The Samsung Q80R Soundbar is a high-quality audio device that offers an immersive experience for movie and music lovers alike. Thanks to its combining samsung’s innovative mastery features, this soundbar provides clear and powerful sound. It is also easy to set up and use, making it an excellent choice for any home entertainment system.
Samsung Q80R soundbar review of Hooke Audio will provide you with all the essential details of this product.
Compared to other soundbars in the market, it offers superior sound quality and a great price. This soundbar also allows you to control sound independently of the television to access good controls on your Samsung TV easily.
- 1 What Is the Samsung HW-Q80R?
- 2 Design
- 3 Connections and Control
- 4 Samsung HW-Q80R Features & Specs
- 5 Setup and Operation
- 6 Performance
- 7 Samsung HW-Q80R Verdict
- 8 What Are My Alternatives?
- 9 FAQs
- 10 Conclusion
What Is the Samsung HW-Q80R?
The Samsung HWQ80R, the latest mid-range soundbar from Samsung, sits below the flagship HWQ90R. Both soundbars are identical, except for the Q80 dropping the wireless rear speakers. It does not have the HW-Q90’s rear surround sound or overhead channels. The soundbar only has three front- and two upward-firing drivers.
The Q80R has the same redesigned wireless active subwoofer as the higher-end model. This allows for a 5.1.2-channel immersive sound experience. The Q80R supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Samsung Harman Kardon tuning. It also features two HDMI inputs and an Adaptive sound feature.
The HW-Q80R is available for purchase at PS999. This is PS500 less than that of the Q90. Wireless rear channel speakers can be added to the Q80R for PS149 per pair. They don’t include up-firing speakers and are priced at PS149 each. The question is, does the Q90R’s immersive experience justify the additional cost? Are there other performance differences? Let’s see.
The Samsung HW-Q80R has precisely the same central unit that the flagship HW-Q90R. The HW-Q80R has the same rectangular design and minimalist look as the flagship HW-Q90R. It also features a high level of build quality, which includes metal grilles at the top, sides, and top.
There is also a dark metal finish to its edges and rear. It is available in the same color, which Samsung calls ‘Carbon Silver’. I would describe it as dark metallic grey.
The multidimensional cinematic audio of the soundbar are identical to the flagship model. It measures 1226x83x136mm (WxHxD) and weighs in at 8.8kg. Although it is designed for larger screens, the soundbar should be small enough to fit most TVs. Samsung provides brackets to mount on the wall if it fails.
The HW-Q80 features seven channels. There are three front speakers (left-center and right ), right and left width speakers, and two up-firing rear speakers to support the front left and right channels. The soundbar has a primary LED display on the front, far right. However, the only controls are the simple touch-sensitive buttons at the top for power, input selection, volume, and power.
The Q80R has the same wireless active subwoofer as the Q90R. The new design features a rear-port with a built-in amplifier and a side-firing 8-inch driver. The sub has a beautiful finish and is made to last. It is designed to produce more bass, measures 205x403x403mm (WxHxD), and weighs 9.8kg.
It is a solid, well-made soundbar and feels like a quality piece of kit.
Connections and Control
The Samsung HWQ80R features two HDMI inputs as well as one HDMI output. All support 4K/60p and High Dynamic Range (HDR10+, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision), HDCP2.2, and Anynet+(HDMI-CEC). Although the HDMI output supports the audio return channel (ARC), it is still disappointing that there are not enough HDMI inputs for soundbars at this price.
The HW-Q90R is the same. Samsung could have improved this situation by adding eARC support. However, the promised update has not materialized.
There is no other physical connection except for optical audio input. However, wireless connectivity comes with WiFi or Bluetooth. There is also a USB port on the underside. This is used for service updates only.
It also functions precisely like the Q90R controller. The remote is comfortable to hold and has all the buttons that you need to control the soundbar. You will find navigation and play/pause controls and settings, Bluetooth pairing, source select, Bluetooth pairing and volume, mute, and subwoofer level.
Using your TV remote, you can also use the buttons to control the soundbar. You can also move music forwards and backward and turn Anynet+ off or on. You can also turn the auto power link on or off and complete the Id Set for connecting accessories. You can also select from various frequency bands and reinitialize the soundbar.
The connections and remote control are identical to those on the HW-Q90R.
Samsung HW-Q80R Features & Specs
Except for the absence of rear speakers, the Samsung HW-Q80R features the same features and functions as its flagship model. The Q80R still has 7.1.2 processing, even with the optional rear speakers package to add surround channels. This is because there aren’t any upward-firing drivers. The Q80 can decode Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, but the results will be more front-heavy.
The HW-Q80 sound bar produces 7.1.2 from the box and has seven speakers built around 13 drivers. Each speaker uses two woofers and one wide-range tweeter. The front three channels have three speakers each. Two side-firing speakers enhance the solid sound stage created by these nine drivers to increase the width and two upward-firing ones to add the rear channels.
An amplifier powers each driver in the system with a total capacity of 372W. However, Samsung has not specified how that amplification will be allocated to each driver. The upgraded subwoofer will use a lot of the amplifier power. The system’s frequency response is between 34Hz and 17kHz. The subwoofer handles the lower frequencies.
Samsung Audio Labs and Harman Kardon, a Samsung subsidiary, co-developed the HW-Q80R. The latter ensures that the sound is clear and dynamic while maintaining a clear voice. The Q80 supports Atmos and DTSX audio formats. It can also decode Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus and DTS Digital Sound, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS Digital Sound.
The HW-Q80R Soundbar works seamlessly with Samsung QLED TVs. You can plug-and-play connectivity using wired or wireless connections. Control both TV and soundbar via the Samsung OneRemote3.
You can fine-tune the sound directly from the TV menu.
The new adaptive sound mode allows you to analyze the audio and process it using the proper channels. If you watch the news, sound processing will focus on the center channel to provide more explicit dialogue. The left and appropriate channels will be prioritized for music. All media can increase the crowds at a soccer match or for effects in movies or games.
A handy feature allows you to connect a PS4/Xbox One via HDMI to a 2019 Samsung TV. It detects your console with metadata and automatically selects low input lag mode. The TV will also instruct the soundbar to select the Game Pro sound mode. If you decide to play something other than gaming, the TV will require the soundbar to switch out of Game mode.
Surround mode is available for film fans. It upscales content to use all speakers, even the overhead channels. Surround sound mode is surprisingly effective and creates a more immersive experience. It gives the illusion that overhead channels have both 5.1 and 7.1 content. The Standard method decodes the audio format without any processing.
Other features include built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, which allow users to access their music libraries and streaming media. You can also use lossless audio formats such as AAC, WAV, and OGG. High-resolution support is available up to 32-bit. Samsung even includes high-quality UHQ 32-bit upscaling for supporting devices.
The soundbar is compatible with Samsung’s SmartThings App. This makes setup much more accessible and allows control over other connected devices. Amazon Alexa can also control the HW-Q80. You can listen to Spotify Connect music and have hands-free control. Although it has a good selection of features, there is no support for Samsung’s Bixby, Google Assistant, or Apple AirPlay.
Although the Q80R does not have surround speakers, you can add them to make it sound better.
Setup and Operation
It is straightforward to set up the Samsung HW-Q80R. Place the soundbar under your TV, and then move the subwoofer towards the front of the room. Make sure nothing is blocking the soundbar’s side- or upward-firing drivers so that they can bounce sounds off walls and ceilings.
The soundbar’s upward-firing drivers should be aimed at the ceiling in the first third of the room. This creates the overhead channels. The upward-firing driver must have a reflective, low ceiling that bounces sounds back at listeners to get the best results. The side-firing drivers need to bounce off sidewalls to create the illusion of side speakers.
A 5.1.2-channel system should be created by the subwoofer and soundbar pairing automatically. It would help if you aimed to balance all channels. To do this, an Atmos or DTS:X test disc is required.
An SPL meter and an SPL-meter are also needed. There are many free SPL apps available for smartphones. The levels can be adjusted for the subwoofer, side, top, and front channels.
You’ll enjoy a well-integrated soundstage and a coherent soundstage if you take the time necessary to place everything correctly. However, it would be nice if Samsung had some automated calibration system or at least internal test tones so that setting up the channels would be easier, especially considering the cost.
SmartThings makes it easy to connect to your wireless network. Download the app and launch it. Follow the instructions, and you will be bound in no time. Pairing the soundbar with another Bluetooth device is easy. Press the Bluetooth pairing button on your remote and select ‘Samsung Soundbar Q80R’ on the source device.
A recent Samsung TV will automatically configure for the soundbar. However, if your TV is from another manufacturer, you will need to ensure that the ARC is correctly set up.
The SmartThings app, the TV remote, or the supplied controller can be used. You can play audio from another Samsung device via Group Play and control various smart home appliances.
Your voice can control Amazon Alexa devices. Change the soundbar’s name to Living Room in SmartThings. Next, search for Samsung Wireless Audio under skills in Alexa voice control and enable it. The HW-Q80R can then be controlled by you using phrases like Alexa volume up in Living Room.
To test, I connected two lossless sources directly via the HDMI inputs to the soundbar: a Panasonic BP-UB820 UHD Bluray player and a PS4 Pro. An Apple TV 4K was connected to the Samsung QE75Q950R. The audio was sent back via HDMI-ARC. I also sent audio via ARC from the TV’s built-in video streaming apps to the soundbar.
Although installation is simple, the setup of the channels is complicated.
The Samsung HWQ80R was a highly effective performer, mainly used as a subwoofer and soundbar combination. The bar could rely on its strengths in size, build and sound quality under these conditions. It sounds great with music, TV, movies, and games, making it an excellent all-rounder.
The HW-Q80R soundbar delivers optimized sound based on each scene. It even allows you to hear voices clearly at low volumes.
The best Samsung soundbar has focused on making the central unit sound as good as possible thanks to three front-firing speakers that use two woofers and a wide-range Tweeter. The result is a solid front soundstage capable of delivering precise and detailed music. This is crucial because soundbars should sound great with music and other materials.
The HW-Q80R can handle two-channel music with excellent stereo separation. It created a soundstage with clarity and accurate imaging that was balanced and lively. This result is a musical performance that is almost identical to the HW-Q90R.
Another area that performs identically to the flagship model’s is its ability to deliver robust and controlled bass. It shouldn’t surprise that both soundbars have the same wireless subwoofer and produce impressive results.
Samsung has made a significant redesign to its replacement, which integrates seamlessly with the central unit and delivers the lower frequencies with speed & depth.
The HW-Q80R excels in TV shows thanks to its dedicated center speaker. The HW-Q80R’s actual center speaker makes music sound great, and the dialogue is focused on what’s happening.
The three front channels provided a fantastic all-around performance, whether watching news, documentaries, games, or sports. The sports channel also had more audio width thanks to the addition of the side-firing drivers.
The Adaptive sound mode helps mix content to maximize the additional channels and give the audio more presence. Game Pro mode can enhance game soundtracks and emphasize the surround sound effect, making the experience even more enjoyable. These sound modes cannot be used when the soundbar decodes an Atmos or DTS:X soundtrack.
The HW-Q80 is identical to the HW-Q90 when it comes to soundtracks or audio that has three channels. This means the sound is more frontal than the surroundings. The differences are more evident when looking at multi-channel soundtracks with more dynamic surroundings. However, the HW-Q80 has no rear speakers.
Good Omens has a lively 5.1-channel mix. The Q80R can deliver music, dialogue effects, and bass in the front, but there is no surround envelopment. Although the soundstage at the show is vast, the sub will provide a solid foundation at low frequencies. However, everything is loaded at this point and nothing at the rear.
You can purchase the optional wireless rear speakers to add surround channels. However, the Q90R only comes with standard back speakers. The soundbar with the 5.1-channel soundtrack sounds better than the less expensive model. It has a greater sense of surround envelopment and is more comparable to an AV receiver/speaker package.
The HW-Q80R is fair in that other soundbars add wireless rear speakers. However, the Q90 has no soundbars with this feature. This means the competition also faces the problem of having a rich soundstage. It isn’t an issue if there is a lot to watch, but it might be a problem if there is a lot to manage.
Star Trek: Discovery sounds less impressive when viewed on the HW-Q80 than on the HW-Q90. Although a lot is going on at the front of the room, a gap at the rear prevents seamless steering of effects around. The music, dialogue, front results, and bass are all strong, but there’s a noticeable lack of surround envelopment.
This problem is magnified when dealing with object based sound formats that use Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Aquaman on 4K disc and The Haunting of Hill House are examples of Atmos soundtracks that are less immersive than the Q90R. The front soundstage is again well represented with ample width and overhead effects. The audio feels more like a wall of sounds than a 360 experience due to the absence of surround and rear overhead channels.
The performance is powerful and extensive, with a large but not too front-heavy soundstage.
- Excellent and rich sound
- Bass well integrated
- Dolby Atmos & DTS:X
- Good looking and well made
- Weighty effects
- Audio calibration is limited
- There are only two HDMI inputs
- No eARC
Samsung HW-Q80R Verdict
The Samsung HW Q80R is an excellent choice for a firm bar and sub-combination. The upgraded subwoofer provides plenty of basses and a wide soundstage that is clear and detailed. A dedicated channel ensures clear dialogue, while the Dolby Atmos/DTSX support offers a wall of sound to the front.
This soundbar has a problem: the soundstage is too front-heavy and lacks any surround presence. The soundbar lacks immersion, and optional surround speakers will increase the price, but you won’t get rear overhead channels.
This is an issue with any soundbar without actual rear speakers. The HW-Q80 can be considered a comparable soundbar to subwoofer and soundbar models.
It would be great to have more HDMI inputs and eARC. This would allow for a more complex setup and features like Chromecast or AirPlay. Samsung fails to justify its high price, even though it is less expensive than many competitors. Although the HW-Q80 is an excellent choice for its sound quality, many other fantastic options are equally worthy of consideration.
What Are My Alternatives?
The Samsung HW Q90R is an obvious choice. It features a 7.1.4-channel immersive audio soundstage and wireless rear speakers. Although this soundbar is more expensive at PS500, it offers an object-based audio experience that puts it in a new class. Wireless surrounds can be added to the HW Q80R, which will add PS150 to its price. The rear speakers won’t fire upward-firing drivers.
If rear speakers are not a priority, the LG SL10YG soundbar (PS1,199) is probably the best option. The flagship model offered a 5.1.2-channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X experience and was created in collaboration with Meridian. This soundbar is compatible with Hi-Res audio and works with Google Assistant. It also includes Chromecast.
The SL10YG looks a lot like the Samsung, with its built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, simple setup, and only two HDMI inputs and optional wireless rear speakers. Your choice may come down to design. Some owners prefer to watch their TV soundbar.
Does Q80R support eARC?
Sonos Arc & Samsung Q80R TV owners rejoice: I just read in the German Samsung forum that an administrator has confirmed the eARC upgrade for 2019 Models beginning with the Q80R or higher.
How can I activate Dolby Atmos for my Samsung TV?
- Setting up your TV
- Next, press the HOME button on your Samsung remote controller and select Settings.
- Select the Sound Menu and then select Expert Settings.
- Next, activate Dolby Atmos Compatibility by setting the HDMI eARC Mode to Auto or Pass-Through and the Digital Output Format to Auto.
Can you connect two subwoofers to a Samsung soundbar?
You cannot connect two subwoofers wirelessly to the soundbar using Bluetooth. One must be associated with cables. If they are from the same manufacturer, it is always a plus. To connect to the other soundbar, both must have RCA outputs.
In conclusion, the Samsung q80r soundbar provides a clear and crisp sound that is amazing. A 5.1 channel soundbar is genuinely needed in every home. It offers the excellent sound quality, affordable price, and is easy to use. The fact that it is a 3D product makes it worth buying. The Samsung q80r soundbar is a quality device that can deliver precise and crisp sound.
This soundbar is ideal for anyone that wants an immersive experience with movies and music so that you can play your favorites at their best quality.
Thank you for taking the time to read this Samsung Q80R soundbar review. Please leave them below in the comments section if you have any questions.