Samsung Sound bar Review: 2.1 Channel HW-F450

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Samsung has in the past few years, taken on the elite league of the consumer electronic giants that was once dominated by Japanese makers. If you need further proof to this claim, just go to BestBuy or Costco and see what TV brand dominates the display shelf. You will find Samsung sound bar and flatscreen TV dominating the shelves. Today, Samsung is the world’s largest LED panel makers and the razor thin margin has in recent years, forced a number of the competitors to shut down.

If you have bought a new LED TV or plan to buy one, there is a high chance that it is a Samsung TV. If you are looking for the best sound bar to complete the home theater experience of your new TV, read on this Samsung sound bar review and find out if Samsung’s top-selling sound bar HW-F450 is the best option for your case.

How does the HW-F450 compare against its peers? See our full sound bar comparison guide here

Samsung Sound Bar HW-F450 vs HW-E450

2.1 Channel System

First off, Samsung HW-F450 is a 2.1 channel system. 2.1 channel simply refers to Left channel, Right channel plus the sub-woofer. The latest model that has recently been made available in the market is Samsung HW-F450. This Samsung sound bar model is a successor to the earlier and widely popular HW-E450. Specs-wise, the two are not poles apart. In fact, there is only incremental improvements that have been introduced.

Connection Ports

On the connectivity side, the latest Samsung sound bar model inherits all that is there in the Samsung HW-E450. First, you have 1 standard analog audio input. This is the normal 3.5mm audio jack that you can connect to virtually any standard audio players. Then there is 1 HDMI input and 1 HDMI output at your disposal. A sound bar with HDMI connection sounds cool but honestly speaking, I’m not aware of anyone using it for any real use so far. The reason is you can plug in all your HDMI players to your flatscreen TV and since most of them comes with digital optical out, you can simply connect this to your sound bar and that will be all you need. I may be wrong, but I’d like to hear from you if you find real use for the HDMI connection to the sound bar.

The good news is the digital optical input connection is already available in earlier Samsung sound bar model of HW-E450 and it is inherited in the latest HW-F450. My advice is not to be tricked by the HDMI gimmick that Samsung is offering. Why? Because HDMI is meant for both high definition Audio / Video content while the digital optical audio is HDMI-equivalent for audio-only content. Based on sound bar reviews and surveys, only few sound bar users have found this feature to be of any use.

Software Intelligence

The notable improvement in HW-F450 is in the so-called ‘intelligence’ that allows it to connect to iPhone and certain models of Samsung TV wirelessly. While Bluetooth has always been there even in HW-E450, it is only made compatible with iPhone in the latest model. And unless you have the latest Samsung LED TVs, the Sound Share feature is pretty much an extra feature that are probably not going to use anyway.

Design Improvement

On the design front, the HW-F450 is slimmer but taller than its predecessor. At 1.8-inch thick and 2.8-inch tall, it is 35% slimmer or sexier and taller than its predecessor. Other than the dimension, the look and feel of the latest Samsung sound bar model largely retains that of its earlier model.

Verdict

With the latest 2.1 Channel Sound bar HW-F450, Samsung does not look like a game changer. But few incremental improvements and retaining most if not all the features in HW-E450, they appear to be in good position to maintain their market dominance. Overall, Samsung sound bar HW-F450 is a good sound bar but do not expect it to deliver a true surround sound experience.

If the latest Samsung sound bar does not make your cut, take a look at our best sound bar pick.

5 Comments

  1. Pavel

    Isn’t the HDMI connection used for the Anynet+ feature?

    Meaning that if I connect it to my Samsung TV via the HDMI cable, I can than operate both TV and sound bar by TV remote. So I dont need to have 2 remotes.

    • Fredric

      Hi Pavel,

      The answer to your question is: Yes. This feature is generally known as Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) and each vendor has their own trade name. In the case of Samsung, the name is Anynet+. And yes, you can operate both the TV and sound bar using a single remote control.

      I gave it a try when it was launched initially but the experience was not that smooth during then. I’ve not tested it as of late. It’d be interesting to hear if anyone has any say on this.

      Fred

      • After reading through your review and few other, I bought this sound bar a week ago.

        I connected it to my Samsung TV (PS60E6500ES) via HDMI cable and it started working right away. I can turn down/up the volume with my Samsung TV remote. Turning off the TV turns off the bar as well. Opposite I can use the sound bar remote to operate the TV.

        The only problem I have is when turning the TV on, it doesn’t turn on the bar. Still couldn’t find an answer to solve that. Otherwise works perfectly.

  2. Dave

    HDMI is best used for the ARC function on your T.V. Works great. I don’t have to switch sources.

  3. Randy Russell

    I bought this unit a few months ago works great except it shuts down after about 8 hours of use. Can’t find any settings that control this,have to turn the unit back on and it will stay on for another 8 hours. Any suggestions

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