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Samsung’s flagship HW-Q990D Dolby Atmos soundbar gets Roon support

Samsung 2024 HW-Q990D soundbar.
Samsung 2024 HW-Q990D Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Along with its new collection of 4K and 8K TVs, Samsung has debuted a few new soundbars at CES 2024, including an update to its critically acclaimed HW-Q990 Dolby Atmos flagship.

Like its predecessors, the 2024 HW-Q990D is a 22-driver, 11.1.4-channel system with support for wireless Dolby Atmos if you own a compatible Samsung TV. It also retains its 4K 120Hz passthrough capability for smooth video performance when gaming. But new to the Q990 is certified Roon support. Unless you’re a dedicated audiophile, you may not be familiar with Roon, a subscription-based music discovery and management platform that can best be described as iTunes for serious audio nerds. It also lets you manage multiple speakers and audio devices throughout your home.

Samsung 2024 HW-Q990D soundbar.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Soundbars with Roon compatibility are something of a rarity, as these speaker systems aren’t generally seen as audiophile-grade. But Samsung’s Harman division acquired Roon in 2023, which helps explain the HW-Q990D’s support for the service. We can probably expect to see more Roon support among Samsung products going forward.

As with previous Q-series soundbars, the Q990D supports Samsung’s Q-Symphony system, which lets the soundbar and select Samsung TVs combine their speakers for more immersive sound. Q-Symphony also has two sound profiles: central, which is geared toward sitting on a couch and watching a movie, and expansive, which attempts to balance the audio for music listening.

Samsung 2024 HW-Q990D soundbar.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

With Active Voice Amplifier Pro, the soundbar uses deep learning to separate the voices from the rest of the audio mix on a scene by scene basis, to keep volumes balanced.

In a similar vein, Samsung says that Party Play mode “broadens the sound profile to let each part of the sound system play a balanced profile” for larger gatherings.

Most soundbars include some kind of nighttime mode that reduces dynamic range so you don’t bother your housemates with booming bass and piercing highs. The Q990D’s version of that is a new private listening mode that turns off frontal audio, piping the main soundtrack to the surround speakers instead.

Samsung 2024 HW-S700D and HW-S801D soundbars.
Samsung 2024 HW-S700D and HW-S801D soundbars. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Rounding out Samsung’s CES 2024 soundbar announcements are updates to its collection of ultra-slim models.

Samsung says its HW-S800D (and the white variant known as the HW-S801D) — a Dolby Atmos soundbar with up-firing speakers — is only about a third of the depth of conventional soundbars. It includes a wireless subwoofer and gets a new feature for 2024: SpaceFit Sound Pro, Samsung’s auto room calibration system.

The HW-S700D has even smaller and slimmer profile of 35 inches wide, 1.4 inches tall, and just 1.5 inches deep. Samsung says it’s designed to complement TVs that are 55 inches and smaller, while still delivering the same sound quality as other members of the lineup.

Samsung TVs at CES 2024 | MicroLED TV, Anti-glare QD-OLED, and more

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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