Samsung HW-N950 review

Samsung HW-N950 soundbar is big, bold, and beautiful and it is exactly how a Dolby Atmos soundbar needs to be like although at $1500 the price tag will be tested. The Dolby Atmos soundbar had blended with the unicorn frappuccinos and fidget spinners in 2017 as affordable 4K sound projectors. However, they have picked up sales this year attracting more brands and lower prices. Thus far they have not been mainly substantial in delivering surround sound experience but, this Samsung soundbar although not perfect stands out as one of the better adverts for the company. They are recommended as one of the top products in the Atmos soundbars along with Sony HT-ST5000.

Anyone who is buying an Atmos product is looking to get that surround sound with an overhead and enveloping effect. Even though it is practically impossible to achieve it in reality especially the effects of ceiling speakers are difficult to replicate, this solution comes pretty close. The presence of home cinema and hi-fi brands show great determination to make this product come close to the full Atmos products in terms of sound experience.

HT-N950 Overview

Set-up

It is unusually easy to set up the Samsung HW-n950 for a multi-box system. This is thanks mainly to its seamless automatic connection amid the subwoofer, the soundbar, and rear modules. When you power these on all items, they pair up within seconds. Every one of the four components needs a socket for plugging in but as the whole system is wireless there is only one cable you require which will run between the kits. This wire connects the soundbar to the TV or a Blu-ray player.

There are three HDCP 2.2 certified HDMI sockets with the soundbar out of which two are inputs while one is output including the ARC. There is an optical input which provides alternative means for connecting the digital source. You cannot find 3.5mm analog input for connecting smartphones or music players through aux. But the bar supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for streaming of music coming from a tab or a smartphone.

 Speakers

The Samsung HW-n950 comes with a range of speakers which ensure that they deliver what is expected from the product. Across the multi-box package, you can find as many as 18 speakers comprising of a soundbar which has six drivers and three twitters in the front, a side speaker at both ends, and two up-firing speakers. There is a wireless subwoofer with a 20 cm bass unit and you can find two rear wireless modules with each one upward-firing and there is a front-facing speaker.

Samsung HW-N950 is more of a system than a soundbar and it has lesser space commitment than the speaker package complete with the in-ceiling speakers or upward-lifting and tracked on modules. These two together replicate 7.1.4 surround sound and will output of a room rumbling 512W power.

Design

The Samsung HW-n950 is 1.2m long and it means that the soundbar extends across the width of the TV screen. You can spare a thought for the current or subsequent AV rack measurements unless you can mount the instrument below a wall-mounted TV set. The subwoofer of the soundbar must be placed below the soundbar somewhere with the care that it does not block the side-firing drivers of the bar. The rear modules can be placed somewhere on either side of the place where you will be sitting to listen to the TV. This can be put just behind your shoulder. It could be placed either on the solid shelves or the stands. Once the kit is into place and you have plugged into the sockets take a moment to marvel at the system you have with those black metal-mesh speakers.

 Sound

The sound field generated from the Samsung HW-n950 has to be its stand-out feature as none of the other soundbars fill your room with such aplomb. The soundbar makes a big impression on its own. The up-firing speakers of the instruments do a good job of achieving height for the delivery while the separate speaker modules give a subtle rear-channel effect which makes the soundtrack feel more atmospheric. During the testing, we placed the modules and the soundbar approximately 3m from each other but they were integrated nicely and the sound filled all corners of the sound field.

Apart from the great sonic footprint, this soundbar will also make a statement with its subwoofer. The bass offered here is nothing short of smashing, making the feet feel the impact of the crash landings and punches from the movie. In fact, during testing, we turned down the sound a couple of notches to a modest level by using the remote control. If you turn it too high it will bog down the rest of the program.

The Samsung voices are solid and everything is solid about the soundbar’s presentation. Even when the device is pushed higher to its full volume potential it will keep the sound hardness to a minimum. While watching Game of Thrones we could feel the depth and layering from the sound field generated.

Having said all that, you can feel a slightly lesser crispness and dynamic punch than compared to the Sony HT-ST5000 which is its main rival. There is a bit of restraint in the midrange which holds back the soundbar at times. A lack of total clarity is a shortcoming experienced during the soundbar testing and it is there for the Bluetooth as well. The impact effects are pretty good but nothing exceptional as the lack of tautness in the sub and the bass notes are not quite up to the mark.

Conclusion

Sure there are a few shortcomings associated with Samsung HW-N950 but it is still is one of the best soundbars out there (more on this page) in that price range. It is one of the better exponents at creating the Atmos experience by throwing out the high-sized sound from the number of speakers it has. It may fall short of being a great piece but it is a great hassle-free solution which aptly delivers the cutting edge formats. A fine effort by Samsung.

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Willie Greer

Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.
Willie Greer

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