Samsung HW-Q70R/XY Soundbar REVIEW
Samsung HW-Q70R/XY Soundbar REVIEW
PAT PILCHER reckons Samsung’s latest soundbar is perfect for cinematic explosions and pretty good on music, too.
It’s one of the ironies of our age. That as TVs have got thinner (and video quality has improved), audio quality has gone down the u-bend. And audio is – more often than not – added to TVs as an afterthought. In this Samsung HW-Q70R/XY Soundbar review, you’ll see how to greatly improve audio quality.
Adding sonic goodness to your TV room used to involve big amps, lots of speakers, messy cabling, bulky manuals. And a big dent in your bank account.
“Most are considerably more affordable than their home theatre sound system counterparts”
That doesn’t have to be the case though. Thanks to soundbars. They’re a doddle to set up. Most are considerably more affordable than their home theatre sound system counterparts. And they can make a massive difference to the accompanying audio of movies, TV shows. And even (in some cases), music.
Samsung’s Q70 soundbar might be compact, but it is long. This might make it a challenge to place on or in an entertainment centre cabinet. Underneath its front grill is a combination seven front-facing and upward positioned speakers. There’s quite a bit of power on tap, with the Q70 capable of outputting 330W.
One bonus with the Q70 that other sound bar makers should take note of, is the controls located on its right-hand side. It’s not a biggie, but it is dead handy if the remote is located on the other side of the room when you need to tweak audio.
I also liked the unobtrusive LED alphanumeric display. Which is tucked behind the speaker grill. It gives an at-a-glance view of the settings doodads, and is a nice touch.
“Low-frequency sound for gut rumbling explosions are part and parcel of the whole cinematic audio caboodle”
Low-frequency sound for gut rumbling explosions are part and parcel of the whole cinematic audio caboodle. And the Q70’s 28 watt, 8-inch wireless subwoofer doesn’t disappoint. Pairing it with the Q70 is as easy as switching both units on.
There are no messy audio cables. But you’ll still need to place it within reach of a mains plug. Bass wasn’t waffly. And it sounded – and felt – very controlled.
When connected to Samsung’s Q70 8K TV, I was also able to get granular control over the Q70’s many settings. I also found out from my neighbour, that it was capable of some seriously loud audio. Add to this the sub, which shakes house foundations … and there’s plenty to like.
Adaptive audio saw the soundbar analysing incoming audio. And then adjusting its output in real time. It sounds fancy, but the reality was that as a result quiet and muffled audio dialogue was a lot clearer, and easier to understand. I wish this was in more audio equipment
Musically, many soundbars lack (with crossover, cabinet and speaker design issues often coming to the fore) a hole in the midrange. Or in lower ends of treble. This wasn’t the case with the Q70. Its audio was warm and engaging. And sounded great with music. I also liked that I was able to pair my phone with it, and stream music over Bluetooth.
“Adaptive audio saw the soundbar analysing incoming audio and adjusting its output in real time”
While Samsung’s marketing spiel talks-up Dolby Atmos, I find the effect unconvincing with most sound bars. This was also the case with the Q70. The soundstage was expansive and accurate. But its use of reflected sound meant audio dimensions such as back/front and height were not totally discernible.
That said, the audio cranked out was incredibly full. And it’s a massive improvement over stock TV speaker sound.
For more surround goodness, there is also an optional wireless rear speaker kit. Which can be bought separately. Because it is wireless, there’s less audio cable-related grief. Although the rears do need to be within reach of a power socket.
All told, the audio performance was surprisingly good. The Q70 belts out room-filling sound, with clear dialogue to boot. The audio kicked out by the Q70 is a definite step up from stock TV speaker sound.
Getting the Q70 hooked up was also a doddle.
Basically all that was needed was hooking an HDMI cable into the audio return port. Equally good is the addition of an HDMI 4K capable pass-through, which let me hook up game consoles for decent video and audio.
While you can spend more and get more, the Q70 offers a decent balance between budget and audio quality. And as I found during this Samsung HW-Q70R/XY Soundbar review, it’s incredibly simple to set up.
If a home theatre amp and speakers isn’t an option, but you want decent sound, the Q70 is a worthy contender.