Samsung is one of the few companies that can spread itself out and be in just about every product category in the home. The living room continues to be a big deal as Samsung rewards folks for having multiple Samsung products in the living room. If you have a Samsung HDTV, for instance, pairing it up with a recent Samsung sound bar is money well spent. But it is still important to see how the Samsung HW-H450 performs as an entire package to determine if it can hold its own compared to other $250 sound bars no matter what TV you own.
The design of the HW-H450 is bit out of Samsung’s character. Its all-black approach is pretty subtle from the front with just a very small screen on the center. You won’t even notice the Samsung logo right away as it is placed on the top. It starts to get a bit more coherent with other Samsung audio products when you see how minimal the controls are on the unit. All you have is a power button, a pair of volume controls and a multi-purpose Function button that you can use to cycle through different sources or hold it for 3 seconds to mute.
The Samsung HW-H450 has more than an adequate set of ports for your home theater system. Starting with the essentials, there is an HDMI out and optical in along with the DC 24V power supply in. Then in another section of the back side is an HDMI in and AUX in so all sorts of external devices can use the sound bar. Finally, there is a USB port to allow connectivity for flash drives and MP3 players too.
The included remote control is pretty ordinary but it has an actual source button that brings up a menu where you can conveniently select a source. There are also playback buttons and other functions that are linked to some of the exclusive features of the HW-H450. Also part of the package is the AUX and USB cables along with the necessary guide, screws and brackets to mount the Samsung HW-H450 to the wall. Finally, the box includes a Wireless Active Subwoofer which looks pretty ordinary.
With both HDMI and optical ports, setup should be simple but it is even easier if you have a Samsung 2013 TV (excluding the F6100). These TVs have the TV Sound Connect feature that utilize Bluetooth to wirelessly link to the sound bar. With this wireless link established, you can use the TV remote to control both components. Even powering on the TV will power on the sound bar as well. That same Bluetooth connection can be used to wirelessly connect smartphones to the sound bar so these mobile devices can become remote controls too. With the subwoofer wireless too, you have plenty of possibilities in setting this HW-H450 up. The USB port is pretty special as it can read MP3, WMA, FLAC, AAC, OGG and WAV formats.
The Samsung HW-H450 has a total power of 290 watts and utilizes Samsung’s Crystal Amplifier Plus technology that boasts very high sound clarity and effectively filters out unwanted distortion. Dolby Digital support is onboard too so you can notice some real benefits when watching movies geared for 5.1-channel surround systems. If your Samsung TV has 3D features, the sound bar can take advantage of 3D Sound Plus feature that syncs the sound depth with the 3D imagery depth. The Smart Volume feature works with any TV by cleverly setting the volume to an appropriate level if it detects sudden spikes in volume. This normally happens when a suddenly loud commercial plays after a TV show segment.
If you find the overall performance of the HW-H450 to be lacking, you can still apply some minor adjustments with the remote control. The Equalizer Woofer button can adjust the intensity of the treble and bass as well as the subwoofer volume while the Dimmer button lets you set the brightness of the display. There are also times when the audio can be out of sync with the display but fortunately it can be corrected by just pressing the Audio Sync button.
The Samsung HW-H450 is a solid companion to any Samsung 3DTV because of the nice exclusive features and spending $249 on this particular model is pretty worthwhile as the 290 watts of power will definitely bring noticeable improvements to your TV’s embedded speakers. When paired with a non-branded TV, the HW-H450 is a bit more ordinary but you can still use the Bluetooth feature to allow mobile devices to stream music to the sound bar. The fact that the subwoofer is wireless still means that you can have a clean setup. As an all-around performer, the Samsung HW-H450 is a nice buy.
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