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Samsung HW-Q800B Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Aug 04, 2022 at 11:12 am
Samsung HW-Q800B Picture
8.1
Mixed Usage
8.5
Dialogue/TV Shows
8.0
Music
7.9
Movies
Channels
5.1.2

The Samsung HW-Q800B is a 5.1.2 setup released in 2022. It's a mid-range offering that's a solid alternative for those who don't have space in their setup for discrete rear speakers, which are included in both of Samsung's top-of-the-line models, the Samsung HW-Q930B and the Samsung HW-Q990B. It supports Dolby Atmos content, and it comes with lots of Samsung's premium enhancement features, including the SpaceFit Sound room correction feature. There's also Q-Symphony support, which lets you pair the bar with a compatible Samsung TV to use your TV speakers with the bar.

Our Verdict

8.1 Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-Q800B is great for mixed usage. It's a really versatile bar, with a neutral default sound that makes it suitable for listening to everything from music to movies to TV shows. Dialogue is clearly and accurately reproduced, and the sub brings plenty of rumble in the bass for music and movies. You have lots of tools on hand to customize its sound, too, including a 7-band graphic EQ and presets. While it supports a lot of audio formats, the lack of rear speakers means it doesn't sound quite as immersive as Samsung's top models. That said, it's still a good alternative if you don't have space in your setup for discrete rears.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Extended low-bass.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • No rear speakers.
8.5 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-Q800B is excellent for dialogue-heavy TV shows and podcasts. As a 5.1.2 setup, it has a discrete center channel, which enhances the quality of dialogue in the mix. You have no trouble following dialogue, and it's reproduced with clarity and detail. There's even a dialogue enhancement tool called Active Voice Amplifier to make voices more clear and crisp. You don't notice any lip-synching issues, either, as it has low latency.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Apple AirPlay 2 connectivity.
Cons
  • No Chromecast built-in support.
8.0 Music

The Samsung HW-Q800B is great for music. Like most premium bars, it comes with a room correction feature to optimize audio reproduction based on your room's acoustics — Samsung calls it SpaceFit Sound. With it on, the bar's frequency response is quite neutral and balanced, with a touch of extra punch in the bass. Vocals and lead instruments are clear and detailed in the mix, making it suitable for listening to lots of different genres. You have lots of tools on hand to customize its sound, too, which is handy.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Extended low-bass.
Cons
  • Some compression at max volume.
7.9 Movies

The Samsung HW-Q800B is very good for movies. Dialogue is clear and present in the mix, and its subwoofer brings plenty of thump and rumble to shake your seat like you're at the movie theater. It supports lots of different audio formats, including 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital as well as Dolby Atmos, both of which are commonly found on most streaming services. It provides a pretty immersive listening experience, though the lack of rear speakers means it doesn't seem quite as immersive. You can always add on rear speakers from the manufacturer separately, though.

Pros
  • Extended low-bass.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • No rear speakers.
  • 8.1 Mixed Usage
  • 8.5 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 8.0 Music
  • 7.9 Movies
  1. Updated Aug 04, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Aug 02, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-Q800B has a similar design to the Samsung HW-Q930B. It's made of plastic, and there are metal grills covering the front, sides, and top of the bar. The angled edges give it a unique look compared to last year's models.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The Samsung Q800B's sub looks like most Samsung subs on the market. It's mostly made of wood, and there's a plastic plate on the back. A round piece of fabric covers the speaker, though it's rather thin.

Design
Style - Satellites

You can add on a Wireless Rear Speaker kit from the manufacturer separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 43.7" (111.1 cm)
Height 2.3" (5.9 cm)
Depth 4.7" (12.0 cm)

The Samsung HW-Q800B is rather wide, so it doesn't fit between the legs of a 55-inch TV. That said, it's not very tall, so it doesn't block out your TV screen.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 8.0" (20.4 cm)
Height 15.8" (40.1 cm)
Depth 15.8" (40.1 cm)

The Samsung Q800B's sub is about the same size as a desktop computer. With its wireless design, you're able to place it anywhere in your living room.

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

There's an opening on the back of the bar for the inputs, and you can also find an input for the power cable. The holes beneath the bar let you mount it to your wall, and the mounting kit is included in the box.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the sub is pretty simple. You have a port, as well as an input for the power cable. The pairing button lets you connect it to the bar wirelessly.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
8.5
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung HW-Q800B has an excellent build quality. The plastic on the bar feels very premium and solid, and the metal grilles help to protect the drivers inside. The sub's wood build is sturdy, too. However, the fabric over the speaker represents a potential weak point. Since the fabric is quite thin, it seems like it could rip or collect dust easily.

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

  • User Manual
  • Remote with batteries (2xAAA)
  • HDMI cable
  • 2x power cord
  • 4x rubber feet
  • Wall mount template
  • 2x wall-mount brackets
  • 2x holder screws
  • 2x screws

Sound
8.2
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.46
Std. Err.
3.52 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
27.9 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Samsung Q800B performs similarly to the Samsung HW-Q930B with stereo content. The response is quite neutral, especially in the mids where most voices and lead instruments are reproduced. As a result, these instruments are clear and present in the mix, and it's suitable for lots of different types of audio content. There's a little extra punch added in the bass range, too. It's ideal if you like bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop, though fans of a more neutral sound can find it a little bassy.

This bar comes with lots of different sound enhancement features, but with stereo content, 'Standard' mode sounds best. The 'Adaptive Sound' feature is better suited for multi-channel content, as it makes stereo audio sound more boxy and filtered.

8.2
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
-2
Suggested Treble Setting
0
Slope
-0.09
Std. Err.
2.88 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
31.3 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

If you prefer a more neutral sound, you can set the bar's bass adjustment feature to '-2'. The resulting sound is very balanced, and you notice less emphasis in the bass range, so audio in the bass range is more accurately reproduced. Voices and lead instruments are still clear and detailed in the mix, too.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.31 dB

The Samsung Q800B has a good stereo soundstage. It has very good focus, and sound effects are localized to pinpoint locations in the soundstage. For example, if you listen to an orchestral recording, each instrument seems like it comes from a specific location that matches where the musician sits on stage. On 'Standard' mode, the soundstage is about as wide as the bar itself. 'Adaptive Sound' uses some tricks to make it seem a little wider, but it's not necessarily a better choice. With stereo content, this mode makes audio seem diffused and filtered. 'Standard' sounded best in our subjective tests, though your own subjective impressions can vary.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
96.3 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.88 dB

The Samsung Q800B has a decent stereo dynamics performance. It gets loud enough to fill your room with sound, even if you have a larger living room. However, if you push it to max volume, there's some compression that distorts the sound, especially in the bass range.

8.1
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.28
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.46

The Samsung Q800B has a great stereo THD performance. At normal listening volumes, it falls within good limits, so your audio is reproduced with clarity. There's a small jump in THD at max volume, which is typical for most bars we test. That said, distortion is really hard to hear with real-life content. Unless you're a really astute audiophile, you don't notice much difference in the sound.

8.3
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-0.44
Std. Err.
2.86 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
90.0 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.31
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.21

The Samsung Q800B has a great center channel performance. It's a 5.1.2 setup, meaning that there's a discrete center channel in the bar. This channel improves the reproduction of dialogue in your audio, so voices are more accurately localized within the soundstage. Given the neutral frequency response of this channel, voices remain clear and present in the mix, too. You don't have issues following the action in your favorite movies and TV shows.

6.3
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Phantom (Side Firing, Bar)
Slope
-0.54
Std. Err.
3.49 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
96.1 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.49
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.47
7.1 Rears
No

The Samsung Q800B has an acceptable surround sound performance. When you listen to 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital, side-firing drivers in the bar are used to represent sound effects in the soundstage. These channels have a balanced frequency response, so sound effects are reproduced with clarity and detail. That said, the representation doesn't seem as clear or as real as what you get with discrete surround speakers. Audio just seems like it's coming from a speaker placed in front of you, rather than from speakers placed all around you. You can always add on rear speakers sold by the manufacturer separately if you want to improve its performance.

6.3
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
Slope
0.24
Std. Err.
3.92 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
89.2 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.54
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.09

The Samsung Q800B has two up-firing drivers built into the bar, which ricochet sound off the ceiling to create the illusion of height. Again, these channels have a balanced frequency response, so sound effects are reproduced accurately, which is good. There's plenty of bass, so you feel the deep rumble in your seat during action-packed scenes and intense movie scores, just like at the movie theater.

Subjectively, the Samsung HW-Q800B offers a very good listening experience. It provides decent height, and sound effects seem to come from the space beside you, too. You have no issues following voices and details in the scene. That said, compared to bars with rear speakers, it doesn't perform quite as well. It doesn't get as much height as the Samsung HW-Q930B, for example, so it doesn't seem quite as immersive. If you don't have room for rear satellites, though, it's a good alternative.

9.9
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Yes
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
Yes
Rear Level Adjustment
Yes
Height Level Adjustment
Yes
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Samsung Q800B offers lots of different sound enhancement features to help you customize its sound. There's a 7-band graphic EQ as well as bass and treble adjustments on hand, and you can choose between lots of different EQ presets: 'Standard', 'Adaptive Sound', 'Game', 'Surround Sound'. As with most premium bars on the market, there's a room correction tool to optimize audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics. It's called SpaceFit Sound, and you can access it via the remote or the app.

A lot of manufacturers offer unique enhancement features designed to pair the bar with their brand of TVs, and Samsung is no different. If you have a compatible Samsung TV, you can use the Q-Symphony feature, which uses the TV's speakers in tandem with the Samsung Q800B. There's no real difference in the sound when you use this feature, though. It doesn't even impact the volume. It's not really worth it to get a Samsung TV specifically to use this feature.

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
No
Ethernet
No

You can connect the Samsung HW-Q800B to your TV using either an Optical or HDMI connection. There's an HDMI cable included in the box, which is handy. You also find a USB input under the bar, but it's only for service and software updates, so you can't use it to play audio.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Yes
Dolby Atmos
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
Yes
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Yes
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Yes
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Yes

The Samsung HW-Q800B supports lots of different audio formats via ARC. It can playback Dolby Digital, which is the most common surround sound format, as well as lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.

10
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
Yes

The Samsung Q800B supports lots of audio formats via HDMI In, too. If you watch a lot of content on streaming platforms, you're likely to come across Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos content, both of which are supported by the bar.

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

Over Optical, the Samsung Q800B supports both Dolby Digital and DTS content. Dolby Digital is more common, and it's found on lots of streaming platforms, whereas DTS is more commonly used with Blu-rays.

9.8
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
-1 ms
Optical
8 ms
Full HDMI In
-20 ms

The Samsung Q800B has a fantastic latency performance. Thanks to its low latency, you don't notice a delay between the audio you hear and the video you see, and there are no lip-synching issues. If you have a compatible Samsung TV, you can even stream to the bar over a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection, and there aren't latency issues with these formats, either. That said, latency can vary depending on the app or the TV you use. Your real-world experience can vary, but if you have issues, check out the AV Sync feature in the app, which lets you control the delay.

9.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
Yes

The Samsung Q800B lets you wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar. It also supports Samsung's Tap Sound feature, which lets you "tap" a compatible smartphone against the bar to mirror sound over its speakers. It's a fun tool, but if you don't have a compatible phone, you're still able to stream over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Apple Airplay 2.

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 Q800B can passthrough some of the highest-quality bandwidth signals, allowing you to connect it between your TV and your PC to get clear and crisp text on screen. There's Dolby Vision Passthrough support, too, however, you aren't able to passthrough 4k @ 120Hz.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The Samsung Q800B's sub connects to the bar wirelessly. Simply 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 four-character display on the right side of the bar, located just behind the metal grille. It shows the volume level and the current input as you adjust these settings, and you can also press the "i" button on the remote to show the format that's playing. It scrolls for longer messages, too.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The controls are on top of the bar. They let you change the input, adjust the volume, and turn the microphone on and off.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote has the same design as the remote with other bars from Samsung's 2022 lineup. It's simple and sleek, and you get access to lots of different enhancement tools.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Yes (Built-in)
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No

You can also control the bar with your voice from the comfort of your couch using its built-in Alexa feature. If you don't want it to listen to you, simply mute the microphone using the button on the bar.

Additional Features
App
App Name Samsung SmartThings
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts As A Remote
Yes
Controls Soundbar's Settings
All
Casts Device Files
Yes

The Samsung SmartThings app acts as a remote and lets you control all the soundbar's settings from your couch. It's really easy to use, so you can change the input, adjust the volume, and control the bar's sound. You're also able to control the bar's levels, including center, side, wide, and top if you choose to add on separate satellites.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Auto-off
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The Samsung Q800B automatically turns off after eighteen minutes of inactivity. Since there's HDMI CEC support, you can also control some of its basic features with your TV remote.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Samsung HW-Q800B is available in 'Black'. You can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across other versions of the Samsung HW-Q800B, let us know in the discussions below so we can update this review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung HW-Q800B is a mid-range 5.1.2 setup with a versatile overall performance. It comes with lots of sound enhancement features, and it's a good alternative if you don't have space for rear speakers. However, other 5.1 setups like the Vizio Elevate include rear speakers in the setup at a comparable price. 

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

Samsung HW-Q800A

The Samsung HW-Q800B is better than the Samsung HW-Q800A. The Q800B is a 5.1.2 setup, so compared to the 3.1.2 Q800A, it has two side-firing drivers that provide a more clear and real representation of surround sound. There are more sound enhancement features on hand, too, including a room correction tool. Unfortunately, it has a little more compression at max volume than the Q800A, but if you listen at more moderate volumes, it's not much of an issue.

Samsung HW-Q930B

The Samsung HW-Q930B is better than the Samsung HW-Q800B. The Q930B is a 9.1.4 setup, and unlike the Q800B, it comes with two satellites that improve its performance with surround sound. Its Atmos performance is more impressive, too, as its satellites have up-firing drivers to bring a more immersive feel. It has less compression at max volume, too.

Samsung HW-Q900A

The Samsung HW-Q900A is better than the Samsung HW-Q800B. The Q900A is a 7.1.2 setup compared to the 5.1.2 Q800B. It has two more channels, as well as more sound enhancement features to help you customize its sound. There's less compression when you play it at max volume, too.

Samsung HW-Q990B

The Samsung HW-Q990B is better than the Samsung HW-Q800B. The Q990B is a 11.1.4 setup compared to the 5.1.2 Q800B. That means that it has more channels, including two satellites included in the box. Its Atmos and surround sound performances are better overall, resulting in a more clear and real feel.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q800B is better than the Samsung HW-Q600A. The Q600A is a 3.1.2 setup, while the Q800B is a 5.1.2 setup. That means that the Q800B comes with two side-firing drivers that improve its surround sound performance for a more clear and real sound. It reproduces more low-bass, too, so you get more rumble in your audio. There are also more sound enhancement features such as room correction.

Samsung HW-Q700A

The Samsung HW-Q800B is better than the Samsung HW-Q700A. The Q700A is a 3.1.2 setup, while the Q800B is a 5.1.2 setup. That means that the Q800B comes with two side-firing drivers that improve its surround sound performance for a more clear and real sound. It reproduces more low-bass, too, so you get more rumble in your audio. There are also more sound enhancement features such as room correction.

LG SP9YA

The LG SP9YA and the Samsung HW-Q800B are both 5.1.2 setups, but the Samsung is better overall. The Samsung has better surround sound and Atmos performances, so sound effects are reproduced with greater clarity and accuracy in multi-channel content. Unlike the LG, it comes with a graphic EQ, too, which gives you more control over the bar's sound. 

Samsung HW-Q950A

The Samsung HW-Q950A is better than the Samsung HW-Q800B. The Q950A is an 11.1.4 setup while the Q800B is a 5.1.2 setup. That means that the Q950A has more channels, including two satellites with up-firing drivers to improve its representation of surround sound and Dolby Atmos content. The Q800B is a newer model that's better built, but the Q950A has better sound quality.

Samsung HW-Q850A

The Samsung HW-Q850A and the Samsung HW-Q800B are both 5.1.2 setups, but they offer different performances. The HW-Q850A was released in 2021, and it comes with rear speakers, unlike the HW-Q800B. As a result, it has a better surround sound performance. However, the HW-Q850A reproduces more bass out-of-the-box, and it comes with a room correction feature. You can also buy rear satellites separately from the manufacturer if you want.

Vizio M Series M512a-H6

The Vizio M Series M512a-H6 and the Samsung HW-Q800B are both very versatile 5.1.2 setups, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Vizio is a more affordable bar with discrete satellites included, so it has the better surround sound performance. That said, it isn't as well-built as the Samsung, and it doesn't offer as many features like room correction and voice assistant support.

Vizio Elevate

The Vizio Elevate and the Samsung HW-Q800B are both very premium 5.1 soundbars with Dolby Atmos support. The Vizio is a 5.1.4 setup, and unlike the Samsung, it comes with rear speakers included. As a result, it has a better surround sound performance. Its soundstage is better, too, and its unique rotating sides give you more control over its width. It doesn't come with as many sound enhancement features as the Samsung, and its default sound isn't quite as neutral. That said, you can still get a similar frequency response to the Samsung using its bass and treble adjustments, which is handy.

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