There are several amazing soundbars out there with really cool features that you can get whether for your personal use or something related. We will be having a look at two of such soundbars, comparing their cool features, and other stuff. These two soundbars are the JBL Bar 9.1 and the Samsung HW-Q950A. These two soundbars are well-equipped with some great functions and placing them side-by-side to compare them wasn’t an easy job to do. Because of the features and functionalities the duo possess, they are not the sort of soundbars that come on the cheap and you would have to continue reading to find out why.
JBL Bar 9.1
A very unique member of the JBL 2020 collection, the JBL Bar 9.1 True Wireless Surround with Dolby Atmos is a high-end 5.1.4 soundbar. It comes with satellites that are genuinely wireless and that also use 4-pin connectors in establishing a connection to its sides if you want to charge it. This method is quite different from the regular soundbars that we have tested to date. With this product, you also get an immersive experience because it supports Atmos content.
This beautiful piece from Samsung is the company’s highest-end soundbar so far. It is a 2021 edition and quite an upgrade and extended version of the Samsung HW-Q950T. There are a few changes that this one comes with when compared to its previous version. For instance, although we were unable to confirm with our testing, it is said to be an 11.1.4 channel setup. It also has a function that allows it to support Q-Symphony. This function makes use of the speakers of your Samsung TV to ensure you have a more enhanced listening experience.
It also comes with some cool new features like SpaceFit Sound. This feature particularly helps to calibrate the soundbar specifically when you pair it with Samsung TVs that are compatible with it.
The JBL Bar 9.1 soundbar is blessed with some sleekness while you are also able to detach its satellite speakers. Both its front and topsides are made of metal while its speakers get some protection from the metal grill. Their 4-pin connectors would be very visible if the satellites were not attached.
This soundbar has a subwoofer that gets elevation from its four different plastic legs because the speaker is located nowhere else but underneath. It maintains its minimal-looking and sleekness with the help of its black melamine body.
The JBL Bar 9.1 has genuinely wireless satellite speakers that are made from both metal and hard plastic. You can also either place it anywhere around the room or attach it to the bar. They have some edges but the furthest ones are there to help give protection to the speakers. This is why they are curved with a metal grill-like mesh. It also helps it to maintain its sleekness.
Here’s a full review of the JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar:
Now we move on to the Samsung HW-Q950A. One of the reasons this product can be compared to its JBL counterpart is because they look quite similar in design. It comes with slightly angled vent-like openings to accommodate its side surround speakers. It is also fairly heavy and wide. Mostly plastic is what the satellite itself is made of, while the top and the front are securely covered with fabric. You should, however, note that the fabric is quite prone to attracting dust.
The subwoofer of the Samsung HW-Q950A is mostly made of wood. Its right side has an opening that is protected by fabric, even though it appears like it could attract dust or dirt with ease.
This product’s satellites are made mostly of plastic. The front and topsides are protected by tight fabric that of course, look very vulnerable to dust. In the back is the power cable connection and you can hide the cable away using the groove available.
Here’s a full review of the Samsung HW-Q950A Soundbar:
The sleek look of the JBL Bar 9.1 gives it the edge here. Besides, the fabric on the Samsung HW-Q950A tends to collect dust and that’s not really appealing.
As for the JBL Bar 9.1, you’re assured that you’d be getting yourself a product that is rich in build quality. You have the front and top sides made of metal, serving as protection to its speakers while also helping it maintain its sleekness at the same time. The bottom and rear areas are made of strong plastic, and it gives a feel of durability. The subwoofer is given some elevation as it sits comfortably on four plastic pegs, with the speaker maintaining its position on the underside, feeling durable as it’s made from melamine.
The JBL BAR 9.1’s satellites share the same material as the bat and on its top, you will also find out that its top, front, and sides are similarly made of metal grill-type mesh. The two satellites are genuinely wireless and you can have them charged by either connecting back to the sides of the bar or by using a micro-USB. Another handy feature they have is that you can use them while charging.
Talking about the Samsung HW-Q950A, it boasts a great build quality as well. Plastic is what the satellites and bars are made of mostly, and that provides some solidity. The subwoofer is mostly made of wood. However, one disappointing thing about it is that the coverings are made of plastic and this makes it very easy to attract dust stains.
Again, the fabric coverings on the Samsung HW-Q950A make the soundbar a letdown. So, the JBL Bar 9.1 wins this round.
Be rest assured that you’d be getting a great stereo frequency response from the JBL Bar 9.1. You can enhance the bass by turning on the connection and setting it to ‘Standard’ mode. This helps you enjoy songs that have strong bass or action movies. The rest of the response is also very neutral and accurate.
You are entitled to make use of the several EQ presets to get the best sound you desire if you don’t like the way it sounds. You also have the room correction feature available, and this one helps you to find the best audio quality for your room.
With the Samsung HW-Q950A, you will enjoy a great quality of frequency response. It has a feature known as Auto EQ, which is the room correction feature. It makes use of an in-built microphone that is found in the subwoofer to ensure the calibration of the audio readjustment based on your room’s acoustic characteristics. Turning on this feature helps you to create a balanced sound profile that is usable for listening to most types of audio content.
This product also has a little under-emphasis on the low bass, so when watching action movies or listening to songs that are heavy on the bass, you may not feel that deep thump. However, you can make treble and bass adjustments to your taste with the graphic EQ and presets.
The additional sound enhancements which allow you to customize the sound make the Samsung HW-Q950A the winner in this category.
The JBL Bar 9.1 comes in handy and is also versatile. Its several physical inputs all work together to make it possible to be used for multiple devices including your TV or a gaming system. However, the USB playback feature is only available on this product’s US version even though all of them have USB ports. The rest of the regional versions can only use the USB for updating the firmware of the soundbar.
You can also use the JBL Bar 9.1 with external devices such as your TV and a Blu-ray disc player with the help of the Full HDMI In port. It allows all formats of audio, including DTS content and Dolby Atmos, something movie fans would love a lot.
This product is also equipped with rich wireless playback options. Regardless of, however you would like to stream content wirelessly, you won’t encounter any problems casting it to the soundbar.
We discovered that the Samsung HW-Q950A supports all the audio formats that we test for over its ARC port. This means that you can watch content in the most generally available surround sound set-up, the Dolby Digital format. You can also use it for more advanced formats, such as the DTS:X and the Dolby Atmos.
Also present in the Samsung HW-Q950A is a remarkable audio format support via the Full HDMI In port. It, therefore, supports Dolby Digital, which is mostly found on streaming platforms, more advanced surround formats that are object-based, and Blu-ray discs.
It has a cool wireless playback support feature. You can also use your mobile devices to stream audio wirelessly via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. While the Samsung HW-Q950T does not support Apple Airplay 2 connectivity, the Samsung HW-Q950A does. You can check out the LG SP11RA if you are looking for a soundbar that also supports a built-in Chromecast.
Both soundbars have identical connectivity options. So, this round is a tie.
The JBL Bar 9.1 does not come with any dedicated app. You can connect it to the Google Home app, even though it is not particularly made for this bar, plus it doesn’t have full control over the features of the bar. All you’d be able to do with it is to toggle the volume options and also cast your audio files from your mobile device and that’s it.
There’s an app called the Samsung SmartThings app on the Samsung HW-Q950A. This app acts as a remote and allows you to control some of the settings of the soundbar. Another thing you can do with it is to control the volume, choose between different sound modes, change the input, as well as access the EQ. You are also allowed to use it to play music from your device on the bar. However, you can’t use it for some functions that the remote can help you with, such as the soundbar’s side level, top-level, center, or wide levels. You also can’t use it to access the Virtual Sound feature or adjust the sync for videos, so if you need to have access to those features, the remote is what you need.
The Samsung HW-Q950A comes with a dedicated app which gives it a clear edge in this round.
Likes and Dislikes
JBL Bar 9.1
- Its sound profile is well-balanced
- It can get very loud
- It has support for Atmos resulting in an immersive experience
- Completely wireless subs allow it to play audio while charging
- It does not come with graphic EQ and it has limited EQ presets
- It features a graphic EQ and preset settings
- It can be loud
- It has an amazing surround performance
- The Atmos performance is just passable
Judging by the features that both the JBL Bar 9.1 and the Samsung HW-Q950A have, we are quite pleased with them. They both delivered when it came to giving excellent sound quality when we used them to watch our favorite TV shows and movies. They both have top bass quality and are also both impressive without being overpowering. Also, the voices they deliver are pretty easy to not only hear but also understand, regardless of how high or low we turned the volume.
When it comes to which one is more superior, the Samsung HW-Q950A gets the bragging right over the JBL Bar 9.1. This is because the Samsung soundbar can go louder, and also supplies better sound performance. It also has more enhancement features, which include a graphic EQ, a dialogue enhancement feature, as well as treble and bass adjustments. Also, it comes with in-built support for the Amazon Alexa voice assistant.
However, the JBL soundbar has a better build quality and is the better option when it comes to soundstage performance.