Release Date: 3/30/2016
I have used my Sharp soundbar for over 4 years now and it still sounds great, but with a TV upgrade comes a sound system upgrade and I’m glad I made the switch. Samsung’s HW-K550 is easy to set up and sounds amazing. The soundbar itself is fairly flat and features a mesh design with no LED lights to be minimal and not noticeable. There’s a small LED display, but it doesn’t stay on unless you’re pressing buttons. The subwoofer is rather large being 10 inches and can be tucked away nicely and easily.
The soundbar is a 2.1 channel 300 watt system with surround sound and Dolby DTS. The best way to setup this up is through digital optical cable as you only need one cord. Any modern TV from the last 10-15 years will have this option. Once that’s plugged up the subwoofer is wireless so it automatically syncs up, I didn’t have to touch a thing. The options for the soundbar are rather simple and it didn’t take long to set things up. There are several preset modes such as movie, night, sports, standard, clear and music. I found movie was the best option for gaming (I wish this had a game mode like my Sharp soundbar). You can change the lag input, treble, bass, and subwoofer levels. That’s about all you can do which is just fine and works well for what needs to get done.
When actually listening to games and movies I found it to be crystal clear and vibrant. This model has an extra center speaker which is used for dialog and it makes a difference as with my Sharp soundbar dialog was always too low and action was too loud. I even had to turn my Sharp soundbar up quite high during some movies and games which were annoying. An additional feature that this soundbar has is Bluetooth for streaming audio from a Bluetooth device such as a phone.
If you own a Samsung TV you can connect the soundbar to it without needing extra cables like optical or HDMI. This is fantastic and keeps the entertainment center clutter free. There’s also an app available to control the soundbar remotely and access the equalizer for music which is a nice feature. You can even add on to the system by using wireless surround sound kits provided by Samsung. This is a very advanced soundbar and four years makes such a difference. My Sharp doesn’t even have Bluetooth or an app, and it was the same price 4 years ago.
With that said I have to say this is the best sound system I have ever owned. It’s clear, crisp, modern, and has features for music lovers, movie junkies, and gamers alike. If you don’t want to drop thousands on a true surround sound system then soundbars are the way to go. I highly recommend this soundbar if you have a modern Samsung TV as the wireless Bluetooth connection allows you to avoid more cables needed outside of power.