Samsung’s best new soundbar adds a much-wanted feature gamers will love

Samsung's HW-Q990D soundbar adds HDMI 2.1 passthrough to the impressive 11.1.4-channel system

Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar
(Image credit: Samsung)

With the world's largest technology show, CES 2024, coming to a close for this year, many of the best products I've seen on the show floor have been TVs. Samsung's anti-reflective S95D, for example, looks stunning. But there's one other product that will complement that telly just perfectly: the HW-Q990D soundbar. 

And gamers will love it too. That's because the Q990D, which is the update on 2023's 5-star-awarded Q990C model, adds HDMI 2.1 (which lacked on the previous model) to enable 4K/120Hz passthrough that'll be ideal when mated with current-gen consoles such as the PS5 or Xbox Series X. That's a straight up win for Samsung's best soundbar in the range.

I got a glimpse of the Q990D soundbar at Samsung's First Look event in Las Vegas, which is where CES is held, and while it's always tricky to represent a sound product in a busy environment, it's still a clearly impressive product that's easily a contender for the best soundbars of 2024. Especially if you want true sonic immersion. 

Samsung HW-990D

(Image credit: Samsung)

That's because the Q990D, like the 990C model before it, features a mass of channels across a number of speakers (as you can see in the picture embedded above). There's the main soundbar, a separate subwoofer, and two rear speakers, which output 11.1.4 channels of audio information. It's compatible with three-dimensional audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, to provide an epic object-based experience. 

The design of the product hasn't changed at all, though, but there are some other new features to speak of in addition to that HDMI 2.1 change: there's Private Listening which uses closer-positioned rear speakers only to keep things quieter; Party Play is aimed at music, delivering a flatter mix across the speakers' balance. Minor changes rather than ground-moving, really. 

I find Samsung soundbars are the best in the business, especially if you're looking for the best options specifically for Samsung TVs, as Q-Symphony is able to also sync your telly's speakers for an even more convincing audio height and on-screen accuracy. It's particularly impressive when gaming, too, as sounds will appear to emanate from their on-screen source – and that makes the HW-Q990D look like a winner (albeit a more expensive one compared to the 'C' model, which is currently on discount, as you can see in the widget below)...

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.