Soundbars are a vital component in every home entertainment system.
Imagine watching a movie with the sound coming from your TV’s default speakers. Not so nice, is it? With a good soundbar, you should be able to gain greater immersion and hear every word, sound effect, and booming explosion.
However, you can only take home one of them, so which should you choose?
Let’s take a look at the Samsung Q990B vs. LG S95QR comparison and find out.
Inside the Q990B’s unassuming exterior lies pretty impressive hardware. Buying it nets you a complete package, including two rear speakers, a subwoofer, and the central soundbar unit.
What’s even more exciting is that the Dolby Atmos surround sound speakers are wireless, which means you’re not limited to how long the wires and cables reach, or if you’d need to get additional dongles or equipment to experience great audio.
You’ll likely experience issues with the speakers disconnecting if you don’t have a stable wi-fi connection. That said, we recommend switching it over to your 2.4GHz frequency so you won’t get interrupted.
The Q990B pairs well with modern Samsung smart TVs and products. The Tap Sound feature and built-in Alexa are the icing on the cake.
- Wireless speakers with Dolby Atmos support
- Built-in Alexa for hands-free control
- Solid hardware build that’s made to last
- Rear speakers sometimes disconnect
- Steep price tag
The S95QR also has that all-black exterior and finish, which blends well in just about any home decor. Like the Q990B, your purchase comes with two rear speakers, the central soundbar unit, and the subwoofer.
The soundbar’s up-firing center channel is worth writing home about– you’ll be able to hear conversations and whispers better, and they’re distinctively separate from the rest of the audio. HDMI Passthrough technology retains Dolby Vision clarity even when you’re playing games or streaming content from your device.
You may want to bring someone who’s knowledgeable about setting up soundbars along since the S95QR doesn’t come with a full owner’s manual. Or, you can spend an afternoon learning the skill.
The S95QR plays very well with the LG ecosystem, particularly its soundbars, wireless speakers, and newer TV models.
- The up-firing center channel brings superb dialog clarity
- Gamers will love the HDMI passthrough technology
- Premium soundbar unit
- No manual included — only a “quick start” guide
- No TV Sound Mode Share on non-LG TVs
Samsung sticks to the tried-and-true design method in traditional soundbar systems with the Q990B.
The subwoofer is nice and big, as are the two rear speakers. They’re wrapped in a black, sturdy shell with a mesh screen up front to allow the sound to escape. You won’t mistake them for anything else than speakers, especially if they’re strategically placed around the couch or bed.
The Q990B’s soundbar also has that standard form, with angular edges to break up those straight lines. The physical buttons up top are minimal, and there’s the Samsung brand printed on each unit.
When mounted, the soundbar adds a nice modern aesthetic touch to your home theater system.
LG’s soundbar offering is nearly the same as the Q990B, with the LG branding only visible on the main soundbar unit.
The S95QR’s rear speakers are more angular than the boxy Q990B, and it has an extra opening at the top for the up-firing channels. The subwoofer is massive and heavy, with softened edges to minimize the risk of accidents when you bump into it.
As for the soundbar unit, the all-black case is standard, except for three channel openings at the top (again, for the up-firing channel mechanism). The physical buttons are relegated at the back, which means you’d be operating it mostly via the included remote control.
The Q990B offers a seamless connection with newer Samsung TV models. With this particular setup you won’t need two remotes as the TV’s remote should provide enough control while watching TV shows and films.
Better sound can be enabled by connecting the HDMI to the TV’s ARC or eARC port. Otherwise, you can use optical or connect via wireless Bluetooth. However, you should keep in mind that you might experience a bit of a lag when in Bluetooth mode and playing a videogame via your Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch.
The Q990B has native Spotify Connect and Tidal Hi-Fi if you have a subscription. AirPlay 2 gives you the ability to stream from your Apple device.
The S95QR is a great choice to pair with new LG-branded TVs mostly because of the seamless experience. Sound Bar Mode lets you switch from various sound modes using your TV’s remote control.
The best way to connect the soundbar is through HDMI as it has Passthrough for Dolby Vision. Otherwise, you can do it via optical or the requisite Bluetooth. WowCast is also supported, although you’ll need to buy a separate dongle to achieve a true wireless soundbar setup.
Rounding out the details are USB playback, AirPlay 2, and Amazon Alexa. There’s Spotify Connect and streaming from device via Bluetooth.
The Q990B’s calling card is easily its True 11.1.4ch sound, which is comprised of four up-firing channels and 11 standard audio channels. Combined with a punchy bass that’s coming from the subwoofer, the home theater experience gets a nice boost in the immersion department.
Samsung’s soundbar also has wireless Dolby Atmos, which is a marvel when you get it working right. Basically speaking, you’ll need to have a very stable home network and enough bandwidth to maintain a connection from the soundbar and rear speakers to the router. Setup is a breeze, and there’s a manual to help you get there.
Q-Symphony is great if you have several Samsung speakers lying around the house. However, you will need extra HDMI cables and wall outlets (or an extension cord with many plugs) to make this happen.
SpaceFit+ is Samsung’s fancy term for room-filling sound, with a processor in the soundbar analyzing where you sit and how far the audio needs to be thrown. While watching movies and video content, you can adjust various sound modes, including Active Voice Amplifier, Adaptive Sound, and Game Pro Mode.
Tap Sound is especially worth mentioning and great with a compatible phone. Tap the top of the Q990B and the device will start streaming your playlist. You can also ask Alexa to play the latest tunes, or stream while you work or play on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone.
The LG soundbar’s up-firing center channel technology leads the way in the features department. The device puts out an impressive 810 watts to ensure every sound gets in the audience’s ears.
Alongside Dolby Atmos are notable enhancements in the form of IMAX and DTS Modes. If you’re wondering what Meridian Audio is about (it’s emblazoned on the soundbar), then here’s a short explanation. The upmixer processes two-channel stereo and separates low and high frequencies, blasting it out of the appropriate channel. You can actually hear where the footsteps and shots are coming from, and the sweet spot is more consistent.
AI Room Calibration determines the room size and adjusts the range and angle automatically. If you have a new LG smart TV, then you can take advantage of several benefits, including using the TV’s remote to change sound modes on the fly. Auto latency and variable refresh rates turn your TV into a gaming monitor for reduced input lag and stuttering.
WowCast is a nice gimmick to have if you’re looking to set up a truly wireless entertainment system. However, it costs extra but then you’ll have a home theater that has no visible wires.
Outside the TV, the S95QR has built-in Alexa for voice controls, and there’s Bluetooth and Google Assistant to stream and play podcasts or audiobooks from a device. There’s a wall bracket included in the package if you want to attach the soundbar near the TV.
What we like about the Q990B is how it can easily churn out 656 watts of sound. When you compare this to the S95QR’s 810 watts the Q990B may seem inferior, but there’s very little difference between the two.
Put the rear speakers and soundbar in the right spot and you’ll have room-filling sound that will surely impress your audience. Wireless Dolby Atmos works very well, especially if you run diagnostics and have a strong home network in play.
For some people it’s all about the bass, and we bet that you’ll be satisfied with the subwoofer’s performance. The rumble comes at the right time, and explosions have that extra oomph. The off-TV experience is very impressive, as you’ll want to play through all your favorite songs just to hear them through the Q990B.
Sound quality while watching can differ per individual, and this is where various sound modes come into play. While playing games, you can enable Game Pro Mode to hear everything in 3D, while Active Voice Amplifier serves as the magic bullet for movies that are almost impossible to hear.
When we say that the S95QR soundbar is loud, we really mean it. There’s the 810 watts of sound coming from the soundbar, subwoofer and rear speakers, and it can easily fill a medium-sized room. We’re confident to say that the S95QR is a great soundbar for large bedrooms and living rooms as well.
The soundbar specializes in separating each high and low and sending it through different channels. It’s like you can hear each sound from its origin, and it’s heightened for music and plays. Vocal clarity is exceptional, thanks to the up-firing channel. With enough practice, you can forget about reading the subtitles and just concentrate on the scene.
Bass is very punchy and comes in at the right moment. You can cycle through various sound modes, such as Bass Blast+ for hiphop, Clear Voice for news, Game for playing videogames, and more.
High-res audio technology is rated 3x better than CD, and the 24-bit 96kHz resolution sounds amazing if the content and format are supported. TIDAL hi-fi streaming is natively supported by the S95QR too.
Soundbars today come with multiple sound modes that enhance your audio experience based on the type of content you are consuming. From movies and music to gaming and news, these modes adapt the audio output to provide the best clarity, immersion, and overall sound experience.
Samsung’s Q990B includes Active Voice Amplifier for dialog clarity during movies, Adaptive Sound that adjusts audio based on the content, and Game Pro Mode which provides immersive 3D audio for gaming. Similarly, LG’s S95QR features modes like Bass Blast for enhanced bass during music playback, Clear Voice for crystal-clear dialogues during news broadcasts, and a Game mode for a heightened gaming experience.
Understanding these modes and their impact on sound quality can make your listening experience much more enjoyable and tailored to your needs. Experiment with the modes, find your favorite settings, and use them to get the most out of your soundbar.
Samsung Q990B vs. LG S95QR Conclusion
The Q990B and S95QR have come a long way in the soundbar niche, offering a slew of sound-centric features and extra options such as voice assistance and wireless speaker connection, among others.
In all honesty, these products are too similar to declare a “best” choice of the two. Both are feature-rich and provide excellent clarity and volume. Since many of the advanced features are specific to Samsung and LG, I would recommend choosing the Q990B if you own a Samsung TV and the S95QR if you own an LG TV.
Each soundbar has superb sound technology, as well as custom tuning features that take into account the layout of your room. Whichever product you pick, you’re sure to get good value for your money.
Which has better bass, the Samsung Q990B or the LG S95QR?
These soundbars are a nearly perfect tie when it comes to bass. Both soundbars come with their own dedicated subwoofers, which contribute significantly to their bass performances.
While the Samsung Q990B is noted for its punchy bass that adds an extra oomph to explosions in movies, the LG S95QR also delivers a very punchy bass that comes in at just the right moment.
The sound mode selection in both soundbars can further enhance the bass experience based on the type of audio content being played. In the end, it largely depends on personal preference, as some users might prefer the bass performance of one over the other.
Which soundbar has better connectivity options, the Samsung Q990B or the LG S95QR?
Both soundbars have a multitude of connectivity options. The Samsung Q990B offers a seamless connection with newer Samsung TV models and has options for HDMI, optical, and wireless Bluetooth connections. It also supports native Spotify Connect, Tidal Hi-Fi, and AirPlay 2. On the other hand, the LG S95QR pairs well with new LG-branded TVs, supporting HDMI (with Passthrough for Dolby Vision), optical, and Bluetooth connections. It also supports USB playback, AirPlay 2, Amazon Alexa, and Spotify Connect.
In terms of variety, both are quite evenly matched, but the best choice would depend on the specific devices and services you plan to use with the soundbar.
Can I use voice control with both the Samsung Q990B and LG S95QR soundbars?
Yes, both soundbars come with voice control features. The Samsung Q990B has built-in Alexa for hands-free control, while the LG S95QR also has built-in Alexa and supports Google Assistant. With these features, you can easily control playback, adjust volume, and perform other tasks without the need for a remote control.
What is the advantage of a soundbar having HDMI passthrough technology?
HDMI passthrough allows a soundbar to pass video data from a source device to your TV without losing any quality. This is especially beneficial for gamers who want to maintain the highest video quality while using the soundbar for audio.
Can I use my TV’s remote to control my soundbar?
Most modern soundbars, including Samsung’s Q990B and LG’s S95QR, can be controlled using your TV’s remote if they are connected via HDMI ARC or eARC.
What is the purpose of up-firing channels in a soundbar?
Up-firing channels reflect sound off the ceiling to create a sense of height and immersion. This is particularly effective when watching content with Dolby Atmos encoding, which includes overhead sound effects.