If budget isn’t a concern, the HW-K950 offers superb room-filling sound with enhanced music streaming capabilities. With its multi-speaker setup, crisp and powerful sound, various sound format compatibilities and multi-room streaming, it is one of the most exciting soundbars available today.
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Pro Amazing surround capabilities with an extra vertical dimension
This soundbar can produce cinema-like surround sound using the latest Dolby Atmos standard. Aside from the rear speakers, it also adds height by producing sound above the listener’s head, through extra speakers that reflect it from the ceiling. The ceiling needs to be flat and relatively shallow for this to work best, though. The sheer number of speakers together creates a more realistic sound bubble around the listener, as opposed to soundbars that can only emulate it with limited speakers. While only Dolby Atmos content takes full advantage of these extra speakers, even standard Stereo or Dolby Digital can benefit from this extra dimension.
Pro Multi-room audio streaming
Samsung has included an application that you can use to stream music from your phone, online streaming services and even media servers in your home network to the soundbar via Wi-Fi. It’s also possible to set up a multi-room system with other Samsung audio products that are compatible with the app.
Pro Powerful, high quality speakers for a great audio experience
It has 16 speakers that combine to deliver the best audio experience for watching and listening to music. Combined, they have a power rating of 500W for a system that consists of a center channel, two front channels, two rear channels, four vertical channels and a low frequency channel. The highs and mids sound clean and clear, without being flat. Movie dialogue is clear and distinguishable thanks to the added central channel.
Pro Supports wireless connectivity
The HW-K950 has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, for wireless media streaming from external devices. It also supports connecting wirelessly to Samsung TVs that support it.
Pro Dolby Atmos support
This soundbar supports Dolby Atmos, which has been becoming more popular in streaming services and new Blu-ray releases.
Pro Easy to update
Software updates can be done automatically over Wi-Fi, using a dedicated Samsung app.
Pro Main unit can be wall mounted
The main unit can be wall mounted, using the included bracket, but you need to buy separate wall mounts for the rear speakers if you wish to mount them.
Pro Conveniently sized rear speakers
The rear speakers are approximately the size of average desktop speakers.
Pro Stylish look
This soundbar has a classic black look with a steel mesh around the unit with brushed aluminum ends. The screen is hidden behind the mesh and illuminates only when there is a change in input or a button is pressed. A blue LED indicates Dolby Atmos signal input.
Pro Good wired connectivity
There are two HDMI 2.0 inputs and an HDMI ARC output with 4K HDR passthrough capabilities, as well as an optical and an analog input.
Pro Can be controlled with an HDMI-CEC device
If you have an HDMI-CEC compatible device, you can use it to control the soundbar.
Pro Detects Atmos automatically
The soundbar notifies you and switches automatically to Atmos mode when it detects a Dolby Atmos signal.
Pro OLED conveniently displays status information
The easy-to-read front OLED display gives you all the relevant status information.
Pro Audio enhancement mode
There are dedicated digital sound processing modes that can be used to enhance audio from movies, sports or music.
Pro Powerful subwoofer
The 8-inch driver of the subwoofer outputs 165W and is powerful enough to make windows shake. Since this can be overkill in some use cases, like music listening, you can easily control the subwoofer levels through the soundbar.
Con No info output to the TV screen via HDMI
There is no information output on the TV screen when using the HDMI output.
Con Remote control can be confusing to use
The remote control only has a few large buttons, and using them can be confusing, given that some functions are accessed via long presses of these buttons.
Con Large and heavy
The device is rather large and is best suited to pair with large TV sets, that are at least 50 inches. The subwoofer is also large and heavy, demanding a lot of space.
Con Rear speakers need an external power source
This soundbar's rear speakers need an external power source, so they can’t be placed anywhere without access to power.
Con DTS formats are downmixed to stereo
The K950 downmixes DTS formats down to stereo, which may be an issue for people with film collections in these formats. On the other hand, a lot of Blu-ray players can convert DTS to DD.
Con Issues with 4K HDR passthrough
This soundbar's HDMI inputs support 4K HDR passthrough, but some devices have issues regarding this, like broken HDR or periodic cut offs. As of Spring 2017, Samsung is working on adding additional support for devices, by releasing new software updates.