Samsung announces two new Dolby Atmos sound bars

/ Updated: April 12, 2016 1:30 AM PDT
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Samsung has announced two new Dolby Atmos-compatible sound bars, the HW-K950 and the HW-850, will be available in the summer of 2016.

The HW-K90 ($1499) will be the first Dolby Atmos sound bar to include dedicated rear speakers. It will appear alongside a second Samsung Atmos sound bar, the HW-K850 ($899) which does not include rears.

samsung-hw-k950.jpg
Samsung

The HW-K950 debuted at CES 2016 in Las Vegas includes a wireless subwoofer and wireless rear speakers in a 5.1.4 setup for overhead effects from Dolby Atmos. The Samsung HW-K950's main unit is 2.1 inches tall and features ceiling-facing drivers as well as three forward-firing drivers.

samsung-soundbar-950-01.jpg

Samsung Soundbar 950 comes complete with a subwoofer and rear speakers for full 360 degree sound.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Meanwhile the new HW-K850 is a 3.1.2 setup with overhead fronts--it's essentially the same soundbar but without the wireless rears. Samsung informed us that users can add the company's Multiroom speakers as rears if they wish.

Unfortunately for movie fans neither sound bar will be able to decode the competitive DTS:X format.

Yamaha released the only other Atmos sound bar on the market, the YSP-5600, in December 2015 which comes without a sub or rear speakers and retails for $1,599 (£1,599, AU$2499).

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are "object-based" surround formats, which include height information intended to provide more immersion than standard 5.1 or 7.1 soundtracks.

Australian and UK availability of the HW-K950 and the HW-850 is yet to be announced.

Updated April 12, 2016, 4:30 p.m. EST: Samsung has announced pricing and availability of both the HW-950 and the HW-850.

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