Samsung HW-Q65T Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed May 18, 2021 at 10:21 am
Samsung HW-Q65T Picture
7.5
Mixed Usage
8.0
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.6
Music
7.0
Movies
Channels
5.1

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar is a setup from the manufacturer's 2021 lineup. It comes with lots of sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ to help you adjust its sound, as well as some presets like 'Game Mode Pro' and 'Adaptive Sound'. There are also some features we don't test, like Acoustic Beam and Q-Symphony, advertised to help create a more immersive sound. Though it comes with a dedicated subwoofer, this bar still struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies.

Note: Samsung advertises the Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar as a 7.1 setup. However, in our testing, we found that the bar physically has a 5.1 channel setup, with three channels on the bar and two on the satellites. We're assuming that the other two channels may be related to Q-Symphony, which is advertised to sync up the bar with the speakers on compatible Samsung TVs. However, since we don't test this feature, we can't confirm whether it's a true 7.1 soundbar.

Our Verdict

7.5 Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar is good for mixed usage. Its out-of-the-box sound profile is pretty neutral, but with a little extra boom in the bass and a bit of darkness in the treble range. That said, there are lots of sound customization features available, including bass and treble adjustments, a graphic EQ, and presets. It also comes with dedicated surround speakers. However, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, and it doesn't support Atmos.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Gets loud.
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • No Atmos support.
8.0 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar is impressive for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Thanks to its balanced mid-range and dedicated center channel, it can reproduce voices clearly and accurately. There's even an 'Adaptive Sound' dialogue enhancement feature to help make voices more clear and crisp, as well as a Dynamic Range Control feature that balances the volume level between different programs. It's also Bluetooth-compatible, so you can wirelessly stream podcasts and audiobooks from your mobile device to the bar.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Auto-volume mode.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast built-in.
7.6 Music

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar is good for music. Out-of-the-box, it has a pretty neutral, though slightly dark and boomy sound profile. However, it comes with lots of sound customization features, including bass and treble adjustments and a graphic EQ with presets if you prefer a more neutral sound. It also gets loud without a lot of compression at max volume. Unfortunately, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, which can be disappointing for fans of bass-heavy music like EDM.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
7.0 Movies

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar is decent for movies. Though it struggles to reproduce the thumpy low-bass that helps you feel the deep rumbles in action-packed scenes, its balanced mid-range can reproduce dialogue clearly. It gets pretty loud, too, and its discrete surround speakers help accurately localize surround objects in the soundstage. Unfortunately, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • No Atmos support.
  • 7.5 Mixed Usage
  • 8.0 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.6 Music
  • 7.0 Movies
  1. Updated May 18, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated May 14, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar is a 5.1 setup from 2021. Though the manufacturer advertises it as a 7.1 setup, we were only able to locate five channels. It comes with several sound enhancement features that we don't test, including Acoustic Beam and Q-Symphony, advertised to help create a more immersive sound. However, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content. Its main competitors include the Samsung HW-Q60T, the Vizio M Series M51a-H6, and the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar has a sleek, simple design. It's mostly made of a metal grille, and the rest of the bar is made of high-quality plastic.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The sub is mostly made from wood. There's also a fabric covering the front of the sub in front of the speaker.

Design
Style - Satellites

The satellites have a metal grille that covers their sides and plastic on their top and bottom. They both connect to a wireless receiver module via speaker wires.

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

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar is a bit wide, so it likely won't fit between the legs of a 55" TV. That said, it also isn't very tall, so it shouldn't obscure your TV screen unless your TV sits flush on your 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. You can place it anywhere you like in your setup since it connects to the bar wirelessly.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width 3.1" (7.9 cm)
Height 5.0" (12.6 cm)
Depth 3.1" (7.9 cm)

The satellites are somewhat tall. They connect to the wireless receiver module via speaker wires, but you don't need to wire them to the bar to get them to work.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Universal (holes on underside)

The back of the bar has two openings for the inputs and the power cable. There are also universal holes on the underside if you want to wall-mount it.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the sub has a plastic port. There's also an input for the power cable, as well as a pairing button.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
Universal (holes on back)

The back of the satellites have an input for the cable that connects them to the wireless receiver module. There are also holes on the back so you can wall-mount them.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar has an impressive build quality. The metal grilles on the bar and the satellites help protect the drivers, and the plastic in their build seems solid and durable. The subwoofer is mostly made of wood, however, the fabric covering the front seems a bit loose, and it looks like it could collect dust and dirt easily.

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

  • Manual
  • Remote and batteries (2xAA)
  • AC/DC adapter
  • 2x power cables (Subwoofer and Soundbar)
  • Power cable (wireless receiver module)
  • 2x speaker wire for satellites (left and right)
  • HDMI cable
  • Wall mount guide
  • 2x brackets for wall mount
  • 2x Holder screw and 2x screws

Sound
7.9
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.59
Std. Err.
2.33 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
40.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar has a very good stereo frequency response. It struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, but there's still a little extra boom in the mix. The mid-range is quite balanced, so vocals and lead instruments are clear and present, though the underemphasized treble can make them a bit dull and veiled.

Note: Although we played a stereo file for this test, the rear channels also played audio.

7.9
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
-4
Suggested Treble Setting
3
Slope
0.01
Std. Err.
2.37 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
41.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

With calibration, this soundbar has a very good stereo frequency response. With its Bass set to '-4' and its Treble set to '3', it has a very neutral, balanced sound profile that makes it suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. It still struggles to reproduce a deep low-bass, however, which can be disappointing if you like to hear the deep rumble in action-packed movie scenes.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.39 dB

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar's stereo soundstage performance is decent. The soundstage is perceived to be wider than the bar itself, which is good. However, its focus is more diffused. While you can follow sound objects like footsteps and voices, they seem to come from a more general area rather than a pinpoint location.

7.8
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
93.2 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.50 dB

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar has a very good stereo dynamics performance. It can get loud, and there aren't a lot of compression artifacts present when you play it at max volume. As a result, it's suitable for listening to music at parties or in large rooms.

6.9
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.63
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
4.22

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar has a fair stereo THD performance. At normal listening volumes, the THD is within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction. However, when playing the bar at max volume, there's a jump in THD across the range. That said, this may not be too noticeable with real-life content.

7.9
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-1.19
Std. Err.
3.64 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
87.8 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.70
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
4.06

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar has a very good center channel performance. Thanks to its dedicated center channel, it can reproduce dialogue in movies and TV shows more clearly and accurately. Its frequency response is a bit bass-heavy, but it shouldn't be too noticeable since there isn't usually a lot of bass reproduced on the center channel.

7.3
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-1.64
Std. Err.
4.28 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
91.7 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.32
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.42
7.1 Rears
No

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar's surrounds performance is decent. It comes with two discrete surround speakers, which help represent surround objects more clearly and accurately. Its frequency response is bass-heavy, so you really feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed scenes, though this can be overwhelming for some listeners.

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

For a soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos content, check out the Samsung HW-Q850A.

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
Yes
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar has a decent selection of sound enhancement features. It comes with several EQ presets to help you customize its sound, including 'Surround Sound', 'Game Pro', 'Standard', 'Adaptive Sound', and 'DTS Virtual:X'. The 'Adaptive Sound' feature doubles as a dialogue enhancement mode, so voices sound more clear and crisp. The Dynamic Range Control is an auto-volume feature that helps balance the volume level between different programs, too.

This soundbar is also advertised to come with some sound enhancement features that we don't test. The Acoustic Beam technology is advertised to create a more immersive sound. Also, Q-Symphony syncs up the bar's speakers with the speakers from compatible Samsung TVs.

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-Q65T soundbar comes with several physical inputs. There's a Full HDMI In port, so 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 to the bar 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

Via ARC, this soundbar supports the most common formats found on soundbars, Dolby Digital and DTS. You can only find these formats on streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs. However, it doesn't support lossless or object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.

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 HW-Q65T soundbar supports Dolby Digital over its Full HDMI In port, which is commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms. However, it doesn't support object-based surround formats like Dolby Atmos.

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

Via Optical, the Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar supports both Dolby Digital and DTS content, which is handy if you like to watch content from streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs.

7.7
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
53 ms
Optical
68 ms
Full HDMI In
98 ms

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar has a good latency performance. Via ARC and Optical, it has low latency, making it suitable for watching videos and movies. However, you may notice a bit of a delay between the audio you hear and the video you see over Full HDMI In. That said, some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

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

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar only supports Bluetooth. You can wirelessly stream audio from your mobile device to the bar over this connection, but you can't do that over Wi-Fi, Chromecast built-in, or Apple AirPlay.

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-Q65T soundbar can passthrough the highest quality bandwidth signals. When connected to your TV and your PC, text on the screen appears clear and crisp.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar's sub connects wirelessly to the bar, so you just need to plug it into an outlet to get it to work.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
Partial, satellites wired together

You don't need to wire the satellites to the soundbar. However, you have to wire them to their wireless receiver to get them to work.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

On the right side of the bar, there's a small display screen behind the metal grille. It shows the input you're on. Whenever you change a setting or the volume level, it also displays that. However, the screen is fairly small, so you may have to wait for it to scroll through longer messages.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

On top of the bar, there are some physical controls that let you power the bar on/off, adjust the volume, and change the input.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar's remote lets you control all of the bar's settings. However, it isn't a universal remote, so you can't use it to control your TV. The manufacturer says it supports Samsung OneRemote, which lets you control the bar using the remote from a compatible Samsung TV, but we don't test for this.

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

This soundbar automatically turns off after 20 minutes without an audio signal. It also supports HDMI CEC, so you can use your TV's remote to control the bar's basic functions.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar comes in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

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

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung HW-Q65T soundbar is a 5.1 setup from 2021 that comes with a dedicated subwoofer and satellites. It also supports Q-Symphony technology, advertised to work with compatible Samsung TVs to create a more immersive listening experience, though we don't currently test for this. It has a very neutral, balanced sound profile out-of-the-box but it struggles to reproduce low-bass and it doesn't come with a Full HDMI In port.

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

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is marginally better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-Q65T. The HW-Q600A is a 3.1.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content, unlike the HW-Q65T. That said, the 5.1 HW-Q65T comes with discrete satellites that help offer a significantly better surrounds performance.

Samsung HW-Q60T

The Samsung HW-Q65T is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q60T. Both bars have slightly punchy sound profile and can get loud without too much compression. However, the HW-Q65T comes with two discrete satellite speakers, which create a better surrounds performance.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q65T. The Sonos has a better soundstage performance, and it supports Atmos content. Also, it comes with a room correction feature. However, the Samsung comes with a graphic EQ and a Full HDMI In port.

Vizio V Series V51-H6

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q65T. The Vizio has a more extended low-bass and a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. However, the Samsung is better-built with a graphic EQ and a Full HDMI In port.

Samsung HW-Q70T

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-Q65T or the Samsung HW-Q70T. The HW-Q70T is a 3.1.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content, unlike the HW-Q65T. It also supports more wireless playback options. However, the 5.1 HW-Q65T comes with discrete satellites, and it has a better surrounds performance.

Vizio M Series M51a-H6

The Vizio M Series M51a-H6 is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q65T. The Vizio has a more extended low-bass and a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. Also, it supports Dolby Atmos content. However, the Samsung is better-built and comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization.

Samsung HW-Q850A

The Samsung HW-Q850A is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q65T. The HW-Q850A has a better soundstage and surrounds performance and supports Atmos content and more audio formats. It offers more wireless playback options, has built-in Alexa support, and comes with a companion app.

JBL Bar 5.1 Surround

The Samsung HW-Q65T is a better soundbar than the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround. The Samsung comes with discrete surround speakers that offer a better surrounds performance. It also has a better soundstage performance and more sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ, bass and treble adjustments, and a dialogue enhancement mode. However, the JBL comes with a room correction feature and more wireless playback options.

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Discussions