Viewing Review: Economical choice with oddly poor integration with a Samsung TV - AVS Forum
Economical choice with oddly poor integration with a Samsung TV Edit
by TORES Combined Rating: 3.0
You would assume that if a single manufacturer like Samsung produces a high quality LED television, they would tightly integrate the soundbars they intend to sell with them right? That is, assuming...
Pros Cons
  • Sound is decent for just $250. Price negotiation can be easier or promotions may apply with the purchase of a Samsung TV. HDMI IN/OUT & TOSLINK
  • Integration with even a Samsung TV is poor. For half the price of a low end JBL sound bar, you get half the sound quality.
You would assume that if a single manufacturer like Samsung produces a high quality LED television, they would tightly integrate the soundbars they intend to sell with them right? That is, assuming they are both current models. I can forgive two products from the same manufacturer not playing nicely together if one of them is a really old model, that's understandable, but this product seems like it was designed by multiple engineering teams that didn't speak the same language.

Nothing says more about a soundbar than missing the mark on something as basic as power and volume. I installed a 50inch Samsung television for a client with an HW-E450 Samsung soundbar, only to find the integration limited in a way that seemed like I was installing products from two different manufacturers. The installation guide stated that installing the sound bar with a TOSLINK optical cable allows the sound bar to turn on automatically when the TV power is turned on, which it did. When TV power is turned off, the sound bar for some reason does not turn itself off right away, but if no signal is received for 20 minutes, it then turns itself off. So far not too bad, but there's a catch. Unless the owner of this combination wants to fork out the extra cash for a third party universal remote that has a master volume feature, you have to pickup the TV remote to turn on both the TV and sound bar, tune to the program you want and then grab the small sound bar remote to adjust the volume. The soundbar remote only controls the soundbar, no changing channels. In order to control the TV, you have to use the TV remote. There's no way to control sound from the TV remote unless you connect the sound bar via HDMI cable and use the Anynet+ feature.

So why use a TOSLINK cable, why not just use an HDMI cable with the Anynet+ feature?. When Anynet+ is enabled, the soundbar volume can be controlled by the volume buttons on the TV remote and the soundbar powers off simultaneously with the TV. Cool right? Not entirely. When Anynet+ is enabled, the auto power-on feature of the sound bar cannot be enabled. So again, unless you want to purchase a third party universal remote, you still have to grab the sound bar remote to turn the power on every time you want to watch TV, unless you don't need sound that is. I checked with Samsung support and they said it's a known problem. Seriously Samsung? What were you thinking? How could this important detail be overlooked on two products that are supposed to be designed to integrate with one another?

Honestly, unless you're on a budget and already own a universal remote with a master volume feature, I can't see throwing good money at this average soundbar. If you want a more integrated experience, spend the extra cash on a better soundbar and get a universal remote with master volume control. You'll enjoy the overall home theater experience much more than having a system that's not quite what you had hope for when you set out to upgrade.
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