3D-surround sound might just be the best thing since, well, surround sound, but full multi-speaker Dolby Atmos systems might be more than some people want to deal with setting up. Aiming to provide a solution to this problem, Samsung introduced a pair of Atmos sound bars at CES this year, and when we got to spend some time with one of them in April, we were fairly impressed with what we saw.
Now those sound bars are inching toward release, with both models going up for pre-sale today. These units fit a lot of sound into a relatively small package, and because of that, they aren’t exactly cheap: the HW-K950 retails for $1,500, while the trimmed-down HW-K850 can be had for $1,000.
Packing Atmos sound into such a small package is impressive, but it isn’t the only feature making these sound bars so easy to use. Both models also feature a fully wireless subwoofer and, in the case of the HW-K950, wireless surround speakers.
As the price tag suggests, the HW-K950 is the current top of the line, offering 5.1.4-channel sound. This is produced by three channels featuring a 2.5-inch driver paired with a 30-mm tweeter in the sound bar itself and two 2.5-inch ceiling-firing drivers on top, with each driver here getting its own 20-watt amp. The surround speakers are similar, minus the tweeters, and also feature the ceiling-firing drivers, completing the Atmos array. Finally, the 160-watt subwoofer features an 8-inch driver.
The HW-K850 is similar in terms of its shape and footprint, but only provides 3.1.2-channel sound. This model leaves out the surround speakers, with just the two ceiling-firing speakers in the sound bar making up the Atmos array. While the surround speakers don’t make a showing here, the wireless subwoofer is still present.
Samsung has given a release window of this summer for both sound bars, but so far no concrete launch date is available. For a closer look at the HW-K950, see our hands-on coverage from earlier this year.