September 24, 2021

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[Interview] The secret behind the powerful sound of Samsung’s premium speakers – Samsung Newsroom Germany

Mingyo Oh, Haekwang Park and Shinhye Choi (from left) of Samsung’s Visual Display Business, who were behind the development of the HW-Q950A premium soundbar

The trend towards large format televisions continues. It enables users to enjoy exciting home cinema experiences, equipped with a set of high definition TV images and suitable background.

It is important to have an accurate and clear voice so that the content is inspiring. In order to provide its users with a solid foundation in this regard, Samsung launched two high-end speakers, HW-Q950A and HW-Q900A, in May this year. They have up to 16 channels and a variety of advanced functions. The responsible product experts talk about the secret behind the powerful sound of the 2021 speakers in an interview.

Raumfüllender 11.1.4-Kanal-Surround-Sound

Haekwang Park, chief engineer of the Audio Hardware Lab of Samsung’s Visual Display Business

Thanks to advances in technology, the sound of our favorite content can be reproduced in a diverse, expressive and room-filling way. “People consume content that focuses, among other things, on sound quality, which makes sound so important,” says Haekwang Park, chief engineer at Sound Device Lab at Samsung’s Visual Display Business.

In order to meet the increasing expectations of users, Samsung has spared no effort in developing the latest premium soundbar. In 2016, Samsung launched its first 5.1.4-channel speakerphone model. The speakers are equipped with left, right, center, two rear speakers and four upward tweeters as well as a subwoofer, which together can produce 3D surround sound. Newer models have been expanded to include additional channels, including a surround channel on the speaker side and a wide surround channel that can emit sound to the front and sides. In 2020, Samsung finally introduced its first model with 9.1.4 channels.

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In May this year, Samsung went one step further with its world’s first 11.1.4-channel model, the HW-Q950A. The tweeter has two rear surround channels, which Mingyo Oh’s product diagram explains: “The newly added channels are on either side of the rear speakers. They add vibrancy to dynamic scenes like a flying plane or a car chase by first emitting sound to the side walls before it reaches Audience.” Samsung’s premium speaker delivers a great audio experience by capturing moments filled with powerful sound.

Mingyo Oh from Samsung’s Visual Display Business Product Planning Group

Our goal: to reproduce the sound according to the original using advanced waveguide rendering techniques

The channel of the loudspeaker can determine the direction in which the sound is moving. For this reason, a larger number of channels can make the sound smoother and richer. Based on advanced waveguide display and guide technologies, Samsung enables compelling 3D sound with just four speakers.

Presentation is about ensuring that the sound output reproduces the sound as intended by the director or performer. The development team at Samsung has succeeded in creating a great audio experience by intelligently integrating state-of-the-art display technology into the interior of the speakers. In order to be able to offer users the most natural sound experience possible, our products aim to reproduce sound smoothly. “The HW-Q950A amplifier provides sound that is reflected in different directions,” said Shenhee Choi.

Shinhye Choi of Samsung’s Visual Display Business Global Product Marketing Group

Waveguide technology is also a central pillar when it comes to delivering sound at the highest level. As mentioned earlier, a multi-channel amplifier emits sounds in several directions, and the single channel waveguide technology of the amplifier provides the ability to control sounds in the direction intended for the content. Haekwang Park reports on the matter: “Experts from Sound Lab for Visual Display Business and Samsung Audio Lab in California have developed individual components for the speakers. Our speaker models are carefully designed to create an immersive audio landscape.”

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How SpaceFit Sound + and Q-Symphony can further improve your viewing experience

As a rule, a large portion of TV sound first hits walls and curtains before it reaches the user’s ears. This fact explains why the sound scene can be perceived differently depending on the design of the environment. The HW-Q950A, along with 2021 Samsung TV models, provides a harmonious soundscape by pre-analyzing room dimensions via SpaceFit Sound+ and adapting the audio output to prevailing conditions.

SpaceFit Sound+ combines the strengths of SpaceFit Sound with Auto EQ technology. Together they use the built-in microphones, which first measure the area and then forward the data to the speakers so that they can generate an audio experience adapted accordingly.

This is where the interaction between Samsung TVs and new soundbars never stops. Samsung’s Q-Symphony technology can further enhance the audio scene by synchronizing the audio output of the TV with the audio output of the speaker. The sound no longer comes exclusively from the speakers, but from both devices at the same time, so that the listener no longer has to decide which sound source to use. Q-Symphony integrates a surround sound effect that includes both TV audio output and speaker sound.

The combination of rich sound and convenient functions

As with other models, Samsung has focused more on improving the sound quality of its speakers with the HW-Q950A compared to previous models. For example, the active speaker is turned on, which can amplify the dialogues in the movie if loud noises are heard in the user’s surroundings. The amplifier automatically analyzes the noise level via the built-in microphone. Once this exceeds a certain limit of more than three seconds, the technology automatically increases the volume of the dialogs.

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The HW-Q950A’s loudspeaker also continually adapts the sound to the type of scene in question, depending on whether powerful sound effects or clearly understood dialogues are more important. To do this, adaptive audio technology analyzes the audio signals of each scene. In addition, there is Game Mode Pro, which can provide a wonderful and immersive gaming experience with the help of subwoofer and loudspeakers radiating upwards. Thanks to the clicking sound, users with a compatible smartphone just have to briefly touch the sound bar to transfer the melody of their favorite song from the smartphone to the speakers.

When it comes to sound optimization, Samsung’s development team mainly relies on high-performance foundations. “We are constantly working to continue delivering sound solutions of the highest quality,” the developers said. “That’s why we work closely with groups of experts and rely on advanced measurement and simulation techniques that give us information about what we identify as optimal sound.”

The ultimate goal of the developers is to provide users with an excellent listening experience no matter what content they consume. Samsung firmly believes that they can get one step closer to this goal every day.

1 The Consumer Electronics Promotion Association (GFU) has determined that 66% of TV sales can be attributed to TVs with diagonals greater than 55 inches and 34% of sales to TVs less than 55 inches: https://gfu.de/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/HEMIX_Q1-Q4_2020.pdf