How a lot do you wish to spend on a sound bar? As much as $500 there are some superb merchandise available, however we preserve that between $300 and $400 is the candy spot. For this quantity you’ll be able to anticipate competent sound high quality mixed with HDMI connectivity and a wi-fi subwoofer. As such, the Samsung HW-N550 ticks the entire bins.

The Samsung is a stable performer and can play again each film soundtracks and the newest pop launch with aptitude. Is it the perfect worth for cash on the worth? No — for $50 much less you will get both a Yamaha YAS-207 ($299.95 at Amazon.com) with its superior encompass emulation or the Polk MagniFi Mini ($245.01 at Amazon.com), which throws in Wi-Fi streaming. What the Samsung does is look good, and it is a pure match along with your new Samsung TV — with its TV streaming-over-Bluetooth functionality. It additionally affords simpler wall-mount capabilities than both of the 2 competing fashions. 

The Samsung HW-N550 is out there now for $399 ($350 road) and AU$699, with UK pricing and availability to be confirmed. Count on someplace round £399 nonetheless.

Design

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

When Samsung launched the HW-Ok950, it established the blueprint for each sound bar the corporate has launched since. With that mannequin the corporate moved away from cheap-looking housings towards one thing extra refined. Whereas the N550 borrows the look with its steel grille and brushed grey colour scheme, it’s nonetheless at its coronary heart a plastic sound bar — although that is not shocking for the cash. The perimeters of the primary speaker are tapered, and as an alternative of capacitive contact controls, the bar options some still-swanky push buttons. The bar options an onboard show, nevertheless it’s solely a few characters extensive, and a mixture of too-fast scrolling and poor off-axis viewing imply its usefulness is proscribed.

When considered off-axis, the onboard show is just a little tough to learn

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

The principle bar is 41.7 inches extensive and a reasonably discrete 2.32 inches excessive. If you wish to wall-mount the speaker, it comes with a steel bracket to assist its kinda-awkward three.44 inches of depth. In the meantime, the wi-fi subwoofer is decently compact (eight.46 by 15.14 by 11.97 inches) and completed in a equally downtempo gray-and-black colour scheme.

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

The likeable distant management is common after those that ship with the corporate’s televisions with its quantity toggles and satin end.

Options

The N550 is a three.1-channel sound bar with a wi-fi subwoofer. It affords each Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, however stops in need of superior codecs like Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Grasp Audio, a lot much less Dolby Atmos.

The Samsung web site guarantees the HW-N550’s “Encompass Sound Enlargement expands the listening space each sideways and as much as emanate sound,” however we discovered turning the encompass mode on and off made solely a slight distinction.

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