Are you in the market for a soundbar that will enhance your viewing experience? Well, the market is packed with many soundbar models, each promising to deliver a true home cinema experience. But which is better between Sonos Arc and Samsung Q80R? With both being Dolby Atmos compatible, it can be difficult to decide which best suits your needs. Today, we shall explore the major differences between these two soundbars to help you make an informed buying decision.
About the Sonos Arc Soundbar
The Sonos Arc is a standalone soundbar that is packed with useful features to ensure a great performance despite lacking a subwoofer. This makes an ideal choice when you have a small room. It is easy to set and is optimized for home use thanks to its EQ and calibration settings, Night mode, and Speech Enhancement mode.
Sonos Arc Pros:
- Excellent Sound quality
- Simple to use and set up
- Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa
- All-in-one design to save space
- Excellent bass even without a subwoofer
- Supports Night mode and Speech Enhancement modes
- Does not include a subwoofer
- One HDMI input without pass-through
- Lacks Bluetooth connectivity
About the Samsung HW-Q80R Soundbar
The HW-Q80R is a mid-range soundbar from Samsung that comes with a subwoofer, which offers outstanding 3D audio performance. This model is similar to Samsung Q90R, with the key difference being that the Q80 lacks wireless rear speakers.
However, it has a 5.1.2 channel support and is compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It also supports Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and not Google Assistant or Bixby Assistant.
Samsung HW-Q80R Pros:
- Extremely powerful sound
- Includes wireless subwoofer
- Decent connectivity
- Adaptive sound functions well
- Easy to set up
- Omits rear speakers
- The subwoofer is not very appealing
- A bit costly
Differences Between Sonos Arc and Samsung HW-Q80R
Here are the major differences between these two soundbars.
The Sono Arc features a modern design thanks to its smooth plastic finish. It has a curved grille and flat sides, making it one of the impressive looking soundbars on the market. Although it has an elongated shape, it is unlikely to block the screen when placed in front of the TV. What’s more, it has a soft profile that allows it to be discreetly mounted on the wall, without being the focal point.
The Sonos Arc comes in white or black color, and you can choose what works best with your home interior. On the surface of this soundbar, you will find three glyphs that let you operate with ease, whether you want to pause, play, or even adjust the volume.
On the other hand, the Samsung Q80R features a large design and is quite heavy. It has a rectangular shape and a similar minimalist design to that of Q90R. Constructed from metal, this soundbar has a boxy appearance that is similar to Samsung Q90R. It is covered with metal grilles all around and a dark, brushed trim on the edges to give it a softer appearance.
Because of its large size, it is recommended to use this soundbar with larger screen sizes. It also comes with brackets for wall mounting. The underside is also made from quality silver plastic. Although this may not be the best-looking soundbar out there, it has an elegantly designed remote control. Unfortunately, this high-end remote cannot control other devices.
Just behind the front grille is a small screen that displays the input source and the volume level. There are buttons on the top side for controlling the volume, selecting the input source, and when powering the system.
The subwoofer of the Q80R is wireless and it utilizes a built-in amplification and rear port. It is well-built and its finish complements the soundbar. With this wireless subwoofer, you will enjoy powerful bass and rich music rhythm.
When it comes to connectivity, the Sonos Arc soundbar offers various connectivity options like Wi-Fi, HDMI, Optical, and Ethernet. What’s more, it is highly compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to link your soundbar directly to Apple and Google devices.
It has also integrated Spotify into its software to work with Spotify connect. However, you should note that this soundbar does not support Bluetooth connectivity, which can help to prevent dropped connections between your soundbar and devices.
As for Samsung Q80R, it has standard connectivity where it supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and wired connections like HDMI and HDR10+. Furthermore, this soundbar has 2/1 HDMI inputs/outputs which are more compared to Sonos Arc 1/0 HDMI inputs/outputs. You can also pair it with Alexa. However, you will need to pair an Echo device with your soundbar through the Samsung Wireless Audio Skill that is on the Amazon Alexa app.
- Multichannel Surround
Both the Sonos Arc and Samsung Q80R come with the Dolby Atmos audio decoder. Hence, both guarantee an exceptional experience and great sound when watching movies and shows or when playing games.
The Samsung Q80R’s optical audio can pass through the surround sound in DTS format, which is useful when you are using Blu-ray discs or streaming platforms like Netflix. Before buying the Sonos Arc, you should ensure that your TV is compatible with ARC/eARC. This will make it possible to use Dolby since some cinema soundtracks use the ARC DTS format.
- Sound Quality
When shopping for a soundbar, the quality of sound is worth considering. Although the Sonos Arc does not come equipped with a subwoofer, it has 8 built-in woofers that give it an exceptional sound performance to its rival. There are two woofers and tweeters on the center channel, two for the front left and right channel, sideways firing woofers and tweeters for the surround, and two upwards-firing drivers.
When it comes to the Samsung Q80R, it is adequately equipped with 13 drivers; 9 on the right, left, and center channels, 2 on the right and left rear channels, and 2 upward-firing drivers. With more channels and drivers that fire upward, and a subwoofer, there is no denying that the Samsung Q80R delivers unmatched audio performance. This soundbar is also known for its adaptive sound that can analyze the content and optimize the sound with a clear voice.
The Samsung Q80R is wide and this allows it to produce a focused soundstage. Plus, it is suitable for movies, games, and a plethora of music genres thanks to its bass and neutral profile. The immersive sound makes it a great investment for anyone that owns a QLED Tv.
Nonetheless, you should note that the Sonos Arc still has impressive sound effects thanks to its calibrating ability. Arc has a customizable EQ setting that allows it to recreate the sound effects of a subwoofer to give you something close to the real surround sound.
Samsung lacks the calibrating effect and you need to find the right configuration for placing the speakers and subwoofers. You must strategically place them in key points in your room if you want the best Atmos performance.
Also, unlike the Sonos Arc, Samsung Q80R lacks Night mode and Speech Enhancement mode. The former helps to lower the sound intensity without compromising the audibility or quality while the latter comes in handy when you want to emphasize dialogue. Nonetheless, the Q80R is equipped with several control and customization options that allow you to manually adjust the sound to your preference.
Another notable difference between these two soundbars is the price. The Sonos Arc soundbar is an ideal option if you have a tight budget and are in the market for an affordable soundbar without compromising much on the performance.
For $700, you can grab this soundbar and enjoy quality audio. However, there are numerous options within this price range, but they may not guarantee the sound performance of Sonos Arc.
The Samsung Q80R costs $899, which is quite high compared to its rival. For some people, this is quite high considering that it does not include rear speakers as standard, something that we see in Samsung H90R, which costs $1,499. For others, the sound quality and solid build justify its high price.
Sonos Arc vs Samsung HW-Q80R: Which Should You Buy?
Ultimately, both the Sonos Arc and Samsung HW-Q80R are great performing soundbars that support Atmos. They both work with several content and devices and the major difference is the price, compatibility, room calibration, and the devices you intend to use. Nevertheless, either of these soundbars can be a great addition to your home theatre.
The Sonos Arc sounds perfect if you are looking for an affordable and sleek-looking soundbar with decent sound quality. For the price, it comes with useful features like Night mode and Speech Enhancement mode and can recreate the Atmos in your room.
On the other hand, you should consider the Samsung Q80R if you are willing to spend more for greater quality audio. This bar includes sound woofers and speakers that are well-built and delivers 13 drivers. It also has a decent amount of connectivity and can impress any bass lover.
Plus, its wide front soundstage makes it a good choice for watching movies and TV shows. Ultimately, your choice for the best soundbar will come down to your budget and specific needs and requirements.