I love testing new tech and I especially love testing soundbars and this latest comparison – Samsung HW-Q950T vs LG SN11RG – Bring me back to one of my favorites from Samsung, the HW Q950T and the latest flagship model from LG – the LG SN11RT. I was especially excited by this one since it’s the first time I got to play with any products from LG so it feels like exploring new territory.
I was also a bit hesitant to put this relative newcomer against the highly touted HW Q950T and it seems that I’m not alone. Do a review of the reviews of top-rated soundbars for 2021 and not one lists the LG SN11RT. It’s almost as if LG soundbars are so far below everyone’s radar that it’s getting ignored.
It’s time to shed some light on this soundbar and see how it stacks up against the competition but first, you may want to have a look back at the last article I wrote back in September that took a close look at 2 leading Samsung soundbars – Samsung Q90R vs Samsung Q950T which is a better buy?.
I’ll use this comparison to try a dig a bit deeper into the Samsung soundbar as well so if you’re thinking about this soundbar for your listening and watching space you’ll get a bit more to consider. Also, and in the desire to be completely open, I have the Q950T set up in our family room, paired with the Samsung Q70A QLED 55” TV, and I tested the LG SN11RT with the same TV so they delivered sound from the same source. I also used the same movies and music tracks. So, this test put these 2 soundbars on a level playing field.
Both of these soundbars are at the high end of the price range for soundbars, with practically no difference between them. The Samsung Q950T comes in with a slightly more premium price at $957 but only by about $30. While these certainly aren’t cheap, neither one comes close to high-end systems from Samsung and others that can easily climb into the $3,000+ range.
On to the details – Samsung Q950T vs LG SN11RG
|Samsung HW Q950T||LG SN11RG|
|9.1.4 Channels||7.1.4 Channels|
|8” Subwoofer / 2 Satellites||8” Subwoofer / 2 Satellites|
|Wireless Surround Sound (subwoofer and satellite speakers require power connections)||Wireless Surround Sound (subwoofer and satellite speakers require power connections)|
|No charging||No charging|
|No playback time||No playback time|
|DTS 5.1, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus||DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD|
|1 Digital optical input||1 Digital optical input|
|2 HDMI in||2 HDMI in|
|1 HDMI Out||1 HDMI Out|
|HDMI ARC||HDMI ARC|
|USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, SmartThings App Compatible||USB, WiFi, Bluetooth|
|Alexa compatibility is built-in||Alexa compatibility is built-in|
|Wireless Surround Sound Ready||Wireless Surround Sound Ready|
Samsung HW-Q950T Impressions
When Samsung Q950T was first introduced in 2020 this was the flagship model. It replaced the Samsung Q90R and back in September of that year I wrote a comparison of the two – Samsung Q90R vs Samsung Q950T which is a better buy? My final verdict fell in favor of the Samsung Q950T but just be the slimmest of margins, and based solely on the difference created by adding 2 additional middle channels.
This soundbar has also been superseded by the Q950A and this also adds two more center channels while leaving everything else the same. While I hope to do a new comparison of these two, I suspect the outcome will be the same in terms of performance. What will likely tip the scales in favor of sticking with the Q950T will be the price with the Q950A costing almost double the price of the Q950T.
In terms of physical design, this is a fairly sleek-looking unit, with angled hard-plastic grills at the sides. The front and top are covered in a tightly woven black material. I can say from experience that it does collect and hold dust. I find myself brushing it with a lint brush to try and keep it clean. This, and the fact that it only comes in black, is something I’ve been hoping Samsung would change but this seems to be part of their DNA at this stage.
The Samsung Q950T has a relatively wide footprint at 48.4” long, making it one of the largest soundbars on the market (until you get to the LG SN11RG), but it still fits well under my TV and should do well with any TV that’s 50+ inches. Still, I find the best way to set this one up is to mount it on the wall about 6’ below the level of the TV. If your TV is free-standing you should do just as well to mount It a few inches above the TV.
The subwoofer is 8.2” wide x 15.8” high x 15.9” deep making it large but not overbearing. It will fit almost anywhere you’d like and since it’s wireless, all you need to worry about is a power source. The satellites are a comfortable 4.8” wide x 8.2” high x 5.6” deep. They are intended to be placed behind the primary listening area with fairly even spacing from left to right, though this isn’t an absolute requirement. Mine are slightly out of position but still sound great. Again, these are wireless so all you need to worry about is a place to plug them in.
This, like most Samsung products, can be dynamically controlled by their Smarthings App so while this soundbar has very little that helps you shape the sound it produces, by using the App you have a full range of equalization options. It does an excellent job with voice production right out of the box but the App also has voice enhancement that takes this a step further.
What makes this soundbar unique is what Samsung calls Q-Symphony. This only works with compatible TVs though. When they are compatible, the soundbar uses the built-in speakers on the TV to extend the center channel of the soundbar, effectively making this an 11.1.4 channel soundbar. I must admit, I was skeptical that this would have any significant impact on the overall quality so I was pleasantly surprised by how much fuller the sound became when the Q-Symphony is engaged.
I still prefer my dedicated stereo system to listen to music. I just feel like that produces a fuller and more accurate listening experience but the Samsung Q950T isn’t bad. I just feels a bit flat at times. That said, if you don’t have a dedicated stereo don’t worry. You’ll enjoy great music with this soundbar.
LG SN11RG Impressions
The LG SN11RG, like the Samsung Q950T, has been replaced by a newer model; the LG SP11RA but still, that puts these two in the same position in terms of each company’s product lines. Both were flagships when they launched.
I had two immediate first impressions when I unboxed this soundbar system. The first was the size. It is a noticeably longer soundbar. The other is the build quality. It just seems like a more substantial product with its hardened plastic and brushed matte aluminum finish that gives it a cleaner and weightier feel. The subwoofer and satellite speakers seem on par though so this difference is focused on the soundbar alone.
This soundbar is a massive 56.8” wide, making it too long for most TV stands, but its 2.5” height and 5.8” depth is very close to the Q950T. Still, the length is so much greater as to make anything other than a wall mount impractical in most settings. Like the Samsung, it does come with all of the mounting hardware so setting this up as a wall mount is easy.
The subwoofer measure 8.7” wide, by 15.4” high, and 12.3” deep. That is basically the same as the Q950T and since it’s also wireless, placement is only dependent on access to an outlet. The satellites are 5.1” wide, by 8.3” high, and 7.5” deep, making these a bit larger than their Samsung counterparts. They are also wirelessly connected so you just need access to an outlet for power. I did take care to set these at nearly equal distances apart, from left to right, but I also moved them around a bit while testing and spacing wasn’t critical.
LG has worked closely with Meridian Technology for sound processing. The intent is to deliver a sound experience that is far more adaptive to both the type of listening you’re doing and the space you’re listening in. In many soundbars, this is commonly referred to as adaptive sound and is the one major difference between the LG SN11Rd and the Samsung Q950T.
LG also delivers an extensive set of on-screen EQ controls that allow you to shape the sound to your personal tastes. By using the included remote or the controls on the top of the soundbar, you can make adjustments with reasonable ease and with a noticeably positive effect. It just goes to prove that things don’t always have to be App driven to be effective but if you prefer, LG has an App too.
On balance, this soundbar delivers an excellent viewing experience. With a combination of clear voices and a thundering bass, you’ll love watching action movies with this setup. I was still a bit disappointed. When I tried pumping up the volume to near max the distortion was noticeable so if you’re like me and like “feeling” the crashes and explosions, you might find this just a touch disappointing.
I was not thrilled with this soundbar’s ability to deliver music. It was flat, the base was overwhelming even after setting it to -5, and the whole experience was just a bit off. I can’t say it was bad. Actually, it was decent. I was just left wanting more from something that has the flagship status.
That said, there are no serious shortcomings with the LG SN11RG and at the current price, it is a very respectable soundbar choice.
For a well-presented deep dive into the LG SN11RG, you will get tonnes more details with a detailed review from Andrew Robinson titled The TV SOUNDBAR BETTER than a HOME THEATER System – LG Soundbar Review.
The Final Verdict
At the end of the day, I was thrilled with the quality of the sound both of these soundbars delivered for movie playback and though I lean slightly in favor of the Q950T, I can honestly say I would be completely satisfied with the LB SN11RG. It might not be as thunderous or loud but it certainly isn’t disappointing. I have enjoyed hours of movie watching with my family during this test and they all agree. It was fun.
Comparing the Samsung Q950T and the LG SN11RG showed the most significant differences when it came to music playback and while I’ve seen others come away with a different opinion, I still firmly believe the Samsung Q950T wins the day on this count. For me, that tilts my decision since I listen to music at least as much as I watch movies, more in fact. So if I didn’t have a dedicated sound system for listening I would definitely prefer turning to the Q950T.
Learn more from our series of articles covering Samsung, Sonos, and JBL soundbars. You can start with our Samsung Q800T vs the Samsung Q900T article and dig deeper into the Samsung line of soundbars. We cover two other leading brands in this article – JBL Bar 9.1 vs the Sonos Arc. We also compare the JBL Bar 9.1 to the Samsung Q90R and Samsung Q950T. Have a read through these two articles – JBL Car 9.1 vs the Samsung Q90R and the JBL Bar 9.1 vs the Samsung Q950T and you’ll get a sense of how well Samsung stands up to the competition.