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Samsung HW-N850

5.1.2-channel powered sound bar and sub with Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X

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Overview

Our take on the Samsung HW-N850

Samsung's HW-N850 is a great option for those of us who want immersive cinema sound at home, but don't have the space or desire to fill our living room with speakers. Thanks to a pair of cleverly angled up-firing drivers, you can enjoy the heightened soundstage of both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content from one modestly sized sound bar. 

Samsung HW-N850 sound bar has upfiring and sidefiring drivers for a more immersive cinema-like experience.

Up-firing and side-firing drivers deliver three-dimensional Atmos and DTS:X sound to your living room.

Overhead effects without the fuss

Samsung's HW-N850 is a great option for those of us who want immersive cinema sound at home, but don't have the space or desire to fill our living room with speakers. Thanks to a pair of cleverly angled up-firing drivers, you can enjoy the heightened soundstage of both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content from one modestly sized sound bar. 

I can't call it particularly slim, because it's wide and deep enough to include dedicated left-, center-, and right-channel speakers, along with a pair of side-firing drivers for surround effects. A wireless subwoofer provides the low-end rumble that can really make a movie come alive.

More cool features

Whether you want to stream your favorite Spotify® playlist, shuffle all your Pandora® stations, or listen to your downloaded songs, this sound bar has you covered with both Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® capabilities built in. It even supports high-res files like FLAC and ALAC.

It's also Alexa-compatible, so if you have an Amazon Echo device, you can control it with your voice. Or, if you have a SmartThings Hub, you can control it with the SmartThings app on your phone.

Product Highlights:

    System:
    • features a sound bar and wireless subwoofer
    • delivers 5.1.2-channel sound with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
    • up-firing and side-firing drivers create a three-dimensional soundstage
    • compatible with Amazon Echo devices for Alexa voice control
    Sound Bar:
    • 13 built-in speakers
      • wide-range tweeters spreads listening sweet spot across a large area
      • two up-firing drivers are angled to reflect sound off the ceiling for overhead effects
      • two side-firing drivers reflect sound off walls for surround effects
    • built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers
    • Dolby® Digital and DTS® decoding
    • front-panel display shows selected input
    • 2 HDMI inputs
      • both support 4K video and Anynet (HDMI-CEC)
    • HDMI output with Audio Return Channel (cable included)
    • optical digital audio input (cable included)
    • 48-1/4"W x 3-1/4"H x 5-7/16"D
    • weight: 18.73 lbs.
    Powered Subwoofer:
    • bass reflex (ported) enclosure delivers powerful bass response
    • connects wirelessly to sound bar for easy placement
    • AC power connection required (power cable included)
    • 8"W x 15-3/4"H x 16-5/16"D
    • weight: 21.6 lbs.
    General:
    • your smartphone can act as a remote control with the SmartThings app
    • 4K and 3D video pass-through via HDMI
    • bracket and hardware included for mounting bar to a wall
    • remote control
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • Active soundbar speaker (HW-N850)
    • Wireless powered subwoofer (PS-WN80)
    • Two 5' AC power cords
    • 59" HDMI cable
    • Remote control (AH59-02767C)
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • 2 Wall-mount brackets
    • 2 Holders
    • 2 Screws
    • User Manual
    • Mounting template
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    Details

    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    General
    Enclosure Sealed (bar),Ported (sub)
    Design Bar
    Pieces in System 2
    Color Black
    Tweeter Dome (3)
    Midrange Cone (4)
    Woofer Cone (6)
    Separate Subwoofer Yes
    Subwoofer Driver 7
    Features
    Surround Sound Decoding 7.1ch, 7.1.4ch
    Dolby Atmos Yes
    DTS:X Yes
    Dialogue Enhancement No
    Auto Volume No
    4K Video Compatible Yes
    HDR Video Compatible HDR 10
    Audio Return Channel Yes
    Remote IR Passthrough No
    Works with TV Remote (IR) Yes
    Control by App Apple iOS, Android
    Bluetooth Connectivity Built-in 4.0
    Wi-Fi Yes
    Wall-mountable Yes
    Mounting Bracket Included Yes
    Surface Mount Stand Included No
    Speaker Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Speaker Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Amplifier Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Amplifier Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Specifications
    System Frequency Response 34-17k Hz
    Powered System ---
    Sound Bar RMS Power 210
    Subwoofer RMS Power 162
    Inputs and Outputs
    Mini Stereo Audio Inputs None
    RCA Stereo Audio Inputs None
    Optical Digital Audio Inputs 1
    Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs None
    HDMI Inputs 2
    HDMI Outputs 1
    USB Port No
    Subwoofer Output Wireless
    Dimensions
    Sound Bar (inches) 3-1/4H x 48-1/4W x 5-7/16D
    Sound Bar Weight 19.4 lbs
    Subwoofer (inches) 15-13/16H x 8-1/16W x 16-7/16D
    Subwoofer Weight 21.2 lbs

    Product Research

    Audio/Video Section
    Wireless Audio
    Voice/App/Remote Control
    Mounting Options

    Audio/Video Section

    Samsung & Harman/Kardon 5.1.2ch System: The HW-N850 combines Samsung's home entertainment expertise with Harman/Kardon's audio technical expertise to deliver Dolby Atmos/DTS:X surround sound from an active soundbar and wireless subwoofer system. Now, you can experience sound that comes alive from all directions, including  the side and overhead, to fill your home theater with astonishing clarity, power, detail and depth - without having to install over-head ceiling speakers or running wire for rear speakers. The HW-N850 is capable of delivering up to 5.1.2-channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X surround sound.

    Active Soundbar Speaker: The HW-N850's active soundbar speaker incorporates 13 total drivers that include forward facing center, front left, and front right channels, along with side-firing rear channels and upward firing Dolby Atmos enabled channels. The soundbar speaker's dedicated center, front left, and front right channels each consist of one wide-range tweeter and two midrange drivers. The rear channels each consist of one side-firing driver, while the two dedicated Dolby Atmos channels each consist of one upward firing full-range driver. All 13 drivers are powered by a built-in 210W amplifier (18W x 10Ch [mids] + 10W x 3Ch [tweeters])

    • Wide-Range Tweeters: The soundbar's wide-range tweeters used for the front left, front right, and center channels let you hear consistently great sound anywhere in the room. These three specially designed wide-range tweeters are devoted to recreating crisp,, clear high notes, with a wider sound coverage than conventional tweeters - resulting in a greater sweet spot that stretches further.
    • Side & Upward Firing Drivers: The side and up firing drivers placed on both ends and on top of the soundbar speaker envelop you with 3-dimensional sound. With side-firing speakers built into each end of the soundbar, you'll be totally immersed in surround sound. The upward firing drivers bounce sound waves off the ceiling making your audio surround you from above.

    Wireless Powered Sub: The wireless subwoofer is outfitted with a side-firing 7" woofer inside a bass reflex enclosure with rear-firing port that is powered by a built-in 162 watt amplifier. You can independently adjust the volume level of the subwoofer without interfering with the system's overall volume level. The wireless powered subwoofer receives its audio signal wirelessly from the soundbar via 2.4GHz transmission. There are no cables to connect, except the AC power cord for the sub. You can place the wireless powered subwoofer up to 32.8' away from the soundbar. The wireless subwoofer is automatically connected to the soundbar through auto-pairing.

    Immersive Surround Sound: The Samsung & Harman/Kardon HW-N850 is capable of delivering up to 5.1.2-channel surround for Dolby Atmos & DTS:X. It also supports Dolby Digital (5.1ch), Dolby TrueHD (7.1ch), Dolby Digital Plus (7.1ch), and DTS (5.1chch only).

    • Dolby Atmos:  With Dolby Atmos sound comes alive from all directions, including overhead, to fill your home theater with astonishing clarity, power, detail, and depth. Rather than being constrained to channels, sounds exist as individual entities that are precisely placed and moved in three-dimensional space. A new sensation of height immerses you in the action, creating a full audio atmosphere and realistically depicting objects moving overhead. Dolby Atmos renders everything from dialogue to quiet scenes to whirlwind action with astonishing clarity, richness, detail, and depth. It all comes together in sound that excites your senses and inspires your emotions to deliver the full impact of entertainment.
    • DTS:X: DTS:X is the next generation object-based, multi-dimensional audio technology from DTS. Unbound from channels, DTS:X conveys the fluid movement of sound to create an incredibly rich, realistic and immersive soundscape - in front of, behind, beside and above the audience - more accurately than ever before. DTS:X offers the ability to automatically adapt the audio to the speaker layout that best fits your space.

    Notes:

    • To enjoy Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, you most connect your Blu-ray player's and satellite/cable box's HDMI outputs directly to the HDMI inputs on the HW-N850, because the soundbar's HDMI ARC Output jack and most TV's HDMI ARC Input jacks will not support Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.
    • The soundbar's optical (toslink) digital input only supports Dolby Digital (5.1ch), DTS (5.1ch), and 2ch PCM

    HDMI 2.0a: The Samsung & Harman/Kardon HW-N850's soundbar is fitted with two HDMI 2.0a inputs and one HDMI 2.0a output (ARC compatible). The two HDMI inputs allow you to connect your Blu-ray player and cable/satellite box directly to the soundbar and then from its HDMI ARC output to your flat-panel TV. The HDMI 2.0 inputs and output support 4K Pass-Through, HDR video, 3D video, and ARC.

    • 4K/60Hz + HDCP 2.2: The soundbar's HDMI 2.0 inputs and output can pass 4K ultra-HD video @ 60Hz, as well as 1080p, 1080i, 720p, and 480p video. The soundbar's HDMI inputs and output support HDCP 2.2, which fully complies with the latest copyright protection standard for 4K video transmission.
    • HDR (High Dynamic Range) Video: HDR delivers a much higher level of contrast between light and dark to produce an image that is more realistic and closer to what the content creator imagined. This increased contrast reveals the subtle nuances of the image, from detailed blacks and shadows to the brightest whites and colors, plus greater depth.
    • 3D Ready: The HW-N850 can pass through 3D video from 3D-ready Blu-ray players to 3D-ready TVs, via HDMI. You will also need compatible 3D-ready glasses and 3D-video content.

    ARC: The unit's HDMI output also supports the ARC function. This allows you to connect your Blu-ray player and satellite/cable box directly to the system's HDMI inputs and connect the system's HDMI output to your television for audio from the wireless audio soundbar system or your TV. Your TV must also be ARC compatible.

    Note: Because with some televisions, the ARC-enabled HDMI input will only pass 2ch PCM from devices connected to the TV via HDMI or analog, we recommend that you connect your Blu-ray/DVD player and Satellite/Cable box to the soundbar directly; and then connect the soundbar's ARC-enabled HDMI output to your TV's ARC-enabled HDMI input. This setup will give you with the best overall sound performance

    AV Sync: AV Sync can be used to help sync video to audio when connected to a digital HDTV. Video may look slower than the audio if it is connected to a digital TV. If this occurs, you can adjust the audio delay time to match the video. You can adjust the AV Sync from 0 to 300ms.

    Sound Enhancements: The Samsung HW-N850 offers a variety of audio adjustments to enhance the system's sound and your listening experience.

    • Sound Modes: Choose between 3 Sound Modes - Standard, Surround, or Smart. Select Standard if you want to enjoy the original sound format. Select Smart to allow the system to automatically optimize sound effects to suit the current content playing. Select Surround for virtual overhead and side effects from practically any content or audio format.
    • UHQ 32-Bit Audio: The system utilizes UHQ 32-Bit Audio processing to upscale your  FLAC, ALAC, AIFF and WAV music files on your Apple iOS or Android device up to 32-bit for richer, more dynamic sound.
    • 7-Band EQ: You can tailor the system's sound by adjusting its 7-band EQ (150, 300, 600, 1.2k, 2.5k, 5k, and 10k).
    • Level Control: You can adjust the level of the soundbar's center channel, side-firing surrounds, and top-firing Dolby Atmos drivers independently from the system overall volume. You can also adjust the subwoofer independently.
    • AV Sync: AV Sync can be used to help sync video to audio when connected to a TV. Video may look slower than the audio if it is connected to a digital TV. If this occurs, you can adjust the audio delay time to match the video. You can adjust the AV Sync from 0 to 300ms.

    Optical Digital Input: The Samsung & Harman/Kardon HW-N850 wireless audio soundbar system's soundbar is equipped with an optical (toslink) digital input to connect your television, Blu-ray/DVD player, or satellite/cable box. The optical (toslink) digital input supports Dolby Digital & DTS (both up to 5.1ch), as well as 2ch PCM. *There is not analog audio input on this soundbar system.

    Note: The digital optical output terminals of many flat-panel TVs only send a Dolby Digital or DTS audio signal when receiving Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound from the TV's built-in tuner, network connection, or connected USB device; and will output only 2ch PCM from sources connected to the TV via HDMI, or RCA (like your Blue-ray/DVD player or satellite/cable box).

    Optional Rear Speakers: The Samsung SWA-9000S Wireless Surround Kit (sold separately) lets add rear speakers to the HW-N850 system without all the wires. Together, the SWA-9000S kit and the HW-N850 system, can create a 7.1.2 channel system for a true surround sound experience. Enjoy an immersive, clutter-free experience and get great sound all around by simply connecting a wireless rear module, dongle, and two rear speakers. It will bring a new dimension to your favorite movies and TV shows.

    Wireless Audio

    Wireless Network Connection: The Samsung & Harman/Kardon HW-N850 offers a wireless (WiFi) network connection which allows you to stream Internet radio from TuneIn and connect an Alexa-enabled device for hands-free access to select online music service. WiFi setup will be done using the SmartThings app (for Apple iOS and Android).

    Note: The system is not equipped with an Ethernet jack for a hardwired network connection.

    TuneIn Internet Radio: Get access to more than 100,000 free internet radio streams from all corners of the globe via the TuneIn radio service. Just select the TuneIn logo from the main Music menu and browse among the 100,000 stations neatly organized into popular categories and select a station that appeals to your mood.

    Alexa Music Services: Connecting an Amazon Alexa device (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Spotify Connect. You can also upload your personal music collection from iTunes, Google Play Music, and more to your music library on Amazon and then stream your music through the Samsung & Harman/Kardon system. Simply ask for your favorite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. You can also search for music by lyrics, when a song or album was released, or let Alexa pick the music for you.

    Note: The HW-N850 is limited to music functionality only through Amazon Alexa. Other services provided by Amazon (such as news and weather) can only be accessed through your Amazon Alexa device.

    Bluetooth Audio Streaming (A2DP): Thanks to built-in Bluetooth 4.0 with supports for wireless audio streaming, you can wirelessly stream stored music, music apps, and other audio content from your Bluetooth source device (such as your smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, or laptop) to the Samsung & Harman/Kardon HW-N850 and enjoy music with high quality stereo sound. The included remote control will provide Play/Pause & Previous/Next functions. Advance music browsing and song/artist information will still be handled from your Bluetooth source device.

    Note: The HW-N850 does not support Bluetooth hands-free communication for making and answering phone calls.

    Wireless TV Connection: You can simplify the installation of the HW-N850 by eliminating the need for a wired connection between a Bluetooth-enabled TV from any manufacturer or a WiFi enabled Samsung TV (2014-2018 models) and the soundbar. Simply plug the soundbar and the subwoofer into AC power and follow the simple pairing instructions to wirelessly connect the soundbar and your compatible TV. When a TV is connected using Bluetooth or WiFi, audio is transmitted in stereo (not Dolby Digital or DTS). Only one TV can be paired and connected at a time.

    Voice/App/Remote Control

    SmartThings App: Use the SmartThings app (for Apple iOS 10.0+ and Android OS 6.0+) to turn your compatible smartphone or tablet into a remote control for the HW-N850 system. You can also use the app to access internet radio and select online music services, as well as music libraries on your Apple iOS or Android device. In addition, the SmartThings app is used to connect the HW-N850 system to your WiFi network and enable Amazon Alexa compatibility with an Amazon Echo device (sold separately).

    Optional SmartThings Hub: Install the SmartThings Hub (sold separately) and use the SmartThings app (for Apple iOS and Android) on your mobile device as a remote control for the HW-N850 system, as well as all of your Samsung SmartThings and other smart devices in your home.

    Alexa Voice Control (Optional): Use Amazon Alexa and an Amazon Echo device (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) to control the soundbar system with your voice. You can ask Alexa to turn on/off the system, change the input source, select an online music service, set the volume level, mute the volume, and stop playback. In the SmartThings app (for Apple iOS and Android), you will need to change the Soundbar's name to one that can be recognized by your Amazon Echo device.

    Remote Control with HDMI Control (Anynet+): The included IR remote control provides wireless operation of the Samsung & Harman/Kardon HW-N850 system. Support for HDMI Control & Anynet+ offers linked operation with other Samsung Anynet+ components  (up to 12) and other HDMI-CEC compatible components from one remote control. All components will need to be connected via HDMI and support either HDMI-CEC or Anynet+.

    TV Remote Control: When the HW-N850 system is connected to a Samsung smart TV released in 2017 or later, the Soundbar can be controlled using the TV's remote control. This function also allows you to use the TV menu to adjust the soundfield and various settings as well as the volume and mute. You can also program Sony, LG, Vizio, Sharp, Panasonic, and Toshiba TV remotes to control Power/On Off, Volume Up/Down, and Mute functions of the HW-N850 soundbar system.

    Auto Power On/Off: The Samsung wireless audio soundbar system offers Auto Power On/Off functionality.

    • Power Link (Auto On): The wireless audio soundbar system is automatically turned on when you turn on your TV or any device connected to the wireless audio soundbar system with an optical cable.
    • Auto Off:  If a TV or any device connected to the wireless audio soundbar system is off and there is no audio signal, the soundbar system will turn off after 5 minutes.

    Network Standby On Function: The Network Standby On function is available if a wireless connection has been properly established between a smart device and the soundbar. This function turns on the soundbar automatically when a smart device attempts to connect to the system via Bluetooth or WiFi. If you turn the system on via a Bluetooth connection, its input mode is set to BT automatically. To turn the Soundbar on via WiFi, you must have the Samsung SmartThings app installed on your Apple iOS or Android device.

    Firmware Updates: Firmware & software updates are done through the SmartThings app (for Apple iOS & Android).

    Mounting Options

    Wall-Mount or Tabletop Mount the Soundbar Speaker: The soundbar is designed to be mounted directly below or above your flat-panel HDTV in a horizontal orientation. It should be placed directly in front of your main listening position without any obstructions around the front, side, and upward firing drivers. The soundbar can be placed on a shelf or table-top. The soundbar also includes wall-mount brackets which allows you to fix the speaker to your wall.

    Wireless Powered Sub Placement: Thanks to its 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, you can place the powered subwoofer up to 32.8' away from the soundbar. There are no cables to connect, except the AC power cord. It is recommended that you placed the wireless powered sub along the same front wall as the soundbar speaker.

    Power Requirements: The active soundbar speaker and the wireless powered subwoofer will both have to be plugged into an AC power outlet, surge protector, or power conditioner. The active soundbar speaker and wireless powered sub include a detachable 5' AC power cord.

    Our Product Research Team

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