This comparison of Sony HT-A7000 and Samsung HW-Q950A is going to be a lot of fun. I am a massive Sony fan and have looked at the HT-A7000 before when I put together this Sony HT-A7000 vs Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar which is better? article. Today it is going head to head with the HW-Q950A which is a much closer kind of battle. I am a massive Sony fanboy which you will know if you have read any of my articles that feature Sony. However, I have always felt that Samsung has come closer than most (maybe Bose?) when it comes to matching the style and performance that Sony offers. From phones to TVs and to soundbars like we are looking at today, Sony vs Samsung is always a lot of fun!
I think that one of the things that makes this HT-A7000 and HW-Q950A contest interesting is the fact these are not a million miles apart when it comes to pricing. The Sony can be purchased with some extras like a subwoofer or satellite speakers to make it a more complete package if you want.
On Amazon right now the HT-A7000 is going for around $1,400. This is for just the soundbar and, to be honest with you for a Dolby Atmos soundbar of this quality that price is not out of the question. However, at the moment this is bundled with an extra year of cover. Before that, Amazon had this listed at closer to the 1200 bucks range so I would certainly recommend that you shop around as there are deals to be had. Also, if you want to make this a surround sound package or just get a subwoofer, Amazon has a few different bundles to pick from. The most epic bundle is the one that comes with the Sony SA-SW5 300W Wireless Subwoofer and a set of satellite speakers for $2,300. It is a lot more money I know, but it is a complete package!
The price of the HW-Q950A is actually something that I think is very fair. If you were to buy this on Amazon right now it would cost you $1,749, but this comes with a two year warranty. I think that is actually great value for money. I did have a look elsewhere and found that Walmart has it for $1,647.99. Is that extra year on the warranty worth 100 bucks? At the end of the day that is up to you. For this money, you are also getting a subwoofer and two satellite speakers as well as the soundbar so I think the asking price is actually very reasonable. I had a quick look on eBay and there are some amazing deals for the Samsung HW-Q950A on there, some folks are selling it brand new for around the 1200 to 1300 bucks range which is a hell of a saving.
While I think that the HT-A7000 is a fantastic soundbar and more than fair with its pricing. However, I do think that overall, the HW-Q950A is a better value for money. There is no hunting around for a bundle like you have to do with the Sony, you get all you need in the default bundle and the asking price is actually pretty spectacular when you break it all down.
The next category in this steel cage match up of the two soundbars is the design. I tend to like the majority of what Sony and Samsung do with most of their products so this is going to be very interesting to get into. I am a Sony fanboy and they do tend to win this category more often than not, but can Samsung topple them here?
I have to say that the more I think about the more I think I would have to class the HT-A7000 as one of the best looking and best made soundbars I have had the pleasure to look at. Have a look at this Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar REVIEW : Including SW5 wireless subwoofer & RS3S wireless rears video that goes into detail about the design of this soundbar as well as the subwoofer and satellite speakers you can get to go with it. This is a pretty large soundbar as it comes in at 51.2” x 3.1” x 5.6”. It is a good sized soundbar and it has a real quality about it. You will need a rather large TV if you want this to sit in front of it, but that is part of the appeal of a big soundbar like this, it is great if you have a large TV. Just make sure that as this is so long your TV and your TV unit are going to be able to handle this beast!
This is one very stylish and cool looking soundbar. The HT-A7000 as soon as you take it out of the box, you know you are holding something that is real quality. This has that Sony quality all through it and that is awesome. The whole soundbar is made with a very tough and high-quality plastic that I really like. However, it is the grille which is made of metal that really blew me away. When it comes to a grille on a soundbar, I would take metal every single time! On the top of the soundbar, Sony has taken a page out of Bose’s book with their Bose Smart Soundbar 700 and the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. The reason I say this is that Sony has a glass top on here and it looks so freaking cool. Now this will take a bit of looking after as it will attract dust and fingerprints like crazy. There is no denying that this is one very sexy looking soundbar and I can hand on heart say I would have this out on display with pride anywhere in my home.
An interesting feature of the HT-A7000 is that it has a dual firing subwoofer and that is what the open sections of the soundbar are for. On the back of it, you have an HDMI Arc port, but there are two other full HDMI ports on here also. There is an optical in and an analog in also. You have your standard USB port too which is there for any firmware updates that may need to be applied. I really cannot think of anything else that Sony could have done to make the design of this soundbar any cooler.
For the most part Samsung makes great looking tech, their TVs and phones are some of the best around, actually in my game room we have a SAMSUNG 50-Inch Class Crystal UHD AU8000 Series – 4K UHD HDR Smart TV and I am very happy with it. The HW-Q950A is a very smart looking and stylish soundbar. It is not quite as long as the Sony coming in at 48.4” with the height being a very nice 2.8” which means it will not get in the way of your TV if you have it between its legs. The depth is 5.4” which is right around what I was expecting. The soundbar has a very premium feel to it and one design choice that is interesting is that rather than being a standard rectangle, it is angled at the side. This not only looks cool, but it helps with the way the soundbar pushes sound around the room.
The top and the front of the HW-Q950A is made with fabric and while it looks nice, I am not the biggest fan in the world of a fabric grille. While it certainly feels very secure it can get covered in dust pretty easily and it is a pain to clean, I would recommend using a small portable vacuum. Around the back of the soundbar, we have your various hookups. This comes with an HDMI Arc and two full HDMI ports as well. It does also offer you the option of optical cable connectivity as well. The subwoofer and the satellite speakers connect to it wirelessly so there is no need for extra ports or wires going all over your living room or home theatre. Speaking of wirelessly, you can connect the actual soundbar to your TV wirelessly if you want and it was actually pretty easy to do. I am certainly an HDMI man, but the option is there for those that want it.
We do also need to talk about the subwoofer and satellite speakers the HW-Q950A comes with. The subwoofer is a nice and compact subwoofer coming in at 8.2” x 15.8” x 15.9”. The subwoofer is mainly made from a pretty solid wood and on the side, there is a fabric grille. Overall, it feels like a very solid subwoofer and it fits in with the style of the actual soundbar perfectly. The satellite speakers are pretty awesome in the way that they are designed. These come in at 4.9” x 8.0” x 5.0” so they are the perfect size for rear speakers. These are made with mainly plastic and the front and the tops are protected with a fabric grille. These will collect dust so make sure you keep on top of that. These do connect to the soundbar wirelessly, but they do each have their own power cable, there is a nice little groove on the back though to keep the power cable in place which I like.
While I think that the HW-Q950A is a fine looking soundbar, the HT-A7000 is on a whole other level. It truly is one of the best looking soundbars that I have ever seen. From the metal grille and the glass top to the overall movie theatre look of the whole thing. It really does give Samsung a good beating in this round and to be honest, I am not sure many other soundbars would take this category from the HT-A7000.
Next up in our showdown we are looking at the most important aspect of a soundbar, the sound. these are two Dolby Atmos soundbars and as I am all in on Dolby Atmos these days, I always get a real kick when I can put two Dolby Atmos soundbars in the ring to see which one will win, it is kind of like the final battle between Frank Dux and Chong-Li in Bloodsport.
I have to say that the Dolby Atmos the Sony HT-A7000 is providing is very solid. Sony has made some great promo videos like this HT A7000 video that goes into detail about what this can do. I would say if you were coming from your TV speakers or even another non Dolby Atmos soundbar, you are going to be blown away by how this thing sounds. It certainly comes from up above, but it is lacking a tad compared to others. To be fair, I am nitpicking here, but at the end of the day this is a direct comparison to another soundbar so I have to say what one is better in the Dolby Atmos department. One of my all time favorite movies is Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and the 4K release of this has a fantastic Dolby Atmos track and it was like I was on Hoth myself when the AT-AT’s were making their way to the rebel base. The Dolby Atmos here is good, it really is, but I have certainly experienced more powerful Dolby Atmos elsewhere.
The HT-A7000 does have a built-in subwoofer and it is ok. The soundbar has a decent amount of power, but like I said before, you can get this with a dedicated subwoofer and satellite speakers too. Still, I would say for the average person the bass and power here is going to be more than fine. I actually played around with this in my home theatre and was pleased with how it filled the room while I was watching Oblivion (a pretty good sci-fi movie by the way) and I was pleased with the level of cinema sound that the Sony HT-A7000 was offering me. For me, I would want to have a subwoofer with this, but I can see why most people would be more than happy with the level of bass this is offering.
I do also want to talk about how clear speech is when pumped through the HT-A7000. You cannot go wrong with Dumb & Dumber which is one of my favorite comedies of all time. The level of clarity that this offers when characters are talking truly is fantastic. One other thing I have to mention is that there are a ton of buttons on the remote control so you can play around and get the sound just the way you want it. Overall, the sound provided here is great, but there are certainly better soundbars out there at this price range if I am being brutally honest.
I have looked at a ton of Dolby Atmos soundbars over the last 18 months or so and I have to say that in terms of value for money the HW-Q950A is one of the very best. There are so many videos online such as this Samsung HW-Q950A Soundbar review one that sings the praises of this soundbar! The Dolby Atmos this provides is some of the best I have heard at this price range, even at louder volumes it is so precise and engulfing that as cliché as it sounds, you do get that cinema quality sound here. If you were to watch a movie with a well made Dolby Atmos track like the incredible and recently released Dune which I have literally just got. You are going to be blown away. I have tested other soundbars that cost way more than this and come with less and I would say the Dolby Atmos on offer here is better than more than a few of them.
One of the best things about this soundbar is that you are getting a full surround sound setup. The subwoofer even though it is compact offers some real punch, power, and bass to your movies, TV shows, and games. I was very impressed with this and having a dedicated subwoofer 100 percent makes a difference to the experience you are getting. The satellite speakers even though they are small do a great job of filling in the action coming from behind you. These along with the clever way the actual soundbar is made truly do give you a surround sound experience that is like you are in the theatre. I was very impressed with the power and with just how clear the satellite speakers were. I watched Bohemian Rhapsody and was blown away by the surround sound along with the Dolby Atmos of course, that I was experiencing.
There are many different sound presets that you can play around with on the HW-Q950A the clear voice functionality is great so if you are watching something that is very dialogue heavy like the awesome, The Gentleman then you will never miss a beat with this producing the sound. I even watched some wrestling through this with my The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions Blu-Ray which features footage from the 80s and 90s and it was a truly amazing experience. I really do not think that there is anything that this soundbar could not handle and do a great job of. I have already said this, but in terms of sound quality in relation to price, this is one of the best soundbars on the market right now.
In reading back what I wrote about the Sony HT-A7000 it may seem like I was not too keen on the soundbar. That is not the case at all, the HT-A7000 is a fantastic soundbar and I can see why some people would be over the moon and be more than happy with it. However, when side by side with the Samsung HW-Q950A I have to say that the Samsung offers a better overall sound performance and has more power. If I am being 100 percent honest, I think even if I had the bundle that came with the subwoofer and the satellite speakers, Samsung would still take this round.
The Remote Control
Out of all of the comparison articles I have done I have to say that this Sony HT-A7000 and Samsung HW-Q950A one has perhaps the most interesting remote control battle. I know I am weird, but to me, the remote control is a big part of getting a new piece of tech and that is why I always like to take a close look at the remote (or lack of one if we are dealing with Sonos!) that a soundbar has.
Sony HT-A7000: One thing that Sony does better than anyone else is pack their remote controls with buttons. The remote control for the Sony HT-A7000 is stacked with buttons! If there is a function that the soundbar has, you can play around with it by pressing its dedicated button. Sony has used a similar design for other devices and it is one that works. I like how easy the remote is to use and as someone who likes to play around with sound, I get a real kick out of how they give you so much choice in that regard. The remote control is a good size and it has a nice build quality to it as well.
Samsung HW-Q950A: I really like the remote control that the Samsung HW-Q950A comes with. If you have a Samsung TV, Blu-Ray player, and even a phone, you can use this as a kind of universal remote control for different Samsung devices which I am sure some people will find very convenient. To be honest, I am more of a separate remote for each device kind of guy, but that is just me. The remote control has a solid feel to it and it is not overloaded with buttons so people will find it nice and easy to use. The Samsung HW-Q950A is also compatible with Alexa if you like to talk to your devices.
The Verdict: Truth be told, both remote controls here are fantastic. I am going to give this round to the Sony HT-A7000 as I prefer the “busier” design of it. However, that is 100 percent a personal preference and to be fair, I could see why someone would prefer the more streamlined approach that Samsung has gone with the Samsung HW-Q950A. While Sony does it for me, I would not disagree with someone who picked Samsung here, especially if they have other Samsung products that can take advantage of the smart remote feature.
What Is In The Box?
Ahh, the part of our soundbar contest where I am tempted to do my completely overused Seven references! In all seriousness, I like to take a look at what you can expect in each box so you know if you need to rush out and buy anything else before the soundbar arrives at your house or if you pick it up in the store.
Sony HT-A7000: Even though this soundbar is pretty large, the box it comes in is not obnoxiously massive like some can be. Sony has packaged this in here really well so it is safe and sound during its travels. Inside the box, Sony has made sure that you have all you need to get this thing ready for movies out of the box. You have the soundbar, power cable, remote control, and even batteries for the remote. They also give you a good quality HDMI cable as well. Sony does also give you some brackets for mounting and a TV center speaker mode cable that I think is a nice touch.
Samsung HW-Q950A: It is a pretty large package to arrive at your door or be crammed into your car, but as this comes with a subwoofer that is to be expected. You get your soundbar, subwoofer, and satellite speakers, and a power cable for each of them. They also give you a set of batteries with the remote control which is something that I always like to see. They even give you a mounting template with bar brackets which I would use for those rear speakers if I am being honest with you. There is also an HDMI cable in here too so it is ready to go right out of the box.
The Verdict: I really cannot separate the two here. To be fair to Sony and Samsung, most times these guys release a product they tend to give you what you need to get it running out of the box. I do not think it would be all that fair of me to give this one to either side so I am sitting on the fence and calling this round a tie.
What Is The Best?
I have had a great time putting this Sony HT-A7000 and Samsung HW-Q950A comparison article together. What I liked about this was that it was quite a fair and similar match up for these two. The Sony HT-A7000 is one of the best looking soundbars that I have ever had the pleasure to play around with. Even if you get just the soundbar, it offers some solid Dolby Atmos, and the sound, in general, is very well done and great if you want a big movie night at home, it is made even better if you get one of the bundles. However, I do have to say that overall, I feel the Samsung HW-Q950A offers a better and fuller sound. While I do prefer the design of what Sony is offering, the Samsung still looks good and at the end of the day, you get a full Dolby Atmos surround sound system in the box and I also think that the asking price is actually very good too. So that is why I am giving Samsung the win here. I could see myself using this in my own home theatre and being extremely happy with it.