warning, like the previous model, this soundbar is full of issues. If you can get it to work, you will get amazing sound, probably the best from any soundbar. Side note, it occurred to me that the issue might be the ARC connection from my TV, but I subsequently purchased the LG SK9Y, and have not had any issues with the ARC connection. Maybe it's a matching brand thing.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Samsung

      Alrobmoe:

      I am sorry to see that you were not able to get the HW-N950 Soundbar to connect correctly and have returned it.

      Should you ever decide to give Samsung monitors another try and have any concerns, please know we are always here to help. You can contact Samsung Customer Support via:

      1) Phone: 1-800-SAMSUNG (ask for Soundbars)
      Available 8AM - 12AM EST (Mon-Fri) / 9AM - 11PM EST (Sat-Sun)
      2) LiveChat or Email:  https://www.samsung.com/us/support/#contact_us_for_support
      3) Facebook Messenger:  https://www.facebook.com/samsungsupport
      4) Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SamsungSupport

      We greatly value your review and will share your user experience with our product team.

      - Samsung Solutions Samsung

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Incredible, beautiful sound system!

    Posted
    SgtRock
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    The Samsung HWN950 is simply a stunning system. It comes in a big, heav