It doesn’t take long to get up and running with the Samsung HW-Q700B Soundbar, but to ensure the best sound, there are a few simple rules to follow. Soundbars go a long way in simplifying the dream of cinematic sound at home. While the future of AV and complete speaker complements require a strict commitment to time and space, soundbars are plug-and-play.
First, to avoid any early frustration, make sure that the tape is properly connected to your TV via HDMI. It sounds obvious, but unless you choose the correct HDMI input on your TV, which is the one marked “ARC” or “eARC,” you’ll be left swearing. That’s because this ARC routes audio from the TV (be it from a broadcast tuner, broadcast app, or connected device) to the tape for playback.
Depending on the type of your TV, you may then need to delve into the sound settings to instruct the TV to turn on the HW-Q700B automatically. The speaker will confirm the connection by displaying “TV ARC” on its LED display.
Take care of the placement too. Do not place it in a cupboard or on the bottom shelf of the racking system. This particular design uses high-performance speakers for Dolby Atmos height duties, which requires a clear line of travel to your ceiling in order to provide the reflected ambience.
Pairing a wireless subwoofer with a soundbar is simple enough—but the sub holds the key to the overall sound stage integration. You may be tempted to put the subwoofer out of sight. Perhaps their significant other doesn’t appreciate its boxy aesthetic, and would prefer it tucked away behind the sofa? After all, it’s wireless, right? But that would be wrong.
It’s best to place the soundbar on the left or right side of the TV, a few inches away from the bar itself. That’s because subwoofers are translatable, and with tweeters in particular, they carry a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to frequency range. Move the sub device too far from the screen and it will appear as if the HW-Q700B is disconnected from any action on the screen.
Know your conditions
The HW-Q700B also provides a variety of preset sound modes: Standard, Adaptive Sound, Surround Sound, and Game. The Standard setting is a good everyday option, but there’s a catch. In standard mode, the amplifier processor upscales 5.1 surround sound sources to 3.1.2 channels to simulate Atmos, but any stereo source remains two-channel. The remaining modes—Adaptive, Surround and Game—all stereo sources are upscaled to 3.1.2 as well, taking full advantage of the available speaker drivers. The result is a bigger and brighter sound.
This makes it a little awkward if you’ve always wanted bigger sound – it might be best to switch it to Adaptive or Surround and keep it there for public viewing (depending on what sound profile you prefer when you try it out). Or you can keep it in Standard mode and switch to another if you’re only watching a movie in stereo – after all, you don’t necessarily need the Dolby Atmos effect to watch a cooking show…