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Samsung HW-T650 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Aug 12, 2020 at 08:21 am
Samsung HW-T650 Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
7.8
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.4
Music
6.6
Movies
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. On the downside, 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, which is good. You also have some ability to customize the sound to your liking, thanks to its five EQ presets.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

Overall, the Samsung HW-T650 soundbar has a decent performance. It has a well-balanced, accurate sound reproduction that makes it suitable for a variety of uses. This 3.1 setup has a center channel that makes dialogue and voices sound clear and accurate. On the downside, 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
  • Dedicated center channel.
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
  • Five EQ presets.
  • Can get loud.
  • Well-built.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Atmos.
  • No room correction.
  • Lacks a bit of sub-bass.
7.8 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-T650 soundbar is very good for watching dialogue-heavy content like podcasts and TV shows. It has an accurate sound reproduction, especially in the mid-range, which is most important for voices. This 3.1 setup has a dedicated center channel, so voices should be reproduced clearly and accurately. There's also a dialogue enhancement feature, so dialogue shouldn't be drowned out by background noises. Overall, this bar can get loud without producing a lot of compression. You can even connect your mobile devices to the bar using Bluetooth.

Pros
  • Dedicated center channel.
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
  • Five EQ presets.
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • No room correction.
  • Lacks a bit of sub-bass.
7.4 Music

The Samsung HW-T650 soundbar is decent for listening to music. Its sound profile is neutral and well-balanced, so it's suitable for listening to a wide variety of music genres. Even though it has a dedicated subwoofer, it lacks a bit of sub-bass. However, it should still satisfy most listeners. On the upside, the bar has some sound customization features, and you can choose from five different EQ presets.

Pros
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
  • Five EQ presets.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • No room correction.
  • Lacks a bit of sub-bass.
6.6 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. On the downside, 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
  • Well-balanced sound profile.
  • Five EQ presets.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Atmos.
  • Downmixes surround content.
  • No room correction.
  • Lacks a bit of sub-bass.
  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.4 Music
  • 6.6 Movies
  1. Update 9/22/2020: The Dynamics tests have been reconducted due to a value input bug.
  2. Update 8/24/2020: 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-T650 soundbar 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

There aren't any satellites in this setup.

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

The Samsung HW-T650 is a fairly wide bar, so it likely won't fit between the legs of a 55" TV. 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
Sub Width 8.1" (20.6 cm)
Sub Height 13.9" (35.3 cm)
Sub 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
Sat Width N/A
Sat Height N/A
Sat Depth N/A

There aren't any satellites in this setup.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting Type
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
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

This setup doesn't have any satellites.

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
5.0 ft (1.5 m)

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

Sound
7.2
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
-0.77
ST Std. Err.
2.53 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
47.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Samsung HW-T650 has a decent stereo frequency response. Its bass doesn't extend very low, so it won't be able to fully reproduce the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy content. However, the overall sound profile is fairly neutral and well-balanced, making the bar suitable for a variety of music genres. It also has five EQ presets (Standard, Surround Sound, Game, Smart Sound, DTS: Virtual X) to help you customize the sound to your liking.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
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
ST SPL @ Max Volume
94.9 dB SPL
ST 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 reviewed 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, which is great.

7.8
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.43
ST 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. On the downside, 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.

7.9
Sound
Center
C Localization
Discrete
C Slope
-1.04
C Std. Err.
3.32 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
88.5 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
0.34
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.80

The Samsung HW-T650/ZA has a very good center channel performance. Due to its 3.1 configuration, it has a dedicated center channel, so it can reproduce clear and accurate dialogue. On the downside, the center channel doesn't get very loud.

2.4
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Rears
N/A
Sr Slope
-2.21
Sr Std. Err.
6.08 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
89.0 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.39
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.65

The Samsung HW-T650 has a bad surround performance. Since it's a 3.1 setup, it downmixes surround content to a stereo signal. It uses the left and right speakers to mimic a surround performance, but unfortunately, this won't provide a very immersive listening experience. Sound may feel like it's coming from in front of you instead of the sides or behind you.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
N/A
H Slope
N/A
H Std. Err.
N/A
H SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
H Weighted THD @ 80
N/A
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A

The Samsung HW-T650/ZA doesn't support Atmos.

7.2
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
N/A
Height Level Adjustment
N/A
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 decent selection of sound enhancement features. While it doesn't have a room correction feature, it has a dialogue enhancement feature called Smart Sound that can help make the voices and dialogue sound clearer and more accurate. You can also customize your sound by choosing between five EQ presets (Standard, Surround Sound, Game, Smart Sound, DTS: Virtual X).

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
1
Ethernet
No

The Samsung HW-T650/ZA has several input options to connect with your external devices. It has some HDMI ports, so you'll be able to use the soundbar as a hub for different devices, such as your Blu-ray player, your game console, and your PC. On the downside, it doesn't have a 3.5mm Aux port, so you won't be able to 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

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, although it'll downmix surround content to stereo.

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. On the downside, 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 HW-T650/ZA 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
N/A

There aren't any satellites in this setup.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The Samsung HW-T650/ZA 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 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
App
App Name N/A
iOS No
Android No
Acts as the Remote
No
Controls Soundbar's Settings
No
Casts Device Files
No

The Samsung HW-T650 soundbar doesn't have a companion app.

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 basic functions of the bar.

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

The 5.1 Samsung HW-Q60T is a better soundbar than the 3.1 Samsung HW-T650. Both bars have discrete center channels, but the HW-Q60T doesn't downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which sounds clearer and more real than the HW-T650. It also has a better design, a better build quality, and a graphic EQ. However, the HW-T650 has a better-balanced sound out-of-the-box and its soundstage sounds wider.

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. However, 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-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-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-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 actually 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 HT-G700's S-Force Pro surround sound feature is always on, which may not be preferred by all users.

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.

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 also more connectivity options, which is 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.

LG GX Soundbar

The LG GX is a more versatile 3.1 setup than the Samsung HW-T650. The LG's surround performance is better and it's able to play Atmos content. 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 as well as 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 a variety of music and movie genres. The Klipsch is lacking in 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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