When I reviewed Samsung’s HW-Q990C last year, my main gripe with the flagship soundbar was the fact that it didn’t offer HDMI 2.1. That meant that it didn’t have the 4K/120 passthrough for things like gaming consoles and streaming devices the competition did. At CES 2024, the company is addressing that concern. With the HW-Q990D (note the one letter difference), HDMI 2.1 is onboard even though the overall design hasn’t changed. Samsung’s priciest soundbar once again supports wireless Dolby Atmos with an 11.1.4-channel sonic setup, making it the most robust option in the company’s 2024 home theater lineup. 
Samsung packed in several new features for the Q990D. First, a Private Listening mode turns off all front-firing drivers and only uses the rear speakers so as not to disturb sleeping family or roommates. A new Party Play mode creates a balanced sound across the soundbar and rear speakers so that each element of the setup offers a solid mix. You won’t just get the rear channels from those speakers at the back of the room, in other words. Other 2024 Q-Series soundbars will get these two new modes, including the Q910D, Q800D and Q730D. Plus, the entire Q-Series still works with Alexa and Google Assistant, in addition to Bixby, and support for Chromecast and AirPlay returns across the board. 
When connected to a compatible Samsung TV, the Q990D’s sound can be analyzed by the display’s NPU processor to smooth out sharp notes and bass tons for the ideal results. Q-Symphony is back as well, adding the speakers from a Samsung TV to the Q990D and some of the company’s other soundbars to provide a more robust living room audio setup. The Q990D also supports Roon, a high-resolution music streaming service that allows you to beam music, including local files, to individual speakers or groups of devices. 
In addition to the Q-Series, Samsung has also updated its ultra-slim S-Series lineup. The key addition is a new 35-inch-wide S700D model that’s designed to fit better with TVs sized 55 inches and smaller. The company promises the same “impressive sound quality” as the 46-inch S800D and S810D, which are also updated for 2024. All of these ultra-slim soundbars are meant to be used with low-profile displays, like The Frame, or in cases where customers don’t want the imposing stature of something like the Q990D. More specifically, they’re about a third of the depth of a typical soundbar. The S models still offer wireless Dolby Atmos, Q-Symphony, SpaceFit Sound Pro and other premium features, but they top out at 3.1.2-channel setups. What’s more, the S800D now has HDMI eARC if you still prefer a wired option. 
Once again, there’s no word on pricing or availability for the Q990D, or any of the other new models, just yet. But for reference, last year’s Q990C arrived in the spring and was originally priced at $1,900. It included two wireless rear speakers and a wireless subwoofer. The top-of-the-line ultra-slim model, the S800B, was $900 at launch and included a wireless subwoofer. We’re likely to get pricing info from Samsung closer to the shipping date for all of the 2024 items.
We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/samsungs-q990d-soundbar-has-the-one-thing-the-2023-version-didnt-hdmi-21-030059753.html?src=rss

When I reviewed Samsung’s HW-Q990C last year, my main gripe with the flagship soundbar was the fact that it didn’t offer HDMI 2.1. That meant that it didn’t have the 4K/120 passthrough for things like gaming consoles and streaming devices the competition did. At CES 2024, the company is addressing that concern. With the HW-Q990D (note the one letter difference), HDMI 2.1 is onboard even though the overall design hasn’t changed. Samsung’s priciest soundbar once again supports wireless Dolby Atmos with an 11.1.4-channel sonic setup, making it the most robust option in the company’s 2024 home theater lineup. 

Samsung packed in several new features for the Q990D. First, a Private Listening mode turns off all front-firing drivers and only uses the rear speakers so as not to disturb sleeping family or roommates. A new Party Play mode creates a balanced sound across the soundbar and rear speakers so that each element of the setup offers a solid mix. You won’t just get the rear channels from those speakers at the back of the room, in other words. Other 2024 Q-Series soundbars will get these two new modes, including the Q910D, Q800D and Q730D. Plus, the entire Q-Series still works with Alexa and Google Assistant, in addition to Bixby, and support for Chromecast and AirPlay returns across the board. 

When connected to a compatible Samsung TV, the Q990D’s sound can be analyzed by the display’s NPU processor to smooth out sharp notes and bass tons for the ideal results. Q-Symphony is back as well, adding the speakers from a Samsung TV to the Q990D and some of the company’s other soundbars to provide a more robust living room audio setup. The Q990D also supports Roon, a high-resolution music streaming service that allows you to beam music, including local files, to individual speakers or groups of devices. 

In addition to the Q-Series, Samsung has also updated its ultra-slim S-Series lineup. The key addition is a new 35-inch-wide S700D model that’s designed to fit better with TVs sized 55 inches and smaller. The company promises the same “impressive sound quality” as the 46-inch S800D and S810D, which are also updated for 2024. All of these ultra-slim soundbars are meant to be used with low-profile displays, like The Frame, or in cases where customers don’t want the imposing stature of something like the Q990D. More specifically, they’re about a third of the depth of a typical soundbar. The S models still offer wireless Dolby Atmos, Q-Symphony, SpaceFit Sound Pro and other premium features, but they top out at 3.1.2-channel setups. What’s more, the S800D now has HDMI eARC if you still prefer a wired option. 

Once again, there’s no word on pricing or availability for the Q990D, or any of the other new models, just yet. But for reference, last year’s Q990C arrived in the spring and was originally priced at $1,900. It included two wireless rear speakers and a wireless subwoofer. The top-of-the-line ultra-slim model, the S800B, was $900 at launch and included a wireless subwoofer. We’re likely to get pricing info from Samsung closer to the shipping date for all of the 2024 items.

We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/samsungs-q990d-soundbar-has-the-one-thing-the-2023-version-didnt-hdmi-21-030059753.html?src=rss …Read More

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