Samsung Q-Symphony Sound at CES 2020

When Samsung acquired Harman, it picked up some of the sharpest minds in the audio business. The company invested in a state-of-the-art research and development facility. Consequently, it was inevitable that at some point they would accomplish a heretofore unheard of feat, getting the speakers on a TV and a soundbar to play nice together. The result is what they call Q-Symphony and it is unique to the latest Samsung TVs.

The way it works is that Samsung has placed rear firing speakers near the top of the screen. This enhances sound even if you do not have a soundbar. However, when you add a soundbar, the TV is able to use these speakers to create a more 3D immersive listening experience that puts height in the mix. An immediately obvious benefit is the technology allows for dialog to come from the center of the screen, instead of having it sound like it’s coming from underneath, as is typical with bottom-mounted soundbars. However, it also does a suitable job acting as a surround effect.

Soundbars are a perfectly sane solution for adding better audio to a TV for situations where installing a full sized AVR based system is simply not an option. Now, it’s possible for a soundbar to TV to work together to create a surprisingly cinematic listening experience. Good enough to earn Samsung Q-Symphony an AVS Forum Best of CES 2020 award.

While Samsung had the expected show-floor demo of Q-Symphony, commendably conducted in a sealed off room that reduced the outside show floor noise, I was able to audition the technology in a private demo conducted by a Harman engineer, in a space that was completely isolated from outside noise. It’s actually quite surprising how much of an enhancement Samsung has achieved by merging the audio capabilities of its latest soundbar with its latest TVs.