Soundbar provides rich, room filling sound from a single unit.
A few years back, I invested in a premium home surround system for my living room television set-up. It’s a 5.1 stereo surround sound system that is run through a Denon audio/video receiver. Part of the reason I did this was to ensure I was able to hear what was happening on my favorite shows and movies. You see, I am hearing impaired and sometimes it’s very difficult for me to make out what’s going on through dialogue. That said, I was a little apprehensive about switching from my trusty surround sound to the Samsung SoundBar Sound+. So, here are some details about my experience.
First of all, let me give some details of the soundbar itself.
- Nine speakers with dedicated amps provide deep bass and room-filling sound. The wide-range tweeter from Samsung also covers a wide frequency range.
HD Audio preserves the quality and richness of the original sound through 96kHz/24 bit high-resolution
- Sound Modes analyzes the content and gives you optimized sound.
- Bluetooth/Wi-Fi Connectivity allows you to connect wirelessly to your mobile device and even some Samsung TVs support this.
- 4K Pass-through allows you to connect any 4K video source like a UHD Blu-ray player, through the Samsung Sound+ Soundbar to your TV for rich sound and 4K picture quality.
SOUND QUALITY – Because I know this is what most people want to know about a speaker set, I thought I would cover this first. Being that I am hearing impaired, crisp, clear sound is something I can be really hard for me to find. The SoundBar actually beats my Klipsch surround system in clarity. It didn’t sound like any sounds were muddled or meshed together. It was just clear even sounds. Even with complicated sound tracks like from Transformers, the sound mix was spot on. I could hear the dialogue very well. The only thing I was really missing was the ‘boom’ from my subwoofer. So, if you were looking at the two systems side-by-side, I would say that some depth is missing simply because all the sound is coming at you from the front instead of all around the room.
VOLUME – This is always a part of the sound puzzle that I have some trouble with. I can’t seem to find a happy medium between where I can hear the shows and what is too loud for others in the room. The SoundBar does a pretty good job with volume, but it varies between the different modes. What I mean by this is the first test we did was to connect to the SoundBar via Bluetooth. We cranked up the volume and were completely blown away by the volume level. Then we connected to our TV through the Digital Optical cable and after we turned up our TV show to 100% on the SoundBar, we still couldn’t hear it very well. It just wasn’t as a loud as the Bluetooth mode.
CONNECTIVITY – My opinion of the connection options is a little fuzzy. As I mentioned above, I was able to connect to my phone using Bluetooth and I didn’t have any issues with it. I love that that is an option with the SoundBar because it makes it easy to share music with family and friends that might be visiting. The other options include HDMI and Digital Optical. I wasn’t able to try the HDMI connection because of how my system was hooked up. But, I did try the Digital Optical connection and while it worked, I just wasn’t happy with the volume difference as I noted above.
INTEGRATION WITH EXISTING SYSTEMS – During my testing I decided to try and integrate the SoundBar with my existing surround sound system. While this sounds like a good idea, it didn’t quite work for me. This could have been because of how I tried it, but there was a timing issues that caused a bit of an echo between the SoundBar and the rest of the surround sound system. If I completely ripped apart the system, I may have been able to make it work better, but as far as a quick integration, don’t expect it to work without some re-engineering of your existing system.
All in all, the SoundBar is a win in my book. It’s particularly great if you don’t have an existing system because then it’s an instant amplification of the TV’s audio, which could always use a boost.
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