Samsung QE65QN800B + Samsung HW-Q990B: 8K mini LED TV and Atmos soundbar

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Mis à jour le 19 July 2022.

The Samsung QE65QN800B (€2,990) is an 8K QLED TV with Quantum mini LED backlighting. High brightness, high contrast and vivid colors are combined to optimize the display of HDR content. This 8K Samsung TV can work together with the Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar (Q Symphony 2.0 technology) to provide great sound immersion with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X tracks, even wirelessly!

Can this Samsung model compete with OLED TVs when it comes to light gradation and contrast? Is the 3D spatialization of the €1,290 soundbar as immersive Samsung claims it to be? Find out in this review…

The Samsung QE65QN800B + Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar pair promises a great cinema experience in Ultra High Definition with immersive surround sound!

Packaging & accessories

The Samsung QE65QN800B comes with a metallic base and the screws necessary for its assembly. It is accompanied by a One Connect box that can be placed on a piece of furniture or mounted on the TV’s base. The manufacturer includes two cables to connect the box and the screen, one short (30m) and one long (2.5m). A power cable, a user manual and a rechargeable remote control complete the accessories.

The Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar comes with a subwoofer and two surround speakers, all of which are wireless. Four power cables are included, as well as a pair of wall mounts for the soundbar. There is also an HDMI cable and a remote control with batteries.

Presentation

The Samsung QE65QN800B features a 163cm 8K Neo QLED display with Quantum mini LED backlighting. The Neo Quantum Processor 8K handles video upscaling to optimize the detail and realism of the images on the screen. This television is also optimized for gaming with its 4K/120Hz and Freesync Premium Pro compatible HDMI 2.1 inputs. It is therefore the perfect companion for a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X console, or even a gaming PC.

Thanks to the mini LED backlighting, the Korean manufacturer has managed to reduce the thickness of the Samsung QE65QN800B to only 1.7cm across its entire surface.

This television has a particularly effective design with a very thin frame. The panel is also very slim and is only 1.7cm thick across its entire surface. This achievement allows it to be easily wall mounted for better integration. However, it is a shame that the back of the panel is made of plastic with a rough texture that attracts dust and is hard to clean… 

The plastic coating on the back of the Samsung QE65QN800B has a nice texture. Too bad it attracts dust and is not easy to clean.

The Samsung QE65QN800B’s audio system features 4.2.2 channels and an amplification power of 70 watts. The Q Symphony 2.0 technology also lets you use the TV with a compatible Samsung soundbar.

Simply connect the Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar to the Samsung QE65QN800B’s HDMI/eARC connector and both devices will simultaneously deliver powerful and immersive surround sound.

The two devices can even be connected via WiFi to enjoy Dolby Atmos wirelessly! 

It is possible to do this with the Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar we tested for this review. The latter comes with a subwoofer and two surround speakers that are connected wirelessly. Together, they can reproduce the three dimensional sound of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks over 11.1.4 channels. 

This soundbar is equipped with two inputs and one output in HDMI (ARC/eARC) format, as well as an optical input. It is compatible with Bluetooth, WiFi, Chromecast and AirPlay 2, as well as Alexa and Google Assistant.

Mini LED backlighting, Quantum Dots

Mini LED backlighting is one of the Samsung QE65QN800B’s main assets. Thousands of light-emitting diodes, forty times smaller than conventional LEDs, are distributed across the back of the panel. In addition to a very high brightness (peaks at 2000 nits), this technology offers excellent contrast management. The zone backlighting precisely modulates the amount of light emitted in different parts of the image. This increases the contrast to display highly nuanced and realistic images.

The Quantum Dot technology combined with the mini-LED backlighting allows the Samsung QE65QN800B to display images with a very high colorimetric richness and contrast.

Moreover, the Quantum technology extends the color space, allowing this TV to display intense, nuanced colors.

8K upscaling

The Samsung QE65QN800B has an 8K UHD panel that is 7,680 pixels wide and 4,320 pixels high. It can therefore display images with a phenomenal level of detail and richness. Because there is currently little content in 8K, this Samsung TV benefits from high-performance video processing that uses artificial intelligence to upscale all sources to 8K. This processing is done in real time by the Neo Quantum Processor 8K, which processes each scene, frame by frame.

4.2.2 channel sound

The Samsung QE65QN800B has a 4.2.2 channel audio section with separate drivers to reproduce the lows (subwoofers) and the vertical effects. They are all powered by an amplification of 70 watts.

The low frequencies are reproduced by the two rows of drivers situated on the back of the Samsung QE65QN800B TV.

Tizen interface, Gaming Hub

This Samsung Smart TV uses the proprietary Tizen operating system. The main streaming services, such as Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV and YouTube, are all available on the homepage. The Samsung interface is almost as comprehensive and convenient as Android TV. However, the smoothness and responsiveness could be better. We noticed a slight delay between pressing the button on the remote control and the action being triggered on the TV.

The Samsung QE65QN800B’s Tizen interface provides access to numerous online streaming services like Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video…

One of the new features for 2022 is the integration of the Samsung Gaming Hub interface in the menu, after updating the television. This new homepage is entirely dedicated to gaming, offering video games and streaming services all in one place. The cloud gaming platforms Nvidia GeForce Now, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Google Stadia and Utomik are directly accessible. No need for a console or PC, simply a Bluetooth controller.

HDMI 2.1, WiFi, Bluetooth

As is customary with Samsung’s high-end televisions, all of the connectors have been removed from the screen for easier integration. Instead, they can all be found on the One Connect box, which is connected to the TV via a single proprietary cable.

The connectors include four 4K 120Hz and Freesync Premium Pro compatible HDMI 2.1 inputs. There are also three USB ports, a CI+ connector, an optical audio output, an Ethernet port and three antenna connectors. It is therefore possible to connect a 4K UHD Blu-ray player, an AV network player and a game console. The HDMI ARC/eARC input and optical output allow you to connect an AV receiver or a soundbar.

All of the Samsung QE65QN800B’s connectors can be found on the rear panel of the One Connect box, which is connected to the screen via a single 2.5m cable.

WiFi connectivity allows users to access the internet and files shared over the local network. It also allows a wireless audio connection between the television and any Q-Symphony 2.0 compatible Samsung soundbar. Exclusive to Samsung, this 2022 innovation provides Dolby Atmos playback without any cables between the TV and the soundbar. A first!

The Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar and Samsung QE65QN800B TV can be connected via WiFi. It is then possible to wirelessly stream Dolby Atmos tracks between the two devices!

As for Bluetooth, it allows you to use not only a wireless keyboard, controller and mouse for navigation, but also to connect Bluetooth headphones or a wireless Bluetooth speaker to listen to the sound of the TV.

11.1.4 channel Dolby Atmos soundbar

The Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar comes with a pair of Atmos surround speakers and a subwoofer. They all communicate wirelessly and only need to be connected to the mains to work. They are compatible with Dolby and DTS streams, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. 

Accompanied by Atmos surround speakers and a subwoofer, the Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar reproduces Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks.
The surround speakers are each equipped with two surround sound drivers (lateral: reflection, rear: direct) as well as an Atmos effects driver on the top.

In order to optimize the sound, it is possible to carry out an automatic calibration of the system (SpaceFit sound). To do so, you must connect the soundbar to the local WiFi network using the SmartThings app. Once the soundbar is added to the app, you can launch the calibration. The Auto EQ feature lets you automatically adjust the bass reproduction.

The Auto EQ feature measures the acoustic characteristics of the room to optimize the soundbar’s performance.

SmartThings also allows the user to adjust various audio settings to customize and optimize the sound.

The SmartThings app provides access to several audio settings to adjust the sound of the soundbar and subwoofer.

You can also adjust the volume of each channel with the remote control, but it’s much less practical. Only the subwoofer has its own volume control on the remote. For the other channels, you have to navigate the menu via the soundbar’s tiny display, which isn’t convenient at all. We would have preferred a visual interface on the TV screen via the HDMI connection, like those offered by AV receivers.

The infrared remote control that comes with the soundbar lets you control the volume of the bar and subwoofer (Woofer button) separately.

The soundbar reproduces the three front channels, the front Atmos channels and the lateral surround channels. The wireless speakers deliver the rear surround channels, lateral surround channels and rear Atmos channels. The Atmos effects and lateral surround sound effects are all reflected off the ceiling and the walls, creating a real sound bubble.

The Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar, wireless subwoofer and surround sound speakers create a highly immersive sound field around the listener.

Consequently, the type of room in which the audio system is installed impacts the sound environment. Immersion will be better in a living room in which the lateral walls aren’t too far apart and with a standard ceiling height (2.5m). In a large, open room with high ceilings, the surround and Atmos effects will be more subtle.

The many drivers that equip the soundbar and surround speakers create an immersive sound environment by combining direct sounds and sounds reflected off the ceiling and walls.

The subwoofer that accompanies this Samsung soundbar has a bass-reflex enclosure. The driver situated on the right side of the sub is protected by a lenticular grille that optimizes soundwave distribution. As a result, it is important to leave a space of at least 10cm behind and to the right of the subwoofer.

The wireless subwoofer that accompanies this Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar has a bass-reflex enclosure with a large port on the rear panel.

Q-Symphony

The Samsung QE65QN800B TV and Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar both feature Q-Symphony 2.0 technology. The latter ensures that both audio systems work harmoniously to improve immersion and increase volume. The 2.0 version allows you to connect the TV and the soundbar via WiFi. Samsung is therefore the first manufacturer to allow the transmission of Dolby Atmos wirelessly between a TV and a soundbar.

Thanks to the Samsung Q-Symphony technology, the soundbar and the TV’s audio system work together to provide a more immersive sound field.

Key specifications

Samsung QE65QN800B

  • Screen size: 163cm/65”
  • Display technology: Neo QLED
  • Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels
  • Brightness/contrast: Quantum Matrix Technology Pro
  • Peak brightness: 2,000 nits
  • 4.2.2 channel audio system (Dolby Atmos)
  • Output power (RMS): 70 watts
  • Q-Symphony 2.0
  • 4 x HDMI 2.1 (4K 120 FPS)

Samsung HW-Q990B

  • 11.1.4 channel audio system
  • Wireless subwoofer and Atmos surround speakers
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatible 
  • Q-Symphony 2.0
  • HDMI 4K (ARC/eARC): 2 inputs, 1 output
  • 1 optical input
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, AirPlay 2, Chromecast

Samsung QE65QN800B: configuration

Due to the size of the screen, two people are needed to mount the Samsung QE65QN800B onto its base. Once the TV is placed on the TV cabinet, connect the screen to the One Connect box with one of the two included cables: the short one if you want to place the box on the back of the TV, the long one if you want to place it further away. All that’s left to do is to connect the various sources and then turn on the TV.

The One Connect box can be mounted on the support that is built into the TV’s base, or it can be placed inside the TV cabinet.

The TV can be set up using the remote control or the smartphone via the SmartThings control app. You simply have to select the language and the country, and then enable or disable the smart mode. If the TV is not connected to the Internet using a network cable, you must configure the WiFi. Next, you need to select the region to configure the DTTV channels, before searching for the connected sources. Once these steps are confirmed, the Samsung QE65QN800B is operational.

During our test, we connected a 4K UHD Blu-ray player to the Samsung TV using an Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cable. We also connected the TV’s HDMI eARC connector to the HDMI eARC connector on the Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar with the HDMI cable provided by Samsung. The TV, soundbar and subwoofer were powered by the Taga Harmony PF-2000 power strip. The TV was plugged into a filtered socket, and the soundbar and subwoofer into direct sockets. We connected the surround speakers to wall sockets.

Samsung QE65QN800B: our impressions

Design

The Samsung QE65QN800B’s ultra-slim edges are very discreet, leaving a lot of room for the picture. The screen is surrounded by a flat metal frame with multiple perforations. This facilitates the dissipation of the heat emitted by the panel and electronic components. The use of the separate One Connect box also allows the manufacturer to reduce the thickness of the screen, which is barely 1.7cm. Its slim silhouette helps to limit its visual footprint.

The central base ensures perfect stability and makes it easy to place the TV on any type of cabinet. It also creates enough space so that you can place a soundbar underneath the TV without hiding the picture.

The Samsung QE65QN800B has a brushed aluminum frame that elegantly adorns the screen while ensuring good heat dissipation by natural convection.

The Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar has a simple, discreet design. The front, sides and top of the black plastic chassis are covered with a metal grille. The impeccable build quality inspires confidence.

The simple design of the Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar is a perfect match for the sleek style of the Samsung QE65QN800B QLED TV.

The surround speakers have the same aesthetics and are perfectly symmetrical. An annotation on the back of both speakers makes it easy to tell which one to use on the left and on the right.

The surround speakers use the same materials and benefit from the same build quality as the soundbar.

The design of the subwoofer is also very minimalist. The anthracite-colored MDF cabinet does not draw attention to itself. This is a good thing in terms of integration: once in place, it quickly blends into the decor.

The subwoofer that comes with the Samsung Q990B soundbar has a rather conventional and plain look. It does not attract attention and blends into the decor.

8K HDR display

We turned to YouTube to find native 8K content, as the platform offers many demo videos and a few trailers in 8K HDR. The result was striking: the definition was exceptional, with a multitude of visible details. The colors were intense, and the contrast perfectly managed.

4K HDR content

The Samsung QE65QN800B offered great image quality with both 4K HDR shows on Prime Video and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays. The 8K upscaling worked wonders and delivered precise, detailed images without emphasized outlines. The contrast was excellent and the colors were accurate in the cinema and Filmmaker modes. 

To achieve an even more natural result, we reduced the color setting to 20 (the default setting is 25). We also deactivated the Picture clarity and Contrast enhancement features. The color space was set to native.
With the documentary P!nk: All I Know So Far, the television offered a very impressive HDR image, both during the rehearsals and the show. We enjoyed the many details of the image, in the crowd in the foreground and on the stage where the artists performed.

With the 4K Blu-ray of Uncharted, the Samsung QE65QN800B impressed us with vivid colors as well as perfect brightness and contrast control. The intensity differences between the highlights and the dark areas were very well reproduced, with an amazing dynamic range.

When watching the Uncharted movie on 4K HDR UHD Blu-ray, the Samsung QE65QN800B was impressive with both very bright and dark scenes, with excellently handled contrasts.

The Quantum Matrix Technology Pro handled backlighting and dynamic contrast very effectively. There didn’t seem to be any blooming. Very bright objects on dark backgrounds and subtitles did not generate a halo effect.

There was no or very little blooming on subtitles with the Samsung QE65QN800B.

Like all models that have a very high peak brightness, the Samsung QE65QN800B is very effective at producing excellent contrast in the daytime. On the other hand, the brightness is sometimes excessive in the dark and can be distracting in very bright and high contrast images. If that is the case, you could add ambient lighting in the room, or you could install a Bias Lighting Medialight MK2 Flex LED strip behind the screen to improve visual comfort in the dark.

Gaming

The Samsung QE65QN800B TV is equipped with a very effective anti-reflection filter and offers wide viewing angles. This allows gamers to explore areas of the game in great detail without being hindered by ambient light. FreeSync Premium Pro (VRR) technology also ensures excellent display responsiveness with the latest graphics processors. Thanks to the ALLM feature, the TV automatically switches to Gaming mode when a console is detected. 

The HDMI 2.1 connectors are 4K/120Hz and 8K/60Hz compatible to provide maximum smoothness with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, as well as the most powerful graphics cards.
As we didn’t have a next-gen console to hand, we tested the TV with a PlayStation 4 and the Elden Ring and Hatsune Miko games. The former treated us to a refined picture with beautiful scenery. The latter, with its very colorful atmosphere, was also a delight. In both cases, the reactivity was optimal, both for attacks and dodges during the fights and for following the frantic rhythm of the music.

DTTV & Upscaling 

On TV programs, the Samsung QE65QN800B’s upscaling did a great job with high quality sources. Consequently, shows, movies and series shot in HD were all well rendered. The textures were correctly reproduced, the details on the fabrics and faces were accurate.

The Samsung QE65QN800B didn’t perform any miracles with older programs in low definition.  The TV managed to give a certain softness to the picture, which wasn’t very well defined. You’ll have to choose your programs carefully to avoid being disappointed.

On Skyfall on 1080p HD Blu-ray, the Samsung QE65QN800B did a remarkable job upscaling the movie. There were no artifacts on the screen, even in fast scenes: proof of the processing speed of the Neo Quantum Processor 8K. Once more, the textures and hues were extremely realistic. We thoroughly enjoyed watching this film on a very large TV.

Audio section and soundbar

The Samsung QE65QN800B’s 4.2.2 channel audio section is Dolby Atmos compatible and features 70-watt amplification to deliver virtual surround sound. The OTS (Object Tracking Sound) technology makes the sound coincide spatially with the image on the screen. On Atmos soundtracks, the result was quite impressive. The sound extended vertically and far beyond the sides of the screen, enhancing the immersion. 

Even if it can decode and reproduce Dolby Atmos, there is a limit to what the Samsung QE65QN800B can do. It is therefore better to pair it with a soundbar like the Samsung HW-Q990B, which comes with a subwoofer and real surround speakers. 

The connection with the TV can be done from the audio return channel of its HDMI output (eARC), but also through WiFi. Samsung is therefore the first manufacturer to offer a Dolby Atmos-compatible wireless audio connection between a TV and a soundbar.

In the audio output settings menu, we chose to make the television to work simultaneously with the soundbar. This Q Symphony 2.0 technology allowed us to enjoy a very convincing sound by using the TV’s and the soundbar’s drivers at the same time.  

With this setup, the audio immersion was very impressive, with vertical effects that unfolded just above the viewers. The front soundstage was very wide and the rear and lateral effects were precisely distributed. The subwoofer was impressive, with spacious and punchy bass, albeit not very nuanced.

Solar remote control

For the second year in a row, Samsung has renewed its remote control with a solar sensor on the back. The battery is therefore recharged as soon as the remote control is placed upside down. It can also be recharged via its USB port with a smartphone charger, for example.

The Samsung QE65QN800B’s radio frequency remote control has a solar captor to recharge the battery.

Samsung QE65QN800B: compared to…

TCL 75X925

The TCL TV uses the same display technologies as the QE65QN800B with a larger screen for a slightly lower price. It is also Dolby Vision compatible, while Samsung unfortunately does not support this format. In practice, the TCL TV’s brightness of only 1000 nits makes it less efficient than the Samsung with HDR content. Some nuance and detail is lost, the Samsung model being more effective in the daytime. The latter is also more adept at displaying small, bright objects on a black background without blooming. Regarding 8K upscaling, the Samsung is also superior in terms of optimizing definition.

LG OLED65G2

Available at almost the same price as the Samsung TV, this LG OLED TV only offers 4K definition. However, it features a brand-new EVO OLED display that is brighter than the previous generation. It therefore offers a peak brightness of almost 1000 nits in Filmmaker mode. By harnessing the deep black of OLED, it offers a lot more nuance and legibility with HDR content. The contrast is more effective in the low lights, with more subtle variations in the darkest areas of the image. The Samsung TV has the upper hand with very bright scenes. Its 2000 nits also allow it to display a clearer and better contrasted image during the day in a bright room. Its anti-reflection filter is also very effective, while the OLED panel is affected by a mirror-like effect. In the dark, the LG has the advantage in home theater viewing conditions.

Samsung Q990B: compared to…

Denon Home 550 5.1

Sold for almost the same price as the Samsung system, the Denon Home 550 5.1 impresses with its gentle shapes and appealing aesthetics. The fabric finish on the soundbar, subwoofer and surround speakers is a significant factor and is immediately appealing. When listening to immersive Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio tracks, the Denon set shows its limits. The compactness of the soundbar and the absence of vertical effect drivers limit the feeling of immersion. The Samsung kit does much better, in height, width and depth, unfolding a true sound bubble around the listeners.

Bose Soundbar 900 EU, Surround Speakers 300 and Bass Module 700

This Bose kit has a more refined design than the Samsung system. The glass finish on the top of the different devices is very appealing. Like the Samsung model, the Bose soundbar has Atmos drivers and offers automatic calibration. In practice, the Samsung set is more immersive, notably thanks to the surround speakers, as they deliver the surround channels and rear Atmos effects. The immersion is therefore greater than with the Bose system, which is still impressive with frontal and lateral effects.

Who are they for?

The Samsung QE65QN800B will appeal to those who enjoy bright and contrasted HDR images. With movies on 4K Blu-ray and HD Blu-ray, streaming services and video games, the picture is precise and the colors intense. The audio section of this TV is also powerful enough to forgo a home theater system, without being frustrated.

However, those who want to enjoy highly immersive sound should seriously consider pairing the TV with the Samsung HW-Q990B.

Conclusion

The performance of the mini-LED backlighting and the rich colors of the QLED panel hit the mark. The Samsung QE65QN800B displays very bright colors and intense blacks, that are almost as deep as those offered by OLED screens. The contrast management is even better and blooming is a thing of the past. With little 8K content available, the Samsung effectively handles upscaling of 4K content and HD television programs. Images are accurate, detailed, with crisp edges and no artifacts, provided the source is of good quality. As for the Samsung Q990B soundbar and its wireless subwoofer and Atmos surround speakers, it is one of the best wireless home theater systems on the market.

We liked

  • The nuanced highlights in HDR
  • The excellent contrast management
  • The rich colors
  • The very effective audio immersion of the TV + soundbar duo
  • The Gaming Hub interface

We would have liked

  • For the Tizen interface to have been more responsive
  • Dolby Vision compatibility

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