The Samsung HW-S800B manages to give an immersive Dolby Atmos experience from an ultra-slim cabinet despite coming from a less expensive line of soundbars than the flagship HW-Q990B we examined earlier this year.
It has outstanding acoustic qualities, and the little wireless subwoofer it comes with has an inventive force-cancelling construction that enables it to deliver impressively deep bass. You’ll have to do without eARC, but the HW-S800B is a great lifestyle option because to its svelte, compact design, Alexa built-in, and efficient room correction.
Review of the Samsung HW-S800B’s features and design
The Samsung HW-S800B is a very small cabinet with a classy, understated style and a sturdy metal mesh grille. The design is simple but appealing, with superb build quality and curved ends with a black finish.
The HW-S800B is perfect for TVs with screens larger than 55 inches and measuring 1160 x 40 x 38mm (WDH). You can install the device on the wall or on a stand, and if you choose the latter, Samsung provides special brackets for the job.
The wireless subwoofer uses what looks to be a force-cancelling design and is small, measuring 238 x 238 x 241mm (WDH). Back-to-back drivers use this arrangement to eliminate cabinet vibrations and boost the maximum output. They fire out to the left and right.
Dolby Atmos and Dolby’s new Wireless Atmos, which enables the format to be broadcast wirelessly through Wi-Fi utilizing lossy Dolby Digital Plus from supporting 2022 Samsung TVs, are supported by the HW-S800B.
A little misleadingly, the HW-S800B’s product page claims that DTS:X, an Atmos big object-based surround sound format, is also supported by the soundbar. In actuality, it only supports DTS Virtual:X, which produces immersive audio by using processing rather than separate channels.
Making the most of the HW-S800B is made simpler by the addition of SpaceFit Sound, which uses a built-in microphone to better integrate the subwoofer and optimize room correction for your particular acoustic environment. Additionally, it automatically adjusts to account for alterations in the space.
Review of the Samsung HW-S800B: Relationships and power
The Samsung HW-S800B has a constrained, and in some ways compromised, set of connections since, despite having Bluetooth (SBC), Wi-Fi, and support for AirPlay 2, it only has a single Mini HDMI port for physical connections. Given that an optical digital input and a conventional HDMI port appear to have enough area, Samsung’s decision here looks odd.
To connect the soundbar to your TV, you’ll thus need to purchase an HDMI to Mini HDMI converter or cable. Additionally, the S800B can only output lossy audio via HDMI because Mini HDMI connectivity only supports ARC, not eARC. This soundbar isn’t for you if you have an older TV that doesn’t support ARC because it doesn’t have an optical digital connection.
Although it has many control choices, the provided remote is still easy to use. With the help of the SmartThings app, you can rapidly set up Alexa, create a Wi-Fi connection, and update the firmware. The S800B may be controlled by voice commands using Alexa, the SmartThings app, the included remote, the controls on the soundbar itself, or the TV’s zapper.
Review of the Samsung HW-S800B: Sound Performance
The Samsung HW-S800B may have an exceptionally tiny and elegant appearance, but owing to some creative design and cutting-edge technology from the Samsung Audio Lab in California, it manages to sound much bigger than it does.
Nine drivers that produce three forward-firing speakers (left, right, and center) and a pair of upward-firing speakers for the top front left and right are housed inside the soundbar’s slim cabinet. The wireless subwoofer makes the system’s total number of channels 3.1.2.
Despite their obvious diminutive size, the soundbar’s speakers manage to generate a crisp middle and some nice treble detail. Given its small size, the subwoofer is surprisingly strong and works nicely with the other speakers owing to SpaceFit Sound.The placement of auditory elements in three-dimensional space above and around the sides of the TV screen is astonishing, and it is done with excellent precision. Due to the lack of rear channels, this effect is only effective in the front third of the room, though if you want a more immersive experience, you can use the SW-9500S instead.
Since most people would be unable to tell the difference between Atmos given by lossy Dolby Digital+ and via lossless Dolby TrueHD, the lack of lossless audio capability over HDMI is not a major issue. The use of DTS Virtual:X also makes more sense given the absence of DTS:X content.
Verdict on the Samsung HW-S800B evaluation.
The Samsung HW-S800B represents an intriguing new path for Samsung, providing a subtle, attractive soundbar and subwoofer combo that is suitable for a variety of lifestyles. The ultra-slim cabinet will delight anyone looking for a soundbar that won’t dominate the front of the room, but they’ll also be happy to learn that the clever speakers and potent, well-integrated subwoofer work together to ensure the S800B’s sonic performance isn’t compromised in the process.