Samsung has recently introduced its HW-Q70T, an upgrade to the HW-Q70, in selected markets. It costs around $700, which is flagship territory and we expect a lot from bars costing this high. It has a unique 3.1.2Ch configuration and supports a wide variety of audio codecs. It has a total amplifier output of 330W on paper, which should make it pretty loud.
The HW-QxxT series from Samsung usually tend to cater to people looking for significant upgrades over their existing TV setups and are willing to shell out enough money. So is the latest entrant any good in real-life usage or are there any significant chinks in its armour making it a problematic recommendation? We delve deeper to find out.
This is our Samsung HW-Q70T review.
List of specifications
|Product Dimensions||38.6 x 2.4 x 4.5 inches(soundbar) |
8.0 x 13.9 x 11.9 inches (subwoofer)
|Weight||3.6 kg (soundbar) |
6.2 kg (subwoofer)
|Amplifier output||170W (soundbar) |
|Wireless Audio Protocol||Bluetooth|
|Audio Decoding Codecs||DTS Digital Surround |
Dolby Digital Plus
|Connectivity||1 x HDMI |
1 x Optical TOSLINK
- Solid build
- Overall neutral sound with well-balanced mids
- Graphic EQ with 7-band tweaking support
- Not enough sub-bass
- Surround sound performance could have been better
What’s in the box?
- Active Soundbar (HW-Q70T)
- Wireless powered sub (PS-WR65BC)
- Two AC power cords
- AC power adapter
- HDMI cable
- Remote control (AH59-2767A)
- 2 AA batteries
- User guide
- Two wall-mount brackets
- Two screw-holders
- Two screws
- Four self-adhesive pads
- Wall-mount guide
Design and build
The Samsung HW-Q70T bar is a mix of plastic and metal grille. The subwoofer is a combination of wood and fabric. The front of the soundbar and its top is covered with a metal grille and its sides and back get good quality plastic covering. The build feels premium and robust. Most of the bar follows a shiny black accent, with only the sides getting a greyish hue.
The entire shell of the subwoofer is made of wood with the front part covered in a thin fabric in a circular cutting. It is prone to collecting dirt, and you can accidentally tear it too.
The dimensions of the bar are 38.6 x 2.4 x 4.5 inches making it a bit narrower than its predecessor, the HW-Q70R. It has a proper height too, making the overall package fit between the legs of most 55-inch TVs quite comfortably. The bar also ships with wall mounting accessories, if you like it that way. The back of the soundbar is also kept clean with two openings on each side and universal holes for mounting it.
The subwoofer stretches 8.0 x 13.9 x 11.9 inches which are similar to that of HW-Q70R. The size is identical to that of a typical PC speaker, and you should not have any issues in placing it in the corner of your room or the hall without it being intrusive. Its back has a plastic port which houses the power cable and a pairing button.
The interface of the Samsung HW-Q70T is like that of most bars in this price segment. Below the front metal grille sits a four-character LCD. The screen showcases current volume levels and any changes that the users make to the settings.
At the top of the main bar, you will find four touch-sensitive buttons that enhance the overall look of it. You will find a power on/off switch, two-volume controls, and a toggle to change the input source.
The Samsung HW-Q70T soundbar also comes with a remote that is a tad longer than what we are used to seeing with other OEM’s products. It isn’t a universal one, but lets you control all the settings of the bar, and the options don’t feel overbearing.
Like with most high-end bars, the Samsung HW-Q70T too has support for an app called Samsung SmartThings. It is available on both iOS and Android app store and allows users to control most of the soundbar’s settings, including adjusting the equalizer. But it is not an IR remote replacement as many toggles are missing here.
Samsung’s bar also has support for HDMI CEC and Power Saving. The former lets you use your universal TV remote to manage its essential functions. The latter switches off the bar automatically after around 20 minutes of inactivity.
The Samsung HW-Q70T is a high-end soundbar, and there are not many corners cut when it comes to connectivity. The back of the bar houses most of the standard inputs that you are likely to use, such as the HDMI, Optical Audio In, and the Full HDMI In slot. But it misses out on the 3.5 mm Analog Audio In, and there is no USB onboard.
The subwoofer also has a button for pairing it with the central system. It connects wirelessly and only has a port for drawing power. The setup is bereft of satellite speakers.
If we talk of wireless connectivity, there is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on board, but the device misses out on support for Chromecast or AirPlay. It will let you connect your PDA devices to the soundbar and use it to stream your content seamlessly.
If we speak of audio codecs support, all we can say is it is amongst the best. Its HDMI ARC port allows it to play Dolby Digital and DTS for all the Netflix lovers out there.
There is eARC and Atmos support too that lets you enjoy surround sound content in a more immersive manner. Also present is a Full HDMI In slot for your Blu-ray discs streaming. It, like ARC, has support for all the major codecs and runs them with ease.
The Samsung HW-Q70T soundbar also has support for 4K and HDR10 Passthrough to let you connect your 4K panels and stream the highest quality content with crystal clear audio and text.
The Samsung HW-Q70T soundbar is a 3.1.2Ch configuration bar with an external subwoofer and two upward-firing speakers. The overall sound is well-balanced, and it exhibits excellent control on all the frequencies.
But it may feel a little short of bass for some users. Other than that, its loudness is on point, has decent surround sound capabilities, but given the configuration, it downmixes the content to accommodate them.
It has a dedicated center channel making it the perfect companion for watching mid-range focussed content, such as TV shows, web series, and podcasts. The neutral sound profile makes it appropriate for listening to music too, but if you are a “basshead”, the sub-bass levels may disappoint.
The Samsung HW-Q70T has terrific stereo frequency response for a soundbar and has a decent soundstage too. It extends to almost the entire device width, but the lack of satellite speakers doesn’t emulate the scenario correctly. The focus and imaging are on point, and you can easily differentiate and locate the source of the sounds you hear.
It has an above-average soundstage and suits large rooms or crowded places well. It handles maximum loudness well, and even though some compression and artefact creeping in, it is generally not noticeable enough to mar the overall experience.
One gripe we had with the product is with Atmos’ performance. Even though there are two upward-firing speakers equipped in the bar to throw the output to the ceiling, which then sends it back to the users, the performance is abysmal. The imaging isn’t as accurate, and it is treble-heavy, which makes it look pale when compared to the other speakers.
As far as sound enhancement features go, we were all up for raving about them until we found out that there is no room correction. At this price range, it is almost unacceptable to miss out on that, and it makes the bar sound different according to the space you set it up. The Night Mode also misses out, and we are yet to figure out the probable reason for its omission.
Other than that, it has room for Dialogue Enhancement, Subwoofer Level Adjustment, Bass, Height, and Treble Adjustment, and Virtual Surround options. It has a 7-band graphic EQ, and several preset by default to tweak your listening experience.
The Samsung HW-Q70T soundbar handles most things well. The Korean giant has got it mostly right, but there are some inexcusable omissions which can be deal-breakers for those who are spending so much money. Let us see how it stacks up against the competition –
The Samsung HW-Q70T’s closest competitor is its predecessor, the Samsung HW-Q70R. The latest iteration improves on specific aspects such as better surround sound and a narrower overall profile. But it fails to reproduce the deep rumbly, thumping bass that the Q70R does with ease. Ultimately, it is a tough fight with users’ choice, depending on what they prefer more.
The Sony HT-Z9F and the Samsung HW-Q70T are similar performers with all the bells and whistles to call themselves flagships. The Sony bar has a more neutral overall profile, but Q70T is more immersive thanks to the upward-firing speakers. Other than that, there is not much to differentiate the two.
At $700, the Samsung HW-Q70T soundbar gets most of the things right. It has a premium build, supports all the major audio codecs, handles most frequencies well, and can get loud enough. Even though there is a disparity between the upward and the down-firing speakers in terms of performance, most users would be happy to see the height channels.
It is not the best in creating surround sound, but the dedicated center channel makes it a joy for watching dialogue-based content. It has a lot of adjustment features to let you get the desired output and is suitable across genres. You won’t regret buying the Samsung HW-Q70T soundbar.
Here is the link to Bestbuy.com product page if you wish to know more about the Samsung HW-Q70T.