Samsung HW-Q59CT Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Oct 07, 2021 at 10:40 am
Samsung HW-Q59CT Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
7.9
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.5
Music
6.6
Movies
Channels
5.1

The Samsung HW-Q59CT is a 5.1 setup released in 2021. It uses built-in Acoustic Beam technology to more accurately localize sound objects for a more immersive listening experience when using its 'Surround Sound' and 'Game Mode Pro' presets. The manufacturer also says that you can use its Q-Symphony feature with certain Samsung TVs to create a more immersive sound. If you want to listen to music, its 'Standard' preset has a pretty neutral sound profile that's suitable for most types of audio content, but unfortunately, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content.

Note: The manufacturer advertises this soundbar as a 5.1 setup. However, during our tests, we found that it has a 3.1 setup when using its 'Standard' preset. With its 'Game Mode Pro' and 'Surround Sound' presets, it uses Acoustic Beam technology to simulate a 5.1 setup, which the manufacturer says helps with sound positioning to create a more immersive listening experience.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-Q59CT is decent for mixed usage. With its 'Standard' preset, it has a neutral sound profile with a little extra punch in the bass range that's still suitable for most types of audio content. It's well-suited for dialogue-heavy content, thanks to its discrete center channel. You can also use its 'Surround Sound' or 'Game Mode Pro' presets to activate its Acoustic Beam technology for a more immersive surround sound, though these presets aren't ideal for listening to music. Unfortunately, it doesn't support Atmos content.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
Cons
  • No Atmos support.
  • Lacks low-bass.
7.9 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-Q59CT soundbar is very good for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce voices clearly and with detail, and its discrete center channel helps accurately localize dialogue within the sound image. There's even a dialogue enhancement feature to make voices more crisp and clear. While you can wirelessly stream podcasts from your phone to the bar via Bluetooth, unfortunately, it doesn't support Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast built-in.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement mode.
  • Auto-volume mode.
Cons
  • No Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast built-in support.
7.5 Music

The Samsung HW-Q59CT is good for music. With its 'Standard' preset, it has a pretty neutral sound profile with a little extra punch in the bass range. It's suitable for listening to most types of audio content, and you can use the bass and treble adjustments and the graphic EQ to create a different sound if you prefer. Unfortunately, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, so it isn't ideal for bass-heavy genres like EDM.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
6.6 Movies

The Samsung HW-Q59CT is fair for movies. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce voices clearly and with detail, though it struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. With its 'Surround Sound' preset, it uses up-firing Acoustic Beam drivers to create a more immersive listening experience. Unfortunately, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
Cons
  • No Atmos support.
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.9 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.5 Music
  • 6.6 Movies
  1. Updated Oct 07, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Oct 01, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung Q59CT soundbar was released as part of the manufacturer's 2021 lineup. Like the Samsung HW-Q60T, it's advertised as a 5.1 setup thanks to its built-in Acoustic Beam technology. It also has Q-Symphony, which is advertised to work with compatible Samsung TVs to create a more immersive sound. However, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content. Its main competitors include the Vizio M Series M51ax-J6, the LG SP7Y, and the Sonos Arc.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-Q59CT is a simple soundbar with a similar design to the Samsung HW-Q60T. It's plastic, with a metal grille covering the top and front.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The sub is mostly made of melamine. There's fabric covering the front.

Design
Style - Satellites
Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 38.7" (98.2 cm)
Height 2.3" (5.8 cm)
Depth 4.2" (10.7 cm)

The Samsung HW-Q59CT soundbar is a bit wide, so it likely won't fit between the legs of a 55" TV. That said, it isn't very tall, so it shouldn't block your TV screen unless your TV sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 7.2" (18.2 cm)
Height 13.4" (34.1 cm)
Depth 10.7" (27.3 cm)

The sub is about the size of an average desktop PC. It connects to the bar wirelessly, so you have some flexibility when placing it in your setup.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Proprietary

The back of the bar has two openings for the power cable and the input ports. There are also proprietary holes so you can mount it to the wall using the included brackets.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

There's a port on the back of the subwoofer. Also, the power cable connects near the bottom, and there's a pairing button.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung HW-Q59CT has a good build quality. The bar is high-quality plastic, and the metal grille covering the front and the top helps protect the drivers inside. Unfortunately, the sub feels a bit cheap. It's mostly made of melamine, and the wood behind the fabric for our model flexes. The fabric covering is also loose, so it seems like it could rip easily.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
1.5 m (4.9 ft)
Digital Optical Cable Length
N/A

  • User manual
  • Mounting brackets
  • Remote with 2xAA batteries
  • HDMI cable
  • 2x Power cables
  • Mounting screws with template
  • AC adapter

Sound
7.8
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.76
Std. Err.
2.61 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
40.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Samsung HW-Q59CT has a very good stereo frequency response. On its 'Standard' preset, it has a pretty neutral sound profile with a little extra punch in the bass range that should be suitable for most types of audio content. That said, it struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble in the low-bass. However, you can customize its sound to your liking using its graphic EQ and presets.

This soundbar also comes with 'Surround Sound' and 'Game Mode Pro' presets that use Acoustic Beam technology to simulate a 5.1 setup. However, during our subjective listening tests, we found that the 'Standard' preset was better-suited to stereo content, like music. The 'Surround Sound' and 'Game Mode Pro' preset modes tried to push sound higher than the 'Standard' preset, resulting in a more fake and diffused sound with stereo content.

7.8
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
-5
Suggested Treble Setting
5
Slope
0.08
Std. Err.
2.74 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
41.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Samsung HW-Q59CT has a very good stereo frequency response with calibration. With its bass set to '-5' and its treble set to '5', it has a more neutral, balanced sound profile suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. Unfortunately, it still doesn't reproduce a very extended low-bass, so you don't feel the low rumble in bass-heavy music or action-packed movies.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.43 dB

The Samsung HW-Q59CT has a decent stereo soundstage. Its soundstage is perceived to be wider than the bar itself, which is good. It also has good focus, so sound objects seem to come from an accurate, pinpoint location rather than a more general area.

7.9
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
93.7 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.58 dB

The Samsung HW-Q59CT has a very good stereo dynamics performance. It gets loud enough to fill up a large room or a crowded party. While there are some compression artifacts present at max volume, they shouldn't be too noticeable, so audio is still reproduced clearly.

6.6
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.81
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
4.16

The Samsung HW-Q59CT has a fair THD performance. At normal listening volumes, the THD falls within good limits, so audio reproduction is clean and pure. However, there's a jump in THD when you push the bar to max volume, especially in the bass range. That said, it may not be too noticeable with real-life content.

7.7
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-1.07
Std. Err.
4.13 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.3 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.79
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
5.10

The Samsung HW-Q59CT has a good center channel performance. Thanks to its 5.1 setup, it has a discrete center channel, which helps to more accurately localize voices to a pinpoint location in the sound image. While its frequency response is a bit bass-heavy, this shouldn't be too noticeable since most voices are reproduced in the mid-range.

3.0
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-2.28
Std. Err.
6.15 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.7 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.49
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.38
7.1 Rears
No

The manufacturer advertises the Samsung HW-Q59CT as a 5.1 setup, but during our tests, we found that it has a 3.1 setup with its 'Standard' preset. As a result, it has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive. Audio seems like it's coming from in front of you rather than from speakers placed all around you. The results above reflect our tests with the 'Standard' preset enabled.

However, with its 'Surround Sound' and 'Game Mode Pro' presets, this soundbar uses Acoustic Beam technology to simulate a 5.1 setup. During our subjective listening tests, we found that the 'Surround Sound' preset is better-suited to surround content. It fires sound upward and forward from the bar using a phantom localization, resulting in a more immersive sound. You can see the results for the 'Surround Sound' preset here.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Not Supported
Slope
N/A
Std. Err.
N/A
SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
Weighted THD @ 80dB
N/A
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A
6.7
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Samsung HW-Q59CT soundbar has a fair selection of sound enhancement features. You can customize its sound using the bass and treble adjustments as well as its 7-band graphic EQ. It also comes with several EQ presets, including 'Standard', Surround Sound', 'Game Mode Pro', and 'DTS Virtual:X'. Unfortunately, it lacks some more premium sound enhancement features like room correction, so it may sound a bit different depending on the room you're listening in.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1 (shared)
HDMI Out
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
1
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
No
RCA In
No
USB for Files
1
Ethernet
No

The Samsung Q59CT soundbar has several physical inputs. There's a Full HDMI In port, meaning you can use it as a hub between different devices. However, it doesn't have an AUX port, so you can't wire older devices for audio playback.

7.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

The Samsung Q59CT soundbar has decent audio format support via ARC. It supports Dolby Digital, which is the most commonly used surround sound format. Also, it supports DTS, which is the fallback for the higher quality DTS-HD MA format.

6.4
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
No
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
Dolby TrueHD
No
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
No

The Samsung Q59CT soundbar also supports Dolby Digital over its Full HDMI In port, which is handy for listeners who watch a lot of content on Blu-ray discs and streaming services. However, you can't stream object-based or lossless audio formats like Dolby Atmos.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
Yes

The Samsung Q59CT soundbar also supports Dolby Digital and DTS via Optical in. These formats are commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

6.6
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
78 ms
Optical
99 ms
Full HDMI In
139 ms

The Samsung Q59CT soundbar has a fair latency performance. It has somewhat high latency via ARC, Optical, and Full HDMI In, so you may notice a bit of delay between the audio you hear and the video you see. As a result, it may not be ideal for watching video over these connections. That said, some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary.

6.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
No

The Samsung Q59CT soundbar only lets you stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Yes
HDR10 Passthrough
Yes

The Samsung Q59CT soundbar can passthrough high bandwidth signals. When connected between your PC and your TV, text on the screen appears crisp and clear.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The sub connects to the bar wirelessly. You only need to plug it into a power outlet to use it.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
No
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

There's a small display screen on the right side of the bar behind the metal grille. It shows the settings you change, as well as the input you're on and the volume level.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

There are some physical controls on top of the bar. You can turn the bar on and off, adjust the volume, and change the input.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote is fairly simple and lets you control all of the bar's functions. The manufacturer also says that it supports Samsung OneRemote, so you can control the bar using the remote for a compatible Samsung TV.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No
Additional Features
App
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
Acts As A Remote
No
Controls Soundbar's Settings
No
Casts Device Files
No
Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Auto-off
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The Samsung Q59CT soundbar has an auto-off feature that shuts it off after 20 minutes of inactivity. It also supports HDMI CEC, meaning you can control the bar's basic functions with your TV remote.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Samsung HW-Q59CT is available in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version of this bar, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung Q59CT soundbar has a similar design to the Samsung HW-Q60T. Both soundbars are advertised as a 5.1 setup, and they use Acoustic Beam technology to create a more immersive sound with certain EQ presets. Unlike the HW-Q60T, this soundbar also supports Tap Sound, which is advertised to mirror sound from your phone to the bar when tapped against the bar.

See also our recommendations for the best soundbars under $500, the best 5.1 soundbars, and the best Samsung soundbars.

Samsung HW-Q60T

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-Q60T or the Samsung HW-Q59CT. The HW-Q60T is better built and has a better surrounds performance. That said, the HW-Q59CT reproduces a slightly more extended low-bass. The manufacturer also says that it supports some more features like TapSound.

Sonos Arc

The standalone Sonos Arc is better than the Samsung HW-Q59CT. The Sonos is better built and supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, surround, and center performances. Unlike the Samsung, it has room correction and built-in voice assistant support. That said, only the Samsung has a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is better than the Samsung HW-Q59CT for most uses. The HW-Q600A is a 3.1.2 setup that's better built. Unlike the 5.1 HW-Q59CT, it supports Dolby Atmos content. That said, both bars have a good stereo frequency response and lots of customization options.

Samsung HW-A650

The Samsung HW-A650 is marginally better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-Q59CT. The HW-A650 is better built, and it has better center and surround performances. However, both bars have good stereo frequency responses and lots of customization options.

Vizio M Series M512a-H6

The Vizio M Series M512a-H6 is better than the Samsung HW-Q59CT. The Vizio supports Dolby Atmos content, and it has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Unlike the Samsung, it comes with discrete satellite speakers. It also reproduces a more extended low-bass. However, only the Samsung has a graphic EQ, which some users may prefer for sound customization.

Vizio M Series M51ax-J6

The Vizio M Series M51ax-J6 is better than the Samsung HW-Q59CT. The Vizio supports Dolby Atmos content, and it has better center and surround performances. Also, it reproduces a more extended low-bass. However, the Samsung is better built, with a graphic EQ.

+ Show more

Discussions