Best Samsung Soundbars

Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

52 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
96 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Samsung soundbars

Samsung, the largest TV manufacturer in the world, is known for its world-class TV sets. Their 4K models set the standards that every other manufacturer looks to beat. When it comes to TV home audio, however, like most TV makers, the company counts on viewers to bring additional solutions to make their favorite shows and movies sound great.

Fortunately, Samsung makes some of the industry’s best soundbars, too, and they’re worth looking into for anyone who wants to add a little “oomph” to their TV – even if that TV isn’t a Samsung.

At BestReviews, we’re on a mission to provide our readers with the most unbiased and comprehensive product guides on the internet. That means we’re dedicated to sharing insights about the features and models you’ll need to make a strong purchasing decision. Read on for our take on the best from the company.

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Samsung soundbars
Samsung products often work using the same remote control frequencies, so if you have a Samsung TV, you’ll likely be able to use your TV remote on your soundbar.

Surround sound formats

Two-channel soundbar:  2.1 audio features two primary speakers — a left and right channel — and one subwoofer. Sometimes abbreviated as a 2ch soundbar, these are ideal for music but sometimes struggle with producing quality dialogue that’s meant to have its own channel. Models with 2.1 audio are affordable and great for small spaces.

Three-channel soundbar: 3.0 audio includes three main speakers: left, right, and center channel. This is excellent for TV and movies. The center speaker is dedicated to dialogue. The zero indicates there is no subwoofer, so these models are light on bass.

Surround sound: 5.1 audio supports left, right, and center channels, two rear speakers, and a subwoofer. It is the most common native format of movies and TV. With 5.1 audio, you hear everything you’re supposed to.

To use the convenient Tap Sound app, be sure to download the Smartthings app.

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Soundbars and surround sound

Soundbars are capable of pumping out impressive, high-quality audio, but there’s some debate about how well they handle surround sound tracks from TV and movies. Most handle “surround” effects — the audio that is supposed to come from behind you or from the sides — in one of two ways:

External satellite speakers

Samsung sells an expansion kit with two wireless rear speakers. While not cheap, it solves one of the major shortcomings of soundbars: it reliably places secondary audio in the right place. If you don’t have much room but want the immersive audio, buy one that supports the wireless rear speaker kit.

Simulated surround through upfiring speakers

Many soundbars include speakers that push audio upward to bounce it off walls so it sounds like it’s coming from behind. The speakers use local acoustics to create a sonic stage, but sound quality depends on the room itself.

With this in mind, remember the majority of audio from your TV will come from the left, center, and right channels. For dialogue-heavy content, you may not see much benefit from external satellite speakers or built-in upfiring speakers.

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Expert Tip
To stream music from your smartphone to a Samsung soundbar, buy a model with Bluetooth support. They are perfect for pulling double duty as a TV speaker and a wireless jukebox.
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Pricing

Low-end: Offerings between $100 and $249 typically support 2.1 or 3.0 audio and have limited connectivity. If you want something for a dorm room, look no further.

Mid-range: You’ll find Samsung’s best values in the mid-range, between $250 and $799. Here, you’ll see wireless subwoofers and support for 5.1 surround sound. On the high end, expect perks like WiFi audio streaming or support for high-resolution audio formats. On the low end, options still offer an impressive sound experience while skimping on some luxuries. In the middle, a choice of note is the Samsung HW-Q70T with DTS:X and Dolby Atmos.

High-end: For the cream of the crop, expect to pay between $800 and $1,500. These soundbars include the kitchen and then some: satellite rear speakers, support for high-end formats like Dolby Atmos, and enough power to shake your living room. Samsung released its Q series for 2021, and we’re enamored with the outrageous quality of the HW-Q950A. (If you want to spend a little less on a Q series, check out  HW-Q900T.)

If you are interested in creating the effect of surround sound in your living room, consider connecting some wireless speakers to your Samsung soundbar.

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Tips

  • Consider a bundle. If you also need, say, a wireless rear speaker, look for a deal that combines it with a soundbar. We like this combination offer of Samsung’s HS-A550 and wireless rear speaker kit.
  • Q series soundbars with Q-Symphony technology pair well with QLED TVs. Q-Symphony creates “spatial audio” that makes you feel as if your living room is a concert hall. If you are also in the market for a QLED TV as well, we invite you to check out our review of them. One of our favorites is Samsung’s UHD Frame TV.
  • Remember other great brands. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, don’t forget brands like Bose, Sony, and Sonos that also put out great soundbars. Two of our favorites are the Sony X900F with Dolby Atmos and the Bose 3.1 Home Theater Set bundle that includes a speaker system and, of course, an impeccable soundbar with Dolby Audio.
Samsung soundbars
Some soundbars are heavy. If you plan on mounting yours, make sure to secure it in wall studs.

FAQ

Q. What happens if I try to play a movie audio format my Samsung soundbar doesn’t support?

A. Most TV and movie audio formats are backward compatible to work with older soundbars. If you try to play a movie or TV show with an unsupported soundtrack on a Samsung soundbar, it will default to the compatibility track and play that.

Q. How do soundbars simulate surround effects without rear speakers?

A. In addition to front-facing speakers, some have speakers that fire up at an angle. Upfiring speakers “bounce” sound off the walls, floor, and ceiling, creating the effect that sound is coming from various angles. The quality of simulated surround varies by soundbar and room acoustics.

Q. Can I listen to music on a Samsung soundbar?

A. Absolutely. All Samsung soundbars can connect to an audio source and play back music. Many with multiple speakers let you play your tunes in surround mode, where the audio is processed across multiple channels.

 

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