The Samsung HW-Q800B Soundbar is a 5.1.2 configuration that was released in 2022. It’s a solid mid-range option for those who don’t have room in their setup for discrete rear speakers, that are included in both of Samsung’s top-tier models, the Samsung HW-Q930B as well as the Samsung HW-Q990B. It supports Dolby Atmos content and includes many of Samsung’s premium enhancement features, such as SpaceFit Sound room correction. There’s also Q-Symphony support, which allows you to pair the bar with a compatible Samsung TV and use the bar’s speakers.
Price and Availability
The Samsung HW-Q800B may be at the top of the brand’s soundbar lineup, but a recent price drop means it’s now available for £699/$699. That’s the same price as the 3.1.2-channel HW-Q700B, making the Q800B a steal. For an additional £249/$199, you can add the optional wireless SWA-9500S rear speakers to the HW-Q800B, converting it to a 7.1.4-channel system and making it preferable to Samsung’s HW-Q900B, which offers a 9.1.4-channel system but costs £1,099/$899 overall.
The Samsung HW-Q800B is a feature-rich soundbar that expands on the success of the HW-Q800A from 2021 by increasing the speaker layout from 3.1.2 to 5.1.2 channels. If you want more immersion, you can add surround and rear height channels, as previously mentioned.
The soundbar supports Dolby Atmos as well as DTS:X object-based surround, along with their legacy versions, and music fans can choose from a variety of high-resolution audio formats. There’s also built-in Alexa smarts that provide not only easy access to more music, but also some voice control. The HW-Q800B now has built-in microphones in both the soundbar and the subwoofer, allowing the ‘SpaceFit Sound Gen II’ feature to calibrate the audio without the use of a Samsung TV. The Q800B analyses the acoustics of the room before equalising and optimising the sound.
There are several sound modes to choose from, including AI Adaptive, Standard, Surround, and Game. There’s also an Active Voice Amplifier for improved dialogue and Samsung’s Q Symphony, which enables the soundbar to integrate with the speakers of a compatible Samsung TV to expand the soundstage.
The Samsung HW-Q800B outperforms the HW-Q800A and the similarly priced HW-Q700B by providing a crisp, bold, and solid front soundstage that will enhance even the largest TV screen. The addition of side-firing drivers results in increased width, whereas up-firing drivers effectively give the appearance of overhead channels.
The use of high-quality components inside the well-built cabinet ensures a pleasing musicality to the overall delivery, whereas the dedicated centre channel provides focused and clear dialogue delivery. The system’s general tuning is natural right out of the box, as well as the SpaceFit Sound Gen II calibration feature corrects for the room’s more egregious aspects.
The rear-ported subwoofer has a lot of low-end extension and is surprisingly agile, with a responsive as well as controlled delivery. The automated room correction successfully integrates it with the other speakers in the system; however, avoid placing it in a corner, and you may need to adjust the sub level to ensure that the overall bass does not swamp the other speakers.
The HW-Q800B comes with a variety of preset sound modes, with Standard being the best all-around option for most content, including music. This mode renders audio without any processing, resulting in a clean, clear, and nuanced delivery, whereas the Adaptive Sound mode applies on-the-fly processing to fully utilise the multi-channel speaker array.
Design and Usability
The angular design of the Samsung HW-Q800B is complemented by a matte black finish as well as a mesh grille that covers all of the speakers. The build quality is good, if not exceptional, however the metal grilles keep it reasonably sturdy. The soundbar is wide enough to accommodate larger screen sizes, measuring 1111 x 60 x 120mm (WxHxD) and weighing 5.1kg. The wireless subwoofer is a big and beefy beast with a side-firing driver and a bass port in the back. The woofer is matte black, and the driver is covered in black fabric. It has dimensions of 210 x 403 x 403 mm (WxHxD) and weighs 9.8kg.
With an HDMI input and an output that supports eARC, connectivity is excellent. An HDMI input is essential for Blu-ray Disc owners who want to enjoy DTS:X, and both HDMI ports support 4K/60p, ALLM, and a full suite of HDR formats (HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision). Unfortunately, no 4K/120p or VRR support is provided, which will disappoint next-generation gamers.
The only other physical connection is just an optical digital input, but Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 provide ample wireless connectivity. There’s also Samsung’s Tap Sound for quick and easy Bluetooth pairing with the brand’s Galaxy phones, as well as support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Display and Controls
Samsung does not include an onscreen display, but there is an LED display, which is now located on the front rather than the top, as it was in previous generations. This improves visibility, though because the display is hidden behind the mesh grille, it can be difficult to read.
There are some basic controls on the top, but for setup and operation, you’ll most likely use the included remote or the SmartThings app. The remote is similar to the zapper that comes with Samsung TVs and includes all of the necessary buttons for configuring and controlling the ‘bar.
The Samsung HW-Q800B is a well-equipped and capable soundbar that will appeal to fans looking for a big, cinematic delivery. The soundstage is front-heavy, but the presentation has plenty of width, height, and scale. The subwoofer is excellent, though some adjustments may be necessary to ensure that its bass does not overpower the rest of the system.
If you want even more immersion, you can add wireless rear surround as well as height channels, and the Q800B can also integrate with select Samsung TVs via Q Symphony. You don’t need a Samsung TV, however, to enjoy the benefits of this soundbar’s Atmos and DTS:X sonics, and the built-in audio calibration provides a cohesive system optimised for your room.