Samsung HW-S800B: Ultra slim design soundbar review

Thanks to the popularity of soundbars in recent years, there is an increasing variety of models available. But among all the models currently available, there is one very special model, the Samsung HW-S800B soundbar, which stands out for its ultra-slim design, perfect for hanging on the wall, and includes a subwoofer that is also very compact.

Samsung has been making soundbars for more than a decade, but there was a turning point in late 2016 when it acquired Harman Kardon. Engineers from the renowned American brand started working in the sound lab that Samsung opened in California in 2013, and since then we have noticed the leap in quality. The result is a great success in sound and sales, and Samsung is now the world’s leading manufacturer of sound bars.

Samsung S800B calibrated at California sound lab

Here are the key features of the HW-S800B and what this super slim soundbar has to offer.

Design

Super Slim Design Samsung HW-S800B Ultra Slim RangeSuper slim design of the Samsung HW-S800B Ultra Slim Series

The HW-S800B is extremely slim, with a depth of only 4 cm. However, it is 116 cm long, which makes it a very long soundbar. However, it does not protrude too much on modern TV stands and does not clash with larger soundbars when mounted on the wall. It has very attractive rounded shapes and a smooth texture.

Samsung HW-S800B soundbar top buttons.Top Buttons of the Samsung HW-S800B soundbar

Although we love the feel of the subwoofer, the rubber covering is prone to some wrinkling over time and heat.

Connections

In fact, this bar is so thin that Samsung has not included a standard HDMI jack. Instead, it has a mini-HDMI port and comes with a mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable.

There is no connection other than the power outlet, and the mini-HDMI port does not include an optical connection in this case. If you have an older TV that doesn’t support HDMI ARC, note that the lack of an optical digital connection means you won’t be able to connect it. However, if you have a Samsung QLED 2022 or 2023 TV, you have the option to stream Dolby Atmos over Wi-Fi.

It has many features that work on current Samsung TVs, such as Samsung SpaceFit Sound+ and Q-Symphony, but the most important for all users is the inclusion of Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X processing, but it does not use DTS:X.

When connected to Wi-Fi, it is accessible and controllable not only by a small physical remote, but also by the Google and Alexa voice assistants, and possibly the TV remote.

Sound

The HW-S800B Series features a total of 10 speakers distributed across the body of the bar and the subwoofer. Specifically, it integrates four woofers, three tweeters, two top speakers and the wireless subwoofer.

It has a 3.1 2-channel system with two upward-facing speakers to reproduce overhead sound when the content is in Dolby Atmos. The space created is impressive; the soundstage extends well beyond the boundaries of the bar, even without side speakers, and yes, it is powerful, as if a giant semicircle of sound has been created above and around the screen area.

Given the slimness of the bar, a subwoofer is essential to complement the sound. Samsung’s subwoofer is a compact cube with an active transducer on one side and a passive transmitter on the other. The SWA-9500 rear speaker kit can also be added. Each of these wireless rear speakers requires a power cord, but they combine surround rear speakers with Atmos-compatible tweeters, so adding them completes a 5.1-channel system.

The bass is deep, producing signals down to 30 Hz, and the sound is not only powerful, but also very tight for a subwoofer that produces so much sound from such a compact size. The subwoofer is 6.5 inches long throw, which allows the unit to move at maximum without distortion when driven at high volumes. A passive radiator is also integrated to increase bass depth.

Thanks to the centre channel, dialogues are heard with good clarity. The center channel consists of two mid-range speakers and a tweeter to provide clear vocals even in very noisy environments.

There are several sound modes to choose from, but in Standard mode, the 5.1 material seems a bit cleaner to us. Standard mode is also the only one that doesn’t boost stereo content with the full number of drivers; the others play two-channel content in 3.1.2 mode, even in Gaming mode, which, surprisingly, hopefully turns off all non-essential processing.

You have another sound setting called Adaptive Sound, which analyzes audio signals and provides optimized sound for each scene. In this way, the bar adapts the sound to the program you are watching and gives you the optimal sound for each content. Then there is the SpaceFit system, which uses a built-in microphone to analyze the sound bouncing around the room and then adjusts the sound to suit the room.

Finally, it also has a Night Mode that comes in handy when you want to watch TV late at night without disturbing your family or neighbors. It emphasizes dialogue, compresses bass to reduce vibrations, and lowers the overall volume.

Samsung HW-S800B soundbar features

HW-S800B
Channels3.1.2
Speakers10 speakers in total
Speaker configuration4 woofers, 3 tweeters, 1 subwoofer and 2 top speakers.
Power330W
Center channel for dialoguesYes
Dolby AtmosYes
DTS:XYes
Compatible with rear speaker kitYes
Q-Symphony 2.0Yes
4K and HDR pass-throughYes
BluetoothYes
Connections2 HDMI (1 input / 1 output), optical output and USB player.
Dimensions bar1030 x 57 x 105 mm
Dimensions subwoofer238.0 x 240.8 x 238.0 mm
Price
Samsung HW-S800B soundbar features table

Final review Samsung HW-S800B

The HW-S800B is a sound bar that is different from what we are used to because it has a super slim design that takes up very little space, especially when you hang it on the wall. This is undoubtedly one of its great claims, because once you have hung your TV, you can hang the bar just below it and it will be perfect as it will only protrude a few inches from the wall.

Samsung S800B sound bar hanging on the wallSamsung S800B wall mounted sound bar S800B

To get quality sound in such a small space, Samsung has integrated a total of 10 speakers, including two top speakers for Dolby Atmos playback. We found the sound quality to be outstanding for such a slim design, with voices being heard with great clarity and bass being powerful despite the compact design.

However, such a small enclosure does not allow for the same quality as for example the Q series bars which have a larger enclosure for mounting larger loudspeakers.

You can tell that the S800B was designed by the HarmaN engineers at Samsung’s audio lab in California, and it sounds amazing for such a slim chassis.

The Samsung HW-S800B is a great alternative if you are looking for a stylish soundbar that will look great in your living room, especially if you hang it on the wall.

Samsung HW-S800B advantages
  • Dynamic and clear sound
  • Clean and balanced bass
  • Good treble response
  • Dolby Atmos support
  • Compatible with the rear speaker kit to form a 5.1 system
  • Super slim design
Disadvantages
  • Samsung Q-Series soundbars provides better sound
  • The feeling with Dolby Atmos is not as spectacular in comparison to the similarly priced HW-Q800B.
  • The rubber covering the subwoofer may begin to wrinkle.

See price Samsung HW-S800B

SAMSUNG HW-S800B 3.2.1ch Soundbar

Dolby Atmos DTS Virtual:X, Ultra Slim Design
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Alternatives to Samsung HW-S800B

If you don’t mind sacrificing the very slim design of the HW-S800B, but want more immersive sound and included rear speakers, you should check out the HW-Q910B. This bar has no less than 9.1.4 channels with 540W of power and four top speakers for Dolby Atmos, two in the body of the bar and two in the rear speakers.

This Q910B is capable of playing fully immersive audio for you to enjoy the highest quality movies, especially if you have a Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus account that already have Dolby Atmos content.

As an advantage, it should be added that it has a screen on the front that allows you to visualize all the information instead of having illuminated pilots.

SAMSUNG HW-Q910B 9.1.2ch Soundbar

Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Rear Speakers, Q Symphony
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SAMSUNG HW-Q800B 5.1.2ch Soundbar

Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Q Symphony
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