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Samsung HW-H750 Wireless Audio Soundbar review: Tube amp, shmoobe amp

Michael Brown | Dec. 8, 2014
Samsung's Shape M7 wireless speakers give it a strong multi-room audio system, but we can't same the same for this sound bar and wireless woofer combo.

Samsung provides sturdy brackets for mounting the sound bar to the wall underneath your TV, or it can lay flat in an entertainment center in front of your TV without blocking the screen.

The HW-H750 can accommodate a variety of sources: Bluetooth, HDMI, TOSLink, and analog audio. And it can connect to your home network using its hard-wired Ethernet port or its internal Wi-Fi adapter.

A front-panel display shows which input is active as well as which effects (Cinema, Sports, Voice, Music, or Standard) are processing the incoming audio signal. The speaker can decode Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks, but not the high-definition Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio codecs used on Blu-ray discs.

As I mentioned earlier, Samsung was reticent when it came to providing detailed specs beyond what's published on their website. The company describes the HW-H750 as a 4.1-channel system, but I can't report the number of drivers inside the cabinet, what size they are, or how much power is directed to each one. Samsung claims "total power" of 320 watts, but you should take that spec with a boulder of salt.

The package also includes a robust self-amplified wireless subwoofer that delivers a beefy low end, and it had enough wireless range that I could put it anywhere in my home theater. Low-frequency effects are generally non-directional, but the combination didn't sound right unless the sub was in the front of the room within a few feet of the sound bar.

Sounds like...
It's good that Samsung includes the subwoofer in this package, because you won't want to listen to it without it. The HW-H750's audio performance is much better than some of the sound bars I've heard, and it does a very good job of presenting film and TV dialog front and center. You can also adjust its EQ (bass and treble, that is) using the wireless remote control. The amp had no problem filling my small (192 square feet) home theater with sound.

But the speaker was utterly incapable of fooling my brain into perceiving surround sound while playing Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks, with or without Cinema mode enabled (Cinema mode widens the sound stage, but it doesn't project sound out into the room).

I had to return the Shape M7s to Samsung, so I couldn't evaluate how well they'd perform as wireless surround channels. But my advice to those who want a true home-theater experience? Buy a bona fide 5.1-channel audio system.

The HW-H750 is much less impressive playing music. The best way to describe it would be a sonic donut, with plenty going on at the top and bottom but nothing in the middle. I listened to a number stereo tracks ripped from CD and encoded in FLAC, but I also played Dweezil Zappa's Quadiophiliac, a collection of Dweezil's father Frank Zappa's quadraphonic recordings (remastered in high-resolution, 5.1-channel, DTS 96/24) direct from the disc. The crash cymbals and thumping bass on "Waka/Jawaka" came through strong, but the snap of the snare drum sounded muted and the trumpet almost disappeared while playing in the middle of its register.

 

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