Samsung HW-Q70R Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Oct 10, 2019 at 10:25 am
Samsung HW-Q70R Picture
Mixed Usage
Dialogue/TV Shows
This soundbar was replaced by the Samsung HW-Q70T

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a great 3.1.2 sounding soundbar with stereo content. It has great bass performance and has a neutral sound profile. It gets loud enough for most content and also performs without audible compression at max volume. Due to its configuration, it supports Atmos, but its surround performance isn't the best as it downmixes the signal to stereo. On the upside, it has plenty of connection options and is very well-built.

Our Verdict

7.7 Mixed Usage

Good for mixed usage. The HW-Q70R has a great stereo sound profile with extra bass, which will be suitable for different types of content. Whether you listen to stereo music, audiobooks, or podcasts, this soundbar gets loud enough and has an accurate audio reproduction. However, while it supports Atmos, its performance isn’t impressive and doesn't have the best surround performance either. On the upside, the Q70R has plenty of connectivity options, wired or wireless.

  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Very well-built design.
  • Good for mixed usage.
  • Many connection options.
  • Poor surround performance.
  • No auto-volume or night mode.
7.8 Dialogue/TV Shows

Good for dialog and TV shows. The Samsung HW-Q70R/ZA has a great sound profile that sounds neutral and well-balanced. There’s also a dialog enhancement feature that will make dialog clearer, even at a lower volume. The bar gets loud enough for voice-oriented content like podcasts and audiobooks, which you'll be able to easily stream via your smart device.

7.9 Music

Very good for music. The stereo frequency response of the Q70R is great and will be suitable for a wide variety of music. Its sound profile is well-balanced and has quite a bit of bass, but without overdoing it. The overall stereo performance of this bar is great and you'll be able to get a good loudness level, too. However, the soundstage is only decent and doesn’t sound wider than the bar itself.

7.5 Movies

Good for movies. The sound quality of the soundbar is quite good, especially that it has great bass performance, which is nice for action-packed movies. It also supports Atmos, although the height performance isn't very impressive. On the upside, it has a dedicated center channel so voices and dialog will be clear and you get plenty of connectivity options.

  • 7.7 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.9 Music
  • 7.5 Movies
  1. Updated Jun 08, 2020: We've tested the new eARC support after updating to the latest firmware.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The HW-Q70R is part of Samsung's 2019 flagship lineup. It's a 3.1.2 setup that supports Atmos for an immersive experience for watching movies, which the Samsung HW-Q60R doesn’t support. The Q70R is often compared to models from the same lineup like the Q60R and the Q80R. The 2018 Samsung HW-N850 is also considered a competitor, just like the LG SL8Y.

Style - Bar

The bar of the HW-Q70R is nearly identical in style to the Q60R. There's a metal grille that covers the front and the top face, and the back and sides are made of good quality plastic.

Style - Subwoofer

The sub is mainly made of wood and has the port on the back. On the right side, there's a fabric covering the speaker. This fabric can easily get dirty or rip if you're not careful.

Style - Satellites

There are no satellites in this setup.

Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 43.3" (110.0 cm)
Bar Height 2.2" (5.5 cm)
Bar Depth 4.0" (10.1 cm)

The Samsung HW-Q70R/ZA has the same dimensions as the Q60R. It's unlikely that it'll fit between the legs of a 55" TV stand. On the upside, it's not very tall and it won't block any part of your screen unless your TV sits flush on the table.

Dimensions - Subwoofer
Sub Width 7.9" (20.1 cm)
Sub Height 15.9" (40.4 cm)
Sub Depth 15.7" (39.8 cm)

The subwoofer is slightly bigger than the sub of the Q60R. It's about the size of a full-size desktop PC, but maybe slightly shorter. You shouldn't have issues placing it anywhere in the room, as it connects wirelessly to the bar.

Dimensions - Satellites
Sat Width N/A
Sat Height N/A
Sat Depth N/A

There are no satellites in this setup.

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

The back of the bar is plain and has two openings for the inputs and the power cable. If you want to wall-mount the bar, you have to use the universal holes found on the underside along with the provided brackets.

Back - Subwoofer

The back of the bar is wooden except for the port, which is plastic. It's located on the top, while the power cable is on the bottom and should be easy to hide.

Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type

There are no satellites in this setup.

Build Quality

The HW-Q70R has a great build quality. The metal grille and the weight of the bar give off a premium feel, and the overall construction is robust and feels very solid. The only downside is the fabric that covers the speaker of the sub, which can easily get dirty or ripped.

In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
5.0 ft (1.5 m)
Digital Optical Cable Length

  • Manuals
  • Remote & Batteries
  • HDMI Cable
  • Power brick for bar
  • Subwoofer power cable
  • Holder Support (x2)
  • Holder Foot (x2)
  • Wall Mount Guide
  • Bracket Wall Mount (x2)
  • Screws
  • Holder-Screw

Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
ST Std. Err.
2.41 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
28.3 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Samsung Harman Kardon HW-Q70R's stereo frequency response is great. It has deep bass and is able to reproduce the rumble, thump, and punch of bass, even more so than the 2020 Samsung HW-Q70T. The overall sound profile is also quite neutral and follows our target curve quite well. It has a fairly similar sound to the Samsung HW-Q80R and Samsung HW-Q90R. Like the other Samsung soundbars, it'll be suitable for a wide variety of music genres, as well as dialog. There's also a good amount of customization you can apply to this bar, including an available EQ.

Stereo Raw Frequency Response
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.67 dB

When listening to the Harman Kardon HW-Q70R, the soundstage is decent. It sounds just as wide as the bar itself, and the bar doesn’t do any tricks to try to widen it. It's also decently focused, but objects don’t seem to come from an accurate pinpoint location like some other bars, such as the HW-Q90R.

Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
95.6 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
2.14 dB

The HWQ70R can get pretty loud and will be suitable for large rooms or crowded environments. Also, at max volume, it performs quite well and you shouldn’t hear any thumping or compression artifacts with real-life content.

Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume

The THD performance of the HWQ70R is good. At a normal listening volume, which is around 80dB, the amount of THD is within very good limits. You get a clean and pure audio reproduction. However, there's a jump in THD under heavier loads and when pushing the bar to its max volume. This is still very difficult to hear with real-life content.

C Localization
C Slope
C Std. Err.
2.66 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
88.0 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume

This is a 3.1.2 setup that has excellent performance in the center channel. Due to its configuration, the Samsung Q70R soundbar has a dedicated center speaker, which results in a clearer and more accurate audio reproduction of the dialog in movies. The frequency response is great across the whole range, but the max volume is just okay, noticeably quieter than other Samsung soundbars in the same lineup. There’s also a bit more bass than the Q60R, but there usually aren’t a lot of bass frequencies on the center channel, so the difference will barely be audible for most.

Sr Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Sr Slope
Sr Std. Err.
5.65 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
88.2 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume

Update 03/11/2020: We managed to get surround files to play in our testing setup. The review previously stated that the bar was cutting out all surround content, which, after user feedback, we had to retest. The text and scores of the review have been updated.

The Samsung HW-Q70R has a fairly poor surround performance that is very bass-heavy. Also, due to its speaker configuration, it downmixes the signal down to stereo to be able to play it. For a similar setup that has slightly better surround performance, check out the Sony HT-Z9F.

Height (Atmos)
H Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
H Slope
H Std. Err.
4.66 dB
H SPL @ Max Volume
89.3 dB SPL
H Weighted THD @ 80
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume

The Harman Kardon HW-Q70R supports Atmos, but its performance isn’t the most impressive. The bar has two up firing speakers that make the sound ricochet off the ceiling to give you the impression of height. However, the effect is fairly minimal and sounds a bit bright. Also, the localization of objects is diffused. It doesn't sound as real as a discrete localization provided by down-firing speakers.

Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Dialogue Enhancement
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Bass Adjustment
Treble Adjustment
Surround Level Adjustment
Rear Level Adjustment
Height Level Adjustment
Virtual Surround

The HW-Q70R has mediocre sound enhancement features. Like the Q80R and the Q90R, it doesn’t have a dynamic range compression feature, which the lower-end Q60R, R550, and R650 have. It also lacks a room correction feature, so it might sound differently depending on your room. On the upside, it has an adaptive sound mode, which helps with dialog at lower volumes. There are also a few customization options to make it sound like you want.

Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1 (shared)
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
USB for Files

The HW-Q70R supports the most common connections for most of the modern external devices and consoles. Unfortunately, you won't be able to connect devices that lack HDMI or Optical Out. On the upside, you can place the bar between your PC and your TV thanks to its HDMI In port.

Audio Format Support - ARC
Dolby Atmos
Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital Plus
DTS:X (eARC only)
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
5.1 PCM (eARC only)

Update 06/08/2020: This soundbar now supports eARC and high-end signals.

The Samsung HW-Q70R has excellent support for sound format over its HDMI eARC port. On top of being able to playback surround sound formats like Dolby Digital or DTS, you can now even play lossless formats as well.

Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby TrueHD
5.1 PCM

The HW-Q70R can play back all of the sound formats we test for when connected to Full HDMI In. However, even if it downmixes surround content, it's able to offer a somewhat immersive sound experience.

Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital

The HW-Q70R's optical port supports both Dolby Digital and DTS. If your content supports it, the bar will play back those formats. Unfortunately, the surround channels are downmixed, which doesn't offer the best surround experience. Content encoded in Dolby Digital or DTS is usually available on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms like Netflix.

Wireless Playback
Chromecast built-in
Apple AirPlay

The HW-Q70R has great wireless playback connections. You can seamlessly play the music on your phone or tablet through Bluetooth or connect to your Wi-Fi to cast files. In the absence of these, however, you won't be able to cast using Chromecast built-in or Apple AirPlay.

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

The HW-Q70R can passthrough the highest quality signal, so if you connect it between your PC and your TV, text on the screen will appear crystal clear.

Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless

The sub connects wirelessly to the bar, and all you have is the power cord.

Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless

There are no satellites on this setup.

Additional Features
Additional Features

The interface is very simple. It consists of a small screen behind the grille that displays the volume level and the input you're on.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The controls are on the side just like on the Q60R. These buttons can control the volume, change the input source, and power the bar on and off.

Additional Features
Universal Remote

The remote that accompanies the Q70R is the same as the remote found on the Q60R. It has the same style as the latest high-end Samsung TVs. You can control all of the functions of the soundbar, but you can't use it as a universal remote.

Additional Features
App Name Samsung SmartThings
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts as the Remote
Limited Support
Controls Soundbar's Settings
Casts Device Files
Audio Files Only

The SmartThings app pairs seamlessly to the HW-Q70R soundbar. It can control many of the bar's functions, but it can't completely replace the remote as it lacks settings and Bluetooth pairing buttons.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)

The Samsung HW-Q70R/ZA has an auto-off function to save energy. If no signal is detected, it'll power itself off after 5 minutes. Also, thanks to the HDMI CEC support you can control basic functions of the bar using your TV remote.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung HW-Q70R has a unique 3.1.2 configuration that can do Atmos, but doesn't have the best performance. It looks the same as the Q60R, but performs more like the Q80R and Q90R with stereo content. Their subwoofer performs quite well too as you get a deep and punchy bass. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best soundbars with a subwoofer.

Samsung HW-Q70T

The Samsung HW-Q70R is the previous version of the Samsung HW-Q70T, but it performs slightly better in some regards. They're both very similar 3.1.2 setups that support Atmos. However, the Q70R's bass extends deeper than the Q70T, so it doesn't sound as bright. As a result, the Q70R will do a better job reproducing the deep rumble and thump in action-packed movie scenes and bass-heavy music. However, the Q70T has a slightly better surround performance, which is good for movie lovers.

Samsung HW-Q80R

The Samsung HW-Q80R is a slightly better setup than the Samsung HW-Q70R. It can get louder and its stereo soundstage feels a bit wider too. However, we didn’t test either with satellites. The Q80R soundstage sounds a bit wider, and it has side-firing speakers on the bar to play surround content, which the Q70R can’t do. The Q80R also has a better Atmos performance and gives you a better height impression, which is great for movies.

Samsung HW-Q800T

The Samsung HW-Q800T and the Samsung HW-Q70R are very similar setups with a similar design and performance. Depending on your preferences, you may prefer one over the other. The HW-Q800T has a slightly better-balanced sound profile than the HW-Q70R, though both have a graphic EQ to help you adjust the sound. Both bars support Atmos and surround content, but neither does an impressive job creating an immersive experience. The HW-Q800T has a better surround performance, while the HW-Q70R has a better Atmos performance.

Samsung HW-Q60R

The Samsung HW-Q70R is an overall better sounding soundbar setup than the Samsung HW-Q60R. The Q70R has a better stereo performance and it also supports Atmos, which the Q60R can’t do. However, the Q60R can play surround content while the Q70R can't. On the other hand, the Q70R has more audio formats supported and can also be used via Wi-Fi.

JBL Bar 5.1 Surround

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better overall soundbar than the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround. The Samsung is a 3.1.2 setup that has a better-balanced sound profile, supports Atmos as well as eARC, and has a graphic EQ. It can support all common audio formats over its HDMI In and Optical In ports. However, you can wirelessly stream to the JBL using Chromecast built-in or Apple AirPlay.

Bose Soundbar 700

The Samsung HW-Q70R is better than the Bose Soundbar 700. The Samsung has much better bass performance due to its dedicated subwoofer, and it has up-firing speakers to simulate height in Dolby Atmos content. On the other hand, the Bose has a better center channel performance for dialogue-heavy content and a much better build quality, but it doesn't have as many input options as the Samsung.

Sony HT-G700

The Samsung HW-Q70R is better for music than the Sony HT-G700. The Samsung feels slightly better built, it has a more balanced and neutral sound profile right out-of-the-box, and even though it doesn't get as loud as the Sony, it can reach its max volume with less thumping and compression artifacts. It also has a graphic EQ plus bass and treble adjustments, and you can stream audio content to it using Wi-Fi or its companion app, which is nice. However, the Sony has better surround and height performances.

Sony HT-Z9F

The Sony HT-Z9F performs very similarly to the Samsung HW-Q70R. They're both well-designed, feel quite premium, and have decent sound reproduction, though the Samsung has a significantly lower LFE, providing better bass performance. On the other hand, While the Sony downmixes surround content into its front three speakers, the Samsung doesn't support surround channels at all. The Sony also has more connectivity options, offering two HDMI inputs instead of one, as well as Chromecast support.


The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better performing 3.1.2 soundbar than the LG SN8YG. The Samsung has a more neutral and balanced sound profile right out-of-the-box but it can still deliver a satisfying, thumpy bass. It also has a graphic EQ if you like more control over your sound, and it can support all the same audio formats as the LG. However, the LG has more sound enhancement features including a room correction feature and an auto-volume mode. It also has slightly better surround and height channel performances, and you can stream audio to it using Chromecast built-in.


Even though the LG SK9Y is a 5.1.2 setup and the Samsung HW-Q70R is a 3.1.2 setup, the Samsung is a better mixed usage bar. It can get louder than the LG and has a noticeably better stereo performance, especially because of the great bass the sub provides. However, the SK9Y has side-firing speakers and the Q70R can’t play surround content due to its configuration. The Atmos performance is also slightly better on the LG.

Yamaha YAS-209

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better soundbar than the Yamaha YAS-209. It's more high-end and it has a 3.1.2 configuration, which should be better than the 2.1 YAS-209. The Samsung has a dedicated center channel, which is great for accurate reproduction of dialogue, and also has two up-firing speakers for Atmos content.

Samsung HW-Q90R

The Samsung HW-Q90R is a better soundbar setup than the Samsung HW-Q70R. The Q90R is an Atmos-enabled 7.1.4 setup with dedicated rear satellites, while the Q70R is a 3.1.2 setup that consists of just the soundbar and a wireless subwoofer. The Q90R has a wider soundstage, and better surround performance thanks to its dedicate satellites. On the other hand, the Q70R is a slightly more compact setup with a smaller bar and less separate pieces.

Samsung HW-R650

The Samsung HW-Q70R is very similar to the Samsung HW-R650, but it has two up-firing speakers since it supports Atmos. Additionally, the sub of the Q70R performs better and creates more low-bass frequencies as well. However, the Q70R completely cuts off surround content instead of downmixing like the R650, which is frustrating. The Q70R also supports Wi-Fi wireless playback.

Vizio SB36512-F6

The Vizio SB36512-F6 is a slightly better soundbar setup than the Samsung HW-Q70R without satellites. The sub of the Q70R performs better and both support Atmos. However, the Q70R completely cuts out surround content rather than downmixing, which is frustrating while the surround performance of the Vizio is decent thanks to the dedicated satellites.

Yamaha YAS-408

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a slightly better soundbar system than the Yamaha YAS-408. It's more versatile thanks to its 3.1.2 speaker configuration. This means it has a dedicated center channel, which makes voices and dialog easier to understand, and also has two up-firing speakers for Atmos content. On the other hand, the Q70R cuts out surround content, while the YAS-408 is able to play it, but not Atmos content.


The Samsung HW-Q70R is better than the LG SL10YG. The Samsung has a much better overall sound, its center channel performs significantly better, and it has better performance in Dolby Atmos content. The LG, however, has Chromecast built-in and a larger selection of inputs.

Bose Soundbar 500

The Samsung HW-Q70R performs better overall than the Bose Soundbar 500. Although they have similarly great build quality, the Samsung is more versatile, supports Dolby Atmos, and offers more connectivity options. However, the Bose is smaller and you can easily upgrade the setup if you decide you need a subwoofer and satellites.

Sonos Beam

The Samsung HW-Q70R is significantly better than the Sonos Beam. The Samsung has a much better frequency response, mainly due to its dedicated subwoofer, and it has up-firing speakers to support Dolby Atmos content. Also, the Samsung has more connectivity options, but the Sonos has more customization options to tune the sound to your taste.


The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better soundbar than the LG SL6Y. The Q70R has a better stereo frequency response, better center channel performance, more connectivity options, and has upwards-firing speakers for Atmos content. On the other hand, the LG downmixes surround channels to its front bar, which the Samsung doesn't do.

Yamaha YAS-207

The Samsung HW-Q70R is better than the Yamaha YAS-207. The Samsung has much more bass extension to produce that thump and rumble, and has a graphic EQ to customize the sound. The build quality is also significantly better on the Samsung, and it has up firing speakers to simulate height in Dolby Atmos content. However, if you watch a lot of dialogue-heavy content, the Yamaha is better.

Sonos Playbar

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better soundbar than the Sonos Playbar. It has a great subwoofer that gives you a great bass, which the Playbar lacks. Its sound profile is well-balanced too and its stereo performance is better. The Q70R has multiple inputs, including Full HDMI Ins, which the Playbar also lacks. 

Sony HT-ST5000

The Samsung HW-Q70R and the Sony HT-ST5000 are similarly performing soundbars with different channel configurations. While the Sony offers more connectivity options and has better surround and Atmos performance, the Samsung does a slightly better job reproducing sound overall and is more versatile in use.


The Samsung HW-Q70R is better than the LG SK10Y in most uses. The Samsung sounds more balanced than the LG, and distorts less at higher volumes. The LG has more sound enhancement features and connectivity options, but Samsung's up-firing speakers sound better than the LG in Dolby Atmos content.

TCL Alto 8+

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better overall soundbar than the TCL Alto 8+. Unlike the 2.1 TCL, the 3.1.2 Samsung supports Atmos content and has a discrete center channel that performs better than the TCL. The Samsung's default sound profile is a bit more neutral and has a more extended bass than the TCL. The Samsung can also get louder, and it has less compression at max volume. That said, unlike the Samsung, the TCL comes with an auto volume feature and a built-in Amazon Fire TV 4k media streamer.

Vizio SB36312-G6

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better 3.1.2 setup overall than the Vizio SB36312-G6. The Samsung is better built, its sound profile is more neutral and better balanced, and it can even get louder with less thumping and compression artifacts. It even has a dialogue enhancement feature as well as a graphic EQ. It also has a better center channel and height performance, and it supports eARC. However, the Vizio has an auto-volume/night mode, more physical inputs, and it even supports Chromecast built-in.

Vizio SB3220n-F6

The 3.1.2 channel Samsung HW-Q70R is a better soundbar system than the 2.0 channel Vizio SB2330n-F6. The Samsung comes not only with a subwoofer for more thump and rumble, but it has a dedicated center channel for a clearer reproduction of voices, as well as up-firing speakers on the bar for Dolby Atmos content. It has more sound enhancement features and supports most surround sound formats over HDMI. While the Vizio is a much more limited soundbar, it's a lot more compact.

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