By Don Lindich
Week 37, 2023
Q. Which soundbar do you think would be best for my 2020-vintage 85-inch Samsung Q80T QLED 4K TV? We mainly watch sporting events and movies with the kids, and the room is about 20×20 feet. My budget is $1,200 or under but I am willing to pay more based on your recommendation. I am not sure how the Samsung soundbars test out, but I can get a really good discount directly from Samsung because I am a teacher. For example, the Samsung Q990C soundbar with wireless surround speakers is $1,599.99 but I can get it for under $1,000. I was not really looking for a setup with rear speakers, but am not totally opposed if they could be placed on some sort of stands.
-T.J., Peters Township, PA
A. You pretty much figured this out for yourself, so my job today is going to be to confirm what you have found and share it with all the readers out there. Educators will be especially happy to read about the Samsung Education Offers program, which provides significant discounts to those who qualify.
Even if you had not mentioned finding the soundbar and the price I would have recommended the Samsung Q990C to you. I have a home theater room in my home, complete with a speakers all around (including Dolby Atmos) and driven by powerful amplifiers, but that is not a practical solution for every room in the house. Wanting to bring as much of that experience to the 2019-vintage 75-inch Samsung Q90 in my living room, I chose the matching Samsung HW-Q90R soundbar with wireless subwoofer and wireless surround speakers. It brings a true home theater surround experience to any space but without lots of components and speakers, and the complexity and expense that goes with them.
Your system will perform even better than mine because your TV and soundbar support Samsung’s Q-Symphony. Typically when you use a soundbar the TV speakers are turned off and inactive. Q-Symphony pairs the TV speakers strategically with the soundbar system for even better sound quality and very convincing spaciousness and surround effects. I have heard the Q-Symphony products working together and the performance is competitive with good component systems that cost far more. Setup and operation is a breeze because everything is designed to work together. And not only are the surround effects and bass very good, the richness and quality of sound is outstanding as well. Samsung bought the Harman audio group years ago to raise their game in the Hi-Fi and soundbar markets, and my 2019 soundbar is even branded Samsung/Harman Kardon. The good audio heritage is apparent when you hear these soundbar systems fill you room with gorgeous sound that makes you feel like you are in a theater.
The wireless surround speakers can be placed on stands and believe me, it is worth it. The Q990C lists for $1,899.99 and the current discounted selling price is $1,599.99. If you had not found the deal I would have recommended you add another $400 to your $1,200 budget to buy the Q990C. At under $1,000 it is a steal – go for it!
Educators can visit www.samsung.com/us/shop/offer-program/education/ to learn more about the Samsung Education Offers Program. There are huge discounts on all kinds of Samsung products, not just TVs and soundbars. Special 0% financing offers are available as well.
Epilogue: I heard from T.J. again after I replied to his email but before I wrote the column. He said, “I was able to hook up the Q990C yesterday and you were not kidding me. This thing is great!”