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Samsung HW-Q800T Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Aug 20, 2020 at 08:04 am
Samsung HW-Q800T Picture
7.9
Mixed Usage
8.3
Dialogue/TV Shows
8.0
Music
7.6
Movies
Channels
3.1.2

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar is a 3.1.2 setup from Samsung's 2020 lineup. This well-built, sleek setup has two up-firing speakers integrated into the bar and a separate wireless subwoofer. It comes with Samsung's Acoustic Beam technology which uses up-firing speakers on the bar to help provide a more immersive listening experience. Its Q-Symphony feature also allows you to synchronize Samsung QLED TV speakers with the bar for a more cinematic sound, though we don't test for this currently. Amazon Alexa voice assistant support is integrated into its design, and you can even turn off the microphone when you aren't using it. Overall, its sound reproduction is very neutral and well-balanced out-of-the-box, so it's suitable for a variety of audio content. While it can play surround and Dolby Atmos content, unfortunately, it doesn't provide the most immersive listening experience. On the upside, this bar has a lot of connectivity options and sound customization features.

Our Verdict

7.9 Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar is a versatile 3.1.2 setup that is very good for mixed usage. Its overall audio reproduction is neutral and well-balanced, making it suitable for a variety of content. It supports both Dolby Atmos and surround content, though it doesn't provide the most immersive listening experience. On the upside, there are a lot of sound customization features on the Samsung app, including a graphic EQ, presets, and a dialogue enhancement feature, so you can easily adjust the bar to meet your needs. The Adaptive Sound feature can even scan your audio content in real-time and adjust the sound the optimize your content, but we don't test for this.

Pros
  • Neutral, well-balanced sound profile.
  • Gets loud without a lot of distortion.
  • Integrated Amazon Alexa support.
Cons
  • No room correction feature.
8.3 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar is great for TV shows. This 3.1.2 setup has a dedicated center channel, which helps make voices sound clearer and more accurate. Its sound profile is very well-balanced, especially in the mid-range, which is ideal for dialogue-heavy content. It also has a dialogue enhancement feature to help make dialogue sound more crisp. This soundbar can get loud without a lot of distortion. If you like to stream content from your mobile device to the bar wirelessly, you can use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Neutral, well-balanced sound profile.
  • Gets loud without a lot of distortion.
Cons
  • No auto-volume feature.
8.0 Music

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar is very good for music. It's neutral, balanced sound profile suits most music genres, and it can reproduce the thumps and rumbles found in bass-heavy music thanks to its wireless sub. Fortunately, there's also a graphic EQ and presets available on the Samsung app, so you can easily customize the sound to your liking.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ + presets.
  • Neutral, well-balanced sound profile.
  • Gets loud without a lot of distortion.
Cons
7.6 Movies

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar is good for movies. It has a neutral and well-balanced sound reproduction, and it has a decent bass performance that can reproduce the thumps and rumbles from action-packed scenes and movie scores. It supports Dolby Atmos content, though it doesn't provide the most immersive listening experience. It also has to downmix surround content to stereo to play it, which doesn't sound as natural or life-like. On the upside, this bar can get loud, and there isn't a lot of distortion when you play it at max volume.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ + presets.
  • Neutral, well-balanced sound profile.
  • Gets loud without a lot of distortion.
Cons
  • Poor surround and Atmos performance.
  • 7.9 Mixed Usage
  • 8.3 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 8.0 Music
  • 7.6 Movies
  1. Update 9/21/2020: The Dynamics tests have been reconducted due to a value input bug.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung HW-Q800T is a 3.1.2 setup from Samsung's 2020 lineup. It supports Dolby Atmos content, and it has Amazon's Alexa voice assistant integrated into its design. Unlike some of the other bars in Samsung's lineup, it comes with Q-Symphony technology and Acoustic Beam 2.0 to help create a more immersive sound experience, but we don't test these features. Its main competitors are the Samsung HW-Q80R, the Samsung HW-Q70T, the Samsung HW-Q70R, and the Sonos Arc.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar has a similar look to the Samsung HW-Q70T. There's a metal grille covering the top and the front of the bar, and the rest of the bar is covered with hard plastic.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The Samsung HW-Q800T's sub is made of wood, although there's a thin fabric covering one side. This fabric feels like it could easily rip or get dirty.

Design
Style - Satellites

There aren't any satellites in this setup.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 38.6" (98.0 cm)
Bar Height 2.4" (6.0 cm)
Bar Depth 4.5" (11.5 cm)

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar is the same size as the Samsung HW-Q70T and likely won't fit between the legs of a 55" TV. However, it isn't very tall, so it shouldn't block any part of your TV screen unless your screen sits flush on the table.

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

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar's sub is slightly taller and deeper than the Samsung HW-Q70T's sub. It connects to the bar wirelessly, so you can move it anywhere in the room.

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

This setup doesn't have any satellites.

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

There are two openings on the back of the Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar for the inputs and the power cable. On top of the bar, near the back-middle, there are touch-style control buttons. You can also mount this bar using the universal holes on the underside.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

On the back of the sub, there's a plastic port. The power cable connects to the sub in the bottom-left corner, and there's a pairing button on the bottom-right.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

There aren't any satellites in this setup.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar has a great build quality. It's mostly made of plastic, which feels solid and sturdy, and there's a metal grille to help protect the speakers. The sub is mostly made of wood, though the thin fabric on the one side feels like it could easily rip or get dirty.

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

  • Manual
  • HDMI cable
  • Remote with batteries (2x AA)
  • Power cables (x2)
  • Adapter for power cable
  • Wall-mounting brackets
  • Screws for wall-mounting brackets
  • Template for wall-mounting brackets

Sound
8.6
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
-0.26
ST Std. Err.
1.96 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
29.5 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar has an excellent stereo frequency response. Its sound profile is very neutral and should suit most audio genres. Also, its bass extends low, so can do a good job reproducing the deep thumps and rumbles in music and movies. There's also a graphic EQ and presets available to help you customize the sound to your liking.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.77 dB

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar has a decent stereo soundstage performance. It sounds about as wide as the bar itself, but it doesn't do anything to make it sound larger. It also has a good focus, so objects will sound like they're coming from an accurate, pinpoint location rather than a general area.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
95.2 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
1.74 dB

Update 09/21/2020: We've discovered a value input bug that would cause the Dynamics box results to be slightly off. All soundbars reviewed since January 30th, 2020 have been updated.

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar has great stereo dynamics. It can get loud, so it can be used in crowded settings and large rooms. There's a bit of compression when you play the bar at max volume, but it likely won't be noticeable with real-life content.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.76
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.34

The HW-Q800T soundbar has a decent THD performance. When you play the bar at normal listening volume, there's a little bit of distortion, but it may not be so noticeable. However, at max volume, there's more distortion, especially in the bass range. This can be difficult to hear with real-life content.

8.6
Sound
Center
C Localization
Discrete
C Slope
0.33
C Std. Err.
3.14 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
91.5 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
0.83
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.51

The Samsung HW-Q800T is a 3.1.2 setup with an excellent center channel performance. Thanks to its dedicated center channel, it can clearly and accurately reproduce the dialogue found in TV shows and movies.

3.9
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Rears
No
Sr Slope
-1.04
Sr Std. Err.
3.63 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
90.4 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.72
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.66

The Samsung HW-Q800T's surround performance is poor. It downmixes surround content to stereo in order to play it, so it may sound like your audio is taking place in front of you instead of all around you. It also sounds quite bass-heavy.

4.4
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
H Slope
1.63
H Std. Err.
7.52 dB
H SPL @ Max Volume
87.3 dB SPL
H Weighted THD @ 80
0.64
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.56

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar has a poor height performance. It uses two up-firing speakers in the bar to bounce sound off the ceiling to give the impression of height. It also has Samsung Acoustic Beam technology, which uses small holes in the bar to direct sound to create a more immersive experience. However, the bar sounds quite bright, and it doesn't sound as real as discrete localization created by down-firing speakers.

5.7
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
No
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
N/A
Height Level Adjustment
Yes
Virtual Surround
Yes

This soundbar has sub-par sound enhancement features. It doesn't have a room correction feature, so the bar may sound different depending on the room you're in. On the upside, you can adjust the sound profile of the bar using the four EQ presets (Standard, Surround, Game Pro, Adaptive Sound) or the 7-band graphic EQ. The Adaptive Sound mode can analyze content in real-time to adjust the sound to optimize the content, but we currently don't test for this.

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
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
No

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar has several inputs available. With the HDMI ports, you can use the bar as a hub between different devices, such as your Blu-ray player or game console. The micro USB port is only for service and software updates, so it can't be used to play files directly from a USB device. Also, it lacks a 3.5mm Aux port, so you won't be able to plug in older smartphones.

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-Q800T soundbar has fantastic support for audio content over its HDMI ARC port. It supports Dolby Digital and DTS, which should please many movie fans. Its eARC support also means that it can play lossless surround formats.

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

This soundbar has outstanding audio format support. It can play audio from most sources, including Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+.

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

This soundbar supports both Dolby Digital and DTS content from its optical port. These formats are commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

8.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
No

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar has a very good selection of wireless playback connections. You can play music, audiobooks, podcasts, and other content from your mobile devices wirelessly using a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection.

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-Q800T soundbar can passthrough the highest bandwidth signals. When you connect this soundbar to your TV and another source like a PC or a gaming console, the text on screen appears clear and crisp.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The Samsung HW-Q800T's subwoofer connects wirelessly to the bar. There's only an input for its power cord.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

There are no satellites in this setup.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

This soundbar has a simple interface. Behind the metal grille, there's a small screen that indicates the volume level and the input you're currently using. It's only a four-character display, so you may need to wait for some messages to scroll across the screen. Also, there's a red light that turns on when the bar is muted.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

On the top of the soundbar, there are touch-sensitive buttons. You can turn the bar on/off, adjust the volume, turn the mic on/off, and use the multifunction button to change inputs and enable Alexa voice assistant.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The Samsung HW-Q800T's remote looks similar to the Samsung HW-Q70T's remote. You can control all the functions of the bar, but it can't be used as a universal remote.

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

The SmartThings app allows you to control many of the Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar's functions. You can change inputs, play music from your device, change the EQ settings, and adjust the subwoofer. However, the app doesn't have center level and front-top level adjustments like the remote.

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

The Samsung HW-Q800T soundbar has an auto-off function, so it turns off automatically if it doesn't receive an audio signal for 18 minutes. Also, thanks to the HDMI CEC support, you can control some basic functions of the bar using your TV remote.

Compared to other soundbars

The Samsung HW-Q800T is an impressive 3.1.2 setup with a wireless subwoofer. It uses Samsung's Acoustic Beam technology to provide a more immersive listening experience, and it also has Q-Symphony technology to help synchronize the bar's audio with the speakers on your Samsung TV, but we don't currently test these features. Like most of the other 3.1.2 setups that we've tested, its Atmos and surround performance isn't the best. If you're looking for more soundbars, check out our recommendations for the best soundbars for dialogue, the best soundbars for music, and the best Dolby Atmos soundbars.

Samsung HW-Q80R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-Q80R is a better soundbar for watching movies than the Samsung HW-Q800T. The 5.1.2 HW-Q80R doesn't downmix surround content into stereo like the 3.1.2 HW-Q800T, so it provides a more immersive listening experience. The HW-Q80R also performs better with Atmos content, and it has a better soundstage. That being said, the HW-Q800T has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, but both soundbars have a graphic EQ to help you adjust the sound profile to your liking.

Samsung HW-Q70T
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-Q800T and the Samsung HW-Q70T are both 3.1.2 setups from the 2020 lineup with a very similar design and performance. The HW-Q800T's bass extends a bit lower than the HW-Q70T, so it may appeal more to fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. The HW-Q800T has a slightly larger wireless subwoofer. Both bars support Atmos and surround content, but neither does an impressive job creating an immersive experience.

Samsung HW-Q70R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

Sonos Arc
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-Q800T or the Sonos Arc. The Samsung has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it has fewer compression artifacts when played at max volume. Unlike the Sonos, the Samsung has an HDMI In port and a graphic EQ. However, unlike the Samsung, the 5.0.2 Sonos doesn't downmix surround content into stereo, so it provides a more immersive movie-watching experience. The Sonos also performs better with Atmos content.

LG SN8YG
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Samsung HW-Q800T is a better overall soundbar than the LG SN8YG. Overall, the Samsung has a better-balanced, more neutral sound profile compared to the slightly boomy-sounding LG, which makes it better-suited for music and movies. The Samsung also comes with a graphic equalizer, making it easy to customize the sound to your liking. However, unlike the Samsung, the LG comes with auto-volume and room correction features. It also has a slightly more neutral-sounding height channel performance, which may be preferred by fans of Atmos content.

Vizio SB36312-G6
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Samsung HW-Q800T is a better overall soundbar than the Vizio SB36312-G6. The Vizio has a very boomy sound profile, while the Samsung's more neutral, well-balanced sound profile is much better suited for a variety of audio content. The Vizio only has three EQ presets, while the Samsung offers a graphic EQ and four presets to help you customize the sound to your liking. Also, unlike the Vizio, the Samsung has a dialogue enhancement feature to help make voices sound more clear and crisp, which is good for watching TV and listening to podcasts.

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