20.08.18

Samsung and Harman intro first speaker offerings

different parts of samsung harman HW-N950 dolby atmos dts-x standard soundbar system

It’s all been relatively quiet on the Harman home audio front since Samsung announced its acquisition of the manufacturer back in November 2016. But this week Samsung finally gave us a peek of what it’s been working on in the form of two soundbars.

Pitched as ‘premium’ soundbars, the HW-N950 and HW-N850 are the first fruits of the Samsung and Harman partnership and are available from September onwards in select countries – branded by both companies.

Each soundbar targets bringing Dolby Atmos and DTS:X quality sound to living rooms everywhere, with up-firing and side-firing speakers on hand to create ‘immersive’ sound.

The N950 provides a 7.1.4 channel system (with 512W output) – that’s the largest number of channels available in a soundbar, whilst it’s less powerful sister model, the N850, offers a 5.1.2 (372W) system.

The N950 comprises of a soundbar, a wireless subwoofer and two wireless surround speakers, with 17 speakers accompanied by four up-firing and two side-firing drivers. Connectivity options include two HDMI inputs (& one output) and an optical input, as well as WiFi and Bluetooth options. For occasions when users want to just stream music from their phone, Samsung states 32-bit upscaling has been incorporated to boost the listening experience.

In comparison, the N850 incorporates 13 speakers in total, in addition to a wireless subwoofer.

Pricing outside Europe hasn’t been confirmed yet, but the HW-N950 will be priced at approximately €1,500 ($1,700) in European countries, and at €1,000 ($1,130) for the HW-N850.

In a climate where everyone’s investing considerable time and effort into their soundbar offerings, will Samsung/Harman’s N950/850 suceed as a more high spec alternative to the recently released Sonos Beam or a HEOS system?

Last week, Philips also introduced its latest OLED TV featuring an integrated soundbar developed by Bowers & Wilkins.