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Samsung HW-S801B Review: Ultra-thin but still powerful

Samsung HW-S801B Review
Samsung HW-S801B Review

The Samsung HW-S801B It offers a powerful audio system only 4cm high and delivers the same level of sound quality as existing larger soundbars. It reproduces powerful bass in a compact package by integrating passive radiator technology with a subwoofer.

And real upward-firing speakers deliver natural, room-filling Dolby Atmos sound. The slim, minimalist design is the ultimate in style, perfect for placing under your TV or even as a standalone speaker. In the Samsung HW-S801B review, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of this representative of Wireless True Dolby Atmos technology.

samsung hw-s801b in white

samsung hw-s801b in white

Samsung HW-S801B review


The Samsung HW-S801B Soundbar features an ultra-thin body with durable metal mesh and a sleek, understated design. Build quality is good, and the rounded edges and white trim create an attractive appearance. The panel is ideal for TVs with a screen size of 55 inches and above. You can choose to install on TV furniture or wall mount. If you choose the latter, Samsung offers special brackets for this purpose.

The HW-S801B wireless soundbar subwoofer is compact and uses a design that appears to provide forced vibration suppression. This is a type of subwoofer with a passive radiator that does not have its own magnet and coil. It significantly improves efficiency at low frequencies and increases maximum power.

The Samsung S801B soundbar may seem incredibly thin and elegant in terms of style, but it manages to sound like a much larger device.

The Samsung S801B soundbar may seem incredibly thin and elegant in terms of style, but it manages to sound like a much larger device.


The main feature of the S801B acoustic panel is support for Dolby Atmos, as well as the new Wireless Atmos from Dolby. This is a technology that allows “atmospheric” format to be streamed wirelessly over Wi-Fi using lossy Dolby Digital Plus from eligible 2022 Samsung TVs.

In addition to Dolby Atmos, the Samsung HW-S801B soundbar supports DTS Virtual:X. This technology uses processing to calculate the position of objects in space rather than discrete channels to create an immersive sound experience. The SpaceFit Sound option makes it easy to get the most out of the HW-S801B by using the built-in microphone to better integrate the subwoofer and optimize room correction for your specific acoustic environment.

Adaptive Sound works well, automatically boosting voice clarity at low volumes, as well as optimizing audio based on frame-by-frame content analysis. This leads to an increase in overall performance. There are also Dialogue, Sports, News, and Movie settings. Q-Symphony allows owners of compatible Samsung TVs to take full advantage of their optional speakers while synchronizing audio from both devices.

Built-in Amazon Alexa turns the HW-S801B into a full-featured smart assistant with optional voice control. There’s also support for Hi-Res Audio, Tap Sound to support Samsung devices, and Active Voice Amplifier (AVA) that amplifies dialogue in noisy environments.

Connection and control

The S801B soundbar, like its black S800B twin , has a limited set of connections. While there’s Bluetooth (SBC) and Wi-Fi, as well as AirPlay 2 support, the only physical connection is a Mini HDMI port. An odd choice from Samsung, as there’s plenty of room for a regular HDMI port and an optical digital input.

As a result, you will need to buy an HDMI to Mini HDMI adapter or cable to connect the HW-S801B acoustic bar to your TV. Also, Mini HDMI only supports ARC, not eARC , so the S801B is limited to lossy audio formats over HDMI. If you have an older TV that doesn’t support ARC, the lack of an optical digital connection means this soundbar isn’t for you.

The included remote control has extensive control options yet remains intuitive to use. The SmartThings app simplifies setup by quickly creating a Wi-Fi connection, setting up Alexa, and updating firmware. You can also control the Samsung S801B soundbar using the controls on the soundbar itself or the TV remote.

Sound quality

The Samsung S801B soundbar may seem incredibly thin and elegant in terms of style, but it manages to sound like a much larger device. It’s all thanks to thoughtful design and innovative technology from scientists at the Samsung Audio Lab in California. There are 10 loudspeakers inside the elegant casing of the soundbar. Among them are 3 forward-facing speakers (left, right and center) and a pair of upwards. The addition of a wireless subwoofer creates an overall 3.1.2 channel system.

The speakers inside the soundbar are understandably small, but they do an excellent job of reproducing clean mids and nicely detailed highs. The subwoofer is surprisingly powerful given its size, and thanks to SpaceFit Sound technology, it is also well integrated with other speakers.

Samsung HW-s801b subwoofer

Samsung HW-s801b subwoofer

The result is a superb performance with a soundstage that has both width and height, as well as a solid bass foundation that adds overall depth and impact. This makes the Samsung HW-S801B soundbar ideal for music, which is especially useful because you can stream lossless audio over Wi-Fi.

When watching TV, the S801B is just as good, and a dedicated center speaker keeps dialogue clear and crisp. The stereo sound panorama is excellent, but, unfortunately, there is no surround sound due to the lack of rear speakers. Dolby Atmos performance is mostly very good, with a nice sense of scale in the front soundstage. There is good overhead sound, although the efficiency of the upward speakers will depend on the height and shape of the ceiling.

samsung hw-s801b

samsung hw-s801b

What’s impressive is how the sound objects move in 3D space above and to the sides of the TV screen, and there’s excellent fidelity in that sound placement. This effect is limited to the front third of the room due to the lack of rear channels, although you have the option of using the SW-9500S satellites if you want more immersion.

The lack of support for lossless audio over HDMI isn’t that big of a deal, and most people won’t be able to tell the difference between Atmos delivered over lossy Dolby Digital+ and Dolby TrueHD lossless. Given the lack of DTS:X content, using DTS Virtual:X also makes more sense.

At the moment (August 2022), the price of the Samsung HW-S801B soundbar is $900.


The Samsung HW-S801B soundbar is an exciting, comfortable soundbar and subwoofer that’s stylish and elegant. Anyone looking for a soundbar that won’t dominate the front of the room will be delighted with the ultra-slim chassis.

Setting up the Samsung HW-S801B soundbar is easy, with a wide range of control options and a decent array of features, including support for Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X. The use of a Mini HDMI connection came as a surprise, and it would have been nice if Samsung had included an adapter, but the lack of lossless format support isn’t as important as one might expect. The soundstage can be heavy, but anyone looking for an immersive soundbar is sure to be impressed with what the HW-S801B is capable of.

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