Samsung HW-Q70R soundbar review Page 2

It goes loud too, giving Bohemian Rhapsody (UHD Blu-ray) the full Live Aid experience with great scale and ambience. We Will Rock You is crafted in all its full foot-stomping, fist-pounding glory with the subwoofer working well to generate concert-level bass. Samsung's clever Adaptive Sound feature impresses here too, adapting the balance as the volume increases to ensure everything remains sweet and undistorted at high volumes.

On subtler films the surround sound effect is just that, an effect. It's a good one, but you can't get away from the fact that all the drivers are essentially in the same place and no amount of beaming, angling and bouncing is going to pin-point a Foley clunk somewhere deep behind the sofa.

The wonderfully crisp and detailed Dolby Atmos mix on Baby Driver (Blu-ray) comes across with plenty of space and air, with many of the scenes punctuated by music tracks or cues that boost the movie's slightly surreal ambience. Kevin Spacey's dialogue is locked hard to the screen while the music meshes sweetly with the action. It becomes very easy to just slip into the movie, without pausing to wonder how the 'bar is presenting the mix or to fiddle with EQ.


Baby Driver's chase scenes are packed with roaring engines and squealing tyres. The Samsung takes these dynamic moments in its stride, while delineating the synced music to drive the narrative with gusto. Most of the sound naturally remains up the front of the room, but there is enough bouncing off the walls and ceiling to amplify the soundstage well beyond the confines of the 'bar's svelte dimensions.

The extent to which that works is somewhat dependent on your environment, of course. With the flat plasterboard ceiling and painted parallel walls perpendicular to my screen, the HW-Q70R arguably had the best of architecture with which to work its magic. I suspect those with lofty vaulted ceilings or a penchant for soft wall décor (it's a thing, apparently) might be left a little wanting in the surround part of the Samsung's sound.

Smart, Well-Featured
In pure design and audio performance the HW-Q70R is a five-star performer. The caveat is its rather limited connection suite and the rather serious price tag. £800 buys you a lot of AV these days, including a budget AVR and a solid 5.1 speaker package. If you have the space, inclination and permission for that more traditional setup, then it will deliver bigger scale and more effective surround sound. But most will be sold on the smart, well-featured HW-Q70R and its potent sub.

HCC Verdict

Samsung HW-Q70R

Price: £800

We say: Samsung's sleek Acoustic Beam soundbar comes with Atmos chops and a killer subwoofer for impressively dynamic and involving surround sound. More HDMI inputs would be nice.

Performance: 4.5/5
Features: 4.5/5
Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5


Drive Units: 5 x midbass drivers; 2 x tweeters
Onboard Power (Claimed): 170W (5 x 30W; 2 x 10W)
Connections: HDMI input; HDMI ARC output; digital optical audio input
Dolby Atmos/DTS:X: Yes/Yes
Separate Subwoofer: Yes. 8in/160W (claimed)
Remote Control: Yes
Dimensions: 1,100(w) x 59(h) x 100(d)mm (soundbar); 205(w) x 403(h) x 403(d)mm (subwoofer)
Weight: 3.6kg (soundbar); 9.8kg (subwoofer)
Features: 3.1.2 soundstage; Wi-Fi; Bluetooth; wireless subwoofer hookup; Acoustic Beam tuning; 4K HDR passthrough; eARC; Adaptive Sound; Wi-Fi TV link; SmartThings app control; Works with Alexa; wall-mountable