Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
It has been a minute or three since I’ve had the opportunity to have a look at a soundbar. Every so often, one comes through, but they are few and far between. Since we had a “first look” at both the Samsung QN90A and the Samsung QN800A Neo-QLED TVs, the company sent over the Samsung HW-Q800A soundbar.
Samsung wanted us to check out its Q-Symphony technology while we still had the QN800A in our possession. Q-Symphony sound is basically using the sound from both the TV and soundbar in conjunction to offer a more immersive sound experience; read more here. When you plug the Samsung HW-Q800A into a compatible Samsung TV, like the QN800A, you will get sound from the soundbar, subwoofer, and all of the speakers on the TV without any lag or timing issue. Check out the video below for a visual explanation of what Q-Symphony does:
We took the Samsung HW-Q800A for a spin and a first look. Its stand-alone sound quality is really great, but when you add Q-Symphony with a compatible Samsung TV, this is an outstanding home theater experience. Our Q800A test unit is a pre-production unit, but it should have almost everything the production units will have. Read on for our first look.
Of note: We generally try and take photos of the devices we review or have a first look at, but for the life of me, I could not get any decent photos of this soundbar. So we used Samsung stock photos throughout.
The Samsung HW-Q800A soundbar has the following features and specifcations:
- Number of Channels: 3.1.2 ch
- Total Power: 330W
- Dolby: Supports (Dolby Digital/ Dolby Digital Plus/ Dolby TrueHD/Dolby Atmos)
- Sound Modes:
- Game pro
- Adaptive Sound
- Q-Symphony Support: Yes (Y21 AU7000↑)
- 4K Video Pass: Yes
- HDR10 Passthrough: Yes
- Number of Speakers:
- 7 (Bar)
- 1 (Sub)
- HDMI 2.1
- HDMI eARC
- Dimensions and Weight Soundbar: 38.6 x 2.4 x 4.5 inches(980.0 x 60.0 x 115.0 mm), 7.9 lbs (3.6 kg)
- Dimensions and Weight Subwoofer: 8.3 x 15.9 x 15.9 inches(210.0 x 403.0 x 403.0 mm) 21.6 lbs (9.8 kg)
What’s In The Box
- Samsung HW-Q800A Soundbar
- Samsung HW-Q800A Subwoofer
- Power Cables
- HDMI Cable
- Manuals and Documentation
Design and Features
Samsung made the HW-Q800A specifically to fit with its new 2021 TV lineup, and it fits like a glove. It’s just the right height to be able to slip under the front of the TV and look seamless. As for the aesthetic look of the Q800A, it’s not much different from Samsung’s other soundbars. It’s a black chassis with a grille covering and looks fairly basic.
The build quality is top-notch, and the matching subwoofer follows the same design queues as other Samsung subwoofers; not much going on there. The soundbar is also wall-mountable so that you could place it under your wall-mounted TV. The QN800A we tested it with was sitting on a stand, so we slid our test unit under the TV itself, perfect fitment.
The sub-woofer is pretty minimal, with a cloth/mesh cover over the speaker and the only buttons on the back. Those buttons are Link, Standby, and ID Set. You’re really only going to ever use those buttons if your sub loses connectivity. They’re not used in the initial setup. The only port on the subwoofer is the power port.
The soundbar has a few more buttons and ports but is still pretty minimal. You’ll find the touch controls for power, volume up, volume down, and microphone mute on the top center. The microphone mute is in case you don’t want to use the Bixby voice control.
On the bottom are your HDMI port, HDMI eARC port, Optical port, Service button, ID Set button, and Network button. Other than that, the rest of the Samsung HW-Q800A is fairly plain Jane. Overall, the actual physical design toes the line of the rest of the Samsung soundbar lineup. It’s attractive and doesn’t go too far off the tracks to maintain a universal appeal.
Setting up the Samsung HW-Q800A is fairly simple. All we had to do was plug them both in, connect an HDMI cable from the HDMI eARC connection to the eARC connection on our QN800A, and everything was instantly recognized. The TV listed the soundbar in our sound options, and it also listed the soundbar and TV combo option (Q-Symphony).
The Samsung HW-Q800A has a 3.1.2 channel configuration and is compatible with wireless surround sound systems. It also has Alexa built-in, should you want to use that. The Q800A comes with a feature called “SpaceFit Sound,” which can help you calibrate the soundbar so it can deliver the best sound for the room where you’re placing them. SpaceFit is automatic, so there is no need to calibrate yourself; the soundbar will do it when it is turned on. Below is a video from Samsung explaining Space Fit Sound using its higher-end soundbar.
There’s really very little that you need to do for setup on these soundbars these days. The subwoofer is already paired to the soundbar, so once you have them both plugged in, they will auto-connect to each other. SpaceFit is automatic, so not much to do there either. Overall, the setup is dead simple.
I’ve already talked about just how great the sound on both the Samsung QN90A and QN800A Neo-QLED TVs is. Without a doubt, the sound on those TVs alone is something special for TV speakers. I also said that adding a soundbar would certainly enhance the home theater experience if you thought you would need that.
Well, the Samsung HW-Q800A is one of the best enhancements you’re going to make to any of Samsung’s Q-Symphony compatible TVs. Before we jump into Q-Symphony, you can use this soundbar alone without Q-Symphony sound.
Stand-alone; the Samsung HW-Q800A sounds fantastic! The 7-speaker soundbar projects the sound very well with a nice consistent frequency range. The subwoofer delivers a nice room-shaking low end bringing those action movies to life. I’m a big fan of theater sound; my wife, not so much. While I love this experience, some users may feel the sound is too realistic.
So the Samsung HW-Q800A sounds fantastic on its own, but add in Q-Symphony to the equation, and you’re in a whole new realm of sound. With Q-Symphony, you’re able to use the 7-speakers from the soundbar as well as the speakers from the TV together. This really adds to the home theater experience by completely immersing you in sound.
The Samsung HW-Q800A delivers all of those subtle sounds completely absent from TV speakers and that are often missed with other soundbars, sounds like bullets whizzing by or the subtle sound of spurs clinking while a cowboy is walking.
Music and gaming sound equally amazing on this soundbar. With Samsung’s Game Mode sound, the company tries to enhance the gaming experience by doing what it does with movies, immersing you in the sound. They do a really great job of it with Game Mode, and Q-Symphony combined.
Overall, the sound of the Samsung HW-Q800A is amazing. Amazing just by itself, even. When you add in the Q-Symphony feature, the Q800A elevates the home theater experience to a new level.
The Samsung HW-Q800A is one of a handful of Samsung soundbars that were designed to be paired with Samsung TVs with Q-Symphony capability. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t serve anyone well.
This soundbar and subwoofer combo can bring your home theater sound to a new level even if you’re using another TV brand. But for those who are Samsung TV owners, specifically those who own or plan to buy a Samsung Q-Symphony TV, the Q800A is a big deal.
Even if you’re not planning on buying a new 2021 Samsung TV, adding this soundbar to your older Samsung (or other brands) TV is money well spent. The MSRP of the Samsung HW-Q800A is US$899, and the company does offer some other more affordable options that have fewer speakers but still take advantage of Q-Symphony. Be sure to check out their website for more.
Overall, I’d recommend the Q800A as an excellent pairing to both the QN90A and QN800A Neo-QLED TVs we already looked at before. If you are willing to shell out the coins for this setup, it’s an excellent home theater option, especially if you don’t want to buy receivers, floor speakers, and speaker wire to hook up a big home theater setup.