I love the soundbars that integrate the Dolby Atmos technology. It means that your soundbar will give you an excellent multi-dimensional acoustic experience. So what do you do when you have two great soundbars that are also equipped with Dolby Atmos? You take them to the comparison table. Zero in on their finest features, analyze them side-by-side, and pick a winner!
Samsung HW-Q700A :
Samsung HW-Q700A is a 3.1.2 soundbar setup that made its debut in 2021. From the exterior, I noticed that its design is modest as compared to Samsung’s Q950A. The bar itself isn’t more than 40’’ so it can nestle under most TV sets without jutting out from the sides. Its dimensions are 38.6″ x 2.4″ x 4.5″. It weighs around 3.6 kg (7.9 lbs), so moving it around won’t be a problem.
Space constraint is not an issue with this device as there are no side-firing drivers. But, for unobstructed music flow, you need to make sure that the top is unhampered. The reason is that the Acoustic Beam ports are at the top. In case you’re wondering, Acoustic Beams are the flute-like holes on top of the bar.
The drivers are protected from the top and front with the metallic grille. The rest of the body is sturdy plastic. But it doesn’t look or feel cheap.
The body of the subwoofer is made of wood and the tweeter is covered with thin mesh fabric. I’m disappointed that it doesn’t come with any satellites. If you wish, you can buy one separately.
You can either place the bar in front of your TV set because it can’t fit between the legs of a standard 55’’ TV or wall-mount it. Since the bar is not very wide, it won’t block your screen view. Universal mount brackets are also included in the box.
Sonos Beam Gen 2:
Sonos has always been a hit with the general audience. That’s because they are a whiz at packaging some dynamic acoustic features in a slim and smart soundbar. Sonos Beam Gen 2 is an upgrade of Sonos Beam. My friend analyzed all the upgrades in detail, check out his article about the comparison of SONOS BEAM GEN 2 and the GEN 1.
I wouldn’t shy away from saying that Sonos took on a big risk by replacing all-time favorite and popular Gen 1 with Gen 2. But they succeeded with flying colors!
The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is a 5.0 sound setup and has retained much of the look and design of its predecessor Gen 1. It’s a compact soundbar with dimensions of 2.72 x 25.63 x 3.94 inches (H x W x D). Because of the compact size, you can fit it under small TV sets.
The front is a perforated polycarbonate grille. By the way, it’s a fancy name for thermoplastic. It’s heat resistant, durable, and easy to clean as compared to the mesh fabric.
The design isn’t very fancy but still manages to look modish and sleek. Clean lines and curved edges along with black or white color choice makes the bar covetable. Touch-sensitive control panel and function indicating LED lights are present on the top of the soundbar.
Satellites and subwoofers are sold separately. You can control the device via your TV remote, so no need to worry about the misplaced remote.
From a design perspective, Sonos Beam Gen 2 is a clear winner. It has two color choices, a solid body, and stylish branding.
Samsung HQ-Q700A soundbar is paired with wireless subwoofers. This makes the placement of subwoofers easy and your space remains uncluttered. Wires sprawled everywhere or running across the room is not my kind of thing…
The box has 2 power cables along with an HDMI cable. The remote is quite large with clearly mentioned functions. Batteries for the remote, adapter, and four rubber foot pads are also included.
The HDMI connection is compatible with HDR10 AND HDR10+ (High Dynamic Range). This enhances the cinematic experience. It renders stunning ultra HD pictures with crystal clear sound. You’ll enjoy hooking up your Blu-Ray player or gaming console with a TV.
The bar is backed up with enhanced ARC (Audio Return Channel), so it can pick even the slightest sound. You will no longer lose quiet conversations because of the background music. Dialogue clarity is great with Smart Mode.
Samsung HW-Q700A is Alexa compatible which eliminates the need to find the remote every time you wish to play music or stream video. Use voice commands to fulfill such tasks. Unfortunately, you’ll need an Amazon Echo device to access this feature since Alexa is not built-in.
Sonos Beam Gen 2:
Beam Gen 2’s CPU is around 40% faster than Gen 1. Sonos has integrated two more audio arrays because of which sound clarity and depth are much more pronounced.
5 built-in speakers produce incredible sound effects and immersion. They create 3D sound effects using psychoacoustics. I loved watching movies with this soundbar. The experience was surreal and felt like being encompassed in a sound bubble!
You can link your bar with other Sonos devices using a wireless multi-room ecosystem. Connect the devices to the Sonos app and you are good to go. It gives you the facility to many devices around the house at the same time.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are built-in, so no need to buy a separate device. For your ease, a far-field microphone with echo cancellation is integrated into the bar. Apple users can use AirPlay 2 to connect and use Apple Music. Moreover, you can use Siri for voice control too.
It has a power cable and n HDMI cable. HDMI also supports eARC which makes use of Dolby Atmos technology to create a better sound. But, if the HDMI port is absent from your TV, the HDMI-to-optical adapter is for you. This adapter is also included in the packaging and will deliver satisfactory sound.
Sonos Beam Gen 2 has some great features along with an easy setup. Integration of Google Assistant and Amazon Alexy gives it an edge over Samsung HW-Q700A.
The Sound Test:
Samsung holds to its promise of delivering a seamless audio experience with HW-Q700A. I can bet that your movie nights will never be the same again! The sound integration and audio frequency are satisfactory. A balanced profile means that dialogues are not lost with the sound effects.
Stereo dynamics are quite nice. You can play music for a large party. But there is a bit of constraint in bass and treble when the volume is taken to the max.
I was disappointed with the somewhat inferior Atmos performance. The sound created by up-firing speakers is not very clear. Down firing speakers of a home theater do a much better job of creating precise and crisp sound.
Bass is not very powerful, yet, it will do for most houses that do not have very spacious living rooms. Surrounds performance is also substandard. Surround speakers don’t help much with voice distribution. It seems that the sound is coming from in front of you.
Sound enhancement features are pretty solid. You can adjust the sound to suit your needs. Either select EQ presents i.e. Surround, Adaptive Sound, Standard, and Game Pro or set up the graphic EQ. For more in-depth voice control, use Advanced Settings on the SmartThings app.
Sonos Beam Gen 2:
Having read and heard raving reviews, I had great expectations from this one. And I was not disappointed.
It has a balanced sound profile for most audio content. With action-packed movies, it feels like you are living the performance. Dialogue clarity is spot-on. It can handle the rumbling low-frequencies as effortlessly as it handles the thumping bass.
Side-firing and stereo speakers work together to widen the soundstage. Although, I felt that without the drivers the Beam may not be able to provide a true Atmos experience.
Listening to music on the Beam Gen 2 turned out to be an enjoyable experience. For the most part, music sounds sweet to your ears. Though it’s not very loud, so it can’t cater to large house parties. It does well for small to medium-sized living rooms but for large living rooms, you would need subwoofers.
Like Samsung HW-Q700A, I could feel compression when bass played at max volume.
Sonos Beam Gen 2 and Samsung HW-Q700A delivered almost the same sound experience. Beam Gen 2 won by a slight margin with a bit better Atmos performance, if not excellent.