Conveniently wireless subwoofer
Slightly metallic tone
No HDMI inputs
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Samsung's flashy HW-C450 soundbar is designed to complement its own glossy black TVs with glowing touch-sensitive controls and a narrow profile.
There's no grill so, hopefully, you won't mind the drive units being on display. What's more, Samsung has solved the problem of trailing cables with a subwoofer that operates wirelessly.
It's also reasonably well connected, with three digital and analogue inputs and a mini jack for an MP3 player.
It's very easy to set up, too. Just run an optical cable from your receiver to the system and plug both into the mains and you're away. The soundbar will switch itself on when it detects a signal, and in turn automatically send a wireless signal to the sub. The two units had no problems pairing up or dropping the signal.
With the slick touch controls on the bar and an ergonomic remote control, this bar could only be improved by auto source select so you don't have to scroll through the inputs. In fact, the HW-C450 does a fine job of replacing feeble TV speakers.
With the help of the sub, the scale, volume and projection of the sound from our V+ box were impressive. The tweeters provide plenty of detail, giving dialogue much better definition, while the sub adds atmospheric warmth to music and special effects. Cinema mode adds a little extra depth.
An attractively textured finish disguises the sub's slightly flimsy construction. It doesn't have the power or punch of an MDF sub, but it's enough to produce the essential room-filling ambient bass.
A slightly metallic tone from the speaker array reminds you that this is a budget speaker solution, but it's a vast improvement on any TV speakers we've heard.
Like the Sharp HTSB400, this speaker likes to play loud, only this time it has the bass channel to back it up.
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Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.