Samsung HW-MS650 Speaker: Boat Real Competitor? Black Friday 2021 Discount

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Sound is invisible. Sound bars aren’t. People want sound bars to be invisible. The Samsung HW-MS650 makes the subwoofer disappear. You have to begin somewhere.

The Samsung can be an “all-in-one” sound bar which integrates an onboard woofer rather than requiring yet another box to lurk in your living room corner. Does this process work? It could, as regarding the wonderful, bass-rich Zvox SB500. In Samsung’s instance though, it’s just a little reticent in terms of bass, and there is not yet the substitute for add a sub if you need more. Samsung informs us it really is readying another wireless sub for later in 2017.

eature-wise it’s there with a good amount of connectivity, and its own capability to pass-though 4K HDR means it’ll remain future-proof for the moment. If you wish something that’s simple to hook up and that will also do streaming music, the Samsung is an excellent option. However at the purchase price rivals such as for example Yamaha and Zvox can set up an improved performance, in particular when it involves watching movies.

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Last update was on: October 19, 2021 9:27 pm


Most sound bars, just like the HW-MS650, are designed never to draw focus on themselves. The Samsung offers a gun-metal body and a black steel grille at the front end, which is supposed to mirror the flagship HW-K950 and HW-K850 models.

Along the right-hand side of the speaker you will discover the capacitive control panel with a on / off switch, input selector and volume buttons. At the front end right lives the corresponding LED display, which indicates volume level and inputs. A very important factor we found with the display is that the grille can obscure the written text, especially if you are off-axis.The bar lacks an onscreen display, therefore the LED and the Samsung Multiroom software are the two methods to adapt the sound bar’s settings.

As a speaker the Samsung is rather compact at 3 inches high, nevertheless, you should watch that it generally does not block your TV’s infrared sensor. The speaker is 41.7 inches long, that ought to meld well with a 46-inch screen.


The $420 HW-MS650 is a 3.0-channel sound bar, and its own features are commensurate using its price. It’s here where it gets the better of its main rival, the Zvox SB500 ($397 at Amazon). First and foremost, the HW-MS650 offers not just a 4K HDR-ready HDMI in-out but also Samsung’s Multiroom music app. The iphone app offers access to twelve different streaming services including Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Tidal.

Furthermore to HDMI and Wi-Fi, the HW-MS650 also contains an electronic optical connection, USB and an analog input. Uniquely the sound bar also contains a power input that permits you to hook up your (2017 Samsung) TV and only require one power socket in the wall. That is made to go hand-in-hand with the main one Mount (sold separately), which attaches your TV to your sound bar.

While previous sound bars have enabled users to include Samsung wireless speakers (read: surrounds) via the Multiroom app, the HW-MS650 has its dedicated set. The SWA-9000S contains a radio module and two wired surrounds and runs $179 extra.

Multiroom also enables you to sync your sound bar to your Samsung TV via Wi-Fi, that could be useful if you are using your TV as a connection hub. We tested this feature and found the sync went in and out, and for reasons uknown we weren’t in a position to cycle through the Sound options to improve the sync with the remote. Connecting an HDMI cable between your two parts is easier.

Listening tests

The Samsung HW-MS650 doesn’t require speaker setup or calibration, so after the cables were installed we were all set. The HW-MS650 includes a way with movie dialogue; it sounded natural and articulate, and overall clarity was impressive, but this sound bar doesn’t do room-shaking bass or hand out big dynamics with gusto. It just goes about its business playing movies and music without calling focus on itself, that is a good thing.

It’s a three-channel — left, center, right — sound bar, so we didn’t expect (or get) a big, room-filling sound from the HW-MS650, however when we played the “La La Land” Blu-ray, it had been the clarity of the sound of struggling jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) playing in clubs and in the studio that made the strongest impression. The HW-MS650 made all of the right moves, except the bass was lightweight, so we turned everything the way up but still wanted more. The CNET listening room is relatively small, just 11 by 20 feet, & most $400-to-$500 sound bars haven’t any trouble making satisfactory bass for the reason that space.

Justin Hurwitz’s jazzy “La La Land” score’s tone was lush, however the front soundstage was flat and lacked depth. The HW-MS650 excelled with reproducing voices with natural tone, and that is a thing that you can’t always get with sound bars.

With the World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge” the HW-MS650 couldn’t deliver the entire intensity of the battlefield scenes, however when we swapped the HW-MS650 for the Zvox SB500, almost anything got better. The Zvox sounded bigger and brawnier when artillery blasts were going full-tilt, and time for the HW-MS650 reduced the scale and impact of the film, so that it was much less satisfying. True, the HW-MS650 doesn’t have a wireless subwoofer, but neither does the SB500 which alone proves you’ll be able to get a major sound from a subwoofer-less system. On the upside, dialogue via the HW-MS650 remained clear even though the combat escalated, and it had been a little much better than what we got from the SB500. With straight dramatic films the HW-MS650 was at its best.

Stereo music files displayed another side of the HW-MS650’s talents. John Mayer’s “The Seek out Everything” album’s stunning production bloomed, and vocals were crisp and clear. Bass definition was very good, but nowhere as full as the SB500’s low-end. However, we enjoyed hearing Tom Petty’s “Mojo” album at low to moderate volume levels up to point, however the HW-MS650 is not a party speaker.

Final thoughts

The Samsung HW-MS650 is a reliable, amply featured sound bar, and its own selection of features should appeal to persons who would like something beyond “make my TV sound better”. Nevertheless the Samsung faces stiff competition from not merely the Zvox SB500, but also the Vizio SB4551-D5 which offers true surround sound. You need to be aware that the Vizio, and a smaller extent the Zvox, can’t hold a candle to the Samsung HW-MS650’s sound for music. If playing tunes is vital that you you, then your Samsung may be an excellent option.

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