Soundbars are designed to elevate your viewing experience by offering better sound quality than a TV’s built-in speaker can. Soundbars are better equipped to handle both ends of the sound spectrum. While it is easy to think the TV speaker is just about enough, you may be missing out on soft-spoken dialogue and the full breadth of the dynamic soundscape of many blockbusters. Choosing between two similar soundbars is always a headache. You have to make a lot of comparisons to make sure you get a bang for your buck. This choice is even more complicated if the soundbars are from the same manufacturer, as is the case with the Samsung HW-Q700A and Samsung HW-Q800T. There are quite a lot of similarities between the two, and only a few features distinguish them. Keep reading to find out these subtle differences.
Samsung HW-Q700A at a glance
Samsung HW-Q700A is the second step-up in Samsung’s HWQ series. It is a 3.1.2 ch soundbar and subwoofer combo that delivers elevated sound from every direction. The soundbar is part of Samsung’s 2021 lineup and has many sound enhancement features.
Samsung HW-Q800T at a glance
Samsung HW-Q800T is another 3.1.2 ch soundbar and subwoofer combo that delivers true 3D surround sound from every direction. The soundbar is part of Samsung’s 2020 lineup. It packs a lot of features, including built-in support for Amazon’s Alexa assistant and others that we’ll get into much later.
We’ll compare the two soundbars for a more objective view of their pros and cons in subsequent headings.
Design and dimensions
In terms of appearance, there’s little to separate the two soundbars. The HW-Q700A and HW-Q800T both measure 38.6 inches in width, 2.4 inches in height, and 4.5 inches in depth. Thus, you may find it hard to pick them apart, particularly when you consider the fact that they each have a black finish with a perforated metal grille that wraps from front to back. An important point to note here is that both soundbars are best paired with 43-inch TVs and above for a perfect fit.
The similarities don’t end with the dimensions. The two soundbars also have a small LED display on the far right edge, where system information is displayed. The display is small and can only display a few characters at a time.
The soundbars’ subwoofers are entirely different in dimensions and appearance. However, it is important to note that the two subwoofers are wireless and can be placed anywhere in the room. The HW-Q700A’s subwoofer is made of wood and has a thin layer of fabric draped on the front. It is 8.1 inches wide, 13.9 inches tall, and 11.9 inches deep, which is smaller than the HW-Q800T’s sub, which is 8.1 inches wide, 15.9 inches, and 15.9 deep. It is also made of wood and has a layer of fabric on the side. The two subwoofers have ported enclosures.
The two products have touch-sensitive control buttons on top of the soundbar. The Q800T’s control includes a power button, a pair of volume adjustment buttons, and a multifunction button for enabling Alexa voice assistant and changing inputs.
On the other hand, the Q700A’s control buttons include a power button as well as volume adjustment buttons. The last button only changes the input since it does not support Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. The two products come with remote controls that can be used to control the bar’s functions. However, neither of the remote controls are universal remotes.
The two soundbars are closely matched in terms of connectivity options. The Samsung HW-Q700A and HW-Q800T have their connection ports at the back of the soundbar. The supported connection options include HDMI out, HDMI input, HDMI eARC, optical input, wifi, and Bluetooth. However, the Q800T has built-in support for Amazon’s Alexa, while the Q700A does not. To level the playing ground a bit, the Q700A soundbar works with Apple AirPlay 2.
The two soundbars also have the tap sound feature that allows users to play music from their smartphone by tapping the soundbar with the smartphone. Another smartphone-related accessibility feature is the SmartThings App, which the two bars support. The app allows users to add speakers to their network and ultimately have better control of the audio
A unique feature you’ll enjoy in the Q700A is the Space Fit sound that automatically calibrates the sound to fit the gaps and spaces in the room. This feature is missing in the Q800T, giving the former an edge.
According to Samsung, the two soundbars are capable of giving an immersive listening experience, and they do not disappoint. The two soundbars support Q Symphony, a feature unique to select Samsung QLED televisions. With Q Symphony, the soundbars no longer have to bear the entire burden of sound production; it co-opts the TV’s speakers. Q Symphony synchronizes the sound coming out of the soundbar with the speaker’s sound. Since the TVs have speakers on the top and sides, this feature makes the output so good that you feel you’re in the cinema.
The two soundbars have the following sound modes: Game Pro, Surround Sound Expansion, Standard, and Adaptive. Surround sound expansion widens the sound stage for better sound dispersal. With the Game Pro mode, gamers can now enjoy better sound output through the use of the soundbars’ acoustic beam technology to ensure the sound follows the gaming action and low gaming audio are amplified better. Adaptive mode, as the name implies, optimizes the sound according to what is being watched. This sound mode is especially good for users that don’t want to tamper with the equalizer settings.
Although the two soundbars offer an immersive surround sound through the Dolby and DTS up-mixers, this virtual connection does not perform quite as well as combining rear speakers to the soundbars, which of course, will set you back a few bucks. In the absence of rear speakers, you get a front-heavy sonic experience with these soundbars.
Since the two soundbars do not have distinct height speakers, they rely on their up-firing speakers to fill in as phantom speakers. Thus, the sound produced by the two soundbars bounces off the ceiling and back down at you to give the impression of height sound. An important point to note is that the effectiveness of the height sound depends on the ceiling height. It is best used in rooms with eight to nine-foot ceilings.
This verdict is a tough one because there is little to separate these amazing soundbars. However, the Samsung HW-Q800T slightly edges past the Samsung HW-Q700A. While the two bars match each other in almost all aspects, the HW-Q800T’s ability to reproduce more extended low bass sets it apart from the HW-Q700A. Also, the HW-Q800T’s built-in Alexa support gives it an edge over the HW-Q700 A. Although you can also access Alexa on the Q700, you’ll need to buy an Amazon Echo device to use the feature.
Our verdict does not, in any way, mean the Samsung HW-Q700A is a bad investment. In fact, it has a fantastic soundstage performance and a Space Fit feature that recalibrates the sound to fit the gaps and spaces around a room. It only marginally falls short of the quality of the Samsung HW-Q800T. With this review, you have all the information needed to make an informed choice between the two bars.