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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent if you have a 2013 Samsung TV, just Good if you don't
I purchased this to replace my old Samsung HW-C451 sound bar that I purchased 2.5 years ago with an 8000-series Samsung LED TV. I'm more of a surround-sound guy, but my wife doesn't like the "clutter" so we settled on a sound bar. I love the convenience and sleekness. My old set-up was all peripherals connected directly to the TV (DirecTV, BluRay, Wii) via HDMI (component...
Published 17 months ago by M. Prokop

versus
81 of 94 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Improvement Over TV Speakers
NOTE: If you are going to use this soundbar with a Samsung TV make sure your TV has the "Anynet+" feature in order to control the soundbar with the TV remote. Otherwise you are stuck using 2 remotes. See below.

Pros:
- Sound is much better than TV speakers
- Solid physical construction
- Wireless Sub

Cons:
- Price
- Bar will...
Published 18 months ago by Capt. Scott


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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent if you have a 2013 Samsung TV, just Good if you don't, June 28, 2013
I purchased this to replace my old Samsung HW-C451 sound bar that I purchased 2.5 years ago with an 8000-series Samsung LED TV. I'm more of a surround-sound guy, but my wife doesn't like the "clutter" so we settled on a sound bar. I love the convenience and sleekness. My old set-up was all peripherals connected directly to the TV (DirecTV, BluRay, Wii) via HDMI (component for Wii). Then, I had a single Toslink optical audio cable running from my TV output to the sound bar input. That's it. It worked brilliantly. The sound bar turned on automatically when I turned on the TV, and it auto-offed after 15 minutes of inactivity. Every remote on the table controlled the volume without any special settings. It just worked.

That's what I expected with the new sound bar. Unfortunately, I think it's too smart for its own good. The new sound bar has fancy options such as "Anynet+" and "Soundshare." I originally tried the exact same setup as before (optical audio cable only, no HDMI to the soundbar). The sound worked, but I could not get it to auto-on or off, and I could not control the volume with any other remotes. Then I tried using only the HDMI, but I couldn't get any sound at all. Then I tried connecting BOTH the HDMI and the Toslink... with Anynet+ on I could now control the volume from any remote, and it would auto-off when I turned off the TV. However, the soundbar wouldn't auto-on when I turned on the TV.

I spent hours trying every conceivable option on the soundbar and the TV, with no luck. The choice came to to: 1) auto-on works but must use soundbar remote to control volume; or 2) any remote can control the volume, but must use soundbar remote to turn on the sound bar. After much research, I think the issue is because I'm using a couple year older TV. The 2013 Samsung TV's DO work the way I want, from what I'm reading.

Speaking in terms of sound quality, this soundbar is awesome! It was immediately apparent that this was an upgrade from my old soundbar. The subwoofer is bigger than my old one, but still small enough to fit behind my TV stand. The subwoofer connects without any issue, though the manual does tell you how to manually pair it in case you have issues. The overall build quality is stellar. I love the mesh front with the hidden LCD display, very slick! This thing gets LOUD! Lots of settings for fancy 3D sound or auto-level for nighttime viewing, etc. The Bluetooth works very well with my iPhone. Great sound quality. I love how the pairing is forgotten once the sound bar turns off. The benefit there is that my phone doesn't try to auto connect to the sound bar unless I specifically want it to. Also, it makes it easier for my wife and I to both use the soundbar, since only one phone can connect at a time (so, if mine auto-connected, then it'd be annoying for her).

I struggled between 3 or 4 stars for this soundbar. Ultimately, I'm giving it 4. If the remote thing worked seamlessly, it'd be an easy 5 stars. The audio quality is great and the bluetooth is a nice touch. For people with 2013 Samsung TV's, I imagine you won't have these issues. I'm jealous of you!
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value great sound!, April 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have done extensive research and read reviews on Sound Bars through CNET, Amazon, etc and have been in multiple Audio stores over the past week reviewing items. This by far has been the best value and bang for the buck. The older Samsung models did lack some sound and features. This fits my needs perfectly and delivers a solid sound for the room I need. This will be wall mounted underneath a Vizio E Series Razor 55" LED/LCD. I was able to connect my Samsung Galaxy Note II via bluetooth immediately and play music within seconds. This will be great for dinner parties or just listening to music throughout the top floor of our home, as the family room opens to our kitchen and dining room.

Not sure about the link of remotes/volume to the Cable remote but that is not a feature I care about.

Features that attracted me were:
- Sleek design with all black grill no product labels facing out
- LED display rolls behind grill in middle of speaker when you change inputs.
- Sound Max is +50 which was MORE that enough
- HDMI Input/Output and Optical connection as well.

Will update review once completely setup and used for a while.
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81 of 94 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Improvement Over TV Speakers, May 24, 2013
NOTE: If you are going to use this soundbar with a Samsung TV make sure your TV has the "Anynet+" feature in order to control the soundbar with the TV remote. Otherwise you are stuck using 2 remotes. See below.

Pros:
- Sound is much better than TV speakers
- Solid physical construction
- Wireless Sub

Cons:
- Price
- Bar will not sit above TV stand base
- Not fully compatible with all Samsung TVs (Need 2 remotes)

****

- If you own a Samsung TV or are thinking about purchasing one, you may find the following information beneficial. Hopefully my frustrations and research will save you from the misunderstands and mistakes I made when purchasing an HDTV and later a soundbar -

I purchased a new Samsung LED HDTV six months ago, and like many others, was very disappointed with the low quality sound from the built-in speakers. I looked to purchase a soundbar with the goal of using only one remote control for everything.

Bought this model soundbar at a wholesale club to go with my TV thinking since both were made by Samsung and having HDMI connections they would sync up automatically. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Samsung has a device feature called "Anynet+" introduced in 2010. It is Samsung's implementation of HDMI-CEC specification. CEC stands for Consumer Electronics Control. It's an HDMI feature designed to allow the user to command and control other CEC-enabled devices, that are connected through HDMI, by using only one remote control (for example by controlling a television set, set-top box, and DVD player using only the remote control of the TV).

I read the following from Samsung's Product description for this soundbar and thought this was just what I was looking for -

"Anynet+(tm) (HDMI-CEC)
With Samsung`s Anynet+ you`ll enjoy one-touch control for all your HDMI-connected compatible devices like your Samsung TV, Blu-ray Disc player, AV Receiver and Home Theater."

The key word being "compatible". Just because two Samsung devices connect using HDMI does not mean they are CEC compatible. This discovery was made after my purchase and much research and many phone calls to Samsung Customer Support. (I'm not sure their Cust. Support people fully understand the issue.)

Problem is, both Samsung devices need to have the "Anynet+" (HDMI-CEC) feature built in, which my 2012 TV does not. If a device has HDMI, it does not mean HDMI-CEC is enabled. So I'm having to use two remotes which I find to be a real inconvenience. The soundbar remote for volume/mute and the TV remote for all other functions.

Update: I have found a universal remote made by URC with the learning feature which will operate all devices.

On the plus side the sound is much better than the TV speakers.
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91 of 109 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars quality control and customer service fail., May 25, 2013
By 
Lee (TAMPA, FL, US) - See all my reviews
Updated January 6th 2014:
Was good while it lasted. Over the last few weeks I have noticed the subwoofer intermittently losing connectivity. I went ahead and reset and reconnected the sound bar and sub with the same problem occurring. Called Samsung who wants me to ship the subwoofer to a repair facility and wait 14 days. Now all things considered electronics go bad no and then but when they do you really can't expect customers to ship subwoofers and wait for repairs for a sound bar that cost almost 400 dollars retail. I would not be so upset if the Samsung TV I bought last year also needed to be repaired. Samsung epic fail quality control and customer service. I Spend thousands a year on electronics and will never buy Samsung again.

I was looking for something with ARC (audio return channel)as my audio option. Just to clarify ARC does the same thing that your digital audio cable or tos link cable does. So if you use one optical cable going out to your audio source for all the hdmi connectons this ARC technology does the same exact thing except using HDMI. Not all flat screens support ARC but if your TV is less than 2 years old you probably have it and don't even know. Quickest way to check is look at your hdmi ports and the names next to them. Usually hdmi port 1 or 2 is the ARC port which means that one hdmi cable will be used on that port going straight to the sound bar. The otherhdmi ports used for your video as normal. On the sind bar just select digital and yourgood to go. Below is my review.

I was looking for a quality sound bar without breaking the 500 dollar mark. I first purchased the hwf450 which if you are even considering just forget about. the 450 really had little bass and poor sound plus it is not made as well as the 550. I happened to by my 550 from best buy for 309.99 after getting a cool manager to price match pcnation, a lesser known retailer. Once I got the 550 home I knew there was a difference in quality between the 450 and 550. The 550 sound bar is heavy and it feels significant as the 450 is light and less substantial. Once I powered the 550 on it auto discovered the wireless sub. The richness and sound quality was immediately apparent. The Bass is deep and adjustable the highs are clean and accurate. Voice is clear and easy to discern among the other sounds in a given movie ortv show. I highly recommend this above all other brands and sound bars in this price range.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For those having auto on/off issues, July 21, 2013
By 
Found this on another Samsung soundbar review, now the auto on feature works perfectly and at max it will turn off automatically with no activity for 20mins. Your configuration of cables and settings must be exactly as outlined below and I recommend doing a reset of your sound settings on your tv before setting this up.

Not sure if this works for other tvs, just Samsung as far as I know.

USE 1 REMOTE, September 10, 2012
By Matt Wilson
This review is from: Samsung HW-E450 Wireless AirTrack Sound Bar (Electronics)
Many people seem to have problems turning the speaker on with the TV. I was able to figure this out in about 20 mins and figured I'd let everyone know what I did.

This is for Samsung TV's as I can only speak for my Samsung TV.

I have the speaker hooked up via HDMI. I am using a different HDMI cable for audio as I'm not passing video through the sound bar.

TV ports:

HDMI 1 is my Cable Box
HDMI 2 is my sound bar

In your TV settings under "system" / "Anynet+",

Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) "ON"
Auto Turn off "NO" (YES I SAID "NO")
Reciver "ON"

When you turn the TV off the sound bar will stay on. But after 20mins it shuts itself down. When you turn the TV back on the sound bar will also turn back on. You will never have to turn the sound bar on again.

Also you can still change the volume with this setup.

Enjoy NEVER having to use the Sound bar remote again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great soundbar!, January 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought both the Samsung F550 and F450. Both are outstanding sound bars. I'm using the 450 in a smaller theater room, with the 550 in the great room. Paired each with a Samsung 2013 LED TV using (Anynet+) HDMI ARC port and the fiber optic link. Definitely provides an upgrade in audio compared to minimal speakers included in flat screen televisions.

These sound bars are perfect when coupled with a large LED or Plasma TV, if you don't have a room pre-wired for 5.1 or 7.1 speakers. Sound bars aren't intended to sound better than a wired surround setup, as they provide a solution for customers looking for a high quality sound experience that doesn't detract from the video experience on a large TV. If you really want the best audio, buy lots of speakers and install around the room, making sure to install into a theater-type room (fewer windows and open doors, square or rectangle layout). If you have a more open space, such as a great room that doesn't really provide a clean box for surround speakers, or if you simply want a KISS solution, the sound bar is a perfect fit. In past homes I've spent a lot of money and time installing 7.1 with a lot of gear. I don't have the time for that anymore. After the last move, I was looking for an efficient solution to outfitting several rooms in a new house with good audio/video equipment. Bought all new. Spent a few weekends researching online and in showrooms, then made the purchases. Very pleased with the results. Most importantly, the wife and kids love the simplicity of the setup, fewer remotes to manage, much more dramatic impression given the understated design and minimalistic approach that sound bars present. I don't have to think about the technology, I can simply enjoy the experience. That's a huge improvement over years ago.

Using HDMI ARC, no need to use the remote control provided with the sound bar. I'm using a DirecTV remote and it controls the TV power and volume, which drives the sound bar. When watching a BlueRay or other media source, I use either the DirecTV remote or the TV remote to control the volume. The sound bar remote is rarely necessary in this setup. Will stress again - I do not need to use the sound bar remote, as it powers-on automatically based on what the TV is doing, directed by the HDMI ARC connection.

Wireless sub-woofer. Quick, easy setup. No apparent conflict with other Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices in the home, and we have a lot of gadgets... two teens and two adults, something close to 30 computer and mobile devices, about half using Wi-Fi and the other half on wired LAN connections and/or Ethernet-over-Powerline connections. Introducing these two sound bars with wireless sub-woofers hasn't causing any issues, and the sub-woofers can pair with other devices (although the kids typically use headphones instead).

Bought the televisions and sound bars mid-2013 and still love the gear. I have one more room with a large TV and no audio upgrade yet, considering buying a second 550 for that area, too. I've become a fan of Samsung products over the past two years - Samsung LED TVs, BlueRay players, laptop, Galaxy S4 phones, Note2 phone, and both the F550 and F450 sound bars. No complaints about any of the latest model Samsung products.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mid-level soundbar, August 14, 2013
This review is from: Samsung HW-F551 2.1-Channel 310 Watt Soundbar (Silver) (Electronics)
After looking at the instructions and peoples comments, there seems to be a lot of confusion on how to hook this up properly. This unit is designed for TV's that have ARC (Audio Return Channel). ARC users: Connect the HDMI OUT on soundbar to HDMI IN (ARC) on TV with a ARC compatible HDMI cable. Then plug all your external devices (xbox, cable box, etc) straight to TV with HDMI cable. Make sure ARC is enabled in your TV settings (different manufacturers call it different things. (Samsung is anynet+)). Also if you have uverse, go into menu > help > audio options > and make sure you change the sound from stereo to surround sound (to give you dolby digital) Comcast and direct tv users might want to check your settings as well on your actual cable box. Soundbar will power on and off with tv and the soundbar should display TV ARC. Also with this setup, all your audio will be in its original source (not compressed or downgraded). Make sure the HDMI cable you use from soundbar HDMI OUT to TV HDMI ARC IN is ARC compatible like this one AmazonBasics High Speed HDMI Cable Meters . These HDMI cables from amazon are just as good of quality as any other 100$ + cable you will buy in any store for a fraction of the price.

As far as the performance of this unit: It has different presets like 'news', 'cinema', 'music', and 'OFF'. I tend to use the OFF setting the most because it sounds the best when I watch TV or movies (it is very balanced). I also switch to 'news' a lot when I watch the daily show or the Colbert report or any news channel. The 'news' preset really brings out the voice so you can clearly hear whoever is speaking. I tried cinema for a movie but it sounded too hollow for my liking. There is also a 'sports' preset which tries to mimic what it sounds like to be at the stadium. It sounds awesome and I can't wait for football season to start! One downside is it does not allow you to use a custom setting which would be nice. The volume goes up to 50 but I rarely go past 20 so it is plenty loud unless you are near deaf. The subwoofer has its own setting from -6 to +6 and I tend to keep mine from +1 to +2 depending on the source. I like to watch my movies loud and I don't like my bass distorted or rattling anything. +1 to +2 on the sub keeps the bass nice and tight. The subwoofer is wireless so try playing around with different locations if you feel like you are not getting enough 'punch'.

Overall, I am happy with my purchase. For the price it delivers great sound, looks clean, and is easy to setup. Again, if your TV doesn't support HDMI ARC, you might want to look for a system with more inputs. Also if you are comparing this to a full 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system with speakers all over the room, obviously this will not be the same. It is however, a great alternative with near surround sound performance depending on the shape of your room and location of your seating area without the hassle of all the cables, extra audio receiver, and speakers everywhere. I would recommend...
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best method for connecting., June 3, 2013
Throw away the user manual. For non-Samsung TV owners, set up as follows:

1. Optical Cable from TV to soundbar (if you do not have an optical I apologize, use the manual or your best judgment). This is the "D. In" method.

2. Cable Box to TV via HDMI (also your other consoles/DVD HDMI directly to your TV).

The reason this is THE best way to go is because:

1. You are not beholden to your soundbar to watch TV; you will be able to choose whether or not you want to use your soundbar or TV speakers.

2. You can choose to leave your soundbar off and still watch TV. If you connect cable box via HDMI to the soundbar, and then from the soundbar to your TV via HDMI, you can only watch tv with the soundbar on in "HDMI" setting, and if you want to use the AUX or Bluetooth say goodbye to the TV.

3. Let's say you are watching TV and want to mute and then use your iphone or ipod to play via Bluetooth, with this method you can simply change soundbar to Bluetooth mode while still being able to watch your TV and listen to it via your built in speakers if needed.

The sound bar itself sounds great, subwoofer is very powerful and can be adjusted and connected right out of the box (unlike the Sony CT550 that did not link to the sub).

Overall I would highly recommend this if you are using the above setup.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This would probably be a pain without 2013 Samsung F7500, October 23, 2013
I have a new Samsung UN60F7500....2013 model, and that is exactly what this soundbar was designed for.

Using the soundshare feature, the audio is transmitted 100% via Bluetooth, so I only need to plug into the electrical outlet on both the Sub AND Soundbar. I did not have any trouble getting the soundbar to sync with the Samsung TV remote and my Harmony remote. With the 2013 models, once you pair the soundbar and sync with soundshare, it acts as a part of the TV (TV & soundbar turn on / off together as well)

As far as the sound goes, I wasn't expecting much, but it is VERY impressive. It fills the room and sounds great!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This sound bar rocks!, July 16, 2013
I have been in the market for a sound bar for quite a while. I was on the verge of getting the new Vizio 5.1 system but the soundbar speakers are so tall, they would cover the front of my tv and it wouldnt look so good. Another concern was that my tv only had 2 hdmi ports and I am currently using both of them. This unit has an HDMI in and HDMI out so you wouldnt be losing a HDMI slot by adding this.

My biggest concerns with a sound bar was that I didnt want to deal with multiple remotes. Well, I am happy to say I hooked everything up yesterday and have everything controlled with my DirecTV DVR remote and I love this set up. I own a samsung tv (Samsung UN60EH6000), DirecTV DVR box, and now this sound bar. Here are a few tips to set it up the way I did.

TV - Disable the sound to external speakers. This way, when you go up and down on the volume, the tv speakers do not work.
Directv box - In the settings, I controlled the box with AV1 function. They did not have this particular model in the remote setup menu so I just picked one that was close to the model. At this point, you can check to see if AV1 is controlling the volume and the power. Once thats set up, then there is a 4 option menu that shows up on directv. One of them is to bypass the sound control. Go to this and point the remote to the receiver and voila, once its all set up, you can control the sound bar with the remote left on the Directv controls (not having to switch back and forth to AV1)

The sound on this unit has been very good so far for tv. I will test it out with some gaming and Blu Ray movies shortly. The bluetooth feature works flawlessly and is nice to have. The unit is very slim, sleek and sexy.

The only gripe I have so far is that the LCD screen is a bit annoying. The screen would be much more functional if they made the screen longer or made the font smaller. A lot of the info that I want to see is scrolled at the end of the line.
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Samsung HW-F551 2.1-Channel 310 Watt Soundbar (Silver)
$399.99 $347.99
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