We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Bench: This Samsung Soundbar Is Just Too Long

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Bench: This Samsung Soundbar Is Just Too Long

When I walked into Sydney’s Skye Suites to review the latest Samsung OLED TV last month, the first thing I noticed wasn’t the brilliant picture beaming out of the 65-inch screen. Rather it was the ultra-slim HW-S800B soundbar Samsung had draped across the front of the cabinet, long and thin like an enlarged Wii sensor.

It’s Samsung’s latest S-Series soundbar and it made me feel like I was at the cinema.

Samsung Ultra Slim HW-S800B/XY S-Series Soundbar

For such a thin, light device, its name is a mouthful. The 2022 HW-S800B S-Series soundbar offers three big things: it’s ultra-slim, comes with Wireless True Dolby ATMOS and DTS Virtual:X with 3.1.2ch sound and boasts adaptive sound. With $200 off right now, it also works its way into the more affordable soundbar price range.

samsung Soundbar S800B Ultra Slim HW-S800B: front view
Getting too artistic. Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Samsung S800B soundbar specs

It has 10 speakers (centre and up-firing), offers 3.1.2ch sound, a wireless subwoofer, hi-res decoding, active voice amplifier, Samsung’s SpaceFit sound, five sound modes (Surround Sound Expansion, Game Pro, Adaptive, DTS Virtual:X, Standard), plays all sound types, Bluetooth, HDMI….in other words, it has everything you’d assume, including a remote control.

Super slim

samsung Soundbar S800B Ultra Slim HW-S800B: side view
Side view, still ultra-slim. Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Out of the box, the S800B measures 1,160 mm x 38 mm x 39.9 mm. It weighs 1.4 kg. With the S800B, Samsung has definitely answered soundbar critics’ complaints that a soundbar is a chunky (and ugly) addition to a TV cabinet. It’s sleek, and the ultra slim nature of the soundbar makes it stick out less than others in its price range. But, the soundbar is almost as wide as a standard 55-inch TV (they’re ~120 cms) and if your TV is smaller, you have a new problem: the soundbar is bigger than your TV. So while this thing is badass (more on the sound in a minute), its super thin design limits Samsung’s target audience.

The upside to this is that the soundbar definitely doesn’t get in the way of the TV receiver, limiting remote use, nor does it cut the bottom of the display off.

Hand for scale. Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

I feel you’ve got the point: that Samsung’s S800B soundbar is thin, but I have to comment on the finish, too. It’s smooth, relatively resistant to smudges and while companies do like making speakers match your decor, I like that this still looks like a soundbar (even though it also looks like an oversized Wii sensor).

Sensational sound

samsung Soundbar S800B Ultra Slim HW-S800B: top view
Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Here it is, the thing you’re here for. The most difficult thing about reviewing a soundbar or speaker is conveying the sound of the darn thing. I was actually surprised by the sound coming out of such a thin device, thinking the tradeoff for slim would be diminished range.

It hits you with Dolby Atmos audio like you’d expect, but it isn’t delivered in an overly bass-heavy way. Sure, some scenes overpower others, but for the most part, keeping the soundbar at the one level was fine. It was at times hard to distinguish between low and medium levels, but I’m happy to put that down to the short time I had to test the soundbar, or that it’s a minor tradeoff to having such a thin device. I mentioned it wasn’t overly bass-heavy, which means dialogue comes through with clarity.

The Samsung S800B doesn’t sound better than a home theatre setup where you have rears, ceiling speakers and a subwoofer, but as far as a single soundbar goes, it’s pretty impressive, especially for something so thin.

For movies and TV shows, the S800B does a decent job of simulating a three-dimensional space. Even without rears, it felt like I was hearing action coming from right next to me. For example, when watching Scream (the OG), the door slamming felt like it was to my left and Drew Barrymore’s footsteps to my right. It does a good job of creating an immersive feeling with non-Atmos content, too, but, again, I was limited with how long I got to spend with the soundbar.

When it came to listening to music, particularly live sets from Hellfest, the FOMO was real. One thing worth mentioning while we’re talking a metal set, the S800B had no problems handling songs that go from quiet to loud and back to quiet. Shifting to an acoustic song, vocals were clear and bright and on bass-heavy pop songs, I still didn’t hear that irritating vibration coming from the soundbar.

One feature that’s a standout is the ability to have both the sound from the TV and from the soundbar, which adds an extra layer of surround sound to the whole experience. Throughout my testing, I kept finding myself return to this setting – it’s definitely a step above just using the S800B.

Simple settings

The Samsung S800B soundbar was already set up for me when I entered the room, so I can’t walk you through any problems I had there, but if you pair it with a Samsung TV, you’re going to have a very easy time.

Straightforward setup

samsung Soundbar S800B Ultra Slim HW-S800B: the back
The back of the Samsung S800B soundbar. Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

If you’re hooking the S800B up to a Samsung TV, you can do so wirelessly through Samsung’s Q-Symphony feature. No optical connection nor HDMI passthrough. You do get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi….I had no dramas with connection dropping out, but again, I didn’t have to set the thing up nor did I use it for longer than a few hours.

top view
Top view. Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia


There’s no denying a soundbar makes a TV sound much better than it does without it. There’s not much wiggle room for innovation in the soundbar space, it needs to A) elevate the sound of your TV, B) be easy to use/setup and C) look good enough so as not to make your loungeroom look like the storeroom at The Good Guys. The Samsung S800B soundbar offers exceptional sound, elevating even the most mundane of shows to sound epic, it’s easy to use and offers a cable-less connection and, it has packed all of this into an ultra slim device that looks more subtle than others in the ~$800 soundbar space.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s just too long, especially if your TV is on the smaller side of the scale. But, it’s the only issue I take and it’s a very minor inconvenience at most.

Does it sound good? Yes, it does.

Where to buy Samsung’s S800B soundbar?

Samsung Australia $799 | Bing Lee $795 | JB Hi-Fi $799 | The Good Guys $795

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