CES 2024 is imminent and Samsung has announced its audio offerings for 2024, which include a range of soundbars and a wireless speaker named the Music Frame that doubles as a picture frame. Although we don’t have any official pricing, release dates or region availability for products, we’re sure to get it at CES 2024 itself or in the coming weeks.
Samsung was responsible for some of the best soundbars in 2023, but possibly the most intriguing product from this announcement is the Samsung Music Frame. A similar concept to Samsung’s The Frame TVs (a TV that can display artwork instead of a blank screen when in standby mode), the Music Frame aims to provide music or home theater audio discreetly, with the ability to display artwork whilst outputting audio.
The Music Frame can be used as a standalone speaker, and it can be paired with compatible Samsung TVs and soundbars to act as a main speaker or a subwoofer. Two can even be paired together to act as surround sound speakers. Each Music Frame has two tweeters, two woofers and two mid-range drivers. It also uses Samsung Space Fit technology that will tailor the audio to the environment it’s in.
Along with the Music Frame, Samsung has revealed its 2024 soundbar lineup, headlined by the Samsung HW-Q990D, the successor to the fantastic Samsung HW-Q990C, one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars available. It has 11.1.4 channels (the same as the Q990C), supports wireless Dolby Atmos and now comes with 4K 120Hz passthrough for games consoles, a feature the Q990C lacked. There’s also Party Play mode, which tunes the HW-Q990D to play a balanced sound across the whole system when listening to music so everyone has the same experience.
Samsung also announced its range of ultra-slim soundbars, including the HW-S800D, which are designed to compliment Samsung’s slim TVs and features Space Fit Sound Pro to adapt its sound to the viewing environment.
Samsung Music Frame - innovation or gimmick?
Samsung’s Frame TVs have proved to be popular amongst those who want to incorporate their tech into a room’s decor. As more streaming sites such as Netflix and Disney Plus are making Dolby Atmos sound accessible to more people, the home theater experience is becoming increasingly popular. More often than not though, people don’t want full setups with large speakers taking up room and trailing cables. This is where the Music Frame could take off.
The Music Frame offers discrete audio options for those who value appearance as well as functionality. We know that it has multiple uses and is a Wi-Fi speaker, so music should be able to be streamed at a higher quality than Bluetooth.
If the Music Frame is anything like Samsung’s The Frame TVs, its art-showing abilities will be its primary function. The Samsung Frame TVs serve a particular purpose, but as TVs they are generally a more expensive version of Samsung’s mid-range QLED models, with maybe even a weaker picture. If the Music Frame follows the same route, then it will be a picture first, and a speaker second.
As for the Samsung HW-Q990D soundbar, this sounds like it will carry on with more of the same brilliant performance that we’ve come to expect over the past couple of years from Samsung's flagship soundbars. And, with the addition of 4K 120Hz passthrough, one of the Samsung HW-Q990C’s drawbacks, the Q990D could prove to be the ultimate home theater soundbar system. We look forward to getting our hands on it to check it out.
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James is the TV Hardware Staff Writer at TechRadar. Before joining the team, he worked at a major UK based AV retailer selling TV and audio equipment, where he was either telling customers the difference between OLED and QLED or being wowed by watching a PS5 run on the LG 65G2. When not writing about the latest TV tech, James can be found gaming, reading, watching rugby or coming up with another idea for a novel.