Back in the beginning of 2017, Samsung announced that it would be acquiring Harman Kardon. And while a little over a year has passed since the initial news broke, there’s been little by way of news or announcements from the merger. Now that silence has finally been broken, as Samsung has recently debuted a pair of new high-end sound bars featuring Harman Kardon co-branding and built-in Dolby Atmos support.
The newly announced sound bars are the first major release to come from Samsung’s purchase of the highly regarded audio company. Alongside modern I/O ports and smart home integration, the main features here are definitely Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support. Both of which will go a long way to ensure that Samsung’s latest rock high-end sound quality to go with their premium price tags.
On the more affordable end, the HW-N850 sound bar is based around a 5.1.2-channel design. It has both up and side-firing speakers to fill the room with audio and a wireless subwoofer to boot. The higher-end 7.1.4 channel HW-N950 includes the same audio setup but is joined by dual wireless surround-sound speakers.
Both of Samsung’s upcoming releases will pack Bluetooth integration and 4K-ready HDMI inputs, both of which are pretty standard inclusions these for non-budget sound bars. On a more interesting note, they will also come equipped with support for Samsung’s SmartThings home automation platform. Given that they just released a new line of mesh routers and smart home accessories, it’s clear that Samsung is doing everything it can to make SmartThings as appealing as ever.
And if you thought sound bars rocking Harman Kardon branding and Dolby Atmos audio would be on the more affordable side, the new releases start at just under $1,200. The lower-end HW-N850 will come with a $1,199 price tag, while its more premium counterpart will sell for $1,699.
In both cases, you’ll be able to score each of the sound bars for your home theater starting on August 20th, giving you plenty of time to integrate it into your setup before Apple TV receives Dolby Atmos support in tvOS 12.
There’s no denying that Samsung’s latest are on the pricier side of home audio gear, but to get premium sound quality out of a sound bar’s form-factor means you’ll have to pay a premium. That being said, I’ll have to wait and hear the sound bars for myself before deciding if my wallet can take a hit.
Samsung Electronics announced today that it released two co-branded premium soundbars – the HW-N950 and HW-N850, in collaboration with Harman Kardon, the renowned consumer audio brand. Available beginning August 20, the HW-N950 and HW-N850 feature both Samsung and Harman Kardon’s logos to represent their new partnership.
Following Samsung’s acquisition of Harman International in March 2017, the two companies have been collaborating on mobile products including the AKG headphones bundled with certain Samsung mobile phones and tablets tuned by AKG, as well as professional solutions for cinemas with the JBL Professional brand. The HW-N950 and HW-N850 soundbars are the first major collaboration between Samsung and Harman Kardon to enter the premium category. Also, thanks to the addition of DTS’ proprietary DTS:X technology as well as Dolby Atmos, consumers can enjoy immersive and rich three-dimensional sound.
“Our collaboration with Harman Kardon – an audio leader for 65 years – is a major leap forward as we continue to push the boundaries of premium sound and design for our consumers,” said Jongsuk Chu, Senior Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung’s market leading display technology and design paired with premium sound quality of Harman Kardon products is a winning combination for consumers.”
With the HW-N950 and HW-N850, consumers will feel like they are in a theater without leaving home thanks to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technologies, plus up and side-firing speakers that move sound naturally above and around listeners. The HW-N950 especially is equipped with a main unit, four speakers and two wireless surround sound speakers, offering an incredibly immersive sound experience. Also, thanks to its 7.1.4 channels, the largest number of channels currently available in a soundbar, the HW-N950 features a built-in wireless subwoofer and rear wireless speaker kit to round out the premium audio experience. The HW-N850, a more simplified version of the HW-N950, boasts a 5.1.2 channel featuring a main unit speaker and woofer.
“Samsung is the world leader in soundbars and we are extremely proud that they are enlisting HARMAN to enhance their audio quality and play a key role in growing their premium soundbar business,” said Dave Rogers, President of Consumer Audio at HARMAN. “Partnering with Samsung, one of the most admired brands in the world, will broaden the reach and appeal of Harman Kardon and help us build our business in other consumer and car audio branded solutions. Introducing the new co-branded Samsung Harman Kardon premium soundbars is a win for Samsung, HARMAN and consumers, who now will have the best of video, sound and design altogether in one striking package.”
For more information on Samsung and Harman Kardon audio products, please visit www.samsung.com.