Samsung HW-Q610A takes over from last year’s model HW-Q66T, which we named the best soundbar of the year in the basic class in 2020. The newcomer is pleasantly updated with 3D sound in the form of the sound formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Samsung’s soundbar is equipped with an HDMI input and output, and an HDMI cable is also included in the box. In addition, it has wireless connectivity via Bluetooth. It does not have Wi-Fi connection, however, so you will not have built-in services like AirPlay and Spotify Connect. If you want that, you have to go for the more expensive model, HW-Q710A.
The soundbar is easy to set up and comes with a convenient and efficient remote control. In addition, we like the built-in display, which provides quick feedback on volume, audio formats, etc.
Samsung HW-Q610A in practice
Samsung HW-Q610A has a speaker setup of type 3.1.2, which includes stereo left/right, a separate center channel and two Atmos height channels on top. It is a configuration that we have good experience with, and the Samsung soundbar immediately sounds trustworthy with clear and distinct voice reproduction.
The dialogues between the gangsters in The Irishman come out really well and we do not have to screw up to hear what is being said. The channel separation is also excellent; here we can hear the small details in the sound mix, while the voices are clearly visible from the center channel.
The HW-Q610 also provides an excellent surround experience. During the intro to the Formula 1 documentary Drive to Survive (Season 3), we first hear a clear comment from the middle of the sound stage, which at first may seem a bit narrow and cramped. But suddenly the music and the sound effects come in from the side, and the soundscape grows in all directions!
“At first I thought the sound was only located in the middle, but then it turns out that the soun stage can grow huge,” Audun notes enthusiastically.
“There is no doubt that the Atmos sound works well here,” adds Geir, who points out that the built-in height channels give Samsung a clear advantage over the other soundbars without Atmos sound.
What about the bass? The Samsung soundbar comes with a fairly compact wireless subwoofer. It can not measure up to the immense pressure from Klipsch’s bass monster, but still fills up the listening room.
It does not go terribly deep, but the sound is rhythmic and precise, and connects well with the rest of the soundscape. Thus, it works well for both music and movies.
The Samsung HW-Q610A is an excellent soundbar for the price. The sound image appears large and three-dimensional, and is better differentiated than on the other soundbars in the test. We were particularly impressed with how the Samsung soundbar manages to scale the soundscape, as the sound mix dictates, suggesting that the Atmos height channels work efficiently.
The subwoofer also performs well with bass and is faster than the others in the class. Here there is enough speed and pressure to make both music and film sound captivating. Definitely a really good buy!
Also in this test
Fully adequate at the price
The test's cheapest soundbar will provide a clear sound improvement, but also shows that it pays to put a little extra money on the table.
Atmos surround sound on a budget
TCL has one of the cheapest soundbars that can offer "real" Atmos sound with built-in height channels. And considering the price, it sounds really nice!
Yamaha's soundbar entertains on film with clear dialogues and reasonably powerful sound. But is it just as good for music?
Klipsch Cinema 600
With Klipsch at the helm, the room comes to life whith bullets flying and explosions booming. This must be the most intense thing we have heard at this price!