Samsung has an enviable reputation when it comes to soundbars, but it’s not hard to see why. The company makes a wide variety of models at different price points and the latest Samsung HW-Q800A is a high-end model that attempts to make Atmos soundbars available for less than $1,000. It does so by using upward-firing speakers rather than the more expensive height speakers that some pricier Atmos models use, but how does this approach work in practice?
A Quick Intro
The Samsung HW-Q800A is a soundbar with an integrated subwoofer. It’s big and bulky, which means it isn’t suitable for those looking to save space in their living room. On the other hand, the HW-Q800A has plenty of features that might make up for its bulkiness.
For example, it offers Dolby Atmos support and can be controlled via Samsung’s SmartThings app (available on iOS and Android). The HW-Q800A’s wireless subwoofer also supports DTS Virtual:X processing to create an immersive surround sound effect from two speakers instead of five or more. This can help save you money if you don’t want a full surround system but still want better sound than your TV speakers provide by themselves.
Design and features
The HW-Q800A is a soundbar that measures 36.6 inches long, 3.9 inches high, and 2.8 inches deep. It’s nice looking, with a matte black finish and a slim profile that makes it look like it’s almost floating above your TV set when you have it connected to the wall mount brackets included in the box (optional). The front face is dominated by just two buttons: power on/off, which also serves as mute when pressed once; and volume up/down buttons that can be used interchangeably with the remote control—though you’ll want to use this button if your TV has no audio output jack or if you want to keep other devices connected at all times through HDMI ARC ports on its back panel (or even better yet: both).
The remote control is small but functional—it features large buttons for accessing different settings menus from across the room without straining your eyes or reaching too far away from where you’re sitting comfortably on your couch. The only drawback I found here was having only one button each for increasing or lowering volume levels instead of separate buttons for each increment level available; otherwise, everything else worked well enough though it does take some getting used before feeling confident about controlling everything without needing instructions first! There’s also an infrared eye built into the remote control so when using voice commands via Google Assistant / Siri voice assistant applications like Siri Voice Control feature work perfectly fine even though they don’t support AirPlay technology yet which means there won’t be any lag between commands given through mobile device apps versus how quickly data travels between mobile device apps back onto speakers themselves
Setup and connectivity
I was able to set up the HW-Q800A in just a few minutes. Its wireless subwoofer paired quickly with my TV, and it took only a few button presses on the remote to get it connected to my streaming devices and other A/V gear. The process for getting an Internet connection was similarly painless: It took less than five minutes from start to finish.
Compared with competing systems, I found that this Samsung sound bar had a particularly easy time connecting all of my devices (including speakers) wirelessly via Bluetooth. And when I wanted to listen to music on one device, but watch TV on another, I simply pressed “source” on the remote control—which is where you can also change things like input mode or channel number—and switched between devices easily.
The sound quality of the Q800A is excellent. The bar features two built-in subwoofers and upward-firing speakers, which provide it with a deep bass response that’s ideal for movies and TV shows. Dialogue clarity is also good, so you’ll never miss an important line of dialogue or become confused by who’s talking during a scene.
The Q800A provides good surround sound effects when playing back content from its HDMI inputs (it doesn’t support Dolby Atmos). It can also simulate surround sound using its internal DSP engine, but this isn’t quite as effective as having actual rear speakers in your room for positioning purposes. As far as other types of audio go, this system delivers some of the best soundstages we’ve heard from a soundbar system at this price point (or any price point).
The Samsung HW-Q800A is a pricier Dolby Atmos soundbar with upward-firing speakers, but it sounds good enough to do justice to your 4K/HDR video collection.
The HW-Q800A ($1,099) is one of the most expensive soundbars on the market at the moment, but it delivers impressive performance for both movies and music. If you’re looking for a soundbar that sounds as good as it looks and has everything you need, this could be your best bet.
In theory, this should have been the perfect product for me: I’m not only an AV enthusiast who loves movies and TV shows, but also someone who’s long been frustrated by the lack of ultra-high-resolution 4K/HDR content available on streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Add in support for Dolby Atmos—which offers positional audio effects that are supposed to make you feel like you’re in an actual movie theater—and this high-end soundbar has all the right ingredients for making my entertainment experience more immersive than ever before.
But while the HW-Q800A delivers on many fronts, it doesn’t do anything particularly special or revolutionary when compared with other premium soundbars at comparable price points (its $1,199 price tag puts it right up against the slightly cheaper Yamaha YAS-203 ($999), and much pricier Cambridge Audio Yoyo Micro ($1,499), both of which come in at 50% less than Samsung’s offering). That said, if you’re looking for a way to bring home theater quality into your living room without breaking your budget then this might be worth considering!
The HW-Q800A is a simple, attractive soundbar that can sound great with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content, but its always-on processing may not be for everybody.