Review: Samsung HW-S67T / HW-S66T

Nice to look at, but ...

Samsung HW-S67T was made for customers of the design TV The Frame, and others who want an interior-friendly soundboard. But the sound could have been better.

samsung hw-s67t hw-s66t
Karakter
Samsung HW-S67T / HW-S66T
We think
Reasonable price. Nice and sober design, looks good even with smaller TVs. Easy to use, decent sound after some work.
Woolly sound out of the box, tame dynamics. Limited power options.
Specs
  • Width corresponds to screen size: 32 ”
  • HDMI: 1 out (ARC)
  • Digital input: Optical
  • Network: Wi-Fi
  • Wireless: Samsung SmartThings, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth (SBC)
  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa
  • Analog in: No.
  • Subwoofer: Optional Equipment (SWA-W500)
  • Dimensions: 76.4 x 6.8 x 12.5 cm (W x H x D)
  • Color: Gray Square (HW-S67T), Black (HW-S66T)
  • Web: samsung.com
Annons
Annons
forfatter

If you have decorated your living room according to all the rules of interior art, there is a good chance that you have also chosen a TV based on design. Samsung’s The Frame is an excellent example of a TV that does not look like a black square on the wall, but which can actually help lift the living room to a new visual dimension.

But a great TV is no help, if you are going to complement it with a large and ugly soundbar. And it is for these customers that Samsung caters, with the soundboard HW-S67T (no, the name is not equally catchy).

Its flimsy width equates to that of a 32-inch TV. And fittingly, it’s this size The Fame starts at. Upholstered with Kvadrat textile in either light gray (HW-S67T) or black (HW-S66T), the soundboard has a sober design that fits into most indoor environments. If you want more bass than the soundboard can provide, itself, it can be paired with the wireless subwoofer SWA-W500, which just about doubles the price.

samsung hw-s67t hw-s66t
Photo: Samsung

Connection and setup

Connection is easy; the soundbar is connected to power and to the TV with the supplied HDMI cable. Some TVs will automatically recognize the soundbar and activate the audio return channel (HDMI ARC), but you may, in some cases, need to enter the TV menu and activate it. Together with an OLED TV from LG (CX) it worked smoothly, I just had to confirm “yes” with the remote control that I wanted to get sound through the external sound system that was detected.

If you have set up a smart home with Samsung’s SmartThings app, this soundbar can also be added there. In this way, you also get access to some streaming services, such as Deezer, Apple Music and Internet radio with TuneIn, but not Tidal. You do not need SmartThings for Spotify, as this is done directly with the Connect function from the Samsung app. If you do not find support for your favorite music service, you must use Bluetooth.

Channels and formats

The HW-S67T is a simple soundbar that only supports the most common surround sound format, namely Dolby Digital 5.1. Therefore, you must choose in the TV’s menu that all other audio formats should be converted to PCM (stereo), so that there will be no problems with the audio reproduction. It also means that 3D audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS: X are not supported by this soundbar.

The HW-S67T is a 4.0 soundbar. This means that it has the right and left audio channels in front, as well as a speaker on each side that reproduces the rear channels. In other words, there is no separate center speaker for the dialogues.

samsung hw-s67t
In gray, Samsung’s most affordable design soundboard is called HW-S67T. Photo: Samsung

Muffled sound out of the box

When it comes to sound quality, Samsung is behind several of my favorites in various price ranges. Unfortunately, this soundbar disappoints straight out of the box. Simply plugged in, the sound is woolly, with muffled dialogues and a narrow and introverted soundscape. Neither do I think that Adaptive Sound, which will adapt the sound level to the content on the screen, is particularly impressive.

What you have to do instead is set the audio mode to Standard. Only then can you activate the “advanced” equalizer in the app, which is a 7-band graphic EQ. This is necessary to get rid of the muffled sound.

samsung hw-s66t-standard-width-3840px-gigapixel
If you want the soundboard in black, it is called HW-S66T. Photo: Samsung

EQ settings

It is mostly the midrange that is missing, causing voices and instruments to disappear in woolly sound. Three of the bands are in the bass register (150, 300, 600 Hz), and all of these I pull down a couple of levels as the bass is colored and masks other frequencies too much. I pulled up the midrange bands of 1.2 and 2.5 kHz a bit, and the same with the lower treble (5 kHz). The only lever I did not touch was the one at 10 kHz

samsung hw-s66t hw-s67t EQ
Samsung HW-S66T / HW-S67T requires EQ settings in the app to sound good.

Much better

With these adjustments it sounds much clearer, bordering on usable. The dialogues on film and singing voices on music emerge from the soundscape, that is no longer bugged down by a woolly and deafening bass.

The surround soundtrack on film sounds larger than if it were a regular stereo, the soundbar manages to draw a sound image that extends beyond its physical size. Even if you are never tricked into getting the impression that there are speakers behind the sofa, this still works fine.

Stereo music now also has a decent enough rhythm, without the bass destroying the whole. The soundtrack comes out well enough. It is, however, still far from matching the Sonos Beam, which is the best soundboard in this price range without a subwoofer. If you have a slightly higher budget, the Dali Katch One is an even better soundboard for the interior-conscious.

Samsung SWA-W500 subwoofer
The SWA-W500 wireless subwoofer gets more, but not necessarily better, bass. Photo: Samsung

Subwoofer?

As mentioned, you can invest in a wireless subwoofer, if you want more bass. Samsung delivered with the SWA-SW500, which pulls the price up to around 800 GPB. I would not recommend it. It is a little too slow to engage properly, and sounds best when the sound level is set so low that there is almost no point in using it. It will admittedly give extra push in the bass on film, but it is not controlled enough to improve the experience particularly.

Music in particular deserves a subwoofer with better timing than this. Then I would rather save the money, possibly invested in a better soundbar. Such as Samsung’s own HW-Q66T, which has the included subwoofer and which sounds much better than the HW-S67T, even without fiddling with any settings.

samsung hw-s67t lifestyle(3)
Photo: Samsung

Conclusion

Samsung HW-S67T, or HW-S66T, if you want it in black, is a fashionably clothed soundbar that will fit nicely into a design-conscious home. The idea is that it will complement an eye-catching TV like The Frame. Better sound, without ruining the look.

Yes, admittedly, you will get more sound and better sound from this Samsung soundboard than straight out of the TV. But this does not take much either. You have to compare it to other soundbars, and the truth is that the HW-S67T requires some drastic EQ settings to barely sound good enough. And even then, there are better buys. Not least from Samsung itself.

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