On August 20, Samsung is releasing its new HW-N950 and HW-N850 soundbars. These are its high-end audio devices that it built in collaboration with audio-engineering firm Harman Kardon. Both soundbars feature support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, which are next-gen positional audio standards that more games are beginning to support.
Samsung hasn’t revealed a final price for the N950 or N850, but you can expect it to match or surpass its previous Dolby Atmos soundbars that sell for $1,500. The N950’s main unit features 7.1.4 separate audio channels, which refers to the seven front, center, and surround speakers, one subwoofer, and four up-firing Atmos speakers. Samsung says this is the most channels available in a soundbar, but it must not count Creative’s incredible Sonic Carrier which has 11.2.4 audio channels. Of course, the Sonic Carrier is still $4,000, so it’s in another category beyond what Samsung is doing.
Still, soundbars are still an easy way to improve the audio of your home theater, and now they are also a quick and effective way to add support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound processing. These new technology standards are the future of home audio, and upcoming blockbuster games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey support it. Samsung is serving a market that wants that audio without having to install speakers into your ceiling, and it worked with Harman Kardon to ensure a high-quality final experience.
“Our collaboration with Harman Kardon – an audio leader for 65 years – is a major leap forward as we continue to push the boundaries of premium sound and design for our consumers,” Samsung senior vice president of visual displays Jongsuk Chu said. “Samsung’s market leading display technology and design paired with premium sound quality of Harman Kardon products is a winning combination for consumers.”
Samsung did confirm that it did most of the design work on the new soundbars, but Harman Kardon tweaked and tuned the final designs.