The Samsung HW-Q850T is a 5.1.2 setup that comes with built-in support for Amazon Alexa voice assistant. Out-of-the-box, this soundbar has a very neutral sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, and it even comes with a graphic EQ and presets so you can customize its sound. It also comes with Q-Symphony technology, which is advertised to work with Samsung QLED TV speakers to create a more immersive sound, though we don't test for this. While it supports DTS:X and Dolby Atmos content, unfortunately, its height channels don't provide a very immersive listening experience.
The Samsung HW-Q850T soundbar is good for mixed usage. Out-of-the-box, it has a very neutral sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. There's even a graphic EQ and presets available if you want to customize its sound. It supports surround content, too, and its dedicated surround speakers provide an immersive sound. However, it has a poor Dolby Atmos performance.
The Samsung HW-Q850T soundbar is very good for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Thanks to its dedicated center channel and balanced mid-range, it reproduces clear and accurate dialogue. It gets pretty loud, too, and there's even a dialogue enhancement feature that can make voices more clear and crisp. It's Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible, which is great for wirelessly streaming podcasts and audiobooks to the bar, but it doesn't support Apple AirPlay or Chromecast built-in.
The Samsung HW-Q850T soundbar is very good for music. Its balanced, neutral sound profile makes it suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, and its dedicated subwoofer helps reproduce an extended low-bass. There's also a graphic EQ and lots of EQ presets to help you adjust its sound more to your liking.
The Samsung HW-Q850T soundbar is good for movies. Its balanced, neutral sound profile can reproduce clear and accurate dialogue, and it has a little extra thump in the bass that's suitable for watching action-packed scenes. It has dedicated surround speakers, so objects in the soundstage are accurately localized. It supports Dolby Atmos, too, but it doesn't provide a very immersive listening experience.
The Samsung HW-Q850T is a 5.1.2 setup from the company's 2020 lineup. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content, and it has Amazon Alexa voice assistant built into the bar. Like the Samsung HW-Q800T, it comes with Q-Symphony technology, which is advertised to sync your soundbar with the speakers from your compatible Samsung QLED TV, but we don't test this feature. Its main competitors are the Samsung HW-Q950T, the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers, and the Samsung HW-Q70T.
The sub is made of wood. There's thin fabric covering one side, and it seems like it could rip or get dirty easily.
The satellites have plastic on the top and bottom, with a metal grille covering the sides. They connect to a wireless receiver module through a wired connection.
The Samsung HW-Q850T likely won't fit between the legs of a 55 inch TV. However, it isn't very tall, so it shouldn't block your TV screen unless your TV sits flush on the table.
The sub is the same size as the Samsung HW-Q800T's sub. It connects to the bar wirelessly, which gives you more flexibility when placing it in your room.
The satellites aren't very big. They connect to the bar wirelessly, which is handy. However, you have to wire them to the receiver module to get them to work.
On the back of the bar, there are two openings for the inputs and the power cable. There are also universal holes on the underside so you can wall-mount it.
On the back of the sub, there's the port. There's also a power cable input and a pairing button.
The satellites have a fairly plain back, with inputs to wire them to the receiver module. There are also universal holes so you can wall-mount them.
The Samsung HW-Q850T has an impressive build quality. The bar itself is mostly made of plastic, with a metal grille on the top and the front that helps to protect the drivers. The satellites have a similar build, with plastic tops and bottoms and metal grilles covering the front and sides. The sub is made of wood. However, the thin fabric on one side seems like it could rip or get dirty easily.
The Samsung HW-Q850T has an excellent stereo frequency response out-of-the-box. Overall, it has a pretty neutral, balanced sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different audio genres. It reproduces an extended low-bass, so you really feel the deep thumps and rumbles in action-packed scenes. There's also a graphic EQ and presets as well as bass and treble adjustments to help you customize its sound.
Note: We noticed some occasional pops and screeching while testing this soundbar. We suspect that these sounds are unique to our testing unit.
We tested this soundbar in several different configurations after adjusting the bass and treble to try and get a slope closer to 0. However, we weren't able to find a configuration that performed better than its default settings.
The Samsung HW-Q850T has a decent stereo soundstage performance. The soundstage is perceived to be a touch wider than the bar, but it doesn't have any tricks to make it sound wider than that. It has good focus, though, so objects in the soundstage seem to come from a pinpoint location rather than a general area.
The Samsung HW-Q850T soundbar has very good stereo dynamics. It gets pretty loud, and there isn't a lot of compression when you play it at max volume, so it's a suitable choice for listening to loud music at crowded parties or in large rooms.
The THD performance of the Samsung HW-Q850T is okay. At a normal listening volume, there's some distortion present, and there's a slight jump in THD when you push it to max volume. However, this may not be noticeable with real-life content.
The Samsung HW-Q850T is a 5.1.2 setup that offers a discrete center channel, which results in clearer and more accurate reproduction of dialogue. The frequency response is also quite balanced, especially in the mid-range, so vocals are clear and present.
The Samsung HW-Q850T has a satisfactory surrounds performance. It has dedicated surround speakers, so surround objects like voices and footsteps are clearly and accurately localized in the soundstage. However, its frequency response is quite bass-heavy, which may be overwhelming for some listeners.
The Samsung HW-Q850T has a poor Atmos performance. It uses up-firing speakers on the bar itself to bounce sound off the ceiling and back down to the listener to give the illusion of height. However, this doesn't sound quite as real as discrete localization created by down-firing speakers. Also, the bar sounds quite bright, and it lacks some low-bass, which can be disappointing if you like to feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed scenes.
The Samsung HW-Q850T comes with a graphic EQ as well as several EQ presets: 'Standard', 'Surround', 'Game Pro', and 'Adaptive Sound'. These features help you customize the bar's sound to your liking, and the Adaptive Sound mode can automatically optimize the sound based on the content you're listening to, though we don't currently test for this. Unfortunately, it lacks some more premium sound enhancement features, such as room correction, so it may sound a bit different depending on the room you're listening in.
The Samsung HW-Q850T has the same selection of inputs as the Samsung HW-Q800T. There's a Full HDMI In port, so you can use the bar as a hub between your different devices. However, it lacks a 3.5mm AUX port, so you can't wire older devices like smartphones to the bar.
Update 10/06/2021: We retested this soundbar after updating the firmware and found that it now supports 5.1 PCM content.
The Samsung HW-Q850T supports many common audio formats over ARC. It can playback Dolby Digital and DTS content, which is great for movie fans as these formats are commonly found on streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs.
Update 10/06/2021: We retested this soundbar after updating the firmware and found that it now supports 5.1 PCM content.
The Samsung HW-Q850T has incredible audio format support via Full HDMI In. It can play audio from most sources, including DTS and Dolby Digital content commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.
The Samsung HW-Q850T also supports Dolby Digital and DTS content via Optical. These formats are commonly found on streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs.
The Samsung HW-Q850T has a great latency performance. Its latency falls within good limits via ARC, Optical, and Full HDMI In, which is great if you like watching videos. However, some apps and some TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.
You can play audio content wirelessly from your mobile devices using a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection.
The Samsung HW-Q850T Soundbar can passthrough the highest bandwidth signals. When you use your soundbar as a hub between your TV and your PC, the text on the screen is clear and crisp.
The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the bar. There's only an input for the power cord.
The satellites connect to the receiver module over a wired connection. The receiver needs to be plugged into a power outlet in order to work, but on the upside, it connects to the bar wirelessly.
There's a small display on the right side of the bar that shows the volume number and the current input. It has a four-character display, and it scrolls for longer words. Also, there's a red light that turns on when the microphone is muted.
On the top of the soundbar, there are some touch-sensitive buttons. You can adjust the volume, mute the microphone, or use the Multifunction button to change inputs and enable Alexa voice assistant.
The remote is simple, and it lets you control most of the bar's functions. However, the app gives you access to a few more EQ presets.
The Samsung HW-Q850T soundbar has Amazon Alexa built-in, and you can also mute the microphone if you don't want it to listen to you.
The Samsung SmartThings app lets you control many of the soundbar's functions, though you can't use it to sync, adjust the center level or the front top level, or turn the virtual surround on and off. It also comes with a few additional EQ presets, including Pop, Jazz, and Classical.
The Samsung HW-Q850T has an auto-off function that turns off the bar after 18 minutes without an audio signal. It also supports HDMI CEC, so you can control some of the bar's basic functions using your TV remote.
The Samsung HW-Q850T 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 discussion section below so we can update our review.
The Samsung HW-Q850T is a very versatile 5.1.2 setup. Like the Samsung HW-Q800T and the Samsung HW-Q950T, it comes with Q-Symphony technology that's advertised to create a more immersive sound by syncing your bar with the speakers on compatible Samsung QLED TVs, though we don't currently test for this. It offers lots of sound customization features, including a graphic EQ and presets, but unfortunately, it doesn't offer room correction. See also our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best soundbars 5.1, and the best Samsung soundbars.
The Samsung HW-Q850A is the upgraded version of the Samsung HW-Q850T, and it offers better overall performance. The HW-Q850A has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. It comes with an auto-volume mode, it can support PCM 5.1 content, and it has Apple AirPlay2 connectivity. However, the HW-Q850T has a more balanced sound profile out-of-the-box.
The Samsung HW-Q950A is better than the Samsung HW-Q850T. The HW-Q950A is an 11.1.4 setup with better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. It also gets louder, and it comes with more sound enhancement features like room correction. That said, the HW-Q850T is better built.
The Samsung HW-Q850T is better than the Samsung HW-Q700A for mixed usage. The HW-Q850T is a 5.1.2 setup that comes with discrete satellites. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, so you feel more thump and punch in your audio. It also has a better surrounds performance. That said, the 3.1.2 HW-Q700A has a better soundstage. Unlike the HW-Q850T, it also supports Apple AirPlay.
The Samsung HW-Q850T is a better soundbar than the standalone Sonos Arc. The Samsung comes with a subwoofer and satellites, and it has a more extended low-bass. It's also more customizable thanks to its graphic EQ and presets, and it's Bluetooth-compatible and comes with a Full HDMI In port. However, the Sonos has a better soundstage and a better Atmos performance. You can also compare the Samsung to the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers.
The Samsung HW-Q800A is better than the Samsung HW-Q850T. The HW-Q800A is a 3.1.2 setup that offers better soundstage, center, and Atmos performances. It even comes with some additional sound enhancement features, like auto-volume mode. That said, only the 5.1.2 HW-Q850T comes with discrete satellites, and it offers a better surrounds performance.
The Samsung HW-Q800T and the Samsung HW-Q850T are similarly performing soundbars, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The HW-Q850T is a 5.1.2 setup that comes with dedicated satellite speakers, so it offers a better, more immersive surrounds experience. However, the 3.1.2 HW-Q800T gets louder, which some listeners may prefer.
The JBL Bar 9.1 is a slightly better soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q850T. The JBL has a better soundstage performance, and it performs better on its height and surrounds channels. It also has a room correction feature, and it has wireless playback capabilities with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, and Chromecast built-in. However, the Samsung has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and it comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization.
The Samsung HW-Q850T is a slightly better soundbar than the LG SN9YG. The Samsung has a more balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it gets louder. It also comes with dedicated satellite speakers that help create a better surrounds performance, and it has a graphic EQ for sound customization. However, the LG comes with a room correction feature, it has a better Atmos performance, and it has Chromecast built-in.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is a slightly better soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q850T. The Sonos is better-built, and it has a better soundstage performance. It performs better on its surrounds and height channels, and it also comes with a room correction feature. However, the Samsung is more customizable thanks to its graphic EQ and presets. It also supports Bluetooth, and it has a Full HDMI In port.