Table of Contents
- Are Soundbars Worth It?
- Do You Have to Buy a Samsung Soundbar if You Have a Samsung TV?
- Best Soundbars for Samsung TV – Comparison Table
- Which Connections to Look For?
- 1. Samsung 2.1 Soundbar HW-R550 with Wireless Subwoofer
- 2. SONOS Beam – Smart TV Sound Bar
- 3. Samsung Harman Kardon HW-Q80R With Wireless Subwoofer
- 4. Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar
- 5. Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim Universal TV Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
- 6. Yamaha YAS-207BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
- 7. Sony HT-X9000F Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
Imagine a hypothetical scenario – You’ve just bought a brand-new Samsung TV, maybe some of the latest QLED 4K/8K UHD TVs, and you are so happy with what you see. The screen is super-slim, the image is crystal clear, and the amount of detail is overwhelming. However, there’s one little thing that spoils the experience. The quality of the sound doesn’t seem to match the picture. It’s clear, it’s articulate, but it’s simply too tiny for such a huge picture and it makes the experience less immersive, less enjoyable.
This kind of situation calls for an upgrade. But what kind of upgrade? You could buy a new AV receiver and a surround sound system. However, that’s quite pricey and it’s also a huge hassle. So, is there a cheaper and easier option? Yes, there is. Buying a soundbar is the best option if you want to save some money and don’t want to spend a whole day installing it. Some soundbars are basically plug-and-play devices and don’t require any technical knowledge. And they also sound much better than those tiny speakers built inside your TV.
In this article about 7 best soundbars for Samsung TV in 2020, we will discuss the most important features to look for in a soundbar and we will present to you our selection of the best soundbars for Samsung TVs in 2020.
Are Soundbars Worth It?
The short answer is yes. Some soundbars may be overpriced, but the market is flooded with all kinds of soundbars and you can easily find something that matches your Samsung or any other TV (in terms of design, size, and price). Also, unless you buy some cheap crappy generic brand, the soundbar will make a huge difference when it comes to loudness, clarity, and overall sound quality. So, yeah, soundbars are usually worth it.
Do You Have to Buy a Samsung Soundbar if You Have a Samsung TV?
No. You can buy any soundbar made by any manufacturer as long as it has the right kind of inputs (usually HDMI). In some cases, there are certain features that are Samsung-specific and will work better with Samsung TVs but you will be able to use 99% of all the features regardless of the soundbar or TV manufacturer. So, it’s not absolutely necessary to buy a Samsung soundbar.
Best Soundbars for Samsung TV – Comparison Table
|Soundbars for Samsung TV||Rating||Price||Review|
|Samsung 2.1 HW-R550||4.4||Check Amazon|
|Sonos Beam||4.4||Check Amazon|
|Samsung Harman Kardon HW-Q80R||4.3||Check Amazon|
|Bose SoundTouch 300||4.3||Check Amazon|
|Polk Audio Signa S2||4.5||Check Amazon|
|Yamaha YAS-207BL||4.3||Check Amazon|
|Sony HT-X9000F||4.3||Check Amazon|
Which Connections to Look For?
Most soundbar manufacturers want you to use your TV as a hub. In other words, they want you to connect all your audio/video sources to your TV and then use some kind of audio cable (HDMI, optical, coaxial) to send the audio to your soundbar.
Recommended Reading :
- 27 Best Home Theater Speakers In 2020
- 8 Best Home Theater Systems In 2020
- 15 Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers In 2020
Before you buy a soundbar, it’s important to check the number of different HDMI, optical, and other connections on your TV and on the soundbar, and see if that’s enough for all the sources you want to connect (gaming consoles, media streaming devices, Blu-ray players, etc.).
Physical connections (HDMI ARC, HDMI, optical, coaxial)
Pricier soundbars have one HDMI ARC and some additional HDMI, optical, and/or coaxial inputs. If the soundbar has HDMI input you can unburden your TV and connect some of the sources to your soundbar and then use HDMI ARC port for connecting the soundbar to the TV. If you have a 4K or 8K UHD TV, you should also check if the soundbar’s HDMI ports support 4K and HDR pass-through. They will work together even if the soundbar doesn’t support 4K and HDR but you will get much better results with 4K and HDR pass-through (more detailed and more vivid picture).
Wireless Connection – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Well, wireless connectivity is strictly optional and it’s not as important as physical connections. If you want more convenience, then you should look for a soundbar with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity. Naturally, you will have to pay more for these conveniences. You should also know that along with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity come some other interesting features. For example, with Wi-Fi connectivity usually comes Chromecast or Alexa. Also, some wireless soundbars can be upgraded by adding a subwoofer or even surround speakers. So, if you want to make further upgrades and build a wireless surround sound system at some point, it would be smart to go for a more expensive soundbar with Wi-Fi connectivity.
Now that you know some basic stuff, let’s move onto our selection of the best soundbars for Samsung TV in 2020.
1. Samsung 2.1 Soundbar HW-R550 with Wireless Subwoofer
Since we are talking about soundbars for Samsung TVs, we’ve decided to start with a Samsung bar. HW-R550 is a relatively affordable and quite powerful option. It comes with a wireless subwoofer and it’s Bluetooth-enabled.
What’s in the box?
The packaging contains your HW-R550 soundbar, wireless subwoofer, remote, power cables, mounting equipment, manual, and 1-year warranty.
Connection cables are not included. Also, this bar/subwoofer combo is surround sound ready which means that you can expand it to surround sound system by buying (separately) two wireless surround speakers with a wireless receiver.
Things we like
R550 features a simple and clean design with a sturdy ABS housing and a metal grille on the front. The soundbar is 36.5in wide and it’s a good match for 35-45in TVs.
The soundbar features 4 40W drivers arranged in 2 channels. Combined with the subwoofer, you get 320W of output power.
All the inputs are on the rear panel, arranged in two slots. You have one HDMI input, one HDMI ARC OUT, one optical, AUX, and a USB (only for audio files).
You have multiple ways of controlling the soundbar. First, you have four control buttons on the soundbar’s right panel (Volume, Source, Power). Second, you can use the remote which offers more control over the sound (sound modes, bass/treble adjustments, sync adjustments). You can also install the Samsung Audio Remote app and control everything with your phone.
HW-R550 also features Bluetooth connectivity so you can pair it with your phone and stream music wirelessly. You can even pair the soundbar wirelessly with selected Samsung TVs and use Bluetooth connection instead of cables. Only Bluetooth-enabled Samsung TVs produced in 2017 and later are supported. Even if your TV supports this kind of connection you should probably avoid it and use HDMI ARC instead (physical HDMI connection is much more reliable).
The soundbar features 4 sound modes – standard, surround, game, and smart mode. You can change the mode by using the remote or the app. The most interesting mode is the smart sound – it analyzes the audio you’re listening and adjusts the output in accordance with the content. The game mode is also a great thing – it enhances the sound effects and makes your gaming experience more enjoyable.
The sound quality is pretty good. It’s not incredibly immersive but it can get better with that wireless kit (sold separately). The soundbar, combined with a sub, represents a huge upgrade compared to your tiny TV speakers.
Things we don’t like
The soundbar has 4 drivers arranged in 2 channels. So, there’s no dedicated center channel which is not great for dialog intelligibility. However, the dialogs were pretty clear.
HDMI input doesn’t support 4K pass-through which is a pretty big downside, especially if you have a 4K TV.
The soundbar doesn’t support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It will also downmix any 5.1 surround soundtrack (Dolby or DTS) to 2.1.
When using your flash drive to play the music through the USB port, you can play mp3, wav, AAC, WMA, and OGG. Lossless FLAC and ALAC files are not supported.
2. SONOS Beam – Smart TV Sound Bar
Compared to highly praised SONOS Playbar and SONOS Playbase, Sonos Beam is the cheapest but, interestingly, the most advanced and most feature-rich option. Like the Playbar and Playbase, SONOS Beam features Wi-Fi connectivity, multiroom capabilities, and can be grouped with some of the SONOS Play speakers and SONOS SUB if you want to make a wireless surround sound system. Beam also has HDMI ARC output instead of an optical port, it supports AirPlay2, and has Alexa built-in. So, the Beam is also a smart speaker.
The beam is cheaper only because it’s slimmer, smaller and, consequently, less sonically capable than the Playbar and Playbase. So, if you need a soundbar for a relatively small or medium-sized room (up to 15×15), SONOS Beam is a great option.
What’s in the box?
The box contains your SONOS Beam, power cable, HDMI cable, HDMI to optical adapter, manual, and a warranty card.
The remote is not included since there’s no remote for Beam. Also, all the mounting equipment is sold separately.
Things we like
SONOS Beam features simple and unobtrusive but also elegant and visually appealing design. It’s relatively small and has nice rounded edges. The Beam is 26.5in wide and it’s a perfect match for smaller TVs (30-40in screens).
Compared to the Playbar and Playbase, Beam has fewer drivers. It has only one tweeter located in the middle, four full-range elliptically-shaped woofers. and three passive bass radiators Two of those four woofers are side-firing which widens the soundstage and makes it possible to use the Beam with larger TVs.
All the inputs are on the rear panel. You have one HDMI ARC output, an Ethernet port, the Join button, and AC power input. In case your TV has only optical connections, you can use the included HDMI-to-optical adapter.
The Beam doesn’t come with a remote but you still have plenty of options when it comes to controlling the unit. You can use the touch-sensitive controls on the top panel for the basic settings. The best thing for controlling everything is the SONOS app. This app will allow you to control not only your Beam but all the SONOS speakers across your home. You have to use it if you want to make a multiroom system or a surround sound system. It’s also used for room calibration (works only on iOS devices), EQ settings, and to activate different sound modes (like Speech Enhancement and Night Mode).
You can also use your TV remote (if your TV supports CEC) to control the volume but you first have to program your remote through the SONOS app. In the end, you can use your voice and ask Alexa to turn on/off the TV or control the volume.
The SONOS app is super-easy to use and quite feature-packed. It’s also perfectly responsive and reliable. That’s one of the reasons why we love SONOS wireless audio so much.
SONOS Beam features Bluetooth Low Energy but it can’t be used for wireless audio streaming. Bluetooth is only used for the initial setup. Once you connect your Beam to your home Wi-Fi, it won’t use Bluetooth anymore.
Just like SONOS Playbar and Playbase, SONOS Beam can be a part of your multiroom system, along with other SONOS speakers or with other speakers with AirPlay2 support (like HomePod, Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge, Libratone Zipp 2, etc.). Also, you can combine it with SONOS SUB and SONOS PLAY speakers and make a wireless surround sound system.
Unfortunately, the Beam follows the tradition of other SONOS soundbars/soundbases and it only supports PCM and Dolby 5.1 surround sound formats. It doesn’t support object-based Atmos and DTS:X, so if you want an Atmos bar, you should look elsewhere.
In terms of audio performance, the Beam is fairly similar to Playbar, especially when it comes to clarity. However, it’s not as capable in terms of bass performance and loudness. Still, SONOS Beam delivers a surprisingly spacious and punchy sound for its size and the midrange clarity is exceptional. On top of that, you can also adjust the bass and treble response through the app or you can use night and speech enhancement modes to get better listening experience.
Things we don’t like
The Beam doesn’t support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It only supports PCM and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound formats.
Voice control over Amazon Alexa won’t work if the Beam is connected to your TV via optical adapter.
3. Samsung Harman Kardon HW-Q80R With Wireless Subwoofer
HW-Q80R is, along with HW-Q90R, one of the most advanced (and most expensive) Samsung’s soundbar. It’s made in cooperation with Harman Kardon which guarantees great sonic performance. The bar comes with a wireless subwoofer and it’s quite feature-packed.
This Samsung combo is classified as 5.1.2. It’s a Dolby Atmos soundbar with DTS:X support. It also supports 4K HDR pass-through. Q80R is a perfect match for Samsung’s QLED TVs made in 2019 and after. It can be used with any TV made by any manufacturer but you won’t be able to use some Samsung-specific features like Game Mode Pro or Samsung OneRemote.
What’s in the box?
The box contains your Q80R soundbar, wireless subwoofer, power cables, remote, one HDMI cable, wall mount kit, manual, and a warranty card. This combo can be expended to true surround sound by adding two rear speakers (SWA-9000S). The rear speakers are sold separately.
Things we like
Q80R features a simple and elegant design. It has an aluminum frame with aluminum grilles on the front and top panels. The soundbar is 48.3in wide and it’s a perfect choice for 50-60in TVs.
HW-Q80R houses 13 drivers in total. They are arranged in 5 channels – front left and right, center, and two height channels. There are 10 full-range woofers (18W each) and 3 tweeters (10W each). Combined with a wireless subwoofer (8in side-firing), the total power output is rated at 370W.
All the connections and inputs are at the back. You have one HDMI ARC output, 2 HDMI inputs (both support 4K pass-through and HDR10), one optical input, and one USB port (for service purposes but not for music playback).
Along with all the physical connections, HW-Q80R features both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Just like much cheaper HW-R550, you can control the HW-Q80R in more than one way. You have a simple 4-button panel on the top for basic settings (power, source, and volume). Furthermore, you have the remote that’s exactly the same as the one that comes with previously reviewed HW-R550. You can also use the SmartThings app or you can connect your Amazon Echo or some other Alexa speaker with the soundbar and control it with your voice (power on/off, adjust the volume). So, there are four different options but the best ones are the remote and the app.
The soundbar works best with the latest Samsung TVs (made in 2019 and after), but it will work with all the other Samsung TVs and TVs made by some other manufacturers. Some features like Samsung OneRemote will work on all Samsung TVs with Anynet+ support. However, certain sound modes (like Game Pro Mode) work only on selected Samsung TVs.
You can use the remote to select one of four available modes including standard, surround, game pro, and adaptive. Adaptive is the most interesting since it’s the smartest mode – it will analyze the content and adjust the audio output. For example, when some audio content is played at low volumes, the soundbar will improve the midrange clarity and make the vocals and dialogs clearer.
You can also use the remote to make all kinds of manual EQ adjustments (bass, treble, center level, side level, rear level, etc.). You can also use the remote to sync the audio with the picture.
The sound output is big. Thanks to the side and top speakers, the soundstage is incredibly wide and envelopes the whole listening area. The subwoofer complements the soundbar but the lack of sub-bass is noticeable, especially when watching action and sci-fi movies with special effects and explosions. The quality and directionality of height effects are a bit questionable but that’s not a deal-breaker. The overall experience is quite immersive and you can make it even better by adding two wireless surround speakers.
The soundbar supports all the common surround sound formats including DD 5.1, DD+, DTS 5.1, DD True HD. It also supports Atmos and DTS:X.
Things we don’t like
For the price, we have expected a little bit more when it comes to features. Q80R is Wi-Fi enabled but doesn’t have Alexa built-in, or Chromecast, or AirPlay2. It’s only Alexa compatible.
4. Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar
SoundTouch 300 is, along with Bose SOLO 5, one of the most affordable Bose’s soundbars but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. In terms of performance and style, SoundTouch 300 is comparable with previously mentioned SONOS Beam, but it’s not as ‘’smart’’ as Beam and not as easy to install. SoundTouch 300 is a little bit older model (introduced in 2017), Since then, Bose has also introduced more advanced Soundbar 500 and Soundbar 700.
What’s in the box?
The packaging contains your soundbar, a universal remote, ADAPTIQ headset for calibration, power cord, a set of audio cables (HDMI and optical), manual, and a warranty card.
Wall mounting equipment is not included – it’s sold separately.
Things we like
SoundTouch 300, just like all the products from the SoundTouch 300, looks very elegant and very sophisticated. The whole top panel is made of shiny tempered glass and it’s really eye-catching. Front, left, and right panels are covered with hard aluminum grille. The bar is 38.5in wide and it will be a perfect match for 40-50in TVs.
There’s no info on the number of drivers and their power output but there are 4 full-range woofers and one tweeter (located in the middle). They are paired with bass radiators on the back and two so-called phase guides on the left and right end. These phase guides are supposed to make the soundstage wider and improve the listening experience.
All the inputs are on the rear panel. SoundTouch 300 has one HDMI ARC output, one HDMI input (with 4K HDR pass-through), one optical port, Ethernet port, two 3.5mm jacks (one for auto-calibration, the other for wired connection to the Acoustimass 300 bass module), and a micro USB port (for service).
The soundbar is also Bluetooth-enabled (with NFC support) and it features Wi-Fi connectivity.
To control the soundbar, you can use the included universal remote or the SoundTouch app. But you have to program the remote and you have to calibrate the system first. Also, you can use your Alexa-enabled speaker (Echo, Echo Dot, etc.) to control some basic settings with your voice (turn on/off, volume).
You can also program the remote to control your TV and other sources. You just have to type in the code for your device (the list of codes for different TVs, cable boxes, and other devices are included in the package).
The SoundTouch app will also allow you to stream music wirelessly via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You can integrate some of the supported streaming services (Deezer, Spotify, Pandora) with the app and stream audio to the soundbar.
The remote has a special section with six preset buttons so you can save your favorite streaming services, radio stations or playlists, and play them by pressing the right button. You can also save presets with your SoundTouch app.
SoundTouch 300 delivers surprisingly good performance for its size. It really sounds bigger and louder than you would assume. The sound is clear and balanced but it lacks bass. Luckily you can always play with the bass response (you can adjust the bass with the remote) and make it slightly deeper or you can add Bose Acoustimass 300 bass module and improve the low end significantly. You can also add two virtually invisible 300 wireless surround speakers and get a more spacious listening experience.
The SoundTouch features one special sound mode called ‘’dialog mode’’. This mode improves the intelligibility of vocals and dialogs by putting an emphasis on certain midrange frequencies.
Things we don’t like
Setting up the bar and remote takes some time. SoundTouch 300 is not exactly a plug-and-play device. Still, that should not be a deal-breaker since it doesn’t require advanced technological knowledge. It only requires patience.
SoundTouch 300 doesn’t support object-based DTS:X and Dolby Atmos.
5. Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim Universal TV Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
Looking for something budget-friendly? Polk is one of our go-to brands when it comes to affordable audio equipment. Naturally, you won’t get the same set of features as you would get with pricier bars but, for the price, Polk Audio Signa S2 offers more than satisfying performance.
What’s in the box?
The box contains Signa S2 soundbar, wireless subwoofer, power cables, remote, HDMI cable, optical cable, manual, and 1-year warranty.
Things we like
The design is simple and clean. The front panel, as well as one part of the top panel, are covered with a black fabric grille. The enclosure is made of plastic and looks a little bit cheap. The soundbar is 35.4in wide and it’s a perfect match for 35-45in TVs.
Signa S2 houses 4 drivers – two oval woofers and two tweeters. They are arranged in two channels (there’s no dedicated center channel).
The number of physical connections is modest but satisfying. You have one HDMI ARC output, optical input, and AUX input. The bar also features Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream any audio content from other Bluetooth-enabled sources.
When it comes to controls, you have two options – control panel on the top of the unit and the included remote. On the control panel, there are 5 buttons (power, source, Bluetooth/pairing, and volume). The remote offers you a little bit more control and more convenience (separate button for each source, different sound modes, bass adjustments, voice adjustments).
The sound output is pretty good. It’s not on par with more expensive SONOS, Bose or Samsung soundbars but it’s enjoyable and it’s much better than your TV. The subwoofer adds a nice punch but it lacks some serious rumble. You can choose between three sound modes – movie, music, and night mode. The night mode reduces bass and loud sounds. There are also three VoiceAdjust modes. These are basically three different EQ settings that improve dialog clarity.
Signa S2 supports Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1 but it basically outputs 2.1 sound.
Things we don’t like
Polk Signa S2 lacks HDMI inputs – you have to connect all your sources to the TV and then use HDMI ARC ports to connect the TV to your soundbar.
Unlike more expensive soundbars, Signa S2 doesn’t come with an app.
The bar doesn’t support Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and other multichannel surround sound audio formats.
6. Yamaha YAS-207BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
Yamaha is another great choice when it comes to relatively affordable soundbars. YAS-207BL is not exactly cheap but, compared to SONOS, Bose or some Samsung soundbars or soundbar/subwoofer combos, it’s reasonably priced.
This Yamaha soundbar comes with a wireless subwoofer. It features Bluetooth connectivity and has multiple physical inputs. YAS-207BL is a bit older system (released in 2017) but it’s also one of the first systems with DTS:X support.
What’s in the box?
The box contains your soundbar, wireless subwoofer, remote, power cables, one optical cable, manual, and a warranty card.
The mounting kit is not included and you have to buy it separately. Also, HDMI cable is not included.
Things we like
The soundbar looks quite elegant. It’s nothing flashy but it still looks nice. Front, left, and right panels are wrapped in black fabric grille. The top panel is made of hard plastic. The bar is 36.6in wide and less than 3int tall. It’s a great match for 35-45in TVs.
The bar houses 4 1.75in woofers and 2 1in tweeters arranged in three channels (center, left and right). Unlike some pricier bars with DTS:X support, YAS-207 BL doesn’t have height modules (up-firing drivers) so don’t expect great height effects. The subwoofer has one 6.25in driver with a front-firing bass reflex port. The advertised power output is 200W.
All the physical connections are on the rear panel. The soundbar features HDMI ARC output, one HDMI input, one optical input, and one AUX jack. So, you will have to connect most of your sources to your TV. The good news is that HDMI ports support 4K HDR pass-through.
To control the soundbar and adjust audio settings, you can use the touch-sensitive control panel (located at the bottom of the front panel), remote, or the Home Theater Controller app. The control panel on the soundbar has only 5 buttons – source, mute, 2 volume buttons, and power. If you want more control, you will have to use the remote or the app. Our preferred controller is the remote. The app is a bit sluggish and it’s not very stable.
Aside from the source selection and volume control, the remote and the app will allow you to play with the EQ settings (only bass settings and bass extension) or to activate the Voice Enhancement sound mode. There are 9 sound mode/source LED indicators located on the bar’s front panel, right next to the controls. These indicators will tell you which sound mode and which source is currently used.
YAS-207 features Bluetooth 4.1 with a standard Bluetooth range and reliable connection. Bluetooth doesn’t support aptX or aptX LL so there will a noticeable delay between audio and video when trying to play video on your phone, tablet, or TV and stream audio to the soundbar. So, you should probably use Bluetooth for music streaming only.
The soundbar can decode PCM, Dolby 5.1, DTS 5.1, and DTS:X. It doesn’t support Dolby Atmos.
The soundbar and subwoofer deliver an enjoyable listening experience. The soundstage is not extremely wide but it’s still excellent for small and mid-sized rooms. The bass is punchy and tight, the mids are crystal-clear and detailed, and the high-end is consistent. Even without the Voice Enhancement, the vocals and dialogs are perfectly intelligible.
Things we don’t like
Like many other soundbars, even much more expensive ones, YAS—207BL has a limited number of inputs and you will have to connect most of your sources to your TV.
The soundbar supports DTS:X but doesn’t support Dolby Atmos.
The lack of Wi-Fi is not a deal-breaker at this price point but you should look elsewhere if you need something with Wi-Fi capabilities.
7. Sony HT-X9000F Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
HT-X9000F is Sony’s 2.1 soundbar/subwoofer combo with Dolby Atmos support. This bar can upstream any content to 7.1.2 sound. It comes with quite a few sound modes including voice enhancement, it supports 4K HDR pass-through, and it features Bluetooth connectivity. HT-X9000F delivers really good performance but we still think that you can get a more immersive sound and better set of features for the price (the bar is priced slightly under $600).
What’s in the box?
Inside the box, you will find your soundbar, subwoofer, power cables, remote, one HDMI cable, manual, and a warranty card. The bar is mountable but the mounting kit is not included in the package.
Things we like
HT-9000F looks simple but very sophisticated. It’s not as beautiful as Bose SoundTouch 300 but it’s quite eye-catching. The bar is 36.6in wide and it’s super-slim (2.4in). It’s a great match for 40-50in TVs.
There’s no info on the number and type of drivers inside the soundbar but they are arranged in 2 channels. The total power output of the system is rated at 300W.
On the rear panel, you will find a few physical connections including HDMI eARC, HDMI input, optical input, AUX input, and a USB port (for music playback only). HDMI ports support 4K HDR pass-through.
The soundbar also features Bluetooth connectivity and can be wirelessly connected to selected Sony Bravia TVs or any other Bluetooth-enabled source. You could try to pair it with your Samsung TV but you will probably experience some kind of audio lag. The Bluetooth connection is reliable and works flawlessly.
To control the playback and soundbar, you can either use the control panel or the remote. Unlike some other models, HT-X9000F doesn’t come with an app. The panel on the top of the soundbar has 5 buttons (power, source, Bluetooth, and volume) and 5 LED source indicators. The remote is absolutely necessary if you want more control over the playback and sound output. It’s simple, intuitive, and responsive. You can use it to select the sound mode, adjust the bass, dim the LED indicators, etc.
When HDMI inputs are used, the soundbar can decode LPCM and all Dolby and DTS multichannel surround sound formats, including Atmos and DTS:X. When optical audio connection is used, the bar can decode DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1. In USB mode, you can only play audio files. USB supports all the popular audio formats including lossless FLAC and ALAC.
Sony used multiple advanced software solutions to make the sound more spacious. One of the greatest highlights is the so-called vertical surround engine (VERTICAL button on the remote). This software is supposed to expand the soundstage and create vertical surround sound effects. Thanks to the advanced DSP, this bar can convert/upscale any audio to 7.1.2. Does it work in practice? Well, kind of. I mean, you can’t compare this with actual surround sound but it does make the soundstage a bit wider and taller. The bar sounds surprisingly good for its size.
You can also improve your experience by activating different sound modes, depending on what you’re watching. There are 5 sound modes – Cinema, Game, Sports, Music, and News. There are also two special modes – voice enhancement and night mode. Voice Enhancement mode emphasizes the vocals and dialogs, while the night mode basically reduces the bass response. You can also play with the bass EQ settings manually.
Things we don’t like
HT-X9000F doesn’t support Wi-Fi connectivity which is kind of a surprise, considering the price. Some cheaper soundbars (like SONOS Beam and SoundTouch 300) have this feature. Also, unlike some other systems HT-X9000F soundbar/subwoofer combo can’t be expanded to true surround sound (you can’t add two wireless rear speakers and get better experience).
The bar has only one HDMI ARC output and one HDMI input. One or two additional HDMI inputs would be appreciated.
The biggest surprise is the lack of an app. The app is not absolutely necessary since you can do everything with your remote but it’s much more convenient than the remote and, at this price point, we have expected some kind of app.
This is the end of our list of 7 best soundbars for Samsung TV in 2020. Before you leave, here are some answers to the most common questions about soundbars.
Q: Are soundbars compatible with all TVs?
A: Since most of today’s TVs have multiple inputs/outputs, there’s a great chance that you can connect any soundbar to your new TV. However, not every soundbar has multiple inputs and, in some cases, you will have to use ‘’less capable’’ connection types instead of HDMI. For example, some soundbars (like SONOS PLAYBAR) have only optical audio inputs. So, it’s important to check the available connections and see if they meet your needs.
Q: How do I connect my soundbar to my TV?
A: Most soundbars are simple plug-and-play devices. You just have to connect them to your TV, turn them on, change the audio output in your TV settings, and you’re ready to go.
When it comes to connections, the best (and most common) option is HDMI. If your TV has HDMI ARC IN and your soundbar has HDMI ARC OUT, you should use those. If either your TV or your soundbar doesn’t have HDMI ARC connections, the second-best is an optical or coaxial digital connection.
Q: What is the best affordable soundbar?
A: You can find a cheap soundbar for less than $100 but our recommendation is to spend a little bit more. There are numerous choices under $200 or under $300. Our go-to brands when it comes to affordable soundbars are VIZIO, POLK, and YAMAHA. Also, Bose and Samsung have some affordable models under $200.
Q: What is the perfect soundbar size?
A: If you don’t mind the disproportion between your TV and your soundbar, then you can choose any size. However, it’s recommended to try to match the size of your soundbar and your TV. Not only because of the appearance and proportion but also because you are supposed to match the size of the sound to the size of the picture. For example, if you have a 60in screen (this is the screen diagonal), the perfect soundbar size would be 50in but you will be fine with a 40-55in soundbar.
Hello, my name is James Longman.
I’m a writer and editor at AudioReputation. I disassembled my first portable AM/FM radio when I was only 8. At the age of 11, I burned the circuit board on my old boombox cassette player. I’m not going to explain how but it was reckless and stupid.
Since then, I have become much more careful around radios, boomboxes, and other audio devices (at least, I like to think so) but I have never lost the passion for audio equipment. Throughout 20 years of my professional career, I’ve been working for various audio equipment manufacturers and even started building speakers on my own in my little workshop.
I love the work we do here at AudioReputation. Testing, comparing, and evaluating all kinds of audio devices (speakers, soundbars, headphones, home theater systems, etc.) is something I truly enjoy. I try to be unbiased and give you my honest opinion on every piece of equipment I test. Still, you should take my reviews with a pinch of salt and always be just a little bit skeptical. The fact that I liked some speaker or soundbar doesn’t mean that you are going to love it. If you have the opportunity, you should test it/hear it before buying it.