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Samsung HW-B550/ZA 2.1ch Soundbar

Pros

  • Balanced sound quality
  • Multiple connection options
  • Easy to handle

Cons

  • Surround effects indistinguishable

The HW-B550 is one of Samsung’s entry-level sound bars. The HW-B550 is the entry-level soundbar in Samsung’s range. It has the bare minimum of features but has more connections and a higher build quality than the HW-B450.

The HW-B550 is the entry-level model in Samsung’s prolific range of soundbars, alongside the HW-B450 and HW-B650, with which it shares much in common. For this reason, we recommend reading the HW-B450 review beforehand to get a feel for it.

In terms of design, nothing or almost nothing changes. The acoustic fabric protecting the speakers of the HW-B450 gives way to a metal grille that is much more appealing to the eye but also offers an impression of increased robustness. The size remains the same, but the weight increases from 1.4 kg to 2.1 kg.

The HW-B550’s connectivity is much more extensive, with two HDMI ports (one ARC input and one ARC output) and an optical and USB-A port. The HDMI input can play 1080p/120Hz streams, not 4K or HDR. Of course, there is no support for VRR either. However, the bar is delivered without an HDMI cable. The compatible audio formats are identical to those supported by the HW-B450.

The onboard features and controls are identical to those on the HW-B450, only the return screen is different: it has been moved to the right of the bar, and its display area has been restricted, much to our dismay.

Unlike the HW-B450, we did not experience any disconnections during our Bluetooth use. The latency is equivalent between the two models.

If there is one point on which the HW-B550 differs from the HW-B450, it is the audio part, not really in a good way. The rendering remains relatively balanced overall, but the HW-B550’s subwoofer is particularly demonstrative and intrusive. We then lower the level of the subwoofer by -6 dB to find a more pleasant rendering. In addition, the bass precision could be better.

The transition from the subwoofer to the bar could be better managed, which creates a lack of smoothness in the low midrange and prevents the good distinction of the sources. The intelligibility of dialogue also suffers, even with the Clear Voice mode engaged. In addition, the bar creates an audible distortion peak at around 10 kHz, which is probably attributed to a wobbly screw inside the bar.

Finally, the HW-B550 has a DTS Virtual:X mode that creates an immersive sound bubble around the listening position. While some of the effects extend very slightly beyond the physical limits of the bar, the rendering is completely distorted. We recommend that you stay in Standard mode to enjoy this soundbar.

CONCLUSION

While the HW-B550/ZA did not particularly shine with its acoustic prowess, the HW-B550 managed to do less well while being sold at a higher price. Easy to handle and with an excellent array of connections, it offers better performance than the installations natively integrated into the TVs.

★★★★★

Samsung HW-B550/ZA 2.1ch Soundbar w/Dolby Audio, DTS Virtual:X, Bass Boosted, Subwoofer Included, Adaptive Sound Lite, Bluetooth Multi Device Connection, Wireless Surround Sound Compatible, 2022

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Amazon.co.uk
Wait For A Price Drop

Price History

Statistics

Current Price -
Highest Price £277.00 February 7, 2024
Lowest Price £174.95 November 18, 2023
Since April 12, 2023

Last price changes

£277.00 February 7, 2024
£189.94 February 2, 2024
£189.95 February 1, 2024
£184.95 January 30, 2024
£184.99 December 27, 2023
★★★★★

SAMSUNG HW-B550/ZA 2.1ch Soundbar w/Dolby Audio, DTS Virtual:X, Bass Boosted, Subwoofer Included, Adaptive Sound Lite, Bluetooth Multi Device Connection, Wireless Surround Sound Compatible, 2022

BUY NOW
Amazon.com
Wait For A Price Drop

Price History

Statistics

Current Price -
Highest Price $229.99 November 3, 2023
Lowest Price $139.95 December 7, 2023
Since April 23, 2023

Last price changes

$157.99 March 5, 2024
$147.99 March 3, 2024
$159.99 February 7, 2024
$177.99 February 1, 2024
$167.99 January 30, 2024
5/5 (1 Review)

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Richard Garrett

Richard Garrett

As an expert on the latest techy stuff, the primary focus is PCs and laptops. Much of his time is split between smartphones, tablets and audio, focusing on the latest devices.
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