Samsung HW-Q800A Review

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While the Q800A’south speaker prepare and ability hasn’t changed significantly from that of its impressive Q800T predecessor, a couple of key extra features and improvements to its optional rear speakers make it ultimately a more substantial step forrad than it initially appears.


  • Sound has enough power and projection to fill a good-sized room despite the lack of rear speakers
  • Potent upgrade path available
  • Surprisingly compact design for the amount of power it delivers


  • Needs a Samsung Boob tube as well to unlock its all-time performance
  • No 4K/120 laissez passer through
  • Not quite as good for music as movies


  • U.k.
    RRP: £649
  • USA
    RRP: $699
  • Europe
    RRP: €595

Central Features

  • Upgrade path
    Optional 2.2 rear channels speakers available

  • Samsung TV support
    Q Symphony feature with compatible Samsung TVs

  • Sound formats
    Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback


Samsung currently rules the high-end soundbar market – at least for AV fans who value movie sound above music – with its phenomenal, sixteen-channel HW-Q950A.

At the fourth dimension of writing, though, the Q950A will set you back a absurd £1,300. A cost likely to be far beyond the budget of near movie-loving households.

Cue the Samsung HW-Q800A. This still delivers that combination of ballsy, action movie-loving ability and item that’s go something of a Samsung trademark while costing barely half every bit much as its flagship sibling. The but catch being that you won’t hear anything coming from behind y’all.


  • Two-component system
  • 2 HDM inputs, with eARC support
  • Up- and side-firing drivers in the rears

The Q800A comprises two components: the principal soundbar and a mesomorphic wireless subwoofer. The main soundbar is slim enough to slot below most of today’s TVs – though note that since information technology carries two up-firing superlative channel drivers, its top border needs to stand forward of the TV’s front rather than actually pushing under it.

The soundbar’s robust grilled cease looks serious but bonny, and the elevation edge angles down cutely at the forepart of the top border. At that place’s no angling of the soundbar’due south ends like there is with the chief soundbar on the Q950A, reflecting the fact that information technology delivers fewer channels.

Samsung HW-Q800A angular edge design

The subwoofer sports well-nigh the exact opposite of the slender, refined look of the principal soundbar. Information technology’s chunky, angular, and basically looks as if Samsung expects it to be tucked downwards the side of a sofa or under a sideboard rather than left in obviously sight. Personally, I don’t listen the subwoofer’southward relative bulk, though, as you unremarkably need enough of space for lots of bass. Plus the pleasingly epic 8-inch driver built into its side had to go somewhere!

Connections tucked away in a slightly tight infinite on the soundbar’s underside are two HDMI inputs, an HDMI output, an optical digital audio input, and a 5V USB port. The HDMI output supports eARC for lossless Dolby Atmos or DTS:Ten audio from eARC-capable TVs, while the HDMI passthrough tin carry the HDR10+ and Dolby Vision active HDR formats, as well as the standard HDR10 arrangement.

Samsung HW-Q800A Inputs in recessed area

The Q800A will not, however, pass on 4K/120Hz or variable refresh rate signals from the latest generation of consoles. So you lot’ll take to attach these devices directly to your suitably capable Telly, and use the eARC characteristic to laissez passer the audio from the TV to the soundbar.

One terminal happy note finds the Q800A conveying a modest LED read out on its front edge. At that place’s no repeat of the daft Q950A situation where the read out sits in the top edge of the soundbar, where you can’t come across it while saturday on your sofa.


  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback
  • 330W total power across 3.1.2 channels
  • Optional rear speakers available

The Samsung HW-Q800A delivers 330W of total sound output across a 3.ane.2 channel configuration. That breaks down equally forepart left, front correct, front middle and two up-firing drivers in the main soundbar, plus the external subwoofer delivering the ‘.1’ bass channel. The upward-firing drivers are designed to bounciness their sound off your ceiling to create a sense of the overhead furnishings associated with Dolby Atmos sound mixes.

The Q800A tin can play DTS:10 object-based sound as well as Dolby Atmos – though it doesn’t join one or two soundbar rivals in supporting the IMAX Enhanced version of DTS:X.

Y’all’d be forgiven at first glance for thinking that the Q800A is only a rebadge of its Q800T predecessor. The design, power, and channel count are the same. In that location are a couple of new features, though, that should give the Q800A an reward.

Samsung HW- Q800A Atmos DTS:X logo detail

Offset, if you determine at some point that y’all’d like to add some rear channel action to the Q800A, Samsung at present provides an improved upgrade path in the shape of the £249 SWA-9500S optional rear speakers. These improve over the optional rears made available for the Q800A’s HW-Q800T predecessor by including up-firing drivers as well every bit the expected forwards facing drivers. This enables an upgraded Q800A to produce a more than complete Dolby Atmos 3D ‘dome’ of sound, where height effects from the optional rears meet the height effects from the principal soundbar.

The other meaning area of improvement comes from new Adaptive Sound+/Space Fit features. These are designed to offer a caste of room optimisation for the Q800A’s audio – though they only work if you’re got the Q800A connected to a uniform recent Samsung TV, since the soundbar doesn’t take its own congenital-in mic or source-analysing ‘brain’.

Also, the ‘calibration organisation’ is in truth more about achieving the optimal performance balance between the soundbar and a compatible Television set when using Samsung’s Q-Symphony characteristic. Q-Symphony, if you’re not familiar with it, allows the speakers in a Samsung TV to bring together those in the soundbar, expanding the soundstage.

Another new feature for the Q800A that’south been borrowed from Samsung’south TVs is the Automatic Phonation Amplifier. When active, this monitors levels of background racket and increases the volume of dialogue to compensate, and then yous don’t miss anything important.

Samsung HW-Q800A Top panel surface

Setting the Q800A upward is much easier than it has been with previous Samsung generations thanks to its compatibility with Samsung’s SmartThings app. Bachelor for iOS as well every bit the Android platform preferred by Samsung telephone and tablets, SmartThings is besides your road to streaming music to the soundbar from services such every bit Deezer, Amazon Music, Spotify and even Samsung’south own Samsung Music service.

As y’all would expect of any premium modernistic soundbar, the Q800A supports Bluetooth and AirPlay2 as well every bit Wi-Fi.

When you’re listening to a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X soundtrack on the Q800A, it locks you into that. Y’all can’t switch to any other setting. With any lesser source, though, you tin can choose to enjoy information technology in a diverseness of different modes beyond the Standard 1 that just plays it in its original format.

These modes substantially effort to remix the audio so that it takes more than advantage of all the ability and channels the soundbar has at its disposal.

Gamers, finally, may be pleased to learn the audio presets include a Game Pro option that does a pretty nice task of making gaming environments sound more intense, immersive, and immediate.


  • Powerful, aggressive operation
  • Sounds alpine and wide
  • Not as musical equally rivals

The HW-Q800A rips into a good motion-picture show mix with all the gusto I’ve come to look from a premium Samsung soundbar. This is especially truthful, as you’d hope, if that mix is a Dolby Atmos one. Not least because the Q800A’southward upfiring drivers practise an impressively aggressive and detailed task of adding genuine verticality to the presentation.

In fact, the Q800A does such a great task all round of casting audio abroad from its bodywork that you no longer feel equally if y’all’re listening to a speaker. Instead you lot feel like you lot’re just immersed in a film’s sound world. Exactly as y’all should exist.

Samsung HW-Q800A Main Soundbar on table

Information technology’southward not just that the Q800A has the power and dispersive characteristics to throw sound high and wide that makes it so constructive, either. It also does impressively well at both presenting very subtle details in a mix, and accurately positioning specific placement details to create a sense of infinite across the onscreen action.

The handling of details extends to stiff, seamless, and credible transitions effectually the sound phase, no matter what direction a noisy object might be travelling in.

Dialogue ever sounds supremely clear and natural, too. Shrill female person voices don’t slide into harshness, while deep, rounded male voices never sound boxed in, buzzy or ‘boomy’. Vocal tracks audio pleasingly contextualized likewise, rather than as if they’ve been artificially dubbed over the residual of the action.

Bass handling is outstanding by soundbar standards. Rumbles run deep and sustain that depth without crackling or dropouts under even the most farthermost pressure. Nonetheless the subwoofer is also nimble plenty to provide some genuine flexibility in how deep it runs and how much weight information technology has in the mix. This ways information technology nigh always feels like it’s part of the wider mix, rather than just hanging baggily off the lesser of it.

Samsung HW-Q800A Subwoofer on a table

Underpinning all of the audio quality strengths I’ve but described is an exceptional amount of power and aggression. It’south difficult to think of whatever other soundbar make that moves equally much air from meaty enclosures as Samsung, or which delivers such an extreme dynamic range at volume without harshness or imbalances colouring the presentation. This helps the audio bar deliver a properly room filling sound, likewise, despite its lack of whatever rear channel speakers every bit standard.

Given how powerful the Q800A is, I hadn’t expected its Q Symphony characteristic to work very well. Simply because I’d imagined that the soundbar’s speakers would overwhelm those built into a Samsung Television set. Though, having tried the feature out with one loftier-stop and 1 mid-range Samsung Television set, Q Symphony is surprisingly effective. The soundstage does get bigger, dialogue seems better positioned (every bit in, more at the level of the on-screen action), and the Television receiver speakers blend surprisingly naturally with those of the soundbar.

The merely result with Q Symphony mode is that the mid-range loses some oomph – presumably because information technology has to rein in a bit of horsepower so as non to overwhelm the residue of the mix. This might be enough to persuade activeness movie fans to plough the characteristic off, just for much of the fourth dimension, peculiarly with relatively ‘gentle’ films, Q Symphony is a bang-up addition to the Q800A’south characteristic count.

Q Symphony isn’t the only reason to be specially interested in a Q800A, either, if you have a newish Samsung TV. For while it may not be a fully-fledged auto scale system, the Audio Fit system the Q800A can deploy in connection with the mic in your Tv improves audio quality, improving the balance of the various elements in the mix and enhancing the delivery of small audio details.

Samsung HW- Q800A Detail shot With Remote control

The Q800A’south ability to ‘upgrade’ non-Atmos or DTS:X sources to take advantage of all of its bachelor speaker channels works well for the well-nigh part, also. Especially when information technology comes to giving 5.1 and 7.1 Dolby Digital or DTS-Hard disk Primary Sound tracks a more than Atmos-like experience.

While the Q800A is a mostly fantastic picture show partner for its coin, it does take a trio of flaws. Get-go, dialogue, especially male dialogue, tin occasionally sound every bit if it’south coming from slightly below the onscreen action. Unless you’re using the Q Symphony way.

2nd, given how developed and large the Q800A’s forepart soundstage is, it almost feels a bit strange non to have it joined by any action coming from behind yous (unless you add the optional rears). Just I guess you could fence this feeling is only a result of the Q800A being so good.

Finally, as usual with Samsung mid-range and high-end soundbars, the Q800A isn’t as musical as some rivals. Music sounds powerful and dynamic, for sure, but the Q800A can’t arrange its innately muscular approach to music’s oft more delicate demands equally Ill every bit some rivals. Though of course, most if non all of those more musical soundbar rivals volition struggle to audio as stiff with films every bit the Q800A.

Latest deals

Should you buy it?

Y’all want blindside for your buck
The Q800A is more powerful than whatever other soundbar in its price range.

You have a vaulted or heavily beamed ceiling
The Q800A’s upfiring speakers won’t deliver good results if yous have don’t accept a apartment and fairly beam-free ceiling.

Concluding Thoughts

While hi-fi fans might desire to remember about more musical rivals such as the Sonos Arc, if yous’re looking for a soundbar that’due south capable of doing justice to even the loudest and well-nigh dynamic picture show soundtracks, there’s nothing out there correct now that gives you more than bang for your cadet than the Samsung Q800A.

It delivers huge volume levels without succumbing to baloney, while its strong upwards-firing speakers contribute to a much larger and more than immersive soundstage with Dolby Atmos soundtracks than you lot usually get with a mid-range soundbar. Information technology also offers a much better upgrade path than its predecessor cheers to optional rears that now include up-firing drivers, and the extra features available to owners of Samsung TV evidence to be much more than mere gimmicks.

How we test

We test every soundbar nosotros review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use manufacture standard tests to compare features properly. Nosotros’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more than almost how we test in our ethics policy.

Tested with a range of soundtracks

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How many speakers does the Samsung HW-Q800A take?

Across its iii.i.2 aqueduct configuration, the HW-Q800A has a front left, front correct, front centre and ii upwardly-firing drivers in the chief soundbar, plus the external subwoofer delivering the ‘.1’ bass channel

What is the audio output of the HW-Q800A?

The HW-Q800A has 330W of power at its disposal

Total specs



European union RRP


Size (Dimensions)



Release Date

Model Number

Sound Bar Channels

Commuter (southward)

Audio (Ability output)




Voice Assistant

Audio Formats

Power Consumption


Rear Speaker

Samsung HW-Q800A





980 10 115 ten lx MM

13.4 KG





Centre speaker, wide range tweeter, upfiring speaker

330 Due west

Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2, HDMI In/Out, Optical, Bluetooth




AAC, MP3, WAV, OGG, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, Dolby Atmos (TrueHD), DTS:X

28 Due west




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