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Samsung’s Dolby Atmos Soundbars: An Easy Way to Bring Atmos Sound to Your Home Theater

Posted by Jim Tanous on August 26, 2016
samsung dolby atmos soundbars

Want to experience Dolby Atmos at home but aren’t able to install the 7, 9, or 11 speakers required for an optimal setup? Atmos-enabled Soundbars might be the solution, and a pair of relatively affordable Atmos Soundbars from Samsung are now available.

First announced earlier this year at CES, the Samsung HW-K950 and HW-K850 are now shipping. They’re not the first Atmos Soundbars to hit the market — the Yamaha YSP-5600 launched earlier this year — but at $1,499 and $999, respectively, the Samsung soundbars are a slightly more affordable way to bring Atmos to your home theater.

Like standard 5.1 and 7.1 soundbars, Dolby Atmos soundbars won’t create a “true” Atmos experience. Atmos soundbars use upward-firing drivers and timing effects to bounce sound off your ceiling to approximate the presence of actual Atmos height channels. Initial and lower priced models like the YSP-5600 and HW-K850 position all of the speakers within the central soundbar housing and pair it with a discrete subwoofer, while the higher-end HW-K950 pairs the upward-firing soundbar drivers with wireless surround speakers. But even with advanced calibration, you’ll need a room with proper dimensions and a bit of luck to get passable object-based sound from the latest UHD movies.

While an Atmos soundbar won’t give you the same experience as a dedicated Atmos setup with discrete speakers, you’ll still get a wide, and now tall, soundstage that will sound more immersive than a stereo or 3-channel setup and may be all you need for smaller rooms with low ceilings and four walls. Braden already gave Samsung’s entry-level HW-K450 soundbar a positive review, and early customer feedback on Samsung’s Atmos soundbars is also looking good.

Check out the specs for the new Atmos soundbars below to see if they’re just what you need for your next 4K and UHD-ready home theater.

Samsung HW-K950 ($1,499.99)

atmos soundbar samsung hw-k950

  • Number of Channels: 5.1.4
  • Number of Physical Speakers: 4 (soundbar, rear surrounds, subwoofer)
  • Total Power: 500 watts
  • HDMI Inputs: 1
  • HDMI Outputs: 1
  • Analog Audio Inputs: 1
  • Optical Audio Inputs: 1
  • Wireless Subwoofer and Rear Speakers
  • Network Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • 4K and 3D video passthrough
  • DSP Sound Modes: Standard, Music, Movie, Clear Voice, Sports, Night Mode
  • Audio Processing: Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS (2-channels)
  • Combined Weight: 56 pounds
  • Soundbar Dimensions (W x H x D): 47.6″ x 3.2″ x 5.1″
  • Subwoofer Dimensions (W x H x D): 8.0″ x 15.7″ x 16.3″

Samsung HW-K850 ($999.99)

atmos soundbar samsung hw-k850

  • Number of Channels: 3.1.2
  • Number of Physical Speakers: 2 (soundbar, subwoofer)
  • Total Power: 350 watts
  • HDMI Inputs: 1
  • HDMI Outputs: 1
  • Analog Audio Inputs: 1
  • Optical Audio Inputs: 1
  • Wireless Subwoofer
  • Network Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • 4K and 3D video passthrough
  • DSP Sound Modes: Standard, Music, Movie, Clear Voice, Sports, Night Mode
  • Audio Processing: Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS (2-channels)
  • Combined Weight: 57 pounds
  • Soundbar Dimensions (W x H x D): 47.6″ x 3.2″ x 5.1″
  • Subwoofer Dimensions (W x H x D): 8.0″ x 15.7″ x 16.3″

One thought on “Samsung’s Dolby Atmos Soundbars: An Easy Way to Bring Atmos Sound to Your Home Theater”

disqus_hmYbDlydxz says:
On the 850, if I connect radiant 360 speakers, is it true surround (5.1.2) or is it 3.1.2 coming from more directions?
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