Q: I just bought a 65-inch LG C9 OLED TV and already have two Sonos One speakers. I was going to buy the Sonos Playbar to use with the speakers, but now I realize that for a few dollars more I might get better sound from the Samsung-Harman/Kardon HW-Q90R. Do you think it is worth it, and will the HW-Q90R work well with an LG TV? One more question: If I do buy this, is it worth paying to have a professional set it up (the place I'm shopping would charge $76 for this), or do you think can I do it myself?
A: The HW-Q90R soundbar is pricey, but I definitely think that it's worth it. And that's not just conjecture. I bought one after returning the review sample because I realized I did not want to live without it. I also bought a Bell'O PR45 stand for $1,100 because my old stand did not hold the soundbar, so doing that particular review (which appeared in this column two weeks ago) left me a couple thousand dollars poorer. But the HW-Q90R now serves as my new soundbar benchmark. It is $300 off on Amazon now, or $1,395.
The HW-Q90R will work fine with any brand TV, and it is definitely easy to set up yourself. The directions in the manual are simple. The task amounts to connecting three HDMI cables, powering up the speakers in the correct order (subwoofer, surround speakers, soundbar) the first time, and turning it on. Just be sure to download the SmartThings app and use it to update the firmware once everything is set up. Getting some stands for the rear speakers is a good idea, too. Sanus makes some nice ones for $40 a pair.
I still think a surround receiver with a high-quality speaker ensemble provides the best sound, but if that is impractical (which it is in my living room), it's not a crisis. The HW-Q90R's fine audio quality and immersive sound can't be beat. (samsung.com)
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.