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Time to upgrade? Check out the new Samsung HW-B650 soundbar

Samsung HW-B650
Samsung HW-B650

The Samsung HW-B650 soundbar has a design that is very similar to the Samsung HW-B550. The body of the panel itself is mostly made of plastic, which feels strong and durable. Metal grilles help protect the internal speakers. The edges of the panel have a beveled design, which distinguishes it from last year’s Samsung HW-A650 .

The soundbar of the HW-B650 is quite wide. The panel width is 1031 mm. A panel that wide won’t fit between the legs of a 55″ TV stand. However, the acoustic panel is not very high. Thanks to its height of 57 mm, it does not cover the TV screen. The depth of the panel is 106 mm.

There are two holes on the back of the bar for inputs and power cable. Holes for wall mounting can be found under the panel. This means that it is possible to mount the soundbar on the wall using the included kit. The subwoofer is the size of an average desktop computer and has the following dimensions (W x H x D): 184 x 342 x 297 mm.

Since it connects to the bar counter wirelessly, it can be placed anywhere in the room without any problems. On the back of the subwoofer there is a port for connecting the power cable. There is also a pairing button for wireless connection to the panel. The sub is mostly made of wood.

Unfortunately, the fabric on the front is loose and thin. It picks up dust easily. There is also a suspicion that this tissue may tear. Although the B650 does not come with rear speakers, it is possible to add a set of wireless speakers separately. Overall, the Samsung B650 soundbar has excellent build quality.

 

Samsung HW-B650 design

Equipment

The Samsung B650 has a decent array of audio enhancement features, but lacks the features found in premium models. For example, there is no room correction, so the sound is slightly different depending on the acoustics of the room. However, the device has bass and treble controls, as well as a graphic equalizer.

Therefore, there are many options for customizing the sound. There are also 7 preset sound modes. “Adaptive Sound Lite” mode can enhance dialogue, making voices clearer and more understandable, while “DTS Virtual X” works as a virtual surround sound feature. If you buy the rear, you can adjust their levels.

Samsung HW-B650
Samsung HW-B650

Sound quality

The Samsung HW-A650 soundbar has a very good stereo frequency response. Its sound is similar to last year’s HW-A650 with a neutral sound, especially in the mids where most voices and lead instruments are reproduced. As a result, the model under consideration is suitable for listening to most types of audio content.

There are also slight additional improvements in terms of sound compared to last year’s model. However, both models still lack low frequencies, which is especially noticeable in music genres with heavy bass. In other words, the user will not feel a deep rumble in the bass range.

If neutral sound is preferred, we recommend using the HW-B650 soundbar with default settings. However, there are a lot of sound customization options, and that’s a very good thing. The Samsung B650 soundbar has a very good stereo frequency response. The B650 soundbar has a decent stereo soundstage.

This scene is perceived to be as wide as the width of the bar itself. The focus is very good, so the sound effects are precisely localized in the soundstage around the listener. Instruments in an orchestra are tied to a precise location in space.

The Samsung HW-A650 soundbar has very good stereo dynamics. It gets loud enough to fill the entire living room with sound. At maximum volume, there is some compression, especially in the low frequency range, but this does not have a noticeable effect on sound quality.

Also, the Samsung A650 soundbar has good stereo speaker performance. At normal volume, distortion does not exceed the permissible limit. Therefore, sound reproduction is clear. However, there is a jump in distortion if the volume is turned up to maximum. But, by ear, such distortions are difficult to hear for most users.

Surround sound

The Samsung B650 has excellent center channel performance. This is a 3.1 sound device equipped with a separate center channel. The B650 therefore reproduces dialogue with greater clarity and precision. In this case, the voices are localized on the sound stage in the exact place.

The frequency response is also quite balanced, especially in the midrange where most of the voices are reproduced. 5.1 surround sound performance leaves a lot to be desired. This is not surprising for a bar with a 3.1 sound scheme.

Because it doesn’t have rear speakers, you have to convert 5.1 content such as Dolby Digital to stereo to play the rear channels. As a result, the sound seems to come from the speakers located in front of the listener. For more surround sound, you can always add a separate set of “rear” from the manufacturer.

The B650 can be connected to a TV using an HDMI or TosLink optical cable. An optical cable is included. If you wish to use an HDMI connection, you will need to purchase an HDMI cable separately. The Samsung B650 supports Dolby Digital and DTS content via ARC .

Dolby Digital is the most common surround sound format and is used on many different streaming platforms. DTS is often a fallback for the higher quality DTS-HD MA formats found on many Blu-rays.

However, since this is a 3.1 band, the device will convert it to stereo in order to play such content. The B650 also supports Dolby Digital and DTS via optical cable. In addition to these two connections, the device has a USB port for file playback and a Bluetooth wireless connection.

It remains to add that this 3.1 soundbar is suitable for many different types of audio content. The factory settings are very impressive. The B650 reproduces voices and lead instruments with detail and clarity. Bass is a bit lacking in the low frequency range.

Despite this, there are many tools for tweaking and managing sound. The bar can also play 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital, though its performance isn’t the most exciting. Unfortunately, there is no support for Dolby Atmos object-oriented audio format.