What We Like
- A gorgeous, simple, and elegant design that will work in any room.
- A whole host of additional features that ease things along in a big way.
- Audio performance is absolutely fantastic, especially the bass response.
What We Don’t Like
- Could be more customization options, but it isn’t the end of the world.
Samsung is a company that has been ‘a name you can trust’ for longer than some of our readers have been alive. And that doesn’t come from nowhere. They consistently outperform the competition, so how will this soundbar hold out?
If you were to view all of Samsung’s flagship offerings in a line up—from TVs to refrigerators, from washing machines to mobile phones—you would likely notice that the only recurring theme in terms of their design aesthetic is a love of simplicity. Bold, simple shapes that cut through the noise of garish competing products and harken back to a more refined sensibility. And the HW-M450 model is really no different.
It is about as simple as could be, but manages to retain in that tried and tested way a real elegance in the design. The build quality is extremely satisfying, and the product feels a lot more expensive than it actually is. These two factors combine to mean that it is an extremely versatile design. As much at home in your bedroom TV set up as it would be in a more formal venue.
The wireless subwoofer which accompanies the main soundbar is a similarly classic design. Samsung have opted not to create any particular visual distinction between this subwoofer and a traditional speaker cabinet, and this means that the unit will blend well into a pre-existing (or in the process of being created) set up in your home.
The simplicity of the design masks a huge amount going on behind the scenes, and this is without a doubt one of the more feature packed models you are likely to find in the sub-$200 range.
Starting with the basics, you’ve got Samsung’s so called ‘OneRemote’ remote control. This is a well made piece of kit that lives up to the expectations of build quality which the rest of the offerings implies. And, as the name suggests, it’s all you will need to control every element of the device: power, volume, sound effects, and more, it all takes place on this remote.
That said, you can also opt to download the Samsung Audio Remote app to your phone or mobile device which will also allow you to control key soundbar functions (including powering it on from sleep mode!) without even having to bother with the remote at all. This is great for those who, like many of us, find themselves spending time every day searching down the backs of sofas for misplaced remote controls. Saves the hassle entirely!
Both the Bluetooth streaming and controlling the soundbar via the Samsung Audio Remote app were about as seamless an experience as you could hope for. The range is very solid, and should be more than enough to facilitate you being able to control the device as long as you are in audible range of it. We did not find anything in the way of skipping, lag, or distortion during our tests which, you know, is always preferable to the alternative.
Samsung makes quite a lot of mention of the powerful bass which this model is capable of, and it turns out that the proof is very much in the pudding. You wouldn’t think that such a slim soundbar was capable of outputting as punchy, clear, and dynamic a bass response as this, but Samsung have found a way. The addition of the wireless subwoofer, of course, only adds to this already very solid listening experience, and the overall effect is marvellous.
If this is your first foray into creating an at home cinema vibe, you could do far, far worse than this combination of soundbar and subwoofer. You have to hear it to believe it.
Samsung, once again, has knocked it out of the park with a model that combines their timeless aesthetic with truly transformative audio and a whole host of additional features which very much represent the icing on an already fantastic cake.