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Customer Review

154 of 177 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware, August 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung HW-E350 AirTrack Soundbar (Electronics)
The only inputs in this device are an HDMI out to the TV, the HDMI in, and an auxillary for components. The HDMI out to the TV requires your TV to have Audio Return Control. If your TV doesn't, and my late 2010 Samsung Plasma (doesn't seem that old, does it?) does not, you will have to use the Auxillary (which I had to plug into the cable box). Why on earth would Samsung create a Sound Bar without an optical input at a minimum? (The next model up has 1 HDMI and 1 optical but costs 100 dollars more!). There were virtually no instructions provided to deal with this situation and no where addresses the issue everyone has which is the existence of the cable box/HD box. I called Samsung and the customer service tech was literally shocked when he determined there was no optical input on this Soundbar. He also couldn't tell me whether my plasma had ARC. His instruction was to go buy a 1.4 HDMI cord (only HDMI cords that will handle ARC), and then plug and unplug the cord into each of the four HDMI inputs on the TV to see if any will work. Why is Samsung making products that you have to go through this process to determine whether it will even work? For heck's sake, I have to go buy a new HDMI cord because I don't know if my existing HDMI cords are 1.4!!!??? What a horrible process.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 23, 2012 6:49:32 AM PDT
This review made me realize that I don't want to deal with another Samsung product. I have a beautiful Samsung plasma tv with great picture and what i believe is a blown speaker. I thought I could bypass the TV speaker and use a soundbar instead, but this has changed my mind. I'll either look at another brand or live with the tv as is.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 7:05:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 7:05:19 PM PST
Trust Me says:
I agree entirely with your review. This will be the last time I purchase a SAMSUNG product. What a waste of time and money.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 12:59:24 AM PST
sadpanda says:
My Samsung 2010 Plasma has ARC for the HDMI 2 port. The documentation is very poor behind that though.

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 11:00:49 AM PST
pigflipper says:
The sound quality is good and is a great improvement over the pitiful speakers in the new Samsung super slim LED HD TVs. About all you can say about the TV speakers is you can tell the TV is on. If you plan to buy one of the super slim Samsung TVs you better figure on a sound bar. The sound is a great improvement over the TV speakers. The 3D surround sound has fooled out dog several times into thinking someone else was in our home.

My issue with this product is Samsung's "Anynet+" system is somewhat of a joke. I bought the Samsung branded sound bar because of the Samsung pitch that my new 46" Samsung LED LCD TV will control any other Samsung branded device as long as all devices support "Anynet+." That's more of a maybe, maybe not, or a not quite complete control situation.

The TV manual does state that for a device connected to an "Anynet+" capable TV there is an auto shutoff feature. Means when you turn off the TV the attached device (sound bar) also turns off. Silly me to expect it to work in reverse. I just didn't read between those lines in the manual. I expected that when I turned on the TV the sound bar would also turn on. Not so. You must turn on the attached device manually with its own remote. Further more the sound bar defaults to a non-supported setting when it is turned on so you must also press the SAT button on the sound bar remote 3 times before you get a picture on the TV.

I contacted Samsung support and I dealt with 4 different support people by chat and two more by phone. Three of the 4 chat reps told me to run an optical cable from the cable box to the sound bar and the cable box will turn on the attached sound bar. But, what they failed to say, or even knew, is then your TV will no longer turn off the sound bar. Not a problem with turning off. It draws so little current I could just leave it on, but there was one other little problem. The HW-E350 sound bar does not have an optical port. All three of the chat support techs who made the optical cable suggestion didn't mention that my model sound bar (HW-E350) didn't have an optical port.

I finally got to a person in the sound bar department that told me I needed to upgrade from a model 350 to a model 450 to get the optical port but she is also the one who also informed me it would be an either-or situation even with an optical cable. The TV would no longer turn off the sound bar, and I suspect the TV remote would also not control the sound bar.

So, if I return my current sound bar, spend and additional $75 for a the next higher model, plus about $25 for an optical cable long enough to reach, all will turn on with a single remote, but I still need two remotes to turn all off. I also will still need the sound bar remote when I turn on everything with the cable box remote because the sound bar insist on going back it's default setting when turned off and back on. So, no matter how you attaché the sound bar you can not get away from using 2 remote controls, with or without Anynet+. The most frustrating part was dealing with Samsung's very slow chat system and phone support system and not being able to get a straight answer from anyone in support. It was only after I went to the sound bar product department that I got a clear answer. It doesn't work as advertised, and never will.

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 9:10:05 AM PST
I tried to connect mine last night and had the same problems you did. Actually I had my friend who works fon an IT company and has a Ph.D. in physics and it took him an hour of plugging and unplugging to figure it out even though we had ARC HDMI cables as it requires. We ended up routing it through my DirecTV box. But you have to used two remotes and scroll through all of the inputs on the sound bar to get it to turn on the TV. And worst of all we couldn't figure out a way to plug my blu-ray player into the soundbar which is infuriating since I really wanted to enhance my movie watching experience. My TV and blu-ray are Samsung products. The TV is only a couple of months so it does have ARC. But this is insane just to marginally improve the sound. I think I am going to take it back. I got it for 1/2 price @ HHGregg but even at that price its not worth the hassle and shortcomings.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 4:52:11 AM PST
The HD-350 would of ben better for you. It has 2 optical imputs and a sterio imput. Unfortumenate for you you probably can"t return this unit. It works well with my Sammy 52"lcd. The tv puts the soundbar on automaticly. Shuts itself off auto with no sig. after 20 minutes. The different dsp sounds will satisfy your taste for different programing. Has the same wattage oout as yours with decient little sub action built in. But you are RIGHT on Samsung audio products. Not my favorite when it comes to home theater. TNX for the good review as I almost bought this model and don"t have a ARC return for HDMI. Richard

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 4:59:08 AM PST
Jeanne get a sound bar with an optical digital input, shut your Samsund internal speakers off and the soundbar wether it"s a Samsund or other tv brand will sound good. Your halfway there with the Samsung plasma. Good luck. Richard

Posted on Feb 12, 2013 10:55:40 AM PST
SeeBeeKay says:
I haven't purchased this product, but after reading the manual it seems that there are three hookup methods that could work. The first method is to run the HDMI cable from your source to the input on the Sound Bar, and another HDMI cable from the output on the sound bar to your TV. This hookup would sidestep the issues with ARC that the reviewer has had. I believe perhaps the reviewer was not aware of this hookup method. Has anyone tried this to confirm it would work?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2013 9:01:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 28, 2013 9:02:10 PM PST
Louise Paul says:
I bought a 350 today and, yes, HDMI from sat box to soundbar and HDMI from soundbar to TV works quite nicely but still have to use 350 remote to turn off/on.

Posted on Mar 20, 2014 12:22:27 PM PDT
Steve Heaton says:
I fell your pain. My Samsung TV is 2010 model I bought near 2011. Was hapy with tv, but sound was issue for wife. I had sound bar that worked off optical cable, worked fine was vizio I t died, I should new better. I then bought a Samsung Hw-E30 thinking it SHOULD work and there is nothing telling you need a TV that supports arc. My TV Samsung LN46c630 has HDMI 1.4 ports, but the tech say it does not support ARC. I sohuld have returned the darn thing, but I got mine wot work on the directv with the aux cable off the directv box. I wish now that I want it to work via passthru with my BD-C5500 I am out of luck.
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