Samsung HW-Q70R Review: Boasts excellent power and sound quality

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The mid-range Samsung HW-Q70R soundbar gets its design cues from the 2018 HW-N650 soundbar, but with some upgrades in the form of a larger subwoofer and support for Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. The Q70R soundbar, which turns out to be the same name the abbreviated model name in the company’s QLED TV line, uses Samsung Acoustic Beam technology.

However, the speakers are now located in a more traditional 3.1.2 configuration. The new soundbar isn’t cheap, but it can provide a very commendable multichannel immersive movie experience. In this Samsung HW-Q70R review, we’ll take a closer look at the panel options that provide such impressive sound.

Samsung HW-Q70R review

Design

The HW-Q70R soundbar uses the same chassis as the previous N650 soundbar. This means that it is just as low (56 mm) and will not obstruct the screen when placed in front of a TV.
The design is sleek and stylish, with a solid build and finish that Samsung calls “Black Mineral Ash”.

There are metal grilles on the front and top, behind which are three direct-radiating speakers and two upward-radiating speakers. Samsung has developed a soundbar that will be used in conjunction with the Q70R QLED TVs . It goes well with this series, hence the rather confusing situation with the duplicated model number.

Samsung HW-Q70R design

However, the understated and minimalist look matches most other modern TVs, and its width means it can be used with screen sizes up to 65 inches. The usual three-character screen is located in the far front right corner of the soundbar. The display lights up when you select inputs, change settings, adjust the volume, or select one of the four available sound modes.

The front panel on the right contains several basic controls for power, volume, and source selection; everything else is controlled with the included remote control. For those planning to mount this soundbar on a wall, a mount with screws and template is included. The package also includes a high-speed HDMI cable, which is very convenient.

The subwoofer has been upgraded from last year’s model. It is still wireless and uses a bass-reflex design with a port in the back, but now boasts an 8 ″ side-firing woofer and increased power. It is well made, and the look and finish is in keeping with the aesthetics of the soundbar.

Samsung HW-Q70R review

Functional

The Samsung HW-Q70R Sound Bar is a combination of a seven driver soundbar and a wireless subwoofer to provide a 3.1.2 surround sound configuration. The acoustic beam function is based on a tuned resonating tube that directs sounds to the side and upwards towards the ceiling. These acoustic beams bounce off the side walls and ceiling for a more immersive sound.

There are also three forward-facing loudspeakers, i.e. dialogue is reproduced by its own speaker in the center. When all of these speakers are combined with a subwoofer, multi-channel object sound is produced. The HW-Q70R supports Dolby Atmos and DTS: X in all variations except IMAX Enhanced DTS: X.

The resulting immersion effect is strongly shifted to the front – after all, rear speakers are not provided. But you can buy them, for example, wireless SWA-8500S. Harman Cardone has also been involved in the development of the soundbar.

The Samsung SmartThings app makes it easy to set up the HW-Q70R, as well as interact with Amazon Alexa, Spotify Connect, and voice control. There is support for all popular audio formats plus UHQ upscaling for compatible devices.

Performance

The HW-Q70R is another attractive audio panel from Samsung that is currently on the rise. Overall performance is excellent, with a large and powerful soundstage at the front. Left and right drivers provide accurate stereo effect. The center speaker provides clear and focused dialogue, while Acoustic Beam technology provides extra width and presence overhead.

The extent to which this is implemented is highly dependent on the environment. For this type of technology to work properly, reflective walls and ceilings are needed. This means avoiding excess upholstered furniture that will absorb sound beams. You also want a low and flat ceiling that reflects sound down towards the listener.

And then the panel will sound loud, providing the soundtrack of today’s blockbusters with the effect they really need. If you have a high or vaulted ceiling, then this type of technology is not for you. In this case, you will most likely have to install the speakers on the ceiling if you really want to use the top-level channels.

Samsung HW-Q70R interfaces

Connections

All of the HW-Q70R’s wiring is located in a recess on the back of the device, and they are few and far between. For example, there is only one HDMI input and one HDMI output. But they both support at least 4K / 60p, HDCP 2.2, and all HDR high-bandwidth formats (HDR10, HLG, HDR10 + and Dolby Vision). Thanks to a recent firmware update, the HDMI output also supports eARC.

The limited connectivity doesn’t end there, the only physical input is the optical connector. As for wireless connections, there are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It’s a shame the panel doesn’t support Chromecast or Apple AirPlay. And there is no way to reproduce anything from USB drives. The USB input is for updates only.

Conclusion

The Samsung HW-Q70R soundbar is a good mid-range offer with very little competition in the market. The soundbar benefits from numerous improvements over last year’s product, and the power and sound quality are excellent.

The combination of a soundbar and a subwoofer creates a wide soundstage that has a high-pitched component and is capable of delivering deep enough bass. If you are a movie fan or a gamer, the soundbar is sure to please, and thanks to Harman Cardon, it also does a great job with music.

Performance with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X is understandably underpowered on the front, given the lack of any rear speakers. Only one HDMI input is disappointing. In all other respects, however, it is a solid and well-executed structure. So if you are looking for an immersive soundbar, then the Samsung HW-Q70R is definitely recommended.