Everything wrong with the Samsung S95B QD-OLED TV

Samsung S95B frustrations?

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There are a lot of glowing reviews of the latest flagship TV from Samsung, the S95B. Samsung Display’s new and much awaited QD-OLED technology brings extra brightness and colour volume to the inky blacks of regular W-OLED technology, but if you scour the TV reviewer videos, AV websites and shopper reviews you’ll find a surprising number of less than positive aspects reported too.

I’ve summarised those I’ve found so far below but leave a comment if there’s anything I’ve missed.

Starting with a thread of 15 issues based on this TV YouTuber’s findings:

I’ve lumped these problems, plus those from other sources, into a set of categories:

Physical e.g. size

Only comes in 55 and 65 inch sizes: https://www.samsung.com/uk/tvs/oled-tv/s95b-55-inch-oled-4k-smart-tv-qe55s95batxxu/

11/ Panel can be bent in shipping: https://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-55-Inch-Quantum-Built-QN55S95BAFXZA/product-reviews/B09VHBXY63

15/ Bright lights near the screen make blacks grayish

8/ Cleaning with water can leave spots, though this might help: https://lifehacks.stackexchange.com/questions/17639/how-to-remove-water-stains-from-tv

User Interface e.g. OS and remote

13/ Tizen OS is laggy: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tizen

“an uninspiring smart platform”: https://www.reviewed.com/televisions/content/samsung-s95b-oled-tv-review

Small remote with no back-light: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/reviews/samsung-55-class-s95b-oled-4k-smart-tizen-tv/6502216

Picture Processing e.g. black crush, blown highlights, colour accuracy, upscaling, motion handling, HDR modes.

9/ Out of the box, filmmaker mode is brighter than movie mode and shadow details are too dark: https://www.samsung.com/us/support/answer/ANS00079295/

10/ In some modes eotf is pushed too bright affecting mid tones

Inaccurate or oversaturated colour and luminance:

https://www.avsforum.com/threads/samsung-4k-s95b-qd-oled-owners-thread-no-price-talk.3240720/post-61604628

1/ Colour fringing with dark objects against a light background: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromatic_aberration

3/ Shadow details can be crushed or overly bright: https://www.howtogeek.com/728797/what-is-black-crush-on-a-display/

4/ Dark scenes can trigger dimming (tho not the only OLED to do this)

2/ Low bit rate content shows aliasing and smoothing artefacts: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spatial_anti-aliasing

14/ Smooth gradation can show posterization: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posterization

5/ Motion can show ghost trails

12/ Motion interpolation introduces artefacts: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_interpolation

No Dolby Vision HDR mode: https://www.reviewed.com/televisions/content/samsung-s95b-oled-tv-review

Quality Control e.g. bugs

Screen cuts off the edge of images: https://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-55-Inch-Quantum-Built-QN55S95BAFXZA/product-reviews/B09VHBXY63

6/ Auto colour gamut and auto input switching are unreliable: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamut

7/ Picture settings reset unexpectedly 

Longevity – OLED tech is based on organic materials which wear out

Brightness – QD OLEDs can get bright but are nevertheless still much less bright than some LEDs

It’s the brightest OLED we’ve tested to date but S95B doesn’t get as bright as some of the brightest LCD/LED TVs:

https://www.reviewed.com/televisions/content/samsung-s95b-oled-tv-review

Value – price to performance is not the best

Cheaper LEDs like the Sony X95K and its kin have as many strengths and come in larger screen sizes

Finally, trust your eyes – look at some footage of a real life scene and see which TV looks more realistic and involving. And if the measurements of the TV you prefer are worse than some other TV then the measurements are measuring the wrong things – things that don’t necessarily reflect our perception.

And beware the shills and bots lurking in the comments – you need look no further than those in my last video to see the kind of unsubstantiated hype they come out with!

Image credits: cottonbro

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 – Practical, popular evolution that misses a little magic

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 Sound recordings
MTW3 v CX400BT

In a nutshell, this latest evolution of Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless Bluetooth earphones offers an adaptive codec that should handle dropouts over distance better, improved ANC and call quality in noisy environments and more secure fit with a popular tuning that emphasises female vocals over the previous generation.

Love: sound quality is among the top tier with, by default, more forward female vocals than its predecessors which, while not to my taste, has a fresher, livelier sound that many may prefer.

Like: comfort, security of fit, the unobtrusive design that sits more flush in the ear, responsiveness of touch controls, lightness, microphone quality, water resistant IPX4 rating, long battery life, Qi charging, removing from the ear automatically pauses a track and replacing it resumes, activating transparency mode automatically pauses a track and deactivating resumes, transparency mode works well, ANC is good for an earphone (tho headphone ANC is much more effective) and does not affect EQ when switched on, the App offers good configuration of touch operation and EQ with my ideal touch configuration for volume (hold), pause (tap) and skip (double tap) by default, and there is no noticeable latency when watching videos.

Dislike: looks which are less distinctive and premium than the previous model, difficulty connecting to a 5y old Windows laptop, the charging port being at the front, the default tuning slightly emphasising upper mids with less bass rumble, single bud use only working with the right bud, there being no multipoint pairing allowing connection to and automatic switching between 2 devices at the same time like your phone and laptop, without unpairing and repairing, Sennheiser make you register to use the Sound Check custom EQ and Sound Zones location based EQ, there is some hiss at the higher levels of transparency mode, and finally value for pure sound quality, which is always my number one priority, is only fair.

I’ve characterised the review this way since a love can outweigh a dislike and vice versa, making simply totting up points in categories like sound quality, comfort, control scheme, security of fit, battery life, connectivity, etc. rather academic. In the final analysis, arguably the best buds are the ones you end up using the most.

The MTW3 maintains the solid foundation of the previous model but with a popular Harman style tuning that brings female vocals more forward in the mix. Such a tuning can emphasise female vocals at the expense of male however the MTW3 remains a good performer with both male (Peter Gabriel’s Heroes) and female (Nitin Sawhney’s Nadia) vocals being involving. They have a tight and deep but marginally less rumbly bass than their predecessor though the sub bass at 3:27 of Hans Zimmer’s “Why so serious?” still comes across as satisfying, if slightly less so than on my reference TWS earphones (that also conveys the plunging into water sounds at the beginning of Dario G’s “Voices” better). Soundstage is also slightly less wide on “Fly Me To The Moon” bringing the higher registers of Sinatra’s vocals more to the foreground.

So sound wise these are a sidestep from the previous generation, with a tuning that I find less natural but that many may prefer.

As someone who rarely uses earphone ANC, for me the new and improved features do not make up for the significant additional cost over alternatives, though admittedly these are much cheaper than the launch price of Sennheiser’s previous equivalent flagship model.

If you’re happy to forego some features like the ANC and top tier transparency, lower profile, more secure fit and auto track pause there are cheaper alternatives from the same manufacturer like the CX400BT and CX series that offer the same level of sound quality in a comfortable form factor.