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userNOCpZhd0jA
Cosmic Ray

HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

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i hope a samsung software engineer picks up on this topic. I just purchased a samsung soundbar hw n850. i also have a 4k samsung player ubd m8500. i have the player directly connected to the soundbar via hdmi, and the soundbar to the tv via hdmi. the soundbar seems to have issues processing dts audio. i spent a few hours with samsung support, checking software, resetting, and unplugging both devices... i even ended up exchanging the soundbar for the same model, but i have/had the exact same issue with both units . I tested two discs with dts  5.1 audio. With the 4k player set to bitsream unprocessed or auto (also bitstream), i get constant distortion from the right side speaker of the soundbar (left side is unaffected)  when the soundmode is set to smart mode. Again 2 different discs, both with dts audio with the soundmode set to smart mode. The same issue occurred on 2 brand new soundbars, same speaker (right side). when the sound mode is switched to surround or standard on the soundbar, the distortion goes away. Or if i change the sound output on the 4k player to pcm or re encode dolby digital, i can then use all sound modes without distortion. When the player is set to bitstream while listening to dolby digital or dolby atmos, there is no issue......also with DTS, there are minor audio sync issues, but can easily be adjusted with the sync setting on the soundbar. DTS X audio plays without distortion, but there are sync issues. Please help me find out whats causing this distortion. 

Thank you

1 SOLUTION

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userNOCpZhd0jA
Cosmic Ray

Re: HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

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I fixed the distortion issue.... I ended up buying rear speakers (swa 9000s). with those hooked up, i can now bitstream the audio from my 4k player and listen to smart mode without issue. i had a feeling that would fix it. Smart mode  selects which speakers certain sounds come from.... the hw n850 is the exact same soundbar as the hw n950, but the 950 comes with rear speakers. the 850 does not. so im assuming smart mode was designed for the complete setup. before i bought the rear speakers, it couldnt effectively distribute the sound, thus the distortion. Hope samsung reads this, and hope it helps others who may have stumbled upon this issue.

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userNOCpZhd0jA
Cosmic Ray

Re: HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

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correction to add to my last post. the distortion is not limited to dts. i tested a disc with dolby digital 7.1 and  dolby digital is affected in smart mode as well...once again, this is with my player set to bitstream unprocessed or auto and the soundmode on the soundbar set to smart mode. there is distortion out of the right side speaker. standard mode and surround mode are not affected when the sound output is bitstream. If i want to use smart mode i have to switch the players output to pcm. This cannot be normal......atmos and dts x appear to be fine. they are required to have the sound output set as bitstream unprocessed, but then all the sound modes are greyed out anyway......what is wrong with smart mode.........I dont have this issue with apps on my tv in smart mode. tv is connected via hdmi arc

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userNOCpZhd0jA
Cosmic Ray

Re: HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

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update:  to test further, i reconnected my 4k player to my tv instead of passing it through my soundbar. so the sound then goes to my soundbar via hdmi arc. once i did this, smart mode works without distortion, but then i lose dolby atmos in the process. so the distortion in smart mode only occurs when my player is set to bitstream and is connected directly to my soundbar. For over $1000 i should be able to use all the soundmodes without distortion in one of the speakers

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userNOCpZhd0jA
Cosmic Ray

Re: HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

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is anyone having this issue? is this being looked into? once again, with my  4k player hooked up to my soundbar and the 4k players audio output set to bitstream (so the soundbar does the decoding), i cannot use smart sound mode without getting constant distortion from the right side speaker.......... samsung? help please?

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Samsung Moderator
Samsung Moderator

Re: HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

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Have you checked to ensure that the software version is up to date? It should be at or newer than ver 1005.1  

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userNOCpZhd0jA
Cosmic Ray

Re: HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

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yes. and i also exchanged the soundbar. both units have the exact same issue
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Samsung Moderator
Samsung Moderator

Re: HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

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In this case, only an update would resolve the issue. Please keep an eye out for any available updates here: Link

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userNOCpZhd0jA
Cosmic Ray

Re: HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

JUMP TO SOLUTION

I fixed the distortion issue.... I ended up buying rear speakers (swa 9000s). with those hooked up, i can now bitstream the audio from my 4k player and listen to smart mode without issue. i had a feeling that would fix it. Smart mode  selects which speakers certain sounds come from.... the hw n850 is the exact same soundbar as the hw n950, but the 950 comes with rear speakers. the 850 does not. so im assuming smart mode was designed for the complete setup. before i bought the rear speakers, it couldnt effectively distribute the sound, thus the distortion. Hope samsung reads this, and hope it helps others who may have stumbled upon this issue.

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useroPdIB5JLp6
Constellation

Re: HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

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I have the exact same issue with my N850.

 

I noticed that streaming DTS 5.1 content from my Nvidia Shield Plex app was producing an 8-bit distortion effect during loud bass heavy scenes, if I pause playback during the disortion, it gets worse and continues for a split second while paused.

 

Switching sound modes to Standard or Surround gets rid of the problem, but to my ears I have found Smart mode to be clearer and I prefer the overall sound (when there's no distortion). 

 

Thanks for sharing your fix, it's far from ideal since many people who bought the N850 did so because they either didn't want the rears or couldn't afford them, and the SWA-9000S rears have now shot up in price from £79 last year to as high as £229.99!

 

It is so disappointing that Samsung are not offering the Atmos rears as optional extras for N850 owners, given the fact the Soundbar itself is identical. Let's hope a firmware update fixes the distortion, or better yet, allows Atmos rears to be paired up! I won't hold my breath...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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userNOCpZhd0jA
Cosmic Ray

Re: HW N850 soundbar distortion in smart mode

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yes youre right. its not an ideal fix. the hw n850 should work properly without the additional speakers as that is the way its sold. And i payed full price for the swa 9000s as well

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