Samsung's 2024 TVs will support 360 Audio over headphones – but there are two major catches

Samsung S95D QD-OLED on a marble stand
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Samsung has announced that it will implement support for 3D Audio over headphones in a selection of its 2024 TVs. Samsung says that it will provide a "theatre-like experience at home", which is a bold claim indeed. 

While not all models will include this feature, there is a decent selection here. Its QLED, 4K Neo QLED, 8K Neo QLED and OLED models (including the S95D) all feature in the compatibility list. The full list of supported models is as follows:

  • Samsung Neo QLED 8K: QN900D, QN800D
  • Neo QLED 4K: QN95D, QN90D, QN87D, QN85D
  • OLED: S95D, S90D, S85D
  • QLED: Q80D, Q70D

This audio feature boils down to being virtualised surround sound audio emulated through headphones; in a way, it reminds us of Apple's Spatial Audio feature on AirPods. The TV transmits a 5.1 surround sound signal, which is then turned into a 360-degree audio experience via processing. Samsung has also confirmed that it will include head-tracking functionality to "create a truly immersive soundscape".  

360 Audio features on other Samsung gadgets such as its Galaxy phones, tablets and laptops, but this will be the first time it comes to the brand's TVs. This, however, brings us to our first catch. This feature will only work with Samsung's own Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, with a firmware update to unlock this feature expected to launch later this week. Samsung says it will "continue evolving the Galaxy Buds series to deliver intelligent, best-in-class and seamlessly connected sound", meaning we could see a new model support this feature soon, but as for now pickings are slim.

Samsung is also omitting a key player in the 360 audio game with this new feature. It's confirmed that Dolby Atmos will not be supported, and while we know Samsung doesn't take kindly to Dolby Vision, it's disappointing to see it exclude Atmos in this instance. The thinking here is that Samsung might instead use this feature to trial its Immersive Audio Model and Formats (IAMF), as pointed out by Tom's Guide

There are still a few mysteries surrounding this new feature, such as which streaming services will support it, and if any more headphones will support the tech. The biggest question we have is will it be any good? We'll have to try it out for ourselves when we receive review units of the new 2024 Samsung TV models.


Read our Samsung QN900D hands on review

As well as our Samsung S95D hands on review

Check out our picks for the best TVs

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.