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Samsung HW-C450 / HW-C451 "AudioBars"

post #1 of 204
Thread Starter 
with how popular Samsungs new LEDs and Plasmas are already im wondering if anyone has picked up one of their new "AudioBars" yet? The HW-C450. Any comments or feedback would be great, thanks!



http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/t...ail&returnurl=
post #2 of 204
I bought one of these last week and I'm pleased at how good it sounds. To remove the clutter in my living room I replaced a Klipsch reference series 5.1 system mated to a Denon 3802 AVR and moved that to the basement. My wife is now happy and to be honest I was getting tired of the clutter too. I was able to move the TV to the corner also which is much better. As for the soundbar, as I stated I am pleasantly surprised at how good it sounds. It has 2 optical inputs one of which I use for my blu ray player (the other for the TV). It also turns on and off with the TV when it senses a signal from the TVs optical output. I have yet to find one of my universal remotes to control the volume though.

Mike in SW Mich
post #3 of 204
I was considering this because the wife wants no extra speaker clutter, but when I showed it to her she doesn't like the exposed speakers. Not as clean a look as last year's model. But I still get to make the decision.

I can't seem to find how many HDMI inputs it has, and if they are 1.4 or not.
post #4 of 204
No HDMI inputs. There are 2 digital (optical) inputs and 1 left and right analog input.
post #5 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvalley View Post

No HDMI inputs. There are 2 digital (optical) inputs and 1 left and right analog input.

CRAP!
What the hell was Samsung thinking?
post #6 of 204
I was considering starting a thread on the topic since I just bought one. I have no experience with soundbars, so I can't offer any comparisons other than to a full 5.1 set-up.

I just bought a UN40C6300SF for my bedroom and was disappointed with the thin sound from the TV's built-in speakers. I did not want an elaborate set-up and wires so I decided to try a soundbar. Since the finish on the HW-C450 matches the TV (glossy black with clear accents), this was my natural choice. The salesman at BB insisted the two Samsung soundbar models were identical which makes no sense to me. I assume the HW-C451 has a metal finish to match the higher-end model TVs.



(Sorry about the glare from the flash.)

The speaker looks good with the TV. If resting on the same level as the TV, the speaker would obscure the bottom of the TV frame, which I did not like, so I placed the TV on top of a DVD player to raise it slightly above the speaker.

The glossy black finish is a fingerprint and dust magnet and I somehow already managed to scratch the speaker finish. There is a touch-control on the top clear-plastic bezel which is cool, and a basic remote.

The sound is very good considering the small footprint. There is nice detail and separation with a wide soundstage, but I don't experience any of what I would call "virtual surround" effects. By this I mean I don't experience any sounds that seem to come from outside of a stereo soundstage. This could be due to the environment. As you can see, I have the speakers and TV elevated on top of a tall dresser. There is no guidance offered on positioning or set-up. Advice from others would be appreciated.

Sometimes, deeper male voices seem to originate in part from the sub in comparison to female voices which come from the virtual center speaker. I find this contrast disconcerting. The SW volume can be adjusted, so perhaps I'll find a better setting. There is also a dynamic range compression, but the manual does not really tell you how it works (or even what DRC stands for) only that you can set it to minimum, standard and maximum. I assume maximum offers the most compression.

There are 6 "sound field modes" aside from pass-through. I haven't played with these much since I tend to avoid these effects and don't really enjoy messing with settings as I switch programs. They seem to affect how much focus there is on voices. "Cinema" seems to create a theater-like reverberation effect. Other choices are "music," "news," "drama,""sports," and "game." The manual could do a better job of explaining what these do.

I used the optical connection which allows the speaker to turn on and off automatically when the TV is turned on and off. The wireless sub basically set itself up, though it did not seem to lock in right away. I turned the TV on and off and that seemed to help.

The off display light issue that people complained about in an earlier model is gone. When the speaker is off there is only a small red light similar to the one on the TV itself.


Update: Moved the sub further back into the room (it had been up front next to the dresser) and this resolved the issue of separation of male voices and also seems to have enhanced the soundstage.

There is also a "smart volume" feature for evening out volume levels which I haven't really used yet (I don't tend to watch many commercials) and an audio delay adjustment (0ms to 300ms) to use in case there is a video time lag.
post #7 of 204
Quote:


CRAP!
What the hell was Samsung thinking?

Why would you need an HDMI input? There is no need for any video information. They include an optical cable.
post #8 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abogarth View Post

Why would you need an HDMI input? There is no need for any video information. They include an optical cable.

To simplify wiring. If the soundbar/receiver handles the HDMI switching you only have to run one HDMI cable to the TV. With optical, you have to run HDMI to the TV and optical to the receiver.
post #9 of 204
Quote:


To simplify wiring. If the soundbar/receiver handles the HDMI switching you only have to run one HDMI cable to the TV. With optical, you have to run HDMI to the TV and optical to the receiver.

I guess this would only be an issue if your TV had limited HDMI inputs, but my TV has four HDMI inputs, so the optical connection is fine.
post #10 of 204
I can't quite figure out what the "cinema" mode does, but it does open up the sound to a more theater-like experience. It almost seems as if it engages DD or DTS which are otherwise not used. It is preferable for a movie. I'll have to see why one would want to use the "drama" setting for a TV show.

It's frustrating to have so little explanation from Samsung.
post #11 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abogarth View Post

Why would you need an HDMI input? There is no need for any video information. They include an optical cable.

Because then it might have been able to support dolby truhd and dtshd ma. It would have been nice if this was a 3.1 bar to get a better soundstage. Throw in 3 hdmi inputs and it would have been a winner imo.
post #12 of 204
My opinion is probably little different than most. My thoughts were that a soundbar was used primarily for enhanced audio as compared to the weak speakers normally built into a television set (especially true as panels get thinner and thinner). I have had experience with a number of soudbars over the last four years including Yamaha Digital Sound Projectors, Sony's smaller unit (don't remember the model) and currently a Vizio soundbar.

Dynamics and natrual voices are the primary criteria that I use for evaluating sound. The cheap Vizio is the best so far for my home use. My son is enjoying my (I guess his now) Yamaha at his home.

Almost all have had various psuedo-surround or theater type modes. To my ears, they all place a veil over the sound. None sounded unpleasant. Just the more natural 2.1 or 3.1 seems to sound most correct to my old ears.

Of course I am one of these old guys who believed true stereo music was pretty close to perfect. Would not use tone controls (even though they would probably help) with any preamp or receiver. Always looking for the proverbial straight wire with gain to hear exactly what was on an album, tape or CD.

When it comes to 5.1 or 7.1, it seems that you really wouldn't get the proper effect when the sound is all coming from one location. I know that was true with the Yamaha. It had 43 speakers and electronically simulated the surround effect. It was not unpleasant, just not natural and definitely not like a true 5.1 system. I haven't heard a 7.1 system in a home so far, so don't really know how much if any the extra two channels will add. Other than extra $$$ to the manufacturer and retailer.
post #13 of 204
Quote:


My thoughts were that a soundbar was used primarily for enhanced audio as compared to the weak speakers normally built into a television set (especially true as panels get thinner and thinner).

I agree entirely. The idea of worrying about subtleties like whether a soundbar can support HD DD vs. non-HD DD seems to miss the point: You are not going to get a real surround sound experience at all. What you will experience is a significant improvement over the TV's lame built-in speakers.
post #14 of 204
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments so far!

So I was hoping that all the pictures I came across so were just "showing off" the speakers in the soundbar, but I guess it does not have a cover. This I see to be a big problem with my 2 year old and 8 month. Maybe a week or two before the domes are pushed in if not worse.

Question though,..so even if its going to a Sumsung TV and Samsung Bluray player the TV or player remote does not control the volume of the soundbar? I will have to have a TV remote and a soundbar remote just for volume?
post #15 of 204
The TV remote will control the speaker volume. If you use an optical connection, the speakers will power on and off with the TV.

For the reasons you note, I would not suggest these speakers for anyplace accessible to toddlers.
post #16 of 204
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abogarth View Post

The TV remote will control the speaker volume. If you use an optical connection, the speakers will power on and off with the TV.

For the reasons you note, I would not suggest these speakers for anyplace accessible to toddlers.

Good news! But I just got to thinking about this one now. If the TV remote will control the soundbar, does that also mean the TV speakers will also be going up/down in volume along with the soundbar at the sametime, therefore having mixed sounds from both? Or will I be able to go into the TV menu, turn off the internal speakers and now only the soundbar will play and up/down with the TV remote?

And yes, wall mounting the TV and bar might be the option Vs on the stand due to the little ones and little fingers!
post #17 of 204
There should be a setting on your TV to turn off the internal speakers.
post #18 of 204
I have one of these soundbars and everything about it is great. I love the sound, but I have one small issue and i was wondering if anyone on these forums could propose a possible answer to this.

I have my soundbar connected via optical cable to my UN46c6300 samsung led tv and an xbox 360 connected to the TV via HDMI. (keep in mind now as i finish writing this that this issue is very specific) When playing guitar hero 5 on the xbox I noticed a bit of audio lag in the gameplay. I then went into the settings of the game to adjust the video and audio lag, the video lag calibrated perfectly, but when i went to calibrate the audio lag, that's when things got a tad weird. The normal in-game method for calibrating the audio lag is that the game will display the notes scolling down the screen accompanied by a corresponding 'beep' that you are supposed to adjust the audio lag settings to match with the note reaching eh bottom of the screen. The 'beep' is strangely absent when the audio is played through my soundbar, but is loud and clear if i use the TV's internal speakers.

Does anyone have any ideas about this one?
post #19 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulg5678 View Post

I have one of these soundbars and everything about it is great. I love the sound, but I have one small issue and i was wondering if anyone on these forums could propose a possible answer to this.

I have my soundbar connected via optical cable to my UN46c6300 samsung led tv and an xbox 360 connected to the TV via HDMI. (keep in mind now as i finish writing this that this issue is very specific) When playing guitar hero 5 on the xbox I noticed a bit of audio lag in the gameplay. I then went into the settings of the game to adjust the video and audio lag, the video lag calibrated perfectly, but when i went to calibrate the audio lag, that's when things got a tad weird. The normal in-game method for calibrating the audio lag is that the game will display the notes scolling down the screen accompanied by a corresponding 'beep' that you are supposed to adjust the audio lag settings to match with the note reaching eh bottom of the screen. The 'beep' is strangely absent when the audio is played through my soundbar, but is loud and clear if i use the TV's internal speakers.

Does anyone have any ideas about this one?

You may have to change your audio options in the Xbox dashboard under the HDMI (advanced settings) tab. As someone else in this thread pointed out, when using optical out from the TV, dolby digital and higher are not passed through.
post #20 of 204
I will check this, but the really odd thing is that all other in game sounds are coming thru just fine, its only that calibration beep that doesn't make it.
post #21 of 204
Thread Starter 
Sadly I still have not decided on a sound bar yet, but 95% sure Im going to order this one. Has anyone wall mounted theirs? Can you please post pictures if so?
post #22 of 204
I bought this soundbar this week from Amazon.fr for only 270 EUR (free delivery to Belgium).

I have compared soundbars for almost a year now. I thought I made my choice for the Sony HT-CT500, I wanted to wait for the sale period in the summer to buy it hopefully for a 400 EUR ore something like that.

But now I've chosen the Samsung soundbar.

Here is why:

I just needed something to bump my soundquality for watching TV and movies. I have a 5,1 surround system with KEF front speakers and SOLID surroundspeaker with a nice Yamaha receiver. But I live in a studio in an apartment. I got the setup from my dad, accepted it for in the future when I will be able to turn the sound up with movies.

So now I was just looking for a nice soundbar to get a nice clear sound. I actually was not looking for a bar with HDMI. The Sony soundbars have alle HDMI and act as a HDMI-switch. I read a lot of story's about problems with the HT-CT500 and decided I did not want to take the risk.

Because I have a Samsung 50 inch plasma, the remotes from both TV and sounbar would work great together. The samsung soundbar just has 2 optical inputs and one analog. That's really enough, since all the sound from my cable box and PS3 go to the TV and I have one optical cable which goes to the soundbar.

The design is nice, and the most important, the sound is good! I don't understand why I have watched TV for more than a year with the crappy sound of the TV itself. When I watched movies I turned on the 5,1 system, but with such a big and powerfull system it is so easy to turn the volume up to much which would cause some complaints from neighbors

If you can afford a 5,1 system then you should still chose that.

If you want a nice soundbar to use for watching TV and an occasional movie, I would defently go for this Samsung soundbar. It does what is made for. And no it has no HDMI, but that should not be a problem at all if you have a good flatscreen with lots of HDMI inputs and a optical output.
post #23 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristofke View Post

I bought this soundbar this week from Amazon.fr for only 270 EUR (free delivery to Belgium).

I have compared soundbars for almost a year now. I thought I made my choice for the Sony HT-CT500, I wanted to wait for the sale period in the summer to buy it hopefully for a 400 EUR ore something like that.

But now I've chosen the Samsung soundbar.

Here is why:

I just needed something to bump my soundquality for watching TV and movies. I have a 5,1 surround system with KEF front speakers and SOLID surroundspeaker with a nice Yamaha receiver. But I live in a studio in an apartment. I got the setup from my dad, accepted it for in the future when I will be able to turn the sound up with movies.

So now I was just looking for a nice soundbar to get a nice clear sound. I actually was not looking for a bar with HDMI. The Sony soundbars have alle HDMI and act as a HDMI-switch. I read a lot of story's about problems with the HT-CT500 and decided I did not want to take the risk.

Because I have a Samsung 50 inch plasma, the remotes from both TV and sounbar would work great together. The samsung soundbar just has 2 optical inputs and one analog. That's really enough, since all the sound from my cable box and PS3 go to the TV and I have one optical cable which goes to the soundbar.

The design is nice, and the most important, the sound is good! I don't understand why I have watched TV for more than a year with the crappy sound of the TV itself. When I watched movies I turned on the 5,1 system, but with such a big and powerfull system it is so easy to turn the volume up to much which would cause some complaints from neighbors

If you can afford a 5,1 system then you should still chose that.

If you want a nice soundbar to use for watching TV and an occasional movie, I would defently go for this Samsung soundbar. It does what is made for. And no it has no HDMI, but that should not be a problem at all if you have a good flatscreen with lots of HDMI inputs and a optical output.

Have you tried connecting your PS3 and box directly to your soundbar via optical 1 and 2? You might find a somewhat fuller sound since your TV does not pass Dolby Digital via its optical output. I have the same soundbar with a Panasonic TV and Blu-ray along with Directv HD. I have the Blu-ray connected directly to the soundbar and the sound is fuller even though its not a 5 speaker system. The Directv box is running through the TVs optical though because when I tried hooking it up directly to the soundbar's optical input the auto power feature would not allow the soundbar to power off. Evidently the Directv DVR constantly sends a signal even when off. I guess I'm sacrificing slightly better sound for convenience.

Mike in Mich
post #24 of 204
I have a cable box, Samsung 52" tv (optical output )
Sony BD player ( optical ouptut ) AND a VCR.

What is the most best method for connecting these to the Samsung soundbar ?
post #25 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickw View Post

I have a cable box, Samsung 52" tv (optical output )
Sony BD player ( optical ouptut ) AND a VCR.

What is the most best method for connecting these to the Samsung soundbar ?

I would just hook the VCR to the TV and let the TV pass the audio to the soundbar via optical. I would do the same for the cable box. For the blu-ray I would hook it up directly to the soundbar via the other optical input so it will send Dolby Digital and DTS signals. You could hook up your VCR directly to the soundbar via analog but I don't think that you'll gain anything over sending it thru the TV.

Mike
post #26 of 204
Using With Sony KDS 50A3000

What I am looking for are suggestions on connecting external speakers to this tv without using a receiver. I am thinking of a sound bar.

I am thinking seriously of one of these Samsung units. Can anyone tell me if either of these would fit in front of the set without blocking the IR input? The IR input is a little more than 3" up from the stand that my tv sits on, so the sound bar would have to be 3" or less in height. Any sound bar I use would have to sit on the tv stand unless there is some sort of method of raising the bar above the IR input. What is the height of these sound bars?

Thank you for your help.

Best Regards to all,

Steve
post #27 of 204
These are slightly over 3-1/2 inches in height.

Mike
post #28 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvalley View Post

These are slightly over 3-1/2 inches in height.

Mike

Thanks Mike.
post #29 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderduck View Post

Using With Sony KDS 50A3000

What I am looking for are suggestions on connecting external speakers to this tv without using a receiver. I am thinking of a sound bar.

I am thinking seriously of one of these Samsung units. Can anyone tell me if either of these would fit in front of the set without blocking the IR input? The IR input is a little more than 3" up from the stand that my tv sits on, so the sound bar would have to be 3" or less in height. Any sound bar I use would have to sit on the tv stand unless there is some sort of method of raising the bar above the IR input. What is the height of these sound bars?

Thank you for your help.

Best Regards to all,

Steve

The Sony ct-150 and ct-350 both come with a soundbar that is under 3in tall.
post #30 of 204
This is the fifth one I have experimented with and I will say it is the best of the bunch. Sound is terrific, easy to set up and not a big monster like some of the other brands. I use mine in my family room and outside when I use my outdoor set up...
LL
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