Samsung QE65QN95A TV + Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar review: mini LED & Q-Symphony

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The Samsung QE65QN95A is the Korean manufacturer’s first mini LED TV. On the menu: high brightness and optimized contrast. The 4.2.2 channel audio section of this Samsung QLED has an output of 70 watts and can work together with the Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar (€690) to improve spatialization and amplitude (Q Symphony technology).

Intended to compete with OLED TVs on their home turf, with excellent contrast, does this Samsung TV sold for €2,790 reach their level?

Packaging & accessories

The Samsung QE65QN95A is delivered with a base and the necessary screws to assemble it. It comes with a One Connect box (remote connectors), a cable to connect the box to the screen (2.5m), a power cable, a user manual and a rechargeable remote control.

The Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar and its wireless subwoofer come with their respective power cables, a pair of wall brackets for the soundbar, an HDMI cable and a remote control with batteries.

Presentation

The Samsung QE65QN95A features a 64” (163cm) HDR10+ compatible Neo QLED display. Its mini LED backlighting ensures high brightness while maximizing contrast, with deeper blacks. The Neo Quantum Processor 4K video processor upscales all video content to UHD for highly detailed and realistic images. Optimized for gaming, the Samsung QE65QN95A Neo QLED mini LED TV features four 4K/120 fps compatible HDMI 2.1 inputs ideal for the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.

This Samsung TV is equipped with a 4.2.2 channel audio system driven by a 70 watt amplifier. Its particularity is that it can be used in symbiosis with a Q Symphony compatible soundbar to further improve the amplitude of the sound.

One such example is the Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar, which comes with a wireless subwoofer. Equipped with numerous drivers, it can reproduce the three-dimensional spatialized sound of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks over 3.1.2 channels and ideally complements the Samsung QE65QN95A’s acoustic system. It has an HDMI input and HDMI ARC/eARC output, compatible with UHD 4K and HDR10+, as well as an optical digital audio input. Bluetooth, WiFi, and AirPlay 2 compatible, this Samsung soundbar can also be controlled vocally using an Alexa smart speaker.

Quantum Mini LED technology

The Samsung QE65QN95A features a mini LED backlighting system consisting of tens of thousands of miniature LEDs. Forty times smaller than conventional LEDs, they are evenly distributed across the back of the TV’s LCD panel. This technology offers a very high brightness (peaks at 2000 nits) and excellent contrast management. The Samsung QE65QN95A benefits from a backlight management per zone to precisely modulate the amount of light emitted. The contrast is thus enhanced, resulting in more realistic and nuanced images that are close to what can be achieved with OLED technology.

Neo Quantum Processor 4K

The Samsung QE65QN95A features a video processor called Neo Quantum Processor 4K that was designed specifically for Samsung Neo QLED 4K 2021 TVs. Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, it processes millions of pieces of information in real time to deliver the best picture and sound quality, with its 4K upscaling function optimizing the display of all content by processing each scene frame by frame.

HDR10+, Quantum Dots

Thanks to the combined performance of the powerful mini LED backlighting and HDR10+ compatibility, the Samsung QE65QN95A displays highly nuanced images with precise details in both the brightest and darkest scenes. The Quantum Dot technology allows it to cover a very wide color space and display images with intense and nuanced colors.

The Quantum Dot technology combined with the mini-LED backlight allows the Samsung QE65QN95A to display images with a very rich colorimetry and a very high contrast.

4.2.2 channel sound

The Samsung QE65QN95A is equipped with a 4.2.2 channel audio section with dedicated drivers to reproduce the low frequencies (subwoofers) and vertical effects drivers. The system’s amplifier delivers 70 watts RMS.

Tizen interface, streaming and network playback

This Samsung TV uses the proprietary Tizen operating system which provides access to numerous online sites and services such as YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV and Prime Video (Amazon). In practice, the interface of the Samsung QE65QN95A TV isn’t as smooth or practical as an Android TV or even the latest version of webOS. However, the universal guide accessible by scrolling down is appreciable and allows easy access to a wide range of content organized by genre and platform. It’s a shame that the navigation is sometimes rather slow.

The Samsung QE65QN95A’s Tizen interface provides access to many online streaming services such as Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video…

HDMI 2.1, WiFi, Bluetooth

The connectors of this Samsung 4K TV are all grouped inside a separate box connected to the screen using a proprietary cable. There are four 4K 120 FPS compatible HDMI 2.1 inputs, three USB ports, a CI+ connector, an optical digital audio output, an Ethernet port and three antenna connectors. This makes it easy to connect a 4K UHD Blu-ray player, an AV network player, a set top box or a video game console.

All the Samsung QE65QN95A’s connectors are found on the rear of the One Connect box, which is connected to the screen using a 2.5m long dedicated cable.

WiFi connectivity allows you to access the Internet and play shared content on the local network wirelessly. As for Bluetooth, it allows you to use not only a wireless keyboard and mouse for navigation, but also to connect Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth wireless speaker to listen to the TV.

Dolby Atmos soundbar

The Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar features eight drivers in a 3.1.2 channel configuration. Its drivers dedicated to vertical effects project the sounds to the ceiling, which reflects them towards the viewers, producing particularly realistic effects. This soundbar also has a real center channel, specifically dedicated to the reproduction of dialogues, which are more distinct as a result.

The Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar is Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatible to reproduce vertical sound effects.

This Samsung soundbar is PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+ and DTS compatible and supports Dolby Atmos as well as DTS:X. Several sound environments are available and the audio stream can be analyzed in real time to automatically provide optimized sound according to each scene. This adaptive mode ensures that voices are always optimally reproduced, even at low volumes.

The infrared remote control supplied with the soundbar allows you to control the volume of the soundbar and the subwoofer separately (Woofer button).

Wireless subwoofer

The subwoofer of this Samsung soundbar is a wireless model that only requires a power outlet to operate and is easy to place. Its bass-reflex enclosure improves the reproduction of the bass, which is powerful and realistic.

The wireless subwoofer that accompanies the Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar has a bass-reflex enclosure with a wide back-firing port.

Q-Symphony

Both the Samsung QE65QN95A TV and the Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar feature Q Symphony technology. This allows the drivers of the soundbar and the TV to work in harmony to improve spatialization and increase the volume.

With Samsung’s Q-Symphony technology, the soundbar and the TV’s audio system work together to deliver a more immersive sound field.

Key specifications

Samsung QE65QN95A

  • Screen size: 64” (163cm)
  • Display technology: Neo QLED
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Brightness/contrast: Quantum mini LED
  • Peak brightness: 2000 nits
  • Audio system: 4.2.2 channels
  • RMS output: 70 watts
  • Q-Symphony
  • 4 x HDMI 2.1 (4K 120 FPS)

Samsung HW-Q700A

  • 3.1.2 channel audio system
  • 8 driver soundbar
  • Center driver and vertical drivers
  • Wireless subwoofer
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatible
  • Q-Symphony
  • 1 HDMI 4K (ARC/eARC) input & output
  • 1 optical input
  • Bluetooth/WiFi

Samsung QE65QN95A: configuration

Setting up the Samsung QE65QN95A is quick and easy. Once the base is mounted and the TV is in place on the TV cabinet, you connect the screen to the One Connect box with the cable provided and then connect the various sources to it before turning it on. The configuration of the TV is done with the remote control or via the SmartThings control application available for iOS and Android. The interface prompts you to select the language and the country, and then invites you to choose if you want to activate the smart mode. If the TV is not connected to the Internet via a network cable, you will have to set up WiFi. You then choose the region to set for the setting of the TV channels and search for connected sources. Once these steps are validated, the Samsung QE65QN95A is operational.

For our review, we connected the TV to the Pioneer UDP-LX500 4K UHD Blu-ray player using a Norstone Jura HDMI cable. We also connected the television’s HDMI eARC connector to that of the Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar using the HDMI cable provided by Samsung. All of these elements were connected to the Taga Harmony PF-1000 v2 power strip, the TV to a filtered socket, the soundbar and subwoofer to direct sockets. Lastly, we put NorStone Damp 50 pads on the subwoofer to optimize the sound.

Samsung QE65QN95A: our impressions

Design

The Samsung QE65QN95A’s Infinity screen with its ultra-slim edges leaves a maximum of space for the image, and its bevelled brushed aluminum frame gives it a certain elegance. The iOne Connect box that integrates the connectors and electronics further refines the TV’s silhouette by greatly reducing its thickness: 2.6cm for this 65″ model. Very discreet, the central metal base raises the screen which seems to float in front of the viewers. Raised by 6.5cm, it leaves the possibility to slide a soundbar like the Samsung HW-Q700A, which does not hide the lower part of the screen, under the TV.

The Samsung QE65QN95A’s screen has a very thin frame in brushed aluminum.

The soundbar’s design is particularly understated. Covering the top, the front and part of the underside, the black metal grill gives it a nice look in addition to contributing to its rigidity and robustness. The rest of the chassis is made of a well-made black plastic. Although light, this soundbar benefits from a build quality that inspires confidence.

The very clean lines of the Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar match the sleek style of the Samsung QE65QN95A QLED TV particularly well.

The design of the accompanying subwoofer is more conventional and not particularly original. However, it has the advantage of being discreet, both in terms of its size and its appearance.

4K HDR content

Whether it’s on Netflix and Disney+ in 4K HDR or from a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the Samsung QE65QN95A provided a very high quality result. The images were rich and detailed, the contrast very satisfying and the colors accurate once the Filmmaker mode was activated.

In the dark, the black bands were really black. The colors are realistic and the contrast offered by the Samsung QE65QN95A makes it a very serious competitor of the best OLED TVs (Ford v Ferrari 4K HDR Blu-ray).

Where the Samsung QE65QN95A is expected to shine is on high contrast scenes with dense blacks. Can mini-LED technology do as well as OLED displays and produce high contrasts with pure blacks? There is no better way to find out than with scenes that take place in space. With Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the result was particularly convincing. The blacks were very similar to those found in OLED pictures, and the colorimetric richness was almost as good.

The deep black of space in the background behind the interstellar cruisers was particularly well rendered by the Samsung QE65QN95A TV. Here, we were able to see just how effective the mini LED backlighting by zones is.

The same can be said for the season 2 of Love, Death + Robots. In the episode “Snow in the Desert”, we were impressed by the highlights and the shades of ochre of the desert, but also by the result with dark scenes which had rich and nuanced blacks. The Samsung QE65QN95A was comfortable displaying both very bright scenes and darker scenes, offering an excellent contrast. Another indication of the efficiency of the mini-LED technology is that the black bands above and below the image were truly black, even in the dark.

With the Samsung QE65QN95A the documentary series Life in Colour with naturalist David Attenborough was a treat for the eyes. The colors were rich and perfectly saturated, with beautiful nuances. The Samsung QE65QN95A is very impressive! 

However, be wary of the intense brightness of this television: although it allows the TV to maintain an excellent contrast during the day, it can sometimes be excessive for viewing in the dark. Don’t hesitate to reduce it to avoid any discomfort with bright and high-contrast images, or you can leave some ambient lighting in the room. It is also possible to purchase a LED strip such as the Bias Lighting Medialight MK2 Flex and place it behind the screen to improve visual comfort in the dark.

TNT & Upscaling 

On DTT programs, the Samsung QE65QN95A’s upscaling did an excellent job of improving texture and detail. Without equaling native 4K, the image gained in realism and depth, provided that the source was not too old or too compressed. The same goes for the Blu-ray of Hanz Zimmer’s concert in 1080p. We enjoyed excellent upscaling and the Samsung TV was not affected by the contrast and complex lighting of this live recording in Prague.

Audio section and soundbar

The 4.2.2 channel audio section of the Samsung QE65QN95A is driven by a 70 watt amplifier and can deliver virtual surround sound with vertical effects, with OTS (Object Tracking Sound) technology that spatially matches the sound with the image on the screen. The effect was quite impressive, provided that the Adaptive Sound+ mode was activated to optimize the result according to the program being watched. The surround sound effects were then projected widely from both sides of the screen as well as vertically, even though the soundstage remained quite frontal.

While it doesn’t decode or reproduce Dolby Atmos itself, the Samsung QE65QN95A is able to stream Dolby Atmos tracks via its HDMI eARC output. This requires enabling the option in the Expert Settings section of the sound settings menu.

We were therefore able to enjoy Atmos tracks via the Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar, which supports this audio format, from its HDMI input and from the audio return channel of its HDMI output (eARC). We also chose in the audio settings menu to have the soundtracks reproduced by both the TV and the soundbar. Dubbed Q Symphony, this technology makes for a very convincing sound experience. Vertical effects rise much higher and spread out above the audience, the frontal scene is wider, dialogues are more distinct and surround effects are diffused on both sides of the sofa, despite the absence of real surround speakers.

The sound output setting menu of the Samsung QE65QN95A TV allows you to select both the soundbar and the TV’s drivers for an even more immersive sound experience.

Revolutionary solar remote control

This is one of the new features of this QLED QN95A range. The included remote control now automatically charges thanks to its solar sensor on the back, if you get into the habit of putting it upside down on the coffee table or TV cabinet. A USB port is also present so it can be recharged by connecting it to the mains using a USB charger. The manufacturer does not provide any information about the autonomy and the charging time, nor about the possibility to change the battery. During our week of testing, the battery never gave us any trouble, even though we didn’t systematically think about turning the remote over to recharge it.

Samsung QE65QN95A: compared to…

LG OLED65C1

Only €200 more expensive than the Samsung TV with which it is in direct competition, this LG OLED TV differs by a better contrast in the low lights with more subtle and nuanced gradations in the darkest areas of the image. However, it does not reach the peak brightness of Samsung TV, which is far superior in very bright scenes and, above all, manages to offer a more readable and better contrasted image during the day, with ambient lighting. In a dark environment, however, the OLED screen is best.

Sony XR-65A90J

Sold for over €3,500, this Sony TV does better in terms of upscaling thanks to its Cognitive Processor XR. The colorimetry is also more accurate in Cinema mode, with a more realistic result overall. The Google TV interface is also very user-friendly and more responsive than Tizen, which is sometimes a little slow. Regarding sound, although the Sony Acoustic Surface Audio technology gives the impression that the voices are coming out of the screen, the sound produced by the Samsung model is better spatialized with a soundstage that has a nice height and a very convincing width.

Who is it for?

The Samsung QE65QN95A TV will suit those looking for very bright, high-contrast images even in the middle of the day, whether on movies or video games. The audio section should also satisfy those who don’t plan to invest in a home theater system to accompany this large TV, although the addition of the Q-Symphony compatible Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar proves very useful.

Conclusion

Thanks to the mini-LED backlighting combined with the colorimetric richness of QLED technology, the Samsung QE65QN95A TV displays images that are both very bright and highly contrasted with deep blacks that rival those of OLED technology. Particularly at ease with 4K HDR content (HDR10+ and HLG), the TV is also well suited to TV programs and HD Blu-ray discs that benefit from quality upscaling. As practical as ever, the remote box containing all the connectors greatly facilitates the integration of this television.

The Samsung QE65QN95A is currently the most suitable alternative to competing OLED TVs in terms of contrast. The Korean manufacturer is getting closer to achieving the same results as OLED while keeping a lower price tag! The Samsung QE65QN95A TV + Samsung HW-Q700A soundbar package is perfect for enjoying the qualities of this Samsung mini LED TV with an optimal sound spatialization of soundtracks without cluttering the room with multiple speakers.

What we liked

  • The high brightness 
  • The excellent contrast
  • The rich colors
  • The sound spatialization

We would have liked

  • For the Tizen interface to have been more responsive
  • For the subwoofer to have had a more interesting design


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Après plusieurs années passées dans la vente de produits high-tech d'occasion avant de rejoindre l'équipe de Son-Vidéo.com en 2007, je ne compte plus les amplis, enceintes, casques, TV, vidéoprojecteurs et autres baladeurs qui sont passés entre mes mains... Je suis toujours curieux de découvrir de nouveaux produits et de partager cette passion pour la hi-fi et le home-cinéma.

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