I have spent 4 painful days trying to solve the issues with eARC on the Q950A when paired with a Samsung TV (I have QN800A). I have finally got the eARC connection to persist and have some explains below. Hopefully someone from Samsung reads this and fixes their software.
What you need to sacrifice to get this to work:
Samsung universal remote for everything except Q950A.
CEC functionality from a non samsung device.
What the issues are:
1 - any device connected in the chain which has CEC enabled can break the earc handshake
2 - if you use samsung universal remote it will not leave the appropriate delays when turning on devices causing earc handshake to break
Steps to get a perfect earc setup:
1 - on every device except for TV disable CEC or HDMI control. Apple TV, Sky Q, Xbox, PS5. Has to be all of them.
2 - unplug all devices from tv and Soundbar and hard reset both. 950A hard reset is holding volume up and down on bar until you see INT displayed and then it says BYE.
3 - During Samsung tv setup plug everything back in (nothing into Soundbar, all into TV)
At this point samsung setup pairs things with the smart remote. But it also defaults earc to ‘off’ which is helpful for next step.
4 - once the tv is set up - do not enable earc (yet). Go to sources and universal remote and delete all sources created by Samsung so they default to HDMI 1, 2 etc. You can still rename them and add them to home just don’t use the universal remote.
5 - Turn off all HDMI inputs and turn off Soundbar.
6 - now enable earc in the menu. If it doesn’t switch on the Soundbar after this you can. It should detect earc for the first time.
7 - now turn on Xbox or PS5 - you will have to change the input manually on Samsung remote. In samsung sound settings on tv once the input is up select pass through and leave it.
Now you have an earc connection which can’t be killed by external sources. One final point:
whenever you turn on tv - make sure you turn on tv first and no other device. Soundbar should come on automatically if you have a Samsung tv - if not turn that on after tv is on. Check you have earc - if so you’re safe to turn other devices on.
I don’t know if Samsung will fix this - but I know understand why it’s not totally within their control. However it is in their control to fix pass through for multi channel LPCM and DTS-X.
make sure Xbox is set to bitstream Atmos pass through and PlayStation set to Dolby. Also make sure to change blu ray app output to bitstream within the player to get lossless Atmos.
Hope this helps someone. And I hope Samsung read it.
Solved! Go to Solution.
Given how perfect earc is now on mine - I literally can’t break it unless I disable it - I think the main board was faulty. What worries me is that the fault is heat related due to lack of cooling in the OCB but only time will tell. I’ve got a new board coming again on Weds as I now have banding on the screen itself. Personally I think that’s related to bad capacitors in the other parts of the OCB but have to go through the motions with Samsung before I get a complete replacement.
But there is definitely hope - I can attest earc is now perfect. I still get dropouts very occasionally but mainly on MAT/DD+ or LPCM streams which seem to be a theme. Hopefully that can be made better with firmware. But I honestly think the lack of cooling is a concern overall. There’s no fan at all, only a piece of thermal rubber for a heat sink on a CPU which is scaling content to 8K and handling VRR etc. Seems odd.
Well, got a phone call yesterday late afternoon from Samsung Netherlands: according to product specialist they are aware of issues with the new soundbar Q950A and the Neo LED Tv. This will require software update(s) and I will just have to wait for that…
They said that this is normal with new products. I disagree. I think this should be tested before releasing new products, but for now all I can do is wait I am afraid…:-(
Not happy and definitely the last time I bought anything from Samsung!
Thank you for the response. Samsung has replied to me yesterday that they think the source of my problem is in the tv (oneconnectbox) and that 2021 tv model needs a software update to work correctly with the Q950A soundbar via eARC/HDMI. They will provide me the update asap.
I have no knowledge about the Q80T but if it is Wifi equiped than the same approach might work. I used the SartThingsApp from Samsung and added the soundbar to my devices in the app. After that I get in the sound page of my tv the Wifi soundbar as an option. When selected the soundbar works without a HDMI connection. Of course the tv needs to be connected to the network as well.
This method provides at least sound via the system but not Dolby surround is my impression. I think you need a HDMI connection for that.
Just wanted to confirm that this method seems to have worked on Samsung's Q80T! I'm getting eARC Passthrough with my PS5, and I gotta say it sounds amazing. Funnily enough I tried to turn off the CEC setting in the TV's options and that killed the CEC handshake. So, I guess I'll keep the option off on all of my relevant consoles, and hopefully I won't run into the issue again. Thanks again for posting this!!
Yesterday technician of Samsung came by and updated te firmware of my 2021 NEO QLED 65” TV.
Good news is that the eARC HDMI connection to my Q950A soundbar now seems stable.
The issue with the Dolby 5.1 sound remains unchanged though: Still severe audio delay with some programs/movies where audio is over 2 seconds behind on video. Only way to watch those programs is to switch to Wifi connection between Tv and soundbar but by doing so you loose surround sound.
Strangely Dolby-Atmos programs/movies work fine, only Dolby 5.1 seems affected…
So, problems partly solved.
I also have a Q80T and have been pulling my hair out trying to get LPCM 5.1 from my PS5 to passthrough to my sound system. This thread seems to be the closest thing I have found to a solution although after following all the steps in the OP I have not been able to make this work for me.
I have a Sonos Arc and surround speakers. I have always been able to get Dolby 5.1 to passthrough to my speakers from my PS5 but not LPCM. The Dolby audio sounds very compressed as the PS5 is converting LPCM to Dolby when this option is selected on the PS5. Was this the case for you too? Or were you originally unable to have any surround audio passthrough at all?
I'm just trying to figure out if my issue is the same as the issues described in this thread or if I'm dealing with a different issue. From my other research, it seems people believe that the Samsung QLED TVs are not capable of passing through LPCM 5.1 audio at all. This thread however leads me to believe that it is possible, but perhaps I'm misunderstanding.
If anyone could help clarify this for me that would be amazing. Thank you.
Um, so basically this step is the only thing you need to do get get passthrough to work
"make sure Xbox is set to bitstream Atmos pass through and PlayStation set to Dolby"
The rest is all unecessary.
But it is not a solution. It is a workaround, as these outputs from the consoles are lossy.
Basically LPCM passthrough is not currently possible
It's normal for Samsung... Was waiting for over a year for the Q90R to have earc enabled. It was even promised from the CEO in a video, then in the end they realised the hardware would not support it.
So I wouldn't hold my breath for this LPCM passthrough issue to EVER be resolved.