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Samsung HW-Q700B: Review in a minute
The Samsung HW-Q700B Dolby Atmos Sound Bar is a 3.1.2 sound system, consisting of a sound bar and a subwoofer, and includes support for the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X codecs, as well as an HDMI pass-through port. It's well specified for all TVs, but can also be used with Samsung TVs with Q-Symphony technology to create an even bigger soundstage by combining the soundbar's speakers with those of the TV.
Really, the Samsung HW-Q700B is essentially a discounted version of last year's Samsung HW-Q800A model, and it turned out to be one of the best soundbars of the year.
Sonically, the Samsung HW-Q700B is a vast improvement over last year's equivalent 700-series soundbar. Samsung replaced the Acoustic Beam technology it used to deliver Dolby Atmos height channel sound against a pair of wide-firing range tweeters. The result is a much more cinematic presentation that rivals many of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars you can buy today, but for an extremely reasonable price.
Although primarily optimized for movie audio, the HW-Q700B also doubles as a powerful Bluetooth speaker with sound. Compatible with Hi-Res Audio, the bar sports a crisp full-range tweeter for smooth, fine detail. If you have one of the better Samsung TVs between 55 and 75 inches, this soundbar is an especially fantastic option, but it's a great buy for everyone.
- Samsung HW-Q700B on Amazon for €397.99 (opens in a new tab)
Samsung HW-Q700B review: Price and release date
- Posted in August 2022
- Official Price €699 / €699 / AU$899
The Samsung HW-Q700B is on sale now and the official price is €699 in the US, €699 in the UK and AU$899 in Australia. Right now, though, it's on sale fairly regularly for much less than that - we're looking at it for over $400 / £500 / AU$500. That's an incredible deal for this price.
The model sits just below the HW-Q800B soundbar in Samsung's 2022 lineup of soundbars. This upgraded model adopts a 5.1.2 channel setup, thanks to the inclusion of side speakers – that extra width is the main thing missing here.
Samsung HW-Q700B Review: Features
- Q Symphony with Samsung TVs
- SpaceFit Sound Room Calibration
- AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast compatibility
The Samsung HW-Q700B works with both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks, and some more expensive soundbars don't support both (ahem, Sonos Arc).
HDMI eARC is the preferred connection method for this, and includes a 4K HDR HDMI pass-through port, so you don't lose the use of a port on your TV.
The Q700B is recognized as a SmartThings device and will work with Amazon Alexa (it's not resident, so you'll need a separate Alexa smart speaker on your network). It also supports Google Chromecast, Spotify Connect, and Apple AirPlay for streaming music over Wi-Fi, and it has good old Bluetooth.
Samsung Q-Symphony support is interesting here, if you have a compatible Samsung TV. Typically, a sound bar is used to replace a computer's internal speaker system. Once connected, the screen will display a message informing viewers that "external speakers are active." However, Q-Symphony allows a compatible Samsung TV's soundbar and internal speakers to intelligently work together, creating a bigger, louder soundstage.
The sound bar also offers SpaceFit Sound room calibration, to better optimize performance based on reflections and obstructions in your room. Samsung smartphone owners can even take advantage of Tap Sound, a highly convenient way to Bluetooth pair your mobile phone to the soundbar.
The soundbar's front LED display is readable through the audio grill, as long as you're facing it. (Image credit: Steve May/Techradar)
Samsung HW-Q700B review: Design
- Good connectivity
- 44 inches / 1111mm wide
Samsung has gone for a more angular design with its 2022 soundbars, which is distinctive, if not overtly trendy (we think softer curves are more on-trend). Build quality is generally good, but there's no good exposed acoustic fabric, it's really just a piece of hard plastic.
The Q700B is designed for larger screens (55 inches and up). It measures 44 inches / 1111 mm wide.
The associated wireless subwoofer is relatively compact and easy to use, with a fabric front and rear port.
Connectivity is more accommodating than it has become the norm. In addition to HDMI eARC/ARC, there's an HDMI source input that supports 4k HDR10+ pass-through, ideal for connecting a game console or 4k UHD Blu-ray player. There's also an optical digital audio input for legacy TV connections.
The Q700B does not have a detailed status display or on-screen interface. Instead, it communicates via a front-facing LED display designed to be read through the perforated grill. It's fine if you're sitting face to face, but it becomes less readable when viewed from the side. There are also limited controls on the body for volume, source selection, and power.
The soundbar comes with a simple remote control (which you probably won't need if you're using HDMI ARC), along with a circular menu navigation panel and rocker bars for volume.
There are limited controls on the soundbar for volume, source selection, and power. (Image credit: Steve May / TechRadar)
Samsung HW-Q700B review: Sound quality
- Excellent dialogue clarity
- snappy bass
- Missing side padding and rear contour
The Samsung HW-700B is great all-round entertainment. It's capable of delivering crisp dialogue (which has long been a strong point of Samsung's best bars), but can break up loudly when action calls for it. You can also cut carpet with Bluetooth music streaming.
We found this two-piece to be incredibly cinematic (straight out of the box and unenhanced with no Q-Symphony frills). The subwoofer does a great job of rounding out the low-midrange and adding thumps. It doesn't drop too deep, but the explosions and gunfire sound reassuringly crisp and dynamic.
There's plenty of subtle detail in the broader soundstage, too. The spatial location is wide and the panning is fast. The result is exciting and entertaining listening.
The 3D audio immersion is good, up to a point. The adoption of decent drivers for the Atmos height channels ensures an unmistakable boost. Last year's Acoustic Beam solution got the job done, but on this model those dedicated speakers provide clear benefits when it comes to pulling details together and creating presence. The audio enhancement from stereo and 5.1 sources is also impressive.
Inevitably, what you don't get is a feeling of moving back and forth or filling from side to side. This is more a consequence of the soundbar's form factor than anything else. For full surround sound, there's nothing better than actual physical speakers placed at the back of a room.
The HW-Q700B offers a number of audio presets and sound modes that are worth exploring. These include Standard, Adaptive Sound, Surround, and Game. Adaptive mode is especially useful as it gets the most out of the speaker array, regardless of the source material. After all, not everything is mixed for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. You'll know you're listening to native Dolby Atmos because the front display says it for you.
There's manual adjustment of bass and treble, as well as Voice Enhance and Virtual Surround modes.
A run of The Gray Man on Netflix (Dolby Atmos) offers plenty of opportunities for the HW-Q700B to impress, for example. The intelligibility is always good, without the dialogues being too clear. There is also real weight in the presentation.
The film's opening nightclub scene features a hard-hitting industrial beat, followed by a dramatic explosion. The soundstage is convincingly spacious; you feel the high ceilings and ambient space of the nightclub Ryan Gosling is in.
We found that the HW-Q700B also doubles as a decent music speaker. It supports Hi-Res Audio and sounds great with all streaming sources. Samsung told us that it will work with Spotify Hi-Fi, whenever it hits the market.
The soundbar has a simple remote control, with a circular menu navigation panel. (Image credit: Steve May / TechRadar)
Samsung HW-Q700B review: Value
- Entertaining Dolby Atmos performance
- HDMI passthrough
- Hi-Res Audio Compatible
The HW-Q700B is punching above its weight when it comes to performance and features, especially if you can pick one up for less than list price (which isn't hard right now). Although competing soundbar manufacturers are reducing their HDMI supply to a single eARC connection, Samsung offers the ability to directly connect a game console or media player and stream the video to your TV.
Performance is above average for this price. The balance between the bar and the relatively compact subwoofer was well judged, and the soundstage is muscular and dynamic.
The icing on the cake are the additional features of the Samsung ecosystem, such as Q-Symphony, SpaceFit Sound and Tap Sound - provided you have a Samsung TV to take full advantage of, of course.
A close up of the rear of the Samsung Q700B Soundbar, showing the HDMI ports on offer. In addition to HDMI eARC/ARC, there is an HDMI source input that supports 4k HDR10+ pass-through. (Image credit: Steve May / TechRadar)
Should I buy the Samsung HW-Q700B?
Swipe to scroll horizontally Samsung HW-Q700B Attributes Notes Rating Features Lots of features - too bad Q Symphony is only for Samsung TVs. 4.5/5 Design Build quality is good, but by no means exciting or luxurious. It's also perfectly easy to use.4/5Sound QualityDynamic audio performance with plenty of detail and height, but lacks side drivers.4/5ValueBeats its weight in performance and features.5/5
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Samsung HW-Q700B: Price Comparison