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Soundbar HW-Q90R rear speakers don't sound in SURROUND MODE

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First Poster

Hi,

I have the Soundbar HW-Q90R with a Samsung Q80R 65" TV.
I was testing different types of movie and audio files because the rear speakers have a very low sound.
I was reading a lot of posts in this forum, with connection problems, update firmware solutions and a lot of issues.

I've tested a 7.1 movie from Plex client in the TV app, and the rear speakers sound right.

But when the movie audio is not 7.1 (the most of movies), the sound only comes from the sound bar and it seems a cheap soundbar that doesn't fill the room.

I understant that in this cases, we need to set the soundbar in surround mode, but even in that mode, the rear speakers don't sound anythink.

Is this a bug?

I wanted a good sound bar and I paid for an flagship samsung soundbar. With this problem, it sounds like an 100€ soundbar, because dont fill the room anyway.

I'm in doubt if I have to return this product.

16 REPLIES 16
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Apprentice

I'm experience exact the same issue. Sound is great when the source Audio is Atmos. 

But on music, 5.1 Audio etc. the rears are very silent. You can barely hear things, when pressing the ears on them. The Audio is noisy, choppy and very low volume.

 

I am on the newest Firmware, I verified that all speakers got updated. I'm currently not happy with that premium 1,000€ Soundbar. 

Is our unit broken?

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I hope they are going to fix this with a firmware upgrade.

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I had a chat today with Samsung Support. Conclusion:

Even in surround mode, the rears are very quiet, the guy said. He said, that's normal. 

 

I cant believe that. Why the hell they implemented a surround mode, when there is close to nothing to hear from the rears then. I dont believe any word from that guy. I really cant believe, that this is the normal behavier. 

Dont know what next step I should do ... Maybe I should bringt this Set back to the retailer. I'm struggling for days now with this. 

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Same here, i cant belive you give us this big rear speakers and you cant do simple software mod to fill all speakers and MAKE THEM LOUD.

 

Are you you really gona make more unsatisifed customers for something that can be fixed via simple firmware fix?

 

Just give us more loudness from rear speakers and some better mod for filling all speakers regardless of source, for music and similar.

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Explorer

From my little experience with surround systems, having the rear speaker relatively quiet is quite common. Maybe someone with more experience then me can contradict, but I rembember the same problem on old Creative Labs 4.0 and 7.1 systems with 5.1 contents and also a friend of mine with a 5.1 system playing DVDs told me the same thing. I think there are several reasons for this.

 

First of all, in front of you you have not only the left and right speakers, but also the center speaker, where dialogs are located: they are loud, of course, because dialogues must be well defined, so in general you'll hear more sound coming from the front than from the rear because of the additional speaker and its purpose.

 

Secondly, the feeling is that movie makers are using rear speakers sparingly, probably as a choice. It may also depend on the soundtrack language in use: here in Italy, dubbed soundtracks are often lower quality with regards to multitrack audio, compared to the original English soundtrack.

 

Lastly, and this is my own idea (probably wrong?), I think that Samsung took the 5.1 setup quite literally: as also Dolby site confirms (https://www.dolby.com/us/en/speaker-setup-guides/index.html), in a 5.1 setup surround speakers are to be placed more like side speakers rather than back speakers, while in 7.1 and Atmos setups, rear speakers are really on the back. If I understand it correctly, in the HW-Q90R the side speakers are indeed installed on the front soundbar and their output is meant to be reflected on the side walls to appear to come from your sides: this could explain why rear speakers are not very loud even when 5.1 surround sound is played: they are probably outputting just a fraction of the surround sound, most of which is played by the side speakers.

Having side speakers output actually coming from the front perhaps also increases the volume of the front contents even more, compared to the back ones (see previous point).

 

I tested my HW-Q90R with my good old LG BD390 Bluray player, which has a good audio test feature, and used a SPL app on my phone (plus my own ears) to check whether sound levels are ok. The Bluray player is set up to 7.1 output, so I can check each speaker individually (except for the top ones, this player is not Atmos enabled). Indeed, side speakers do play from the front unit (more apart then the left and right front speakers), while rear speakers are working as intended, having their default volume on par with front speakers. Indeed, to calibrate the whole system, I just had to lower side speaker volume to -2, keeping front L&R, C and rear L&R to 0.

 

So, my conclusion is that rear speakers (at least in my case) are working properly and their potential volume is fine even at the default settings, it's just that for 5.1 contents rear speakers are used sparingly, both because of the contents and probably also because of the way in which Samsung has laid out 5.1 audio on this 7.1.4 system. Which could be logical.

 

Important note: all these tests/considerations are being made with "Standard" sound mode, which leaves multritrack contents intact, without any upmixing.

 

What do other think?

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It is exactly what you explain @mauromol

 

In the HW-Q90R surround channel sound in the majority 5.1 mixes is played through the side speakers of the main bar unit.  This leaves the rears as mere ambient speakers, thus leaving lots of Hw-q90r customers very dissapointed. 

 

Simple solution would be to replicate side speakers sound on the rears with 5.1 mixes  in the Sorround sound mode, with same volume/power for both side and rears, but it does not seem to be in any update pipeline. 

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Simple solution would be to replicate side speakers sound on the rears with 5.1 mixes  in the Sorround sound mode, with same volume/power for both side and rears, but it does not seem to be in any update pipeline. 


Indeed, looking at the HW-Q90R Full Manual, the "Surround" sound mode is meant to upmix contents from 5.1 to 7.1.4: so isn't it doing that (i.e.: augment rear speakers with side contents)? Honestly, I didn't try (and I can't right now).

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Sorround sound mode does a extrange blend. For me it does not sound convincing at all. It does not just replicate side speakers sound in the rears, it replicates everything including front channel sound  but at a quieter volume. 

 

I've tried the title "Test Patterns" (it is just a continous cycle through the different sound channels used to set/ adjust AV equipment) in Netflix ( I've used the US netflix via vpn) to test the speakers in the different sound modes, and the "surround" sound mode mixes all the channels in the rears and atmos speakers. It is very artificial.

 

Adaptative and Standard though, sound crisper, louder, and clearer in this Test Patterns title. 

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@Estevez1979 wrote:

"sorround" sound mode mixes all the channels in the rears and atmos speakers. It is very artificial.

This is exactly why I don't like to use it, but until now I tried it only on stereo contents and such an artificial processing is unfortunately common in these cases. I had not the chance to test it with 5.1 contents, though, and I hoped it could behave differently by simply filling in the missing gaps in audio scene with a simple and straight but reasonable algorithm 😞

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