Samsung HW-Q600A Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Apr 22, 2021 at 10:28 am
Samsung HW-Q600A Picture
7.6
Mixed Usage
8.0
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.6
Music
7.3
Movies
Channels
3.1.2

The Samsung HW-Q600A is a 3.1.2 setup that comes with a dedicated subwoofer. It has a pretty neutral, balanced sound profile out-of-the-box that makes it suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, though it lacks some low-bass. Like other Samsung soundbars from the 2021 lineup, including the Samsung HW-Q800A and the Samsung HW-Q700A, it offers many sound customization features, including a graphic EQ and presets like 'Game Mode Pro' and 'Adaptive Sound'. There's also Acoustic Beam technology built-in to the bar, advertised to help create a more immersive sound, as well as Q-Symphony, which enhances audio reproduction when connected to compatible Samsung TVs, though we don't test for this. However, it lacks extra features like voice assistant support and Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay2 compatibility.

Our Verdict

7.6 Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-Q600A is good for mixed usage. It has a pretty neutral sound profile out-of-the-box that makes it suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, and dialogue is reproduced clearly and accurately. However, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, which can be disappointing for fans of action-packed movies and bass-heavy music. It supports Atmos and surround content, though its performance isn't very immersive. That said, there are lots of sound customization features available, which is handy.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Lacks some low-bass.
  • Downmixes surround content into stereo.
8.0 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-Q600A is impressive for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Thanks to its dedicated center channel and balanced mid-range, it can reproduce voices clearly and accurately. There's even an 'Adaptive Sound' preset that enhances audio reproduction, helping make voices more clear and crisp. It gets pretty loud, too, and it's also Bluetooth-compatible, so you can wirelessly stream podcasts and audiobooks from your phone to the bar. However, it doesn't support other wireless playback options like Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast built-in.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Wi-Fi, AirPlay, or Chromecast built-in.
7.6 Music

The Samsung HW-Q600A is good for music. Out-of-the-box, it has a pretty neutral sound profile suitable for listening to lots of different genres. It gets pretty loud, and there are also lots of sound customization features available, including a graphic EQ, several EQ presets, and bass and treble adjustments. However, the bar still struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, which can be disappointing for fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Lacks some low-bass.
7.3 Movies

The Samsung HW-Q600A is decent for movies. While its balanced sound profile can reproduce dialogue clearly and accurately, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. It supports surround content, but it has to downmix it into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound very immersive. Its Atmos performance is also disappointing, and its height channels don't get very loud. That said, there are some sound customization features available, which is handy.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
Cons
  • Lacks some low-bass.
  • Downmixes surround content into stereo.
  • 7.6 Mixed Usage
  • 8.0 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.6 Music
  • 7.3 Movies

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung HW-Q600A is a 3.1.2 soundbar from the manufacturer's 2021 lineup. Like the Samsung HW-Q700A and the Samsung HW-Q800A, it supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content. It also comes with a few sound enhancement features that we don't test for, including Acoustic Beam virtual surround technology and Q-Symphony, which lets you sync audio from the bar with compatible Samsung TVs. However, it has fewer wireless playback options and it doesn't support voice assistant technology. Its main competitors include the LG GX Soundbar, the Klipsch Cinema 600, and the Sony HT-Z9F.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-Q600A is a sleek, simple soundbar with a similar design to the Samsung HW-Q700A. The top and the front of the bar are covered with a metal grille, while the rest of the bar is made of plastic.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The sub is mostly made of wood. There's a port in the rear, and a fabric covering the front.

Design
Style - Satellites

The Samsung HW-Q600A doesn't come with any satellites. However, it's compatible with the Wireless Surround Kit, so you can purchase them separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 38.6" (98.0 cm)
Height 2.3" (5.8 cm)
Depth 4.1" (10.5 cm)

The Samsung HW-Q600A is a bit wide, so it likely won't fit between the legs of a 55" TV. It also isn't very tall, so it shouldn't block your TV screen unless your TV sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 8.0" (20.4 cm)
Height 13.9" (35.3 cm)
Depth 11.9" (30.3 cm)

The sub is the same size as the sub for the Samsung HW-Q700A. It's about the size of a typical desktop PC, and its wireless design means you can place it anywhere in your room.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Universal (holes on underside)

There are two openings on the back of the bar for the inputs and the power cable. You can also wall-mount the bar using the universal holes located on the underside.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

On the back of the sub, there's a plastic port. The input for the power cable is located in the bottom corner, and there's also a pairing button.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung HW-Q600A has an impressive build quality. The bar itself has a metal grille that helps to protect the drivers, and the rest of the bar is made of solid-feeling plastic. The sub is mostly made of wood. However, the fabric covering the front of the sub is loose and seems like it could rip or get dirty easily, which is a bit disappointing.

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

  • Manual
  • HDMI cable
  • Remote with batteries (2xAA)
  • 2x power cables
  • Adapter for soundbar
  • Mounting brackets with screws with template

Sound
7.9
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.47
Std. Err.
2.24 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
41.8 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.3 kHz

The Samsung HW-Q600A has a very good stereo frequency response. Out-of-the-box, it has a very neutral and balanced sound profile suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, with a little extra boom in the bass range. However, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, which can be disappointing if you want to feel the rumble in action-packed movies and bass-heavy music. There are a lot of sound customization features available, including a graphic EQ with presets as well as bass and treble adjustments.

7.9
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
-3
Suggested Treble Setting
1
Slope
-0.19
Std. Err.
2.20 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
42.4 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.6 kHz

With calibration, the Samsung HW-Q600A has a very good stereo frequency response. With its Bass set to '-3' and its Treble set to '1', it has a slightly more neutral sound profile, making it suitable for lots of different types of audio content. That said, the low-bass still lacks deep thump and rumble.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.68 dB

The Samsung HW-Q600A has a decent stereo soundstage performance. The soundstage is perceived to be about as wide as the bar itself, but it doesn't have any tricks to make it seem wider than that. That said, it also has good focus, so objects seem to come from an accurate, pinpoint location rather than a general area.

7.8
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
94.2 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.79 dB

The Samsung HW-Q600A has a very good stereo dynamics performance. It gets pretty loud, which is handy for listeners using the bar in a large room or those who want to crank up the volume for parties. There isn't a lot of compression present when you play it at max volume, either.

7.1
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.48
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
4.76

The Samsung HW-Q600A has a decent stereo THD performance. At normal listening volumes, there isn't a lot of distortion, resulting in clear and pure audio reproduction. However, there's a jump in THD when you play it at max volume. This may be difficult to hear with real-life content.

8.0
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-0.95
Std. Err.
3.50 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.9 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.41
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.69

The Samsung HW-Q600A has a great center channel performance. Thanks to its discrete center channel, this 3.1.2 setup can more clearly and accurately reproduce dialogue in vocal-centric content like TV shows. Its frequency response is a bit bass-heavy, but this shouldn't be too noticeable since there isn't usually a lot of bass reproduced through the center channel.

3.7
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-1.54
Std. Err.
4.51 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
91.0 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.45
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.83
7.1 Rears
No

The Samsung HW-Q600A has poor surrounds performance. It has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, so surround objects like voices and footsteps aren't as clearly and accurately localized in the soundstage. Audio can seem like it's coming from in front of you, rather than from speakers placed all around you.

5.6
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
Slope
0.51
Std. Err.
5.00 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
81.3 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.98
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.54

The Samsung HW-Q600A has a disappointing Atmos performance. It has up-firing speakers on the bar, which bounce sound off the ceiling and back down towards you to give the impression of height. Unfortunately, this won't sound as clear or real as discrete localization created by down-firing speakers in a home theater setup. It also doesn't get very loud on this channel, which can be disappointing for listeners who like to turn up the volume.

7.1
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
Yes
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Samsung HW-Q600A has a decent selection of sound enhancement features. It offers a graphic EQ for sound customization as well as a few EQ presets: 'Standard', 'Surround Sound', 'Game', and 'Adaptive Sound'. The 'Adaptive Sound' preset analyzes your audio content to optimize its performance, so you can enhance dialogue to make it more clear and crisp. You can also press and hold the SOUND MODE button when the bar is turned off to activate the auto-volume mode, which helps balance the volume level between different programs.

This soundbar also comes with some sound enhancement features that we don't test for. It has Acoustic Beam virtual surround technology, which is advertised to help immerse you in your audio. It also comes with Q-Symphony, which syncs up your audio from the bar with audio from a compatible Samsung TV to create a more immersive sound. The Tap Sound feature is advertised to allow you to mirror music from your phone when you tap it against the bar.

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 HW-Q600A comes with several physical inputs. There's a Full HDMI In port, which lets you use the bar as a hub between different devices. However, it doesn't have an AUX port, so you can't wire older devices and smartphones to the bar to play audio.

8.4
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
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 HW-Q600A has impressive audio format support via ARC. It supports Dolby Digital and DTS, which are commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

9.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Yes
DTS:X
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
Dolby TrueHD
Yes
DTS-HD MA
Yes
5.1 PCM
No

The Samsung HW-Q600A has fantastic audio format support via Full HDMI In. It supports most common formats, including Dolby Digital and DTS, which are typically found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms. While it can obtain 2.0 PCM, it can't play 5.1 PCM audio files.

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

The Samsung HW-Q600A supports both Dolby Digital and DTS content via Optical, which are commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

6.1
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
63 ms
Optical
212 ms
Full HDMI In
78 ms

The Samsung HW-Q600A has low latency over its ARC and Full HDMI In ports, so it's suitable for watching videos over these connections. However, its latency over Optical is quite high. That said, some apps and some TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

Note: We retested Optical latency several times and even tried using different Optical cables, but we continued to get a latency measurement of over 200ms. That said, we didn't really observe a noticeable delay between audio and video when watching a video with dialogue over Optical.

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

The Samsung HW-Q600A is Bluetooth-compatible, so you can wirelessly stream audio from your phone or tablet to the bar. However, unlike the Samsung HW-Q700A, it doesn't support Wi-Fi or Apple AirPlay2.

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 HW-Q600A can passthrough the highest quality bandwidth signals. This is handy for listeners who want to connect the bar between their TV and PC, as text on the screen appears clear and crisp.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The sub connects wirelessly to the soundbar. You just have to plug it into an outlet to use it.

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

There's a small display on the right side of the bar behind the metal grille. It shows the volume level and the current input, but since it's only a four-character display, you may have to wait for it to scroll through longer words.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

Touch-sensitive controls on the top of the bar let you power it on/off, adjust the volume, and change the input.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote has a simple design that lets you control the bar's functions. However, it isn't a universal remote, so you can't control your TV with it. It's advertised to work with certain Samsung TVs, but we don't test for this.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No

If you're looking for a 3.1.2 soundbar that supports Amazon Alexa when connected to a third-party device, check out the Samsung HW-Q700A. The Samsung HW-Q800A also has built-in Alexa support.

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 HW-Q600A has an auto-off feature that turns off the bar if it's not connected to an audio signal for a certain period of time. It also supports HDMI CEC, so you can control the bar's basic functions with your TV remote.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Samsung HW-Q600A is available in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version, please let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung HW-Q600A is a 3.1.2 soundbar from Samsung's 2021 lineup. It has a similar design and performance compared to the Samsung HW-Q700A and the Samsung HW-Q800A, and it also has Q-Symphony and Acoustic Beam technology built into the bar, though we don't test for this. However, unlike the other 3.1.2 setups, it doesn't offer any voice assistant capabilities, and it doesn't support Wi-Fi or Apple AirPlay2 connectivity.

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

Samsung HW-Q700A

The Samsung HW-Q700A is a marginally better soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q600A. The HW-Q700A has a better soundstage performance, it comes with more wireless playback options, and it's compatible with the SmartThings app, so you can control many of its features from your smartphone. Also, its surrounds and Atmos performances are better, and it supports Amazon Alexa voice assistant when you connect it with a third-party Echo device. That said, unlike the HW-Q700A, the HW-Q600A's USB port supports audio playback, which can be handy for some listeners.

Samsung HW-Q70T

The Samsung HW-Q70T and the Samsung HW-Q600A have very similar overall performances. Both soundbars have pretty neutral sound profiles out-of-the-box, but struggle to reproduce a thumpy low-bass. The HW-Q70T offers more wireless playback options, lower latency, and compatibility with the SmartThings app. That said, the HW-Q600A comes with an auto-volume feature.

Samsung HW-Q60T

The Samsung HW-Q600A is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q60T. The HW-Q600A is a 3.1.2 setup from 2021 that supports Dolby Atmos content and supports more audio formats, including Dolby Digital Plus. That said, the 5.1 HW-Q60T is a 2020 model with lower latency, which some listeners may prefer.

Sonos Arc

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-Q600A or the standalone Sonos Arc. The Sonos has a better soundstage performance, and it comes with a room correction feature. It also offers better surrounds and Atmos performances. However, the Samsung comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization and a Full HDMI In port. You can also upgrade the Sonos as the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers.

Samsung HW-Q800A

The Samsung HW-Q800A is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q600A. The HW-Q800A is able to reproduce a more extended low-bass, and it has a better soundstage performance. It offers more wireless playback options, it has built-in Amazon Alexa voice assistant, and it's compatible with the SmartThings app that lets you control some of its functions from your smartphone. That said, unlike the HW-Q800A, the HW-Q600A's USB port supports audio playback, which can be handy for some listeners.

Samsung HW-A650

The Samsung HW-Q600A is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-A650. The HW-Q600A is a 3.1.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos, unlike the 3.1 HW-A650. It can also passthrough the highest bandwidth signals, and it comes with a few sound enhancement features that we don't test for, including Acoustic Beam and Q-Symphony.

LG SN8YG

Depending on your preferences, you may prefer either the LG SN8YG or the Samsung HW-Q600A. The LG reproduces a more extended low-bass and offers a boomy sound profile out-of-the-box. It offers more sound enhancement features, including room correction, as well as more wireless playback options. It also has built-in Google Assistant. However, the Samsung comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization. It's also better-built and gets louder with less compression at max volume.

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