There are a number of different devices that can improve the audio quality of a television, in contrast to the relatively difficult task of improving the video quality of a television. The soundbar is one of these. Soundbars can be used to improve a television’s overall audio quality. It is a long bar that can be connected to a television and has speakers on it. In comparison to conventional home theatre systems, these devices are simpler to link and operate and take up less space. The Samsung Q990B and Sonos Arc are the soundbars you should keep in mind if you’re looking to purchase one for your house. The Arc, the company’s first Dolby Atmos-capable soundbar that completely alters the sound of your TV, is back from multi-room audio expert Sonos.
It is a multifunctional device that combines a smart speaker, wifi music sound system, and home theatre kit in one package. However, like most soundbars of its sort, it can experience problems with audio-picture syncing when used with TV set-top boxes. The Arc appears to be really straightforward. With eight different woofers, three tweeters, and a variety of technologies concealed beneath the matte metal mesh, it is a sleek, one-meter-long cylinder that is surprisingly small. The soundbar requires just two wires that plug into an enclave in the back – one for power and one to connect to the TV – for a minimalist aesthetic. It stands on a piece of furniture in front of your TV or can be wall-mounted with a mount.
Systems like Samsung’s flagship HW-Q990B, in particular, sound increasingly more like your standard high-end home theatre. All you need to set up this 11.1.4-channel soundbar combo, which is the first to ever include wireless Dolby Atmos, are four power outlets and a single HDMI connection. The black-on-black HW-interior Q990 B is filled with innovative and cool technologies, but the exterior is really dull. The bar is shaped like a long hexagon with slanted corners to reflect sound off the walls. The rear surrounds are also hexagonal in shape and huge, with sloped tops to scatter sound above and reflect it downwards as height channels. Let’s compare the Samsung Q990B and Sonos Arc in more detail.
Samsung Q990B Vs Sonos Arc: Comparison Table
|Features||Samsung Q990B||Sonos Arc|
|Model Name||Samsung Q990B||Sonos Arc|
|Series||Samsung Q Series||Sonos Arc Series|
|Online Pricing Range||₹90,990||₹90,999|
Samsung Q990B Vs Sonos Arc: Detailed Analysis
The primary soundbar has dimensions of 2.5 x 48 x 5.3 inches and a weight of 17 pounds. The front panel’s left and right corners are diagonally positioned. A metal grille covers the entire front and top of the soundbar, shielding all of the drivers inside. It also has a small panel with four rubber buttons for multifunctional (play/pause), volume up/down, and mic on/off. The front grille’s right side has an LED display that shows the input and volume levels as well as the status of the bar.
An optical audio port is located on the right side of the back panel, an eARC HDMI output and two HDMI inputs are located in the middle, and the power cable is located on the left side of the back panel. All of the soundbar’s connections are housed within three recesses on the back panel. On the back panel, there are also two keyholes for wall mounting the soundbar and a USB-A service connector.
Each satellite’s front and top panels, as well as the left panel on the right satellite and the right panel on the left satellite, are encased in metal grilles. All four surround channels—surround left, surround right, surround height left, and surround height right—are covered by these satellites collectively. A power cord connector, a status LED, a reset button, and a screw mount for wall or stand installation are all located on the back of each speaker.
It is proportionally best paired with a 55-inch model since, at 114cm (45″), it is slightly wider than a standard current 49-inch TV. The Arc can be wall-mounted if you don’t have a sideboard big enough to fit its considerable width. The onboard Trueplay tuning software will then automatically alter the speaker’s frequency response.
Once in place, the Arc is mostly visible through a 273-degree grille that conceals the array of front-mounted, upward-firing speakers. A driver covered by a grille is also present on each end. The Arc’s curved shape helps conceal its size and makes it appear slim, but its 8.5cm height is not small. Although it is not likely to be so high as to interfere with the picture on your television, it is possible that it could block the signals that are being provided to it by your remote control.
Connectivity and Features
With a premium Samsung TV from 2022 or later, you can use the Q990B wirelessly and cordlessly. Through Samsung’s Q-Symphony function, compatible Samsung TVs can also contribute their own speaker drivers to the system’s library. Although the soundbar also supports digital optical audio input, HDMI eARC offers the best capabilities and audio quality. The Q990B can wirelessly connect to your home wifi network and is compatible with Spotify Connect and Apple AirPlay 2.
It can also connect through Bluetooth to your phone; however, music playback is limited to the basic SBC codec. This is unfortunate because the large, robust, high-end sound system could truly benefit from high-res codecs like LDAC. The Q990B lacks an on-screen interface while having two HDMI ports that allow for the video pass-through of two devices to the TV. On the LED display or in the Samsung SmartThings app, all of your remote-controlled interactions with the soundbar are visible.
We can see the power jack, an ethernet port for wired networking, and a single HDMI port on the back of the Arc. For those who have older TVs, an optical adapter is provided; however, the intended method is to use HDMI and the ARC (Audio Return Channel) feature to transfer the sound from your TV to the Arc. In reality, the Arc supports eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), unlike the original Beam and the Ray, allowing it to handle higher-quality Dolby Atmos signals from TVs that can broadcast them. According to Sonos, there are currently over 25 streaming apps that offer Dolby Atmos material (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Apple TV, to mention just four). This indicates that technology is growing in popularity.
The Arc can also communicate with your TV via HDMI-CEC, so it will turn on and switch to TV audio once you switch on your TV. Additionally, you can change the Arc’s volume using the TV’s remote control, and you can turn on your TV by speaking commands to the Arc. You may even use the Arc to access particular content using only your voice if you connect an Amazon Fire TV or Google Chromecast to your system.
Any song’s bass line serves as an example of the Dolby Atmos spatial projection made possible by the Q990B’s drivers. Flying sand across the screen makes it appear that time is actually racing you. Because of all the upward-firing drivers, it appears as if debris is flying overhead. The fight’s thundering crashes and rumbles are pushed into the subwoofer, but the dialogue is audibly clear throughout the whole action without being overpowered by the music or sound effects.
Although the soundbar is unmistakably more geared for movies, Yes’ “Arijit Singh Songs” shows how the Q990B is appropriate for music. The first few acoustic guitar chords feel lush and deep. The high-mids have some string texture, but the highs don’t have as crisp of a treble as they could. But as the track starts, the chaotic mix is well-balanced, giving each component plenty of attention.
The most realistic rendition appears to be produced by the soundbar’s Standard mode, which mixes music as stereo. In contrast, the Surround mode distorts some of the more subtle aspects of the instruments while expanding the soundscape. Regardless of mode, the soundbar can provide enough volume to fill almost any room. Anyone who has listened to the microscopic speakers of an Atmos-badged phone or even most Atmos-badged TVs will testify that the Atmos badge isn’t much of a guarantee of quality because Dolby appears to be licensing it to anyone willing to pay the money. Even most soundbars with upward-firing speakers find it challenging to produce a believable Atmos experience. A common error is believing that Dolby Atmos is only about adding height to a soundtrack when, in reality, it should be about accurately positioning effects in a three-dimensional soundstage and filling the space with sound.
Samsung Q990B Vs Sonos Arc: Quick Results
|Particulars||Samsung Q990B||Sonos Arc||Which One Is Better?|
|Sound Performance||Better||Good||Samsung Q990B|
|Connectivity and Features||Good||Good||Any|
Final Verdict: Samsung Q990B Vs Sonos Arc
One of the most feature-rich soundbars on the market, the Samsung Q990B has a price to match, but its 11.1.4 channels generate 360-degree, whole-room audio that is far superior to what any TV speaker can provide. It isn’t flawless. Q-Symphony, one of its more intriguing features, is regrettably unavailable unless you own a Samsung TV that is compatible. Additionally, We had trouble using Alexa with the soundbar, and the system only supports low-end Bluetooth codecs.
The Arc is more than just a soundbar in its own right. It may be paired with other Sonos speakers to create a more comprehensive surround sound setup or a multi-room system. It is also a wireless speaker that can be voice or app operated and has access to almost any music streaming service. A device that can do so much and do it all so well rarely comes around. Even more unusual is that it has remained a class leader for over two years following its release. Without question, the Sonos Arc is a fantastic piece of technology.