Samsung HW-K850 & HW-K950 Dolby Atmos Soundbars - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 4954 Old 07-29-2016, 06:34 PM
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well I won't have an atmos source for a little while but I really want my surround sound back and without being able to run surround sound wires this looks like the best option outside of Sonos, with the plus of offering ATMOS in the future. Looking forward to it! I hope microsoft supports ATMOS on the XBOX ONE S sooner then later.
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post #32 of 4954 Old 07-29-2016, 08:53 PM
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I should have one coming in the next 10 days. In the mean time for those asking, I will be testing both with and WITHOUT the rear speakers. It does not matter and you won't mess anything up just by unplugging them and selecting no rears in the menu. The sound stage will simply output what's connected.

Like others, I simply don't have the room in one of my locations I will be putting this, thus the need to test without the rears. My theater has wired speakers now, just not Atmos speakers for 7 channel, but I am going to try to test the Samsung there as well WITH the rears to see the difference. What I expect to find is a very good Atmos sound field in front without the completed bubble in back to complete the entire area. In theory, that's how it should work and appears to be the case when you look at the illustration setup in those Samsung manuals.
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post #33 of 4954 Old 07-30-2016, 01:14 PM
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Good to hear there will be thoughts on how this operates without rear speakersie the K850, my room is quite small there's simply no room for rear speakers but I would love a simple surround/atmos setup that can surpass the YSP range from Yamaha (maybe not the 5600 but the rest)
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post #34 of 4954 Old 07-31-2016, 12:30 PM
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Strongly considering ordering one (moving soon and would rather not setup a wired system in the new apartment). But I have a question/concern, how are people planning on driving (probably not the correct word) this? With only two hdmi inputs? I would need either a receiver (which seems overkill) or at least an hdmi switch to connect all my components to this.
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post #35 of 4954 Old 07-31-2016, 02:05 PM
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Mark's (imagic's) in process review of the Samsung Atmos soundbar on the main page of AVS continues to reveal it as a superb unit. He did touch on one of my main concerns…the narrowness of the soundstage...but seemed to say that when in surround (and Atmos) mode that the narrowness disappeared. I hope that is what he meant.
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post #36 of 4954 Old 07-31-2016, 02:12 PM
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How does music sound?
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post #37 of 4954 Old 07-31-2016, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieGuruJeff View Post
I should have one coming in the next 10 days. In the mean time for those asking, I will be testing both with and WITHOUT the rear speakers. It does not matter and you won't mess anything up just by unplugging them and selecting no rears in the menu. The sound stage will simply output what's connected.

Like others, I simply don't have the room in one of my locations I will be putting this, thus the need to test without the rears. My theater has wired speakers now, just not Atmos speakers for 7 channel, but I am going to try to test the Samsung there as well WITH the rears to see the difference. What I expect to find is a very good Atmos sound field in front without the completed bubble in back to complete the entire area. In theory, that's how it should work and appears to be the case when you look at the illustration setup in those Samsung manuals.
I'm interested in hearing what you think without the rear speakers. I understand the soundbars are the same so the only difference between the two products are the rears.
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post #38 of 4954 Old 08-01-2016, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by tdrozdowski View Post
My HW-K950 arrived today - in a box that looked like it had survived a plane crash.
Thank you for your first impressions. I'm in the UK and eagerly awaiting getting my hands on the K950 when it's available
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post #39 of 4954 Old 08-01-2016, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkresh View Post
Strongly considering ordering one (moving soon and would rather not setup a wired system in the new apartment). But I have a question/concern, how are people planning on driving (probably not the correct word) this? With only two hdmi inputs? I would need either a receiver (which seems overkill) or at least an hdmi switch to connect all my components to this.
How many devices do you have that provide Dolby Atmos? I only have one (currently - unless Xbox One is ever updated to use it). So it wasn't an issue for me.

I plugged the Samsung K8500 UHD BD Player into HDMI 1 on the soundbar and it was fine. Watching apps from the TV or AppleTV and OTA all go via ARC and Dolby Digital 5.1 works just fine over that. (I have a Samsung JS9500 TV)

If you really have more devices that need the soundbar to do the decoding, then yes - you need either a switch or just need to skip this altogether for an AVR that will do what you need.
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post #40 of 4954 Old 08-01-2016, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post
Mark's (imagic's) in process review of the Samsung Atmos soundbar on the main page of AVS continues to reveal it as a superb unit. He did touch on one of my main concerns…the narrowness of the soundstage...but seemed to say that when in surround (and Atmos) mode that the narrowness disappeared. I hope that is what he meant.
With Atmos the soundstage is very much room filling. The room I use is rather larger (family room + kitchen) and has a very high ceiling. Its very loud and fills that space quite well.

For Dolby Digital 5.1 - not so much. But I feel the quality is still far above the average soundbar...
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post #41 of 4954 Old 08-01-2016, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdrozdowski View Post
With Atmos the soundstage is very much room filling. The room I use is rather larger (family room + kitchen) and has a very high ceiling. Its very loud and fills that space quite well.

For Dolby Digital 5.1 - not so much. But I feel the quality is still far above the average soundbar...
Do you mean that with Dolby 5.1 that the sound is less room filling in general, or that the soundstage is narrower?

Thanks for your input.
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post #42 of 4954 Old 08-01-2016, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post
Do you mean that with Dolby 5.1 that the sound is less room filling in general, or that the soundstage is narrower?

Thanks for your input.

I guess I mean a bit both..

Dolby 5.1 definitely less room filling. And I don't notice the surround effects nearly as much as I do in Atmos mode. They are there - but subtle.

For example... With Atmos - particularly the Deadpool & Star Trek UHD BD discs - the sound stage seems improved to me over Dolby 5.1 sources. (by a very large margin) You can very clearly pick out the sounds of bullets flying by or ambient sounds on the bridge of the Enterprise. Dolby 5.1 Mr Robot series streamed from Apple - not so easy to pick out the rear, but the front soundstage is improved over what I had previously. (the rear speakers are making sounds, just not noticeable to me where I'm sitting - all the time)

Also - games on Xbox One provide rear sounds, but again, very subtlety. Playing SW: Battlefront I didn't notice the surround effect as much all the time. If I go back to the rear speakers - there's definitely sounds coming out of them... Xbox is connected via ARC - I'll plug it into HDMI 2 and see if that improves the situation. Will be experimenting with this soon...

Switching from Atmos to DD 5.1 source afterwards is jarring. Non-atmos doesn't seem to use the subwoofer as much - and so some presence seems lost if you switch from a show that has Atmos to one that doesn't. Makes me wish everything had Atmos...

Hopefully that helps - every day I'm learning a bit more and playing a little bit to adjust things for non-atmos/ARC sources.
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post #43 of 4954 Old 08-01-2016, 07:12 PM
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Does anyone know how this compares to the Yamaha YSP-5600? The lack of discrete rears for the YSP-5600 makes me want to not go that way. Is the signal processing of the YSP comparable to the Samsung?

I know that this question probably should be posed in the other thread, but I was hoping that since this is newer, someone here might have cross shopped both sound bars.

Thanks in advance.
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post #44 of 4954 Old 08-01-2016, 09:11 PM
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First of all, you need to have a room approximating a closed square or rectangle to get the best results, although there is some flexibility there. But you'll get better results with actual, discrete speakers. Also remember, that the 5600 is 5.1.2, and only generates front Atmos effects, rather than 5.1.4, as in the Samsung. The Samsung should create a more coherent, expansive soundfield.
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post #45 of 4954 Old 08-01-2016, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by flagyl View Post
Does anyone know how this compares to the Yamaha YSP-5600? The lack of discrete rears for the YSP-5600 makes me want to not go that way. Is the signal processing of the YSP comparable to the Samsung?

I know that this question probably should be posed in the other thread, but I was hoping that since this is newer, someone here might have cross shopped both sound bars.

Thanks in advance.
See my post in the dedicated Yamaha 5600 thread regarding this.

I will have the Samsung 950 soon and will be a comparison in two different rooms, a smaller living room and the home theater room. From the manual, I believe I know mainly what to expect but will find out soon. Keep watching both threads for more.
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post #46 of 4954 Old 08-02-2016, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post
First of all, you need to have a room approximating a closed square or rectangle to get the best results, although there is some flexibility there. But you'll get better results with actual, discrete speakers. Also remember, that the 5600 is 5.1.2, and only generates front Atmos effects, rather than 5.1.4, as in the Samsung. The Samsung should create a more coherent, expansive soundfield.
Thank you tai.

I actually have a "three wall" living room, so I guess that rules out the YSP.

Thank you again for taking the time.
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post #47 of 4954 Old 08-02-2016, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tdrozdowski View Post
How many devices do you have that provide Dolby Atmos? I only have one (currently - unless Xbox One is ever updated to use it). So it wasn't an issue for me.

I plugged the Samsung K8500 UHD BD Player into HDMI 1 on the soundbar and it was fine. Watching apps from the TV or AppleTV and OTA all go via ARC and Dolby Digital 5.1 works just fine over that. (I have a Samsung JS9500 TV)

If you really have more devices that need the soundbar to do the decoding, then yes - you need either a switch or just need to skip this altogether for an AVR that will do what you need.
problem is I would be using this with a projector (without Arc) so every device needs to feed into something (either the bar or something that feeds into the bar), most won't need atmos support just yet (likely will start with xbox one, ps4, cable box, and htpc) but I do need multiple inputs. Guess I can just pick up an hdcp 2.0 compliant hdmi switch for now.
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post #48 of 4954 Old 08-04-2016, 10:40 AM
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My HW-K950 arrived today - in a box that looked like it had survived a plane crash. Yeah, the bottom was just pure packing tape - had to have been a mishap on the line at FedEx and likely why it was delayed a day. Thankfully upon opening the box - everything was accounted for and undamaged. Lucky me!

Some caveats...

I'm not an audiophile per se. I'm your average enthusiast who has had some decent AVR 6.1 setups in the past. I won't spend $5k on a AVR and speakers. But I will spend about what I spent on this thing to get 'good enough' sound. So my impressions of things may not meet the higher standards that most on the board may have. That being said...

This is replacing my Samsung HW-J8500 curved soundbar - which when I got it, sounded tons better than the previous Vizio 5.1 surround soundbar I had, but not quite as good as I had hoped. I've not had an actual receiver/5.1/6.1 speaker setup in almost 5 years. The room in which I placed this has a very tall ceiling - maybe 30ft tall (a loft is above the area where the TV is). I was initially concerned this would be an issue - but thankfully, it didn't seem to be...

The unit itself - very solid. The soundbar is made of wood with some high quality plastic on parts of it. The subwoofer is a nice sturdy wood box (like you would expect) - seemed bigger than the sub that came with the 8500. The rear speakers I was very impressed by. They were much larger than expected (I previously had the Vizio 5.1 with rear surrounds which were small - and they ultimately crapped out on me anyhow) - they are probably slightly larger than a Sonos Play:1 and similar quality build.

Setup was a breeze - the most difficult thing was routing the power cables to my power conditioner/surge protector. Everything was automatically paired up so nothing special needed to be done. I did not adjust any of the various levels for each individual speakers, sub or treble/bass - all defaults for now.

First test was OTA HD signal from the local Fox station (which is notoriously weak up on the north end of Phoenix). Sound was already markedly improved over the J8500. Very crisp. Didn't really notice any rear sounds, but with daytime TV, I wouldn't have expected it.

Second test was an 4th generation Apple TV connected to my Samsung JS9500 OneConnect box (so going to the bar over ARC). Play tested the 4th Hunger Games movie - it sounded about as good as could be expected with normal Dolby Digital. The rears were a bit muted - but they were there.

Third test was the UHD BluRay of Allegiant (kids were home - will do Deadpool later when they are not). It has a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. My UHD BluRay player is the Samsung 8500 (so many similar numbers) connected to HDMI 1 of the soundbar. At first, playing the movie the surround was immediately noticeable. The soundstage for my setup felt pretty decent - improved over the previous soundbar by quite a bit. But something felt missing... I then went to the settings of the player and realized I was setup to output PCM and not Bitstream (Uncompressed). I switched that - resumed the movie and voila! The soundbar instantly detected and reported DOLBY ATMOS on its LED display! And whammo - the soundstage for this thing filled the room. The bass was a bit overwhelming for my kids (but I wasn't bothered by it) - it felt like I was sitting in my local theatre (but without the Pokemon hunting idiots). The sound was so much crisper - dialogue was very easy to follow (was on Movie mode) and the overall sound enveloped me. The big crowd scenes were very immersive - could hear people all around me. Could hear bullets whizzing around (though not as clearly as I had hoped - but will try Deadpool for better Atmos mix later). Awesome stuff.

HDMI CEC worked immediately out of the box (but I have a total Samsung setup...others may vary).

Color me very impressed. I was hesitant to spend this much on another soundbar - but I'm very glad I did. I won't be wishing I had a separate receiver & speaker setup anymore. This will suit my needs/expectations for quite some time. That is until they have a 7.1.4 or 9.2.4 version...

I'll spend some time adjusting things the next few days as I go through. I still have to try the Xbox on it (and I have an Xbox One S coming next week - but that evidently doesn't support Atmos at launch, but may later). I want to try some Netflix/Hulu/HBO Now, etc streaming on it too.

I'll try streaming some music to it later as well - but am pretty invested in Sonos and feel those speakers are the best for streaming music currently. (Have a few Play:1s & two Play:5s in stereo pair - simply awesome sound)

I also need to get this hooked up to the Wifi so I can see if there are any firmware updates for it. So far doesn't seem like I need any.

I was pondering trying to setup this up in another room that has lower ceiling, etc. I'm not going to do that for a while - I'd have to move too much stuff around...I'm just happy that out of the box in the room I have its exceeded my expectations.

If you're on the fence here - do it. Worth every penny. And get the 950 over the 850 - having the rears is a must I would say. (Though I was unable to test it w/o the rears - not sure how it would react if I just simply unplugged them and tried since its already paired and would be expecting them anyhow...). If you have a nice new 4K TV & BluRay player, this could be the perfect final piece to cap things off for the time being.

Is this better than a top of the line AVR setup with primo speakers? Nope. Is this better than your avg soundbar? Oh yes, but quite a bit. To me this competes with a good mid range AVR and decent speakers. Plus you know - no speaker cables to run...

Samsung has, err - raised the bar - by quite a bit for the competition. I don't know how the Yamaha one sounds - though I've always been partial to Yamaha AVR in the past - but I couldn't stomach both the size (compared to the Samsung its HUGE) and the cost with the subwoofer. But I'm sure it sounds pretty sweet as well. Plus, I'd love the room / sound adjustment tool it has - those have always worked well on their AVRs in the past for me. Perhaps it'll show up with a firmware update...

Feel free to ask other questions - I'll do my best to answer. Limited reviews on this thing, but its amazing...


I have recently heard about Dolby Atmos, and am curious if someone could explain how this is different than dolby digital. BTW, really nice review for a non technical person.
I currently have a 80" TV in the family room and a vizio soundbar that I got a few years ago from Costco, which has a sub and satellite speakers, for the price I paid its very good, but I don't get much out of the rear speakers. I also have to place the subwoofer in the back, which is a plus, since its out of view.


Does the Samsung HW-K950 sound impressively better than the vizio that you had? My current setup does not include a Blu-ray player, but does Netflix and amazon prime have atmos audio for any of their content?
Are any of the costcos carrying this new soundbar for me to go and test?
I guess only regular tv shows and HBO Go, starz, showtime shows can't take advantage of this soundbar can it?
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post #49 of 4954 Old 08-04-2016, 11:02 AM
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Does the Samsung HW-K950 sound impressively better than the vizio that you had? My current setup does not include a Blu-ray player, but does Netflix and amazon prime have atmos audio for any of their content?
Are any of the costcos carrying this new soundbar for me to go and test?
I guess only regular tv shows and HBO Go, starz, showtime shows can't take advantage of this soundbar can it?
Yes - this soundbar is very close to having a separate AVR and decent speakers. Blows away the Vizio - its not even close.

If you don't have a BluRay player (preferably UHD BluRay Player), then you won't get the most out of this soundbar. I'm not sure how many BDs have Dolby Atmos soundtracks - but half of my UHD BDs do and they are very impressive.

There are no streaming sources that currently provide Dolby Atmos - the amount of bandwidth to add this to streams already on top of UHD & HDR...well, there's a reason why UHD BDs exist. I'd imagine it'll be a few years before its available widely from any streaming source. Digital download sources are different (iTunes Store, Amazon, Vudu, etc) - but I don't know of any that provide Atmos soundtracks yet either. They are just starting to support UHD with HDR. Perhaps once Apple jumps into the UHD realm for their movies that will spur this - but again, file sizes will be significantly increased.

For the soundbar itself - quality is hit and miss on the streaming side. Most providers claim 5.1 Dolby Digital - and technically the sound track is encoded as such - but the bit rates vary. As such what you may be getting out of it may not be the same as say on a BD - or even a different source. For example, any show I subscribe to via iTunes Season Pass - and stream via iCloud - sounds much better on this sound bar than anything off of Netflix. (the rears are more distinct)

OTA/Cable/Satelite will vary too - though probably be better than streaming. I cut the cord 4 years ago and only use OTA antenna + streaming sources for TV. Surround over OTA was only noticeable to me during NFL games, so I'll know in a few weeks how well this system works with that in mind.

Though, for the cost, there's really no reason to invest in this if you don't have a Dolby Atmos source. You'd be better off sticking with the Vizio for just normal Dolby Digital 5.1/TV sources.
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post #50 of 4954 Old 08-04-2016, 11:12 AM
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I have recently heard about Dolby Atmos, and am curious if someone could explain how this is different than dolby digital. BTW, really nice review for a non technical person.
Dolby Atmos is an HD audio source that adds 2 or 4 'height' channels. So no instead of just 5.1 designating 5 speakers + 1 subwoofer, you have a new dimension - height. So, this soundbar is a 5.1.4 system (5 speakers, 1 sub and 4 height channels). Other systems are 7.1.4, 7.2.4, etc. (I don't know why two subwoofers...the one is more than enough for now)

In an AVR setup you would likely have your height channels placed in the ceiling above your viewing area (like in some movie theaters).

The other option is what soundbars are doing (and some AVR in a box setups - like Onkyo) - where they provide the height by bouncing the sound off your ceiling. This provides a similar effect - though I've not hear the two side by side to determine which would be ideal. In my opinion - and given my circumstances/room setup - this option works well for me. (I'm renting so I can't tear up the ceiling to run speaker wire, install speakers, etc - plus the ceiling is 30 ft above me with limited access)

The net affect of all of this is that now instead of just the traditional side/rear channels expanding the sound stage around you - you now have a new dimension/sound stage - around you. Its pretty close to a 3D soundspace as the mixer can place sounds anywhere in that stage. So, in Deadpool you hear bullets wiz overheard. In Star Trek you hear the ambient sounds of the Enterprise all around you. In Allegiant you feel like you're in the big crowds of people at the beginning during the trials. Its truly immersive audio - and in my opinion - better than going to a theatre.

All of this requires extra space/bandwidth to put in a disc or stream.
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post #51 of 4954 Old 08-04-2016, 12:06 PM
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Can someone post the dimensions (H X W X D) of the K950 rear speakers. Their size does not appear on the spec page of retailers or even the Samsung website. Thanks.
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post #52 of 4954 Old 08-04-2016, 07:05 PM
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Actually, it's not just soundbars and AV Systems in a box that use the upward firing, Dolby enabled method. I was just reading a review of a very fine Definitive Technology tower speaker that uses Dolby enabled, and there are many others. Unless one has very high ceilings, Dolby enabled has certain advantages in that it avoids localization effects that draw the listener's ear to the ceiling speaker, and source of the sound. Remember that in theaters the ceiling tend to be higher than most homes.
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post #53 of 4954 Old 08-04-2016, 07:52 PM
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How does music sound?
Finally got around to running some music through this bad boy and have some thoughts...

First - I swear by Sonos. I am heavily invested in their gear throughout my house. Had their soundbar provided HDMI ARC/CEC & Atmos I probably would have one of those - but sadly they don't sound like they have any plans to update it.

That aside - Sonos is great for a few reasons :

- whole house audio
- excellent audio quality out of the box with minimal settings to be adjusted (even on the small Play:1)
- awesome integration into multiple sources - from your local network share of *ahem* legal MP3s, to all the latest streaming providers

In the same room, I have a pair of Play:5 in stereo pair mode for comparison.

How does the HW-K950 compare?

Here's how I tested the HW-K950 with music...

My source was my AppleTV. My music library is there as is my iTunes in the cloud, so that is where I got 99% of the time for tunes. So yes, not the highest or purest in quality terms, but its what I listen to and what I'm used to.

My library is also heavily electronic music from the 80s -> today. Very few (US) pop artists, so my ideal sound system may be different than those who are into Jazz, Rock, Classical, etc...

I tested with the following artists via Apple Music: Bob Moses, Comaduster, Depeche Mode, Front Line Assembly, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, Radiohead, Røyksopp, Peter Heppner & Schiller

Initial play through - the sound immediately seemed off. As in, the vocals all sounded either 'airy' or flat. Only a few tracks (higher bitrate I presume) sounded the closest to ok. Comaduster (break beat, heavy base, glitchy with vocals) seemed mostly ok. Depeche Mode (Music for the Masses) sounded...off. The more popular music - Paul McCarney & Duran Duran seemed ok - as did Peter Heppner. But the vocals on Radiohead & Schiller and most others just seemed wrong. The bass was rich - so that wasn't it. So off to the manual I go...

What I wound up doing was installing the Samsung Multiroom app. This allowed me to connect my soundbar to my iPhone and thus control it as such. Once you navigate to the actual speaker and bring up its settings, low and behold there is a 5 band equalizer buried in there! (the same that my JS9500 displayed once, and only once and won't display again damn buggy TV software) So I played with that, but nothing happened. At least not until I told the app my 'source' was my TV (which it was - Apple TV via HDMI ARC). Now when I tweaked the EQ it took effect.

The default EQ is set to flat (0) across all 5 bands you get. I tried some of the various pre-set values they had (Pop, Jazz, Classical) - they all sounded janky to me. So I put the EQ in the famous 'V' and voila - the speaker sounds perfect! (to me at least) Listening to Prototype by Front Line Assembly, you could very clearly pick out the various layers and samples that put together this masterfully complex and layered track. David Gahan's voice sounded as I remembered it from the classic synth pop album, Music For the Masses. Hands to Hold by Bob Moses boomed to life and sounded very crisp. All great stuff!

I do think the Sonos must do some magical pre-processing for compressed music to make it sound better - as listening to various tracks on the HW-K950, I could still more easily pick out the differences across the tracks I played based on bitrate. But maybe its just me - I don't recall if that's actually a feature or not. (correct me if I'm wrong)

Compared to a stereo pair of Play:5s - the bass was heavier (bigger sub - but the Play:5 is no slouch in this regard either), but the sound quality of the two was about equal. Again, what's nice about the Sonos is that they are mainly plug and play. Very little to tweak to get the optimal sound out of them. The Sonos app user experience (UX) is very easy to navigate. They are built for streaming music as well - that is their main purpose. The HW-K950 will take some adjustments to get it to your liking - and its not very straightforward how you get there. The UX is just horrible. I have a feeling most people would not sort out how to drill through their app to find the EQ settings...let along put together that they needed to set the source in order for it to take effect.

So, yes, this is a very decent system for music. Just be sure to turn off surround though and then setup the EQ via the multi-room app. Personally I will still stick to my Sonos system for music most of the time - but for quick access to something via Apple TV, this does in a pinch. If the Samsung mutliroom system played nicely with the Sonos system, I'd consider moving the Play:5s into another room. (we can dream, right?)

I don't recommend this as purely a music system however - you're really missing out on the main feature if you do so and there are many cheaper alternatives for you if you just want a AVR-less music system.

But as an added feature - so you can add music to another room, or if you're already invested in Samsung's multi-room music then it fits in nicely (in so far as I can tell - honestly, until I read the manual I had no idea Samsung was trying to compete with Sonos in this way).

I did notice that you can stream Tidal via the app to the soundbar. That would make for an interesting test that perhaps I'll look at later (if I can get a 30 day free trial or something). Actual hi-res audio through this would really show it off, I think. I don't have physical media anymore, so I didn't pop a CD in to see how it sounded - those are long gone.
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post #54 of 4954 Old 08-05-2016, 05:10 AM
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Received my K-950 yesterday and set it up last night (wife wasn't happy with the size and style of this massive bar, as compared to our elegant looking Bose Cinemate 1SR, not to mention the additional rear speakers). I connected my OCB ARC HDMI 4 to the soundbar ARC HDMI input, connected my K-8500 to HDMI 1 and tested Chappie real quick... completely forgot about my wife's concerns when I heard the insanely immersive sound field, the crystal clear voice (already started hearing dialog that I had missed in my numerous previous viewings of this movie) and then the opening scene helicopter fly over put the icing on the cake, as it had me looking up and over to the left at my ceiling!

I then started to figure out what other configurations I should use for my cable box. I disconnected my DirectTV cable box output from the OCB HDMI 1 input and connected it to the soundbar's HDMI 2 and everything was working great, until I tried to watch a 4K program. When switching to one of the 4K channels, the screen just goes black. Anyone experience this same issue? Should I have not connected the cable box directly to the soundbar? Any insight would be appreciated... thank you!
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post #55 of 4954 Old 08-05-2016, 07:51 PM
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I then started to figure out what other configurations I should use for my cable box. I disconnected my DirectTV cable box output from the OCB HDMI 1 input and connected it to the soundbar's HDMI 2 and everything was working great, until I tried to watch a 4K program. When switching to one of the 4K channels, the screen just goes black. Anyone experience this same issue? Should I have not connected the cable box directly to the soundbar? Any insight would be appreciated... thank you!
Unless your cable provider is pushing Atmos content then no, I'd have let the HDMI ARC handle the audio going to your soundbar and left the TV directly connected to the cable box. You should really only need to connect things directly to the soundbar that can't be handled via HDMI ARC.

At the Best Buy I work at we got in the HW850 today (we're not a Magnolia store so I'm not expecting to see a 950 come through unless one of us sells one). Really tempted to upgrade to this instead of upgrading my AVR and adding more speakers.

Fight mediocrity: Insist on BD50 discs for all movies longer than 100 minutes, optimized video encodes that fully utilize the available space, lossless audio track, and new masters for catalog titles!
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post #56 of 4954 Old 08-05-2016, 08:44 PM
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I did listen to a Dolby 5.1 source with surround mode turned to OFF so that it only used the soundbar. Its still a good soundbar, but I think the rears really help with the sound field. Not tried this with an Atmos track yet...

I do think the 850 is still a good buy - but if you can afford the 950 the rears make a huge difference.
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post #57 of 4954 Old 08-05-2016, 09:45 PM
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Unless your cable provider is pushing Atmos content then no, I'd have let the HDMI ARC handle the audio going to your soundbar and left the TV directly connected to the cable box. You should really only need to connect things directly to the soundbar that can't be handled via HDMI ARC.
Thank you! Directv aired the opening ceremony of the Olympics in 4K and supposedly the audio was Dolby Atmos, so that is why I was trying to figure out how to listen to the Atmos coding from the 4K Genie Mini on the K950. Any thoughts?
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post #58 of 4954 Old 08-05-2016, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkedgex View Post
Unless your cable provider is pushing Atmos content then no, I'd have let the HDMI ARC handle the audio going to your soundbar and left the TV directly connected to the cable box. You should really only need to connect things directly to the soundbar that can't be handled via HDMI ARC.
Thank you! Directv aired the opening ceremony of the Olympics in 4K and supposedly the audio was Dolby Atmos, so that is why I was trying to figure out how to listen to the Atmos coding from the 4K Genie Mini on the K950. Any thoughts?
The C61k needs to go to the soundbar first....

If the C61k is outputting Dolby Digital Plus (what they are using for the 4k broadcasts and VOD) it should be fine.. the box should be set to bitstream and not PCM output...
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post #59 of 4954 Old 08-06-2016, 05:34 AM
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How many devices do you have that provide Dolby Atmos? I only have one (currently - unless Xbox One is ever updated to use it). So it wasn't an issue for me.

I plugged the Samsung K8500 UHD BD Player into HDMI 1 on the soundbar and it was fine. Watching apps from the TV or AppleTV and OTA all go via ARC and Dolby Digital 5.1 works just fine over that. (I have a Samsung JS9500 TV)

If you really have more devices that need the soundbar to do the decoding, then yes - you need either a switch or just need to skip this altogether for an AVR that will do what you need.
This isn't just because of Atmos though. ARC doesn't pass through any of the HD modes of the various existing sound formats (I don't think it passes through DD+ either, but I could be wrong). So there's a need to connect more than just an Atmos source to the sound bar.

Having only 2 inputs is a serious limitation in my book. I don't understand how this gets past the marketing people who define the specs for the product, considering what the the intent is with such a sound bar.
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post #60 of 4954 Old 08-06-2016, 09:25 AM
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anyone having some issues with their soundbar when the source isn't surround? If the output is not 5.1 and surround sound is turned on, the volume out of the front is really low, and only some odd stuff comes out of the rears. I have seen it with broadcast, xbox one and ps4. It's annoying to have to toggle surround sound on and off depending on the source.
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