Samsung Reveals 2020 Soundbar Pricing, Availability
In tandem with Thursday’s announcement of Samsung’s first 4K QLED outdoor TV line (The Terrace) and corresponding all-weather Terrace soundbar, the manufacturer officially revealed pricing, availability and specifications on its full 2020 soundbar offerings.
Much of the details on these soundbars was previously announced at CES 2020, but the good news is that many of these models are now ready to ship to anyone looking to add big immersive surround sound to a flat-panel television during or after COVID-19 sheltering.
The new 2020 soundbar models will join a mix of popular carryover models from last year. The newer models now offer shorter and narrower designs to fit more easily beneath the screen of many table-top positioned flat-panel televisions. In addition, Samsung is offering onboard support for Alexa voice control in some of this year’s offerings, including the Q800T and the S60T models.
As announced, some of the models at the high-end of the soundbar lineup are tailored to present an even more powerful picture and surround sound experience when connected with one of Samsung’s supporting 4K and 8K QLED LED-LCD TVs by syncing up the “object-based” tracking capability in the television to have audio seemingly follow on-screen objects around the listening environment. The design, which is offered in the HW-Q950T, HW-Q900T, HW-Q800T, HW-Q70T, and HW-Q60T soundbar models, enables using the side- and top-firing drivers inside the television in tandem with the soundbar to deliver a more immersive, enveloping effect. At the same time this expands the sound stage for more natural tonality. However, it’s not necessary to have one of these pricey new Samsung TV models to enjoy a significantly enhanced sound experience from anyone of these soundbar models.
Samsung said its Q series, entry-to-mid level T series, and new “music-centric” S series soundbar models will go on sale throughout the spring, starting this month. We provide links to some that are available now or coming soon below.
The Samsung models available in 2020 with the corresponding suggested retail prices include the following:
• Q950T $1,799.99
• Q90R $1,699.99 ($1,497.99 UPP)
• Q900T $1,299.99
• Q80R $1,199.99 ($997.99 UPP)
• Q800T $899.99
• Q70T $699.99 ($697.99 UPP)
• Q60T $499.99 ($397.99 UPP)
• S60T $329.99 ($327.99 UPP)
• S40T $179.99
• T650 $399.99 ($347.99 UPP)
• T550 $279.99 ($277.99 UPP)
• T450 $199.99 ($197.99 UPP)
• T70 $699.99
• T50 $499.99
Some of the highlights of the Samsung 2020 Soundbar lineup include the following:
Coming soon is the flagship of the new Q-series soundbars for 2020 — the HW-Q950T. This is a 9.1.4-channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X soundbar system that comes with bundled wireless rear speakers, a new 8-inch wireless subwoofer, AI-based capabilities and a reduced footprint design to fit under most TV screens.
A step down Q900T is a 7.1.2-channel model with Dolby Atmos that also comes with a new 8-inch wireless subwoofer. Other features include up- and side-firing speakers, and Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio surround sound support.
As announced at CES 2020, the Q800T Soundbar (also part of the “Q” series) is a 3.1.2 Dolby Atmos soundbar system that, as mentioned, is designed to pair with a 2020 Samsung QLED TV offering “Q-Symphony Sound” support. This, among other things, will turn the top mounted speakers on the television into height channels in an object-based audio presentation. In addition, the Q800T offers a wireless subwoofer, Samsung’s Acoustic Beam Technology for more expansive “panoramic” audio, upfiring drivers for over-head 3D object-based Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound presentations, and eARC support for lossless audio via HDMI when connected to a similarly configured e-ARC TV. Samsung also offers a wireless surround speaker kit to add rear channels that further fill out a convincing 5.1.2-channel surround sound experience.
Another new Q series soundbar, mode Q70T ($697.99) also includes the Q-Symphony feature with upfiring drivers, and e-ARC functionality.
The Samsung Harmon Kardon HW-Q90R (available now at a $1,497.99 UPP) soundbar is a carryover model that is part of the Q series and stands just below the newer flagship Q950T. The Q90R lacks the new Q-Symphony function but is equipped to present a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound experience on its own. It ships with a wireless subwoofer and rear speaker kit, adaptive sound, game mode, 4K pass-through with HDR, Bluetooth and Alexa voice control compatibity.
The new S series offers a more affordably priced range of models that drop some of the advanced features of the Q-Series models but deliver an overall sound more tailored for “music-centric” listeners, which Samsung said make up some 40% of soundbar listeners.
The Samsung HS-S60T ($330) is the best of a pair of models in the series offering a “wide-range tweeter attached to the horn-shaped speaker.” The S60 is a 4.0-channel soundbar with front firing drivers wide=range tweeter and side-firing, horn-shaped Acoustic Beams from the Q-Series. The soundbar is wraped in premium Kvadrat fabric. Samsung’s Q series models, and will deliver good bass for most musical performances from the onboard woofers. For additional depth and oomph an optional wireless subwoofer (model W599 carrying a 6.5-inch driver) will be available.
The new Samsung T series of entry-to-mid level soundbars include Samsung 3.1.2-channel T650 ($400) and T550 ($280) models. Both support DTS Virtual:X that delivers a virtual 3D audio sound with simulated overhead and surround channels without upfiring drivers. The effect enhances the sense of a wider sound stage from the soundbar. The soundbars will also enable multiple multiple simultaneous Bluetooth connections.
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By Greg Tarr
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