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Samsung HW-Q800C Review: Mid-range soundbar with Dolby Atmos

The most important features of the HW-Q800C will be its 5.1.2-channel configuration with 360W of power and both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback. Despite some connectivity limitations, the Q800C soundbar is an excellent two-piece solution for TV and music audio. In our review of the Samsung HW-Q800C, we’ll look at the main advantages and disadvantages of this soundbar.

Samsung HW-Q800C review

Design

The Samsung HW-Q800C soundbar is very similar to the previous HW-Q800B soundbar . The main soundbar is wide, deep, but low enough (1111 x 60 x 120mm: WxHxD) to fit comfortably under most TVs without blocking their infrared receptors.

The panel in question allows the side-mounted speakers to direct sound toward the wall to create a sort of three-dimensional soundscape for a convincing Dolby Atmos effect . The entire soundbar is beautifully dressed in a lattice metal finish. It features four control buttons and an LED display mounted on the front panel.

The subwoofer is a massive (210 x 403 x 403 mm: WxHxD) product that houses an 8-inch speaker built into one of its sides. It’s actually a bit narrower than most subwoofers with such huge drivers. The relative non-directionality of low-frequency sound means that the user can place the subwoofer anywhere.

The felt subwoofer speaker cover fits against the rest of the cabinet. The Q800C’s main soundbar and subwoofer are significantly smaller than those of the HW-Q990C . The Samsung HW-Q800C can be controlled using the included remote control, the buttons on the top edge of the soundbar, or the Samsung Smart Things app on your smartphone.

The remote control has a sleek design and well-organized tactile buttons, while the Smart Things app offers a more visual menu. There’s also Google Assistant and built-in support for Alexa voice control.

Samsung HW-Q800C design

 

Possibilities

The Samsung HW-Q800C is a classic soundbar that comes in two parts: a main multi-channel bar designed to fit under your TV, and a massive external bass speaker that connects wirelessly to the soundbar.

The Q800C has 11 speakers delivering 5.1.2 channel audio, where “5” refers to front center, front left, front right, side left and side right channels. The unit refers to the low frequency channel fed into the subwoofer.

The last number “2” refers to the two upward-firing speakers. They are designed to create Dolby Atmos height channel effects by reflecting them off the ceiling. These channels have a total power of 360 watts. The Q800C also has the ability to add an additional pair of SWA-9500S rear speakers.

The Samsung HW-Q800C Soundbar supports an excellent range of wireless systems and audio file options, namely Chromecast, Spotify Connect, AirPlay2, AAC, MP3, WAV, OGG, FLAC, ALAC and AIFF. HDMI pass-through supports 4K pass-through in HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.

 

The downside is that the Samsung Q800C soundbar’s HDMI pass-through doesn’t support 4K/120Hz video streams, which are now available on the Xbox Series X , PlayStation 5 , and the latest PC graphics cards. However, you can always connect these gaming devices directly to a compatible TV.

The Samsung HW-Q800C soundbar also features four themed sound presets for different types of content, a night mode that compresses dynamic range so as not to wake sleeping households, and a new version of Samsung’s SpaceFit Sound Pro auto-calibration system.

Samsung HW-Q800C review

Performance

Firstly, both the soundbar and especially the subwoofer are incredibly powerful. The soundbar can be very loud without the slightest hint of distortion. What’s more, it projects sound from all of its speakers over an impressive distance that fills the entire room. At the same time, the sound stage does not lose integrity, does not become thin or brittle.

The precision and availability of the system channels is such that the space between the user and the TV is not just filled with high-quality sound, that one can completely forget about the physical presence of the soundbar. The space is filled with a compelling, compelling 3D soundstage.

Certain effects sound both perfectly placed and capable of amazingly precise transitions both forward and backward, as well as side to side. This is exactly what you hope to hear from a good “object-based” Dolby Atmos or DTS:X mix .

The Q800C also deserves a lot of credit for extending its sound forward far enough that the soundstage at least appears to be coming from the sides of the seat, even in large rooms. This creates a much more immersive effect than when the sound comes from a TV screen.

The subwoofer’s low-frequency input is about as rich as that of the Samsung Q900C. The subwoofer also achieves its ultra-low frequencies without succumbing to distortion, dips or crackling. Despite its power, the Q800C subwoofer also deserves praise for its adaptability.

Bass depth is excellently adjustable to create a sense of relative distance from the camera. Compared to the Q990C, the Q800C doesn’t provide any real sense of what’s going on behind the seat. The Q990C, with its multi-channel rear speakers, certainly delivers a more complete home theater experience.

However, the Samsung Q800C soundbar has the option to add additional SWA-9500S rear speakers with their 2.0.2-channel configuration. The SWA-9500S will add rear height channels, as well as left and right surround channels. The Samsung HW-Q800C soundbar is much more convenient for listening to music than its predecessors.

Thanks to the long-awaited reconfiguration of Standard and Adaptive Sound music modes, stereo tracks sound more authentic and consistent. Two improvements in particular stand out. When using the standard setting, which maintains two-channel stereo music, voices sound much better.

The harsh, sudden bursts of excess bass that could be so distracting from music with past Samsung soundbars are essentially a thing of the past. Samsung has also limited the dynamic range of the Q800C soundbar slightly for music. This resulted in very dense, multi-layered tracks sounding more cohesive.

The Adaptive Sound setting, which attempts to adapt stereo music into surround sound, has become more “careful” not to stray too far from the original stereo intent. In other words, the various elements of the mix became less exaggerated.

If you add the Q800C to a relatively recent Samsung TV, you can take advantage of the brand’s Q-Symphony feature. This allows the soundbar speakers to join forces with the speakers built into the TV. The latest version allows the soundbar to use some of the TV’s audio processing features and use all the speakers in both the TV and the soundbar.

Samsung HW-Q800C interfaces

Connections

The Q800C’s connectivity options are robust for a mid-range soundbar, including HDMI pass-through with eARC support , an optical digital audio input, and standard Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support. Wireless connectivity includes the ability to add additional wireless rear speakers.

There is also the possibility of wireless transmission of Dolby Atmos between Samsung TVs 2022 and 2023. Although Dolby Atmos connected this way will have a “lossy” quality rather than the lossless quality you can get when connecting to eARC via HDMI.

Conclusion

It should be noted that this is a mid-range model, and it has something to stand out from its competitors. The Samsung Q800C soundbar is especially good for movies and high-quality soundtracks, despite the lack of any rear speakers.

The Q800C manages to deliver amazing power, huge dynamic range, remarkable room fill and channel control. Samsung soundbars have been famous for many years. For action movie fans, the Q800C soundbar provides the most satisfying sound experience in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X modes. Most people considering a soundbar for purchase are typically interested in watching movies and television. In this regard, the Q800C is a good solution among two-unit models.

Samsung HW-Q800C Specifications:

Brand Samsung
Series HW-Q800С
Type Soundbar (soundbar)
Sound
Sound scheme 5.1.2CH
type of instalation Shelf/wall-mounted
eARC Yes
UltraHD (4K) support Yes
Rated power 360 W
Soundbar power 170 W
Impedance 6 Ohm*
Subwoofer
Wireless subwoofer Yes
Acoustic design Bass reflex
Power 160 W
Dimensions (WxHxD) 403 x 205 x 403 mm
Weight 9.8 kg
Interfaces
Wireless Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Physical Digital optical, HDMI input, HDMI output
Audio decoders Dolby Atmos, DTS, DTS:X, DTS HD, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD
Other
Control Remote control, smartphone
Dimensions (WxHxD) 1111 x 60 x 120 mm
Peculiarities Q-Symphony, SmartThings App
Number of speakers eleven
Weight 5.1 kg
Color Black