Being able to compare Samsung HW-T550 and Sony HT-X8500 gave us an insight into what features and technologies these devices offer. HT-X8500 turned out to be a more technological and better-sounding device than the HW-T550. According to the results of our comparison, HW-T550 received 4.5 points out of 10 possible, and HT-X8500 was rated 6 points.
Each of the compared models received 6 points for the audio features.
It worth understanding the difference between the two types of amplification: a passive soundbar does not have its own amplifier and receives amplification from the signal source, while an active soundbar has a built-in amplifier. The same active type of amplification is used in the HW-T550 and the HT-X8500.
There are stereo soundbars and multichannel ones. It is with the help of multichannel devices that you can get volumetric sound. The number of channels in the considered devices is the same - 2.1.
|Output power, W||320 (overall)||N/A|
|Separate speaker (in package)||0||0|
|Separate speaker connections||wireless||N/A|
Soundbars can have a built-in or external subwoofer. The first type is inseparable from the soundbar body, but for the second, you can choose a good location for deep bass. A built-in subwoofer is only present in the HT-X8500. The HW-T550 comes with an external subwoofer.
|Separate subwoofer (in package)||✔||✖|
|Separate subwoofer connections||wireless||✖|
Unlike stereo, when reproducing multichannel sound, each specific direction of sound corresponds to its dedicated channel with a separate independent loudspeaker, which creates a three-dimensional sound stage. The HW-T550 received rating 5 out of 10 for multichannel audio processing, but the HT-X8500, in the same category, earned 10 out of 10 points.
The peculiarity of Dolby Atmos is that this format is object-oriented, that is, each object of the audio signal is sounded separately and linked to its spatial location. Dolby Atmos surround sound support is implemented only in Sony HT-X8500.
DTS:X is an algorithm for processing sound scenes by the processor, linking directly to objects, rather than channels, and calculating the optimal distribution of sound output in a room. The manufacturer has implemented DTS:X technology only in HT-X8500.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital||Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD|
|DTS (other)||DTS Virtual:X||DTS HD, DTS ES, DTS 96/24|
The possibility to listen online to millions of songs from one device has become a reality thanks to streaming services.
None of the two models is not implemented AirPlay function. The popular Spotify service cannot be used on both soundbars.
|Apple Music (AirPlay)||✖||✖|
|Other streaming services||has not||has not|
The existence of a sufficient number of current connectors significantly expands the functionality of the device. For example, only through HDMI is it possible to implement the transfer of object-oriented formats, and the presence of a Bluetooth connection will allow remote control, etc. The devices received different ratings for connectivity: Samsung HW-T550 was rated 6 out of 10, and Sony HT-X8500 was rated 8 out of 10.
The presence of Wi-Fi in the soundbar allows you to get rid of wires when connected to a sound source and get minimal audio latency when playing content from streaming services. Such connection as via Wi-Fi is not possible on any of the devices in comparison.
Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for speaker systems, which provides excellent quality and minimal audio latency. The availability of Bluetooth protocol, we can see in both models. The competitors in this comparison has 1/1 HDMI inputs/outputs.
HDMI ARC is a very usefull technology that creates a two-way communication channel between a TV and another device. This is convenient since there is no need to use optical and other cables in the system. HDMI ARC is basic for both soundbars. Connecting external devices via USB can be done on both models.
|Optical digital input/output||1/0||1/0|
|USB||1 (USB 2.0)||1 (USB 2.0)|
|Coaxial digital input/output||0/0||0/0|
|Analog audio input/output (RCA)||0/0||0/0|
Voice control is designed to make operating the device more convenient. This allows you to control basic soundbar functions from anywhere in the room.
Proprietary applications allow you to control your soundbars remotely. This is possible both via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. In our case, the ability to control the soundbar using the app is not implemented in any of the competitors. None of these soundbars have a built-in microphone.
Some soundbars can be part of a multi-room system and it is an affordable solution for sounding the whole house. However, it is impossible to create a multiroom system based on each of these soundbars.
|Size (Wx H x D), cm/in||83.8 x 5 x 7.6/33.9 x 2.2 x 3.3||89 x 6.4 x 9.9/35.1 x 2.6 x 3.8|