Samsung HW-T650 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Jul 26, 2021 at 02:55 pm
Samsung HW-T650 Picture
7.4
Mixed Usage
8.1
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.7
Music
6.8
Movies
This soundbar was replaced by the Samsung HW-A650
Channels
3.1

The Samsung HW-T650 soundbar is a 3.1 setup from Samsung's 2020 lineup. It has a neutral and well-balanced sound profile that's suitable for a variety of music and movie genres. Also, it has a dedicated center channel, which helps make voices and dialogue sound clearer and more accurate. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the most immersive surround performance, and it doesn't support Atmos, which may be disappointing for movie fans. However, this soundbar can get pretty loud without creating a lot of distortion, resulting in clean audio reproduction. You also have some ability to customize the sound to your liking, thanks to its five EQ presets.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-T650 3.1Ch Soundbar is satisfactory for mixed usage. Its balanced, neutral sound profile is suitable for listening to most types of audio content. This 3.1 setup has a center channel that makes dialogue and voices sound clear and accurate. Unfortunately, it has to downmix surround content to stereo, which doesn't provide the most immersive movie-watching experience. Movie fans may also be disappointed by the fact that it doesn't support Atmos content. However, there are a few sound customization options, so you have some control over the bar's audio reproduction.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Five EQ presets.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Atmos.
  • No room correction.
  • Lacks a bit of low-bass.
8.1 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-T650 soundbar is great for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce voices clearly and accurately, and thanks to its discrete center channel, dialogue is accurately localized to a pinpoint location in the sound image. There's also a 'Smart Sound' feature available that can make dialogue more crisp and clear, as well as a Dynamic Range Control feature that balances the volume level across different programs.

Pros
  • Dedicated center channel.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Five EQ presets.
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • No room correction.
  • Lacks a bit of low-bass.
7.7 Music

The Samsung HW-T650 soundbar is good for music. It has a pretty neutral, though slightly boomy sound profile out-of-the-box, and it comes with bass and treble adjustments as well as EQ presets to help you get a more balanced sound. As a result, it's suitable for listening to most music genres. However, it lacks some low-bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble in bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Five EQ presets.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • No room correction.
  • Lacks a bit of low-bass.
6.8 Movies

The Samsung HW-T650 soundbar has an adequate movie performance. The sound profile is fairly neutral and well-balanced. However, it lacks a bit of sub-bass, so it may not be able to fully reproduce the lowest thumps and rumbles in action-packed scenes. This soundbar can get loud, and there aren't a lot of compression artifacts at max volume, resulting in clean audio reproduction. Unfortunately, it downmixes surround content to stereo, which isn't very immersive. Unlike some of the other 3.1 setups we've tested, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Five EQ presets.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Atmos.
  • No room correction.
  • Lacks a bit of low-bass.
  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 8.1 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.7 Music
  • 6.8 Movies
  1. Updated Jul 26, 2021: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  2. Updated Mar 03, 2021: Updated latency measurements with new testing method.
  3. Updated Feb 09, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  4. Updated Sep 22, 2020: The Dynamics tests have been reconducted due to a value input bug.
  5. Updated Aug 24, 2020: We've updated the auto-volume/night mode results in the Sound Enhancement Features test box.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung HW-T650 is a 3.1 soundbar from Samsung's 2020 lineup. It has a similar design and performance to the 2019 Samsung HW-R650, though it has slightly more connectivity options. It doesn't have dedicated satellite speakers like some of Samsung's more premium models, like the Samsung HW-Q90R. However, unlike the lower-end 2.1 setups like the Samsung HW-T550, it has a dedicated center channel for better dialogue clarity in movies and TV shows. Its competitors include the LG SN6Y, the Sony HT-G700, and the Samsung HW-R650.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-T60M has a simple, sleek design. It's mainly made of plastic, and there's a metal grille in the front that covers the channels and display. On the top-center of the bar, towards the back, there are four physical buttons that allow you to control the bar.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The subwoofer is mostly made of wood. There's a speaker on the left-hand side, and it's covered in a thin fabric that could get dirty or rip easily. The port is on the back side.

Design
Style - Satellites

This soundbar doesn't come with satellites. However, it's compatible with the Wireless Surround Kit, which is sold separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 38.5" (97.8 cm)
Height 2.2" (5.6 cm)
Depth 3.5" (9.0 cm)

The Samsung HW-T60M is a fairly wide bar, so it likely won't fit between the legs of a 55 inch TV. That said, the bar isn't very tall, so it likely won't cover your screen unless your TV sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 8.1" (20.6 cm)
Height 13.9" (35.3 cm)
Depth 11.9" (30.2 cm)

The Samsung HW-T650's sub is about the size of an average desktop PC. It connects wirelessly to the system, so you can place it anywhere in your room.

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

On the back of the bar, there are two openings for the input ports and the power cable. There are also universal wall-mounting holes on the underside of the bar.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the sub is made of wood. There's a plastic port at the top. On the bottom, there's a connection for the power cable. There's also a pairing button on the bottom-right.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung HWT650 has a good build quality. The bar is primarily made of plastic, with a metal grille in the front to help protect the drivers. The sub is primarily made of wood, though the speaker is covered with a thin fabric that could easily get dirty or damaged.

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

  • Manual
  • Remote with batteries (2x AA)
  • Optical cable
  • Power cable (2x)
  • Adapter (for soundbar)
  • Wall-mounting brackets, screws, and template

Sound
7.7
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.67
Std. Err.
2.54 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
43.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Samsung HW-T650 has a good stereo frequency response out-of-the-box. It has a fairly neutral sound profile that's suitable for most types of audio content, though the treble range is a bit underemphasized, so audio may be a bit dark. There's a little extra boom in the bass range that can please fans of bass-heavy music, but its low-bass isn't very extended, so you don't feel thump and rumble. It also has bass and treble adjustments as well as five EQ presets (Standard, Surround Sound, Game, Smart Sound, DTS: Virtual X) to help you customize the sound to your liking.

7.9
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
-4
Suggested Treble Setting
3
Slope
-0.14
Std. Err.
2.13 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
43.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

With calibration, the Samsung HW-T650 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's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. That said, it still struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble in bass-heavy music or action-packed movies.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.87 dB

The Samsung HW-T650 has a good stereo soundstage performance. The soundstage feels slightly wider than the bar itself, though it doesn't have any tricks to make it sound wider than that. It also has a slightly better focus than the Samsung HW-R650, and objects seem to come from an accurate pinpoint location instead of a more general area, which is good.

8.1
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
94.9 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.38 dB

Update 09/22/2020: We've discovered a value input bug that would cause the Dynamics box results to be slightly off. All soundbars tested since January 30th, 2020 have been updated.

The Samsung HW-T650 can get loud, making it ideal for use in a large, crowded room or at parties. When you play content at max volume, there isn't a lot of compression, so audio reproduction is clean and pure.

7.8
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.43
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.56

The Samsung HW-T650 has a very good THD performance. At normal listening volumes, there isn't a lot of distortion, meaning that you'll get a clean and pure sound. Unfortunately, when you play the bar at max volume, there's a bit more distortion. However, most of the time, this won't be audible with real-life content.

8.1
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-1.03
Std. Err.
3.32 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.5 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.34
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.80

The Samsung HW-T650 3.1Ch Soundbar has a great center channel performance. Due to its 3.1 configuration, it has a dedicated center channel, so dialogue is accurately localized to a pinpoint location in the sound image. Also, its frequency response is quite balanced in the mid-range where vocals are reproduced, so dialogue is clear and detailed.

3.0
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-2.19
Std. Err.
6.11 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
89.0 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.39
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.65
7.1 Rears
No

The Samsung HW-T650 has a poor surround performance. It has to downmix surround content into stereo in order to play it. Unfortunately, this doesn't sound as immersive, and surround objects aren't as clear or real as they are with a discrete localization. Also, its frequency response is quite bass-heavy, so your audio may be boomy and muddy.

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
6.6
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
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

Update 08/24/2020: We originally reported that this soundbar didn't have an auto-volume/night mode. However, it does have a DRC mode, which can help reduce loud sounds. We have raised this box's score to better reflect this change.

This soundbar has a fair selection of sound enhancement features. There are some bass and treble adjustments as well as EQ presets to help you customize its sound, including 'Standard', 'Surround Sound', 'Game', 'Smart Sound', and 'DTS: Virtual X'. Its 'Smart Sound' preset doubles as a dialogue enhancement feature, so voices are more crisp and clear in your audio. However, it lacks some more premium features like a graphic EQ or room correction, so it may sound a bit different depending on the room you're listening in.

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 T650 has several input options to connect with your external devices. It has some HDMI ports, so you can use the soundbar as a hub for different devices, like your Blu-ray player, your game console, and your PC. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a 3.5mm AUX port, so you can't plug in your phone.

7.6
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

Update 10/22/2020: After receiving feedback from our users, we retested and confirmed that the bar plays sound while playing Dolby Digital Plus files via ARC.

This soundbar's HDMI ARC port supports Dolby Digital and DTS formats, which are commonly used in Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms like Netflix. However, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos, which may be disappointing for movie fans looking to use their soundbar for a more immersive listening experience.

8.0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
No
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
Dolby TrueHD
No
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
No

The Samsung HW-T650 supports Dolby Digital and DTS content through its Full HDMI In port. However, it'll downmix surround content to stereo, so it won't provide the most immersive experience.

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

The Optical port on this soundbar can play both Dolby Digital and DTS content, which are commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

9.1
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
20 ms
Optical
16 ms
Full HDMI In
-45 ms

Note: We updated our methodology for testing latency. After retesting this soundbar, we've updated our results.

The Samsung HW-T650 has an incredible latency performance. It has fairly low latency via ARC, Optical, and Full HDMI In, so the audio you hear is in sync with the video you see. As a result, it's likely suitable for watching movies over these connections. However, 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-T650 can be wirelessly connected to your phone or tablet using Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it doesn't support Wi-Fi, Chromecast built-in, or AirPlay.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
No
HDR10 Passthrough
No

The Samsung T650 can't passthrough the highest bandwidth signals, which may be disappointing if you want to connect the soundbar to your PC or your game console. If you're looking for a 3.1 setup that can pass 4k @ 60Hz, check out the LG GX Soundbar.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the bar and only needs a cord for power.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
No
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The Samsung HW-T650 3.1Ch Soundbar has a small screen on the left side of the bar behind the metal grill. It indicates the volume level and the current input. The screen is very small and it may need to scroll to display the entire message.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The Samsung HW-T650's controls are located on the top-center of the bar, towards the back. There are four physical buttons that let you control the volume, the power, and let you switch the input source.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The Samsung HWT650 soundbar has a similar remote to last year's Samsung HW-R650. It has a simple and sleek design, and it can be used to control the settings of your soundbar.

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

The Samsung HW-T650 will turn off automatically if it doesn't receive an audio signal for 20 minutes. Thanks to HDMI CEC, you can use your TV remote to control some of the bar's basic functions.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

This soundbar comes in one color variant: 'Black'. However, some retailers sell a model known as the Samsung HW-T60M, which seems to be the same soundbar. 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 so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung HW-T650 is a 3.1 soundbar from Samsung's 2020 lineup. Overall, it has a decent performance that makes it versatile for a variety of different uses. Unlike the 2020 Sony HT-G700, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos or 4k passthrough. However, it has a much better-balanced sound out-of-the-box than similar 3.1 setups like the LG SN6Y.

If you're looking for more soundbars, see our reviews for the best soundbars, the best soundbars for dialogue, and the best Dolby Atmos soundbars.

Samsung HW-Q60T

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-T650 or the Samsung HW-Q60T. The HW-Q60T is a 5.1 setup, so it doesn't downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which sounds clearer and more real than the HW-T650. It's also better-built and comes with a graphic EQ, which gives you more control over its sound. However, the HW-T650 is a 3.1 setup with a better soundstage performance and offers more audio format support. It also gets louder with less compression at max volume.

Samsung HW-T550

The 3.1 Samsung HW-T650 is a better soundbar than the 2.1 Samsung HW-T550. Thanks to its discrete center channel, the HW-T650 offers a better-balanced center channel performance that sounds more clear and more real than the HW-T550's phantom center. The HW-T650 also has a much wider sounding soundstage, and it gets a bit louder.

Samsung HW-Q70T

The Samsung HW-Q70T is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-T650. The HW-Q70T is better built, and it supports Dolby Atmos content. It also comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization and more wireless playback options. However, the HW-T650 has a better soundstage performance.

LG SN6Y

The Samsung HW-T650 is a slightly better overall soundbar than the LG SN6Y. Overall, the LG has a bass-heavy sound profile that can sound muddy with certain tracks. The Samsung's more neutral, better-balanced sound is better suited to a wide range of music and movie genres. Unlike the LG, it also supports Dolby Digital Plus. However, the LG supports 4k passthrough, which may be preferred by users who want to connect the bar to their game console or PC.

Samsung HW-R650

The Samsung HW-T650 is the 2020 version of the Samsung HW-R650, and these bars perform very similarly. Both lack a bit of sub-bass, though the HW-T650 has a slightly better performance. The HW-T650 also supports Dolby Digital Plus, unlike the HW-R650, and its stereo soundstage sounds a bit more focused. The HW-R650 has a better-sounding, less bass-heavy surround performance that may be preferred by avid movie watchers. The HW-R650 also has a dedicated companion app, and its graphic EQ offers a much more customizable sound experience than the HW-T650.

Samsung HW-A650

The Samsung HW-T650 and the Samsung HW-A650 have similar overall performances, so you may prefer one over the other. The HW-A650 is better built, and it has a better surrounds performance. However, the HW-T650 has a better soundstage performance, and it can get a bit louder.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is a better soundbar for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-T650. The HW-Q600A is better built and supports Dolby Atmos content. It also comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization, and it offers a better surround performance. That said, the HW-T650 has a better soundstage performance.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-T650. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup that's better-built and supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage and surround performances, and it comes with a room correction feature. You can even upgrade it as the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers. However, the 3.1 Samsung comes with some EQ presets and a Full HDMI In port, unlike the Sonos.

Samsung HW-Q800T

The Samsung HW-Q800T is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-T650. The HW-Q800T supports Dolby Atmos content and comes with built-in voice assistant support, unlike the HW-T650. Also, it's better-built, with a better surround performance and a more extended low-bass. It even comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization. That said, the HW-T650 has a better soundstage performance, and it comes with an auto-volume mode.

Samsung HW-A550

The Samsung HW-T650 is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-A550. The HW-T650 is a 3.1 soundbar that offers a better soundstage performance to help immerse you in your audio. Also, unlike the 2.1 HW-A550, it comes with a discrete center channel, so dialogue is more accurately localized to a pinpoint location.

Sony HT-G700

The Sony HT-G700 is a slightly better overall soundbar than the Samsung HW-T650. Unlike the Samsung, it supports Dolby Atmos content, although it won't provide the most immersive listening experience because it has to downmix it to stereo. The Sony also supports 4k passthrough, so you can use the bar as a hub between your TV and your game console or PC. The Samsung has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, but you can adjust the Sony's slightly boomy sound to your liking thanks to its seven EQ presets. However, like other Sony soundbars, the Sony's S-Force Pro surround sound feature is always on, which may not be preferred by all users.

Samsung HW-A450

The Samsung HW-T650 is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-A450. The HW-T650 is a 3.1 setup with better build quality and a better center channel performance. It also has HDMI ARC and Full HDMI In ports. However, the Samsung HW-A450 is a 2.1 setup, and it has a graphic EQ so you can customize its sound to your liking.

Samsung HW-Q60R

The 5.1 Samsung HW-Q60R is a better soundbar than the 3.1 Samsung HW-T650. Both bars have discrete center channels, but the HW-Q60R doesn't downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which sounds clearer and more real than the HW-T650. Additionally, the HW-Q60R comes with a graphic EQ so you have even more control over your audio experience. On the other hand, the HW-T650 supports Dolby Digital Plus through its HDMI ports, unlike the HW-Q60R.

Sony HT-Z9F

The Sony HT-Z9F is a better-performing soundbar than the Samsung HW-T650. Unlike most 3.1 setups, the Sony supports Dolby Atmos content. It doesn't have dedicated surround or height speakers, but it uses S-Force Front Surround and Vertical Surround Engine to simulate these experiences. It has more connectivity options, ideal for users who want to use the soundbar as a hub between different devices. However, the Sony doesn't have bass or treble adjustments, so if you like to customize your sound, you may prefer the Samsung.

Vizio M Series M51a-H6

The Vizio M Series M51a-H6 is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-T650. The Vizio is a 5.1 setup with a better surrounds performance that also supports Atmos and DTS:X content. It also has a more extended low-bass, and it can support 4k passthrough. However, the Samsung is better built and offers a better stereo soundstage performance.

LG GX Soundbar

The LG GX Soundbar is a more versatile 3.1 setup than the Samsung HW-T650. The LG's surround performance is better, and it can play Atmos content, though it downmixes it to stereo. It also supports eARC as well as DTS:X, and it can passthrough 4k @ 60Hz. The LG even has a companion app that allows you to save audio playlists and access a dialogue enhancement feature. However, the Samsung feels better built. While it can't get as loud as the LG, it can reach its max volume with less compression.

Klipsch Bar 48

The Samsung HW-T650 is a better soundbar than the Klipsch Bar 48. Its sound profile is neutral and well-balanced, making it ideal for many music and movie genres. The Klipsch lacks bass and has a rather bright sound, so it doesn't reproduce the low thump and rumble of action-packed movie scenes or bass-heavy music genres. It also doesn't have any sound customization features, and it doesn't have an HDMI In port.

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