Samsung HW-S800B first look: A slim monster of a soundbar

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So you purchased your new 2022 Samsung QN90B, and while you enjoy the speakers and sound they produce, you want something with more punch. Let’s face it, even the best TV speakers and Samsung’s 2022 Neo-QLED lineup have excellent speakers, but they aren’t enough to give you a more theater-like experience. Enter the Samsung HW-S800B.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Samsung’s TV speakers have improved every year, and I’ve said before that many users might find them to be sufficient. But for those seeking a little more depth, clarity, and overall punch. You can’t go wrong with a Samsung soundbar. This is our first look at Samsung’s latest 2022 offering, the slim yet monstrous Samsung HW-S800B 3.1.2ch soundbar.

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Specifications

The Samsung HW-S800B has the following features and specifications:

  • Number of Channels: 3.1.2
  • Operating Power: Main (28W) Sub (26W)
  • Dolby Support: ATMOS, Dolby Digital Plus
  • Sound Modes:
    • Surround
    • Game Pro
    • Adaptive
    • DTS Virtual:X
    • Standard
  • Q-Symphony Support: Yes
  • 4K Video Pass: No
  • HDR10 Passthrough: No
  • Number of Speakers: 10
  • Connectivity:
    • HDMI(ARC)(CEC)
    • Bluetooth
    • Bluetooth Codec SBC
    • Wi-Fi
    • One Control
    • AirPlay2
    • Spotify Connect
  • Dimensions and Weight Soundbar: (WxHxD) 1160.0 x 38.0 x 39.9 mm (1.4kg)
  • Dimensions and Weight Subwoofer: (WxHxD) 238.0 x 240.8 x 238.0 mm (6.4kg)

What’s In The Box

In the box, minus the subwoofer.
  • Samsung HW-S800B 3.1.2ch soundbar
  • Subwoofer
  • Wall Bracket
  • HDMI Cable
  • 2 Power Cables
  • Mounting Brackets
  • Manuals and Documentation
  • Remote and Batteries

Design and Features

One of the most prevalent complaints about soundbars is their size and weight, at least for soundbars that come with decent sound. Many smaller soundbars on the market do not pack the muscle that most larger soundbars do. So when I received the Samsung HW-S800B and unpacked it, my BS meter went off. I thought, there is no way something this thin and light can sound as good as they claim. More on sound later.

The main soundbar is just over 45-inches in width, 1.49-inches in height, and 1.57-inches in depth. Yeah, this sucker is slim and trim. Oh, it also weighs slightly over 3-pounds. The subwoofer is also small at 9.3-inches wide, 9.48-inches in height, and 9.3-inches in depth. The sub is heavier but not as heavy as many other subs I’ve used at 14-pounds.

Samsung HW-S800B first look: A slim monster of a soundbar
This example shows the Samsung HW-S800B mounted under the Samsung Frame TV. The Frame is designed to be flush-mounted, so most other TVs will be nearly as far out as the HW-S800B is.

As for the looks and aesthetic of the Samsung HW-S800B, it’s a pretty straightforward-looking design, but the fact that it’s so slim makes it an excellent wall-mounted soundbar. Mounting this below your TV will not detract from the clean lines of your wall-mounted TV. It blends right in with your TV, depending on which TV you have, I suppose.

The top of the Samsung HW-S800B soundbar houses two up-firing speakers and physical buttons. The bottom isn’t much to look at and has two rubberized feet for placing the soundbar on a level surface. The front of the Samsung HW-S800B soundbar houses the rest of your speakers, six in total. The back of the HW-S800B houses the power connection, mini-HDMI port, and service port.

The subwoofer is equally simple, with only a power port, LED light, and ID set button. The sub is also relatively light and easy to move around. It’s also a simple design and isn’t far off from other Samsung subwoofer designs.

The Samsung HW-S800B soundbar also comes with a small rechargeable remote. The remote charges via USB-C, and it would have been nice to see solar charging on this remote. The remote is simple, and if you’re using a Samsung TV, you likely won’t even need it.

Overall, the design is straightforward and sticks to your basic black soundbar and sub look. The most significant difference here is the bar and sub’s size. The size and weight reduction will be a welcome thing for users who already think soundbars and subs are too big and clunky. The Samsung HW-S800B soundbar certainly delivers on looks and practicality.

Setting Up

The package

Before jumping into the setup process, we should note that we tested the Samsung HW-S800B soundbar with Samsung’s 2022 QN90B 4K QLED TV. That’s an important note since some of the features on this soundbar will only work with 2022 Samsung TVs and some 2021 Samsung TVs.

Setting up Samsung soundbars with a Samsung TV is simple, but Samsung has something new this year, a wireless TV Connection. The Samsung HW-S800B can be connected to the TV via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, eliminating the need for a wired connection. This process is straightforward, press the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection and pair it to your TV within its corresponding link.

I paired the soundbar to the TV via Bluetooth, and it worked perfectly. But being that I am old(er), I opted to connect the TV to the soundbar via the mini-HDMI to HDMI cable included in the box. For a TV application, I prefer wired. I saw no lag, and nothing was out of sync using Bluetooth, but I still think a wired connection delivers better performance. And if you’re wondering, yes, the wireless connection does support the Dolby Atmos connection but only with select 2022 Samsung TVs.

HW-S800B under TV

The basic setup is easy. Unpack, plug everything in, and power it up. At that point, you can choose whether to connect via wired or wireless. Once you’ve established a connection, everything should be working. If you’re using a Samsung TV, you won’t need the included remote, that may be the case with other TVs, but you’ll need to check compatibility.

The remote that controls the Samsung QN90B also controls the HW-S800B, so the soundbar also powers up when I power the TV up. You can control how your sound is delivered through the Samsung TV menu. This soundbar has Q-Symphony sound, which uses the speakers on the TV in conjunction with the soundbar. You can have them both on or opt for one or the other. There’s really no reason not to choose Q-Symphony sound if you have the option; it is outstanding. More on sound in the next section.

Overall, setup is a breeze. There’s not much to it, and if you have a Samsung TV already, things are even more accessible. The only real difference here is the ability to use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth instead of HDMI. While the feature is excellent and some users will like having one less wire. I opted to go wired because I feel you get the best performance and sound from a wired connection.

Sound

Q-Symphony sound
Q-Symphony combines the speakers on a compatible Samsung TV with the soundbar for a great overall experience.

Before we talk sound, we need to remember the size. The Samsung HW-S800B soundbar is slim and small. So while it delivers monster sound for its stature, there are significantly larger, better, sounding Samsung soundbars on the market. So we are judging this little guy on its own merits and setting aside any comparisons.

The HW-S800B comes with Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X built-in. So if the content you’re viewing delivers those protocols, they will come through. The HW-S800B also has true 3.1.2 sound. Designed with three channels, one subwoofer channel, and two up-firing channels, that helps create a more immersive sound experience.

So, given that Q-Symphony will not work on older Samsung TV models or any other TV brand, I first used the Samsung HW-S800B soundbar on its own. I was more than impressed with the depth, clarity, and bottom end it produced. Watching movies was especially enjoyable, and the music playback had a great soundstage to it. The sound produced by the HW-S800B is a significant upgrade to any TV you might be using.

Now, pairing the HW-S800B with a Q-Symphony sound compatible Samsung TV changes the entire experience. If you’re not familiar with Q-Symphony, the technology that Samsung developed allows a compatible Samsung soundbar and TV to work together utilizing all of the speakers. Before now and currently still, soundbars would not sync with the TV speakers and produced an out-of-sync problem. The video below explains the technology in less than 2-minutes.

I used my usual headphone playlist to play back some music via the Apple Music app on the Samsung QN90B. The sound quality is outstanding, and combining the soundbar and TV speakers using Q-Symphony adds more depth and overall clarity.

Alex’s Headphone Playlist

The movie experience using the Samsung HW-S800B was fantastic. While it’s not as powerful as last year’s HW-Q950A, given that it is an 11.1.4 ch system, it’s still impressive. I tested the soundbar in our master bedroom, and it was able to fill up the space without a problem. The smaller 3.1.2ch configuration worked very well and did everything we watched justice.

The bottom end is good, it doesn’t rattle windows like the big HW-Q950A, but it’s enough to make movies much more enjoyable. Since its release, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience Q-Symphony, and it is something special. I watched various films and TV to get a good read on the sound; everything we watched sounded exceptional. Here are just a few of the programs we used during testing.

  • The Lord of the Rings 4K
  • The Croods: A New Age 4K
  • Planet Earth II 4K
  • True Grit 1080p
  • John Wick 3 4K
  • The Watchman 4K
  • ESPN+
  • Britbox TV programming
  • Apple Music

Overall, I wasn’t expecting much from the Samsung HW-S800B soundbar. My first reaction was to doubt that anything substantial could come from such a slim device. I was wrong. The sound coming from this thin and light soundbar significantly improves the overall home theater experience. If you’re a Samsung TV user with a Q-Symphony compatible TV, you will be even more thrilled, given that you’ll be able to use the soundbar and TV speakers all at once.

Final Thoughts

Sub and soundbar

We get a limited amount of time with these units, and we have to quickly assess and gather our thoughts. I’m sure we will get another Samsung soundbar in at some point this year, but this is the one that’s here today and it is excellent.

The Samsung HW-S800B soundbar is not the biggest and baddest Samsung has, but it does have an ace up its sleeve: its small stature yet monstrous sound. The HW-S800B is for those looking for the slimmest soundbar that can deliver Dolby Atmos and DTS. With a compatible Q-Symphony Samsung TV, current Samsung users will be even more thrilled given the extra boost the overall experience gets when combining TV speakers with the soundbar.

Overall, I’d recommend the HW-S800B to everyone. This is especially true if you’re looking for a small, slim, and easy setup. The addition of wireless connectivity will be a plus for many users, but there are only two wires that need to be connected, power and HDMI. The MSRP is US$899, and it is worth all of that, and the value shows when combined with Q-Symphony.

Last Updated on April 21, 2022.

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