Which sound bar brand?
Samsung sound bars rated
By Daniel Nissenbaum
Article 6 of 8
Our independent and expert guide can give you the lowdown on Samsung sound bars, so you can decide whether the brand is right for you.
Samsung is one of the best-selling sound bar manufacturers in the UK and launches around six models a year. Some are offered in black or silver finishes, styled to complement the company’s large range of LED and plasma TVs, but all work and look good with TVs from other brands.
Like other brands, Samsung offers several different sound modes and a surround sound mode. Models featuring Samsung SoundShare can connect wirelessly to compatible Samsung TVs, so a cable isn’t needed to transmit audio. These models feature Bluetooth - some also include NFC - to allow wireless music streaming from tablets and other portable devices. Those that lack Bluetooth offer a way to play music via a cable connection - every Samsung sound bar features either 3.5mm stereo mini-jack or USB inputs.
In the table below, we've rounded up some of the key facts about the brand to help you decide whether a Samsung sound bar would be right for you. Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below.
|Samsung sound bars overview table|
|Number tested in the past three years||14|
|Number of Best Buys|
|Average test score|
|Brand reliability rating|
|Customer score (%)|
|Should I buy one?|
|Table notes||Average test score based on results of models tested that are still available in shops. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2016 of 284 Samsung sound bar owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 5 June 2017.|
Interested in a Samsung sound bar? Read our expert Samsung sound bar reviews.
How much do Samsung sound bars cost?
Entry-level models cost less than £180 and are styled to suit 40 to 42-inch TVs, while top-end models come with extras, such as a wireless subwoofer and media streaming features; these can cost from £600 to more than £1,000 and are styled to suit big-screen TVs, 46 to 55-inches in size or larger. However, features such as Bluetooth are included with some of its more affordable models.
How to choose a Samsung sound bar
Most Samsung sound bars come with an external subwoofer – a dedicated speaker which enhances low-frequency sounds (particularly in films and music). Entry-level models come with a wired or wireless subwoofer, but some of Samsung's 2017 models have moved away from subwoofers and back to single-unit designs. Samsung claims that it has worked out how to get excellent bass without one, and for the most part we agree.
Samsung surround-sound processing
Samsung claims its digital processing adds depth to the sound as if it’s horizontally surrounding you (like a 5.1 channel surround sound system), without having rear speakers. Its premium models also feature ‘vertical surround sound’, which aims to give noises a sense of height, as well as horizontal position. ‘DRC’ (Dynamic Range Compression) mode is designed to help you enjoy good quality Dolby Digital sound available on some DVD/Blu-ray soundtracks and TV broadcasts even at a low volume, reducing the volume of loud sounds and amplifying quiet sounds.
You can select various preset sound modes to suit what you’re watching, including Music, News, Drama, Cinema, Sports or Game. Whether you do is down to personal preference - tests we find such effects sometimes sound unnatural, but you can choose 'Off' to listen without extra processing.
Some sound bars do a great job with stereo and moving horizontal sound, such as a car speeding from left to right, but it’s hard to beat a surround-sound system for hearing a pin drop behind you. To learn more, read Sound bar vs home cinema vs surround sound system: which is best?.