We've currently tested 42 Samsung soundbars. They seem to separate themselves from their competition with audio reproduction that's generally balanced and neutral-sounding. If you don't like their sound, they also have graphic EQs, which suits those who like a little more customization over their sound experience. Samsung's soundbars are also well-built and tend to feel sturdy and solid.
The Samsung HW-Q990C is the best Samsung soundbar we've tested. This premium 11.1.4 soundbar is the next generation of the Samsung HW-Q990B, and its sound quality is even better than its predecessor. Out-of-the-box, you enjoy a clear and clean sound suitable for listening to many different types of audio content, from music to movies to TV shows. The dedicated sub brings the rumble in the bass, but it's more controlled than last year's model, so voices and lead instruments are represented with balance alongside the bass, too. Customization is easy thanks to the room correction feature, and if you prefer to adjust the bar's sound manually, there's a graphic EQ available, too.
This soundbar has many extra features and functions to enhance your listening experience. It comes with two satellite speakers, which you can place around your living room to get a more clear and real representation of surround sound. Dolby Atmos, which is common on both streaming platforms and Blu-rays, sounds especially immersive with this soundbar, resulting in an all-around feel. You can even connect the bar with compatible Samsung TVs to enjoy Q-Symphony, which syncs the TV speakers with the bar for a more immersive feel. Built-in Alexa offers hands-free control, too. It might be a little much if you mostly watch dialogue-centric sitcoms, but this top-of-the-line bar is a standout choice.
If you're looking for a premium bar at a more wallet-friendly price, the Samsung HW-Q930B is worth a look. Its performance resembles the Samsung HW-Q990C, especially with immersive audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. You get two satellite speakers designed to stretch sound effects into the space around your couch for a clearer and more real feel. With many of the same sound enhancement features, you can adjust the bar's output based on your room's acoustics through room correction or manually customize using the 7-band graphic EQ. There's built-in Alexa support, too.
There are some key differences between this bar and the Q990C, though. Notably, it's a 9.1.4 setup, so it comes with two fewer surround channels than the Q990C. Also, its sub has a slightly different design, and its bass response isn't quite as even and controlled as the more premium model. Not everyone will want these extra features, though, and if you're on a budget, you may find that the Q930B is the better value overall. It also supports Q-Symphony, so if you already own a compatible Samsung TV, you can also access this premium feature.
The Samsung HW-Q800B is a more affordable alternative to our top picks. This premium 5.1.2 setup offers a versatile performance, supporting many different audio formats you'll likely find on streaming platforms and Blu-rays, like Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital. You get a clear and detailed sound right out of the box, with a little extra rumble mixed in to bring action-packed scenes to life. It's customizable, with tools like SpaceFit Sound room correction, a 7-band graphic EQ on hand, and Q-Symphony support.
Since it doesn't come with rear speakers, this soundbar is a great alternative for those with low space in their living room setup. That said, its performance with multi-channel content isn't as immersive as what you get with the Samsung HW-Q930B. It's especially noticeable with Atmos content, as you don't get as much height in the soundstage. For example, drones and helicopters that are meant to fly above your head seem like they're coming from the space beside you. It's a fine pick, though, and you can always add on separate rears if you move to a bigger space.
If you want a more budget-friendly soundbar, check out the Samsung HW-Q60B. It's a 3.1 setup with a sleek design that makes for a noticeable improvement over your existing TV speakers. Dialogue in TV shows and movies reproduces with great clarity, and voices and lead instruments in music are pleasant and detailed in the mix. The bar supports many different audio formats, including Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos, but due to its 3.1 setup, it has to downmix them into stereo to play them. The resulting sound isn't quite as immersive as what you get with the Samsung HW-Q800B, but it's adequate for the price.
Unfortunately, this soundbar doesn't come with a room correction feature, so it sounds a little different depending on the room you're listening in. However, you can compensate for this with its other customization tools, including its graphic EQ. It supports Q-Symphony, too, so you can pair it up with a compatible Samsung TV, and you can easily stream audio from your phone to the bar via Bluetooth. It's a solid setup, especially compared to other models at its price, but if you want a cinematic feel in your movies, you'll probably want to opt for one of our more premium picks.
The best Samsung soundbar in the budget category we've tested is the Samsung HW-B550. It's a simple 2.1 bar, so it's best suited for those who mostly listen to stereo content like music and TV shows. It has a balanced sound out of the box, accurately reproducing everything from vocals to lead instruments in your favorite songs. There's a subwoofer included that adds some rumble to bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. Thanks to its graphic EQ and bass and treble adjustments, you can switch up its sound to your liking. For its price, it's a pretty good bar.
However, you naturally don't get as much flexibility as with the manufacturer's top options. As with most budget bars, there's no support for Dolby Atmos, so you can't take advantage of more immersive object-based formats often found on streaming services. Its surround sound performance is also pretty abysmal. Without discrete surrounds, it has to downmix this content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound quite as immersive. That said, if you aren't much of a movie fan, it's a great fit. Ultimately, it still makes for a solid upgrade over your existing TV speakers at a wallet-friendly price.
If you live in a smaller space like an apartment, you might want to consider a standalone option. Unlike the top picks on our list, this soundbar comes on its own, without dedicated subwoofers or satellites that take up extra space in your room. The Samsung HW-S60B/S61B is the best we've tested from the manufacturer, and its small and compact design makes it easy to integrate into your living room. Plus, built-in Alexa support lets you control the bar using only your voice, which is a cool touch.
You can choose between the Samsung HW-S60B, which comes in Black, or the Samsung HW-S61B, which comes in White. Both bars offer the same features, including Samsung's SpaceFit Sound room correction tool. With it on, the bar's audio reproduction is optimized to meet your room's unique acoustics. Q-Symphony is available if you want to connect the bar with a compatible Samsung TV, and its graphic EQ and presets make it easy to customize. Without a dedicated sub, the bar has a less impressive low-frequency extension, so you notice less bass in the mix. That said, you can always add on a separate sub from the manufacturer down the line if you prefer.
Bose and Samsung are both top-of-the-line soundbar manufacturers that produce products at a wide array of price points. Samsung tends to have more products on the market, and their soundbars offer more customization features, like graphic EQs. Meanwhile, Bose soundbars tend to have wider, more immersive-feeling soundstage performances.
While Samsung is known to offer many different soundbars in their yearly lineups, Sonos has only a few soundbars on the market. That said, each have premium offerings, as well as more affordable options for more budget-conscious shoppers. Sonos soundbars tend to be better built, with sleek designs and built-in voice assistant capabilities to easily integrate the bars into your existing Sonos ecosystem. Their soundstage performances are better than Samsung, but they have fewer sound customization tools.
Samsung usually makes good soundbars with good sound quality and a well-balanced sound profile. Some of their subwoofers are powerful, adding a bit of extra bass that can be great for movies. They also have a sleek and durable design that doesn't require fabric other than to cover the subwoofer port. However, this usually means they're a bit more expensive than similar models, but the price difference can be worth it for some people. Generally speaking, they offer more customization tools than other brands, but their soundstage performance isn't quite as impressive as other premium manufacturers like Bose and Sonos.
Samsung produces a wide array of soundbars at both premium and budget-friendly prices. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the more channels it has, and the better its performance is. However, depending on your usage habits, the improvements may not be worth the added cost. The letter in their model number corresponds to the year:
May 18, 2023: Replaced the Samsung HW-Q990B with the next generation Samsung HW-Q990C.
Apr 21, 2023: Replaced the Samsung HW-S60A with the next generation Samsung HW-S60B/S61B as the 'Best Standalone' pick.
Jan 23, 2023: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Nov 24, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Aug 26, 2022: Replaced the Samsung HW-Q950A with the Samsung HW-Q990B as 'Best Overall'. Added the Samsung HW-Q930B as 'Best Upper Mid-Range'. Replaced the Samsung HW-Q900A with the Samsung HW-Q800B as 'Best Mid-Range'. Replaced the Samsung HW-A550 with the Samsung HW-B550 as 'Best Budget'.
Samsung is a well-known brand that offers many different types of products. Whether it comes to TVs, headphones, or soundbars, it's fair to expect a good quality product with decent performance. In terms of soundbars, they produce some of the best products on the market, with great audio quality and many connection options to use your soundbar as a hub for your various devices.