Get ready for two new Dolby Atmos soundbars from Samsung, the HW-N950 and HW-N850. These are updates to the HW-K950 and HW-K850 models Samsung released two years ago and have been upgraded with Harman Kardon sound. The HW-N950 ($1697.99) offers 7.1.4 3D immersive sound and the HW-N850 ($1197.99) has 5.1.2 audio.
This is the first major collaboration between the two companies, Samsung being the parent company of Harman Kardon. The HW-N950 system consists of the soundbar, a wireless subwoofer, and a pair of wireless surround speakers that incorporate Dolby Atmos upfiring drivers. Samsung touts this 7.1.4 setup as the largest number of channels that you can currently obtain in a soundbar, and in the case of does make it a true 3D immersive audio soundbar system.
“Our collaboration with Harman Kardon – an audio leader for 65 years – is a major leap forward as we continue to push the boundaries of premium sound and design for our consumers,” said Jongsuk Chu, Senior Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung’s market leading display technology and design paired with premium sound quality of Harman Kardon products is a winning combination for consumers.”
The 7-channel performance comes courtesy of side-firing drivers in the soundbar that create the surround channels while the wireless speakers handle rear surround. Both the wireless rear speakers and the soundbar incorporate Atmos- enabled drivers that use reflected sound to recreate height effects. The HW-N850 eschews the surround speakers, instead providing a 5.1.2 experience from a single soundbar plus the wireless sub.
Not only do these soundbars support Dolby Atmos, they are also compatible with the DTS:X 3D immersive sound format. Samsung says that Harmon Kardon tested and certified these soundbars using both objective and subjective techniques, with the objective tests occurring in anechoic chamber as well as simulated home listening environments.
“Samsung is the world leader in soundbars and we are extremely proud that they are enlisting HARMAN to enhance their audio quality and play a key role in growing their premium soundbar business,” said Dave Rogers, President of Consumer Audio at HARMAN. “Partnering with Samsung, one of the most admired brands in the world, will broaden the reach and appeal of Harman Kardon and help us build our business in other consumer and car audio branded solutions. Introducing the new co-branded Samsung Harman Kardon premium soundbars is a win for Samsung, HARMAN and consumers, who now will have the best of video, sound and design altogether in one striking package.“|
These soundbars are available to order now from select retailers.
A quick note related to this release: I do have a HW-N960 system that Samsung just sent me to review. It arrived two days ago and I should have some sort of a thread about it up and running this week.