I would like to quote a post from another forum that enlighted me as I wasn't satisfied by the rears performance. I only have the system for a month.
Sound modes are far from being perfect, in my completely personal opinion:
- Adaptive: Excellent center channel and voices, but at the expense of rears.
- Surround: A complete disaster, mixing all the channels, dialogues that is coming from the front also come out from the rears, but at a muffled tone. I really wonder who engineered this. For me it is impossible to watch a movie with this sound mode.
- Game: I do not have a game system.
- Standard: The best one, as it keeps the sound as it was originally designed by the movie sound engineers. But it lacks power in the center channel. You can then turn up the center channel volume, but then you lose the balance with the rears, as those really are not as loud as they should. By playing and testing with channel volume you can find an acceptable solution, but not perfect.
In summary the sound modes are not properly designed. Fix would be very easy but it does not look to be in the plans of Samsung.
Having had this bar for months this is my personal opinion on how it works by source :
- For atmos content: Outstanding performance . The bubble of sound is incredible, perfect sound placement, and the LFE are earthquake like. Caveat, you need an external device as the compressed audio content in Streaming services are not as oustanding as the uncompressed versions. An external player such as Nvidia shield, or a Bluray player is a must. Believe me, without an external player you would be missing the real fun with this soundbar.
- For Netflix: Very good 5.1 performance in sound mode STANDARD,
- For Amazon: Very good 5.1 performance in sound mode STANDARD,
- For Disney + : Very good 5.1 performance in sound mode STANDARD
- For Youtube, this is a 2.0 source, in this case ADAPTIVE is the sound mode that I find more decent. It sounds good.
- For music files , it all depends on expectations. Music coming out of just the bar sounds very good. If you expectation is to have the music coming out of all speakers filling all the room with sound the performance is then poor. SURROUND is fine, if you want to listen music coming out of all the speakers. But the rears are muffled and does not sound at the same level of the bar. It is unbalanced. If you are fine with music just coming out of the bar, ADAPTIVE and STANDARD are very good.
Fix would be very easy if channel volume setting had a wider range , not just up to + 6 .
Note that my opinion is based on the fact that I like content to sound exactly how it was designed by the movie sound engineers. This can be only achieved both in ATMOS and in STANDARD sound mode. By use another sound mode you can have a more or less pleasant experience but it would not be the real thing.
For those asking. Virtual Mode ON/OFF is an option designed for soundbars without rears. It enables virtual rear surround sound (don't ask me how, ask Samsung) . I did not notice any difference but common sense tells me to switch it to OFF. To keep thinks as much natural as possible
In summary , a very good bar, outstanding atmos, and good performance with other content which could be much better if channel volume options were not so rigid.