Soundbars are in no way here to take over the audio industry by beating their older brothers, the 5.1 surround system. However, they have created a niche of their own and in recent times, business is picking up on the soundbar end of things as they offer good audio at a much more affordable price. As you probably already know, with audio we always want the bigger speaker as that usually means better sound. However, the Samsung Hw-D550 Audiobar shows that that’s not necessarily always the case as it is a small sound bar that gives very loud audio. This just goes to show that attention must also be paid to the quality of the drivers used so you can get quality audio for much less real estate. So if this short introduction got you excited then read on to learn more about this soundbar.
Measuring in at 3.2 x 41.5 x 1.8 inches, the Samsung HW-D550 is truly a slim audio bar, living up to its compact soundbar tagline. At 1.8 inches thick, it is way smaller than the famous Vizio VHT510 which measures 4.3 inch thick. When compared to the Vizio VHT510 in terms of weight as well, this surroundbar tips the scales at only 4.3 pounds as compared to the 7.8 pound Vizio VHT510. This soundbar is designed mainly for 46-inch screens but it can also be used for TVs within the 40 to 52 inch screen size range. Being so small and thin, it’s ideal for being wall mounted but at the same time it could also sit right in front of your TV and not get in the way of anything. The Samsung HW-D550 audiobar also looks good with its smooth and glossy looking black front surface with the drivers sitting there uncovered. The front also has a display which is lit up by blue LEDs whenever there is something to display like audio sources or volume levels.
Included with the soundbar is of course a wireless subwoofer unit. It shares the same glossy black design with the soundbar but does not share its compact and lightweight features as it weighs 11.3 pounds. Measuring 13.8 x 11.6 x 7 inches its front is smooth and shiny black and on the right is an open port for cooling purposes. Seeing that this audiobar can also work as an A/V receiver, Samsung has been nice enough to throw in a full-featured remote control. You get the usual suspects like Power, Volume and input controls. Other than that you get buttons for the soundbar’s additional features like 3D Sound and a nifty button called Dimmer to turn down the brightness of the indicator lights. It also includes a few HDTV controls so you can just lie on your sofa and let your fingers do the job. The Samsung Hw-D550 soundbar is actually made up of a couple of 2 inch midrange drivers plus a 1.5 inch tweeter on each side.
The Samsung HW-D550 ships with its own wireless subwoofer, but what makes this subwoofer different from the rest is the fact that it’s dual-band. What this means is that this subwoofer can be hidden anywhere in the room and at the same time you don’t have to worry about any possible interference. Thanks to its dual-band 2.4 and 5.8 GHz operating frequency, whenever it detects interference on its operating frequency, it jumps to the other available frequency. This ensures you get that booming bass all the time. The sound bar also promises to provide virtual surround sound which uses Samsung’s “3D audio depth” feature to use acoustic reflection to produce a simulated surround sound effect. It definitely manages to give some sense of depth and immersion that you usually get from a 5.1-channel surround sound system but it’s not capable of replacing a true 5.1 channel surround sound system just yet. This feature also relies on the dimensions of your home theater so you need the walls to be spaced apart properly on the sides to get the best out of the technology.
With the Samsung HW-D550 audiobar, you also get something called the Smart Volume technology. What this feature does is that it keeps your volume on a steady level even when commercials are aired. So instead of having a sudden spike in volume when the commercials are aired, you now get a balanced experience throughout thanks to the Smart Volume technology. You will find all the connectivity options on the back of the soundbar and they are all recessed and face sideways. There are two mini-HDMI inputs for your use and there is also a mini-HDMI output on the Samsung HW-D550 audiobar. Adding to that list is a couple of optical audio inputs as well as a 3.5mm analog line input. Don’t get excited about the USB port as it’s there just for firmware updates.
Setting up the LG LSB316 soundbar with wireless subwoofer
The location of your soundbar is in your hands really as this surround bar can fit right in front your TV set or can also be easily wall mounted. Things are made a lot easier for you as wall mount is included. Other than that, you won’t have much in the way of set up. Leave everything else to the remote control and you will be good to go.
This surround bar did throw out some impressive sounds. Although we must say that the 3D Sound feature wasn’t really doing much here it still did give you that slight improvement as it gave a subtle roundness to a film’s soundtrack. Bass was not an issue here as it was superb. Although Vizio VHT510 might still stand tall in this category, the Samsung HW-D550 audiobar could definitely give it a run for its money. This is because we got some solid bass without minimal distortion.
Pros and Cons
The Samsung HW-D550 audiobar may be small, but don’t judge it by its size as it packs some high quality audio output. It also sports a very attractive design. It’s great to note that it can double as an A/V receiver or switch and has a great remote to go hand in hand with that feature.
3D sound was a real downer as it came nowhere close to replicating surround sound.
As stated earlier, for a relatively small soundbar, the Samsung HW-D550 audiobar gave a pleasant surprise with its performance. If things are getting crowded at home with all kinds of players and receivers, then this sound bar might be a good addition to those looking for a small yet powerful soundbar.