Samsung & Harman Kardon Unveil High-End Soundbars

Samsung has collaborated with the pioneering audio brand Harman Kardon on two new high-end soundbars.

Due out next week, the HW-N950 ($1,700) and HW-N850 ($1,200) soundbar systems are co-branded and support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound through up- and side-firing speakers that create an immersive experience with a height dimension.

The HW-N950 system comes with a wireless subwoofer and is built to handle 7.1.4 channels with two height-enabled wireless speakers (included) placed at the rear of the room. Total system power is 512 watts and the soundbar alone has 13 drivers, two of which fire from the sides and two from the top corners.

The HW-N850 is a 5.1.2-channel version of the soundbar system that excludes the wireless surround speakers. Total system power is 372 watts.

Both models support Bluetooth streaming and Alexa voice control when used with an Amazon Echo smart speaker or other Alexa-enabled device.

Design work on both models was done by Samsung with Harman Kardon certifying audio performance through objective and subjective testing Objective tests, conducted in an anechoic chamber and mock home environments, were supplemented with subjective listening tests covering different audio formats and music genres.

The new soundbars are the fruits of the first major collaboration between Samsung and Harman Kardon, one of several respected audio brands acquired as part of Samsung’s 2017 acquisition of Harman International. Samsung has collaborated with JBL on cinema sound solutions and with AKG, drawing on the brand’s expertise to tune the sound on Samsung tablets and bundling AKG headphones with some of its mobile phones.

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