Today’s TVs are far too thin for any kind of good quality speakers to be properly incorporated into the screen, or the frame. So to get sound quality that can match the video, you need external speakers. (In some cases, some manufacturers are actually making TVs separate from speakers/sound bars now, and selling them as a package.) Read more about why a sound bar is a must have here.
I received the Samsung HW-MS650 and the Samsung Q8C QLED 4K TV (read that review here) for testing and a review. While the sound bar is not curved to match the TV I reviewed it with, there are curved models available if symmetry is important to you.
Set Up: Samsung Sound+ sound bar
Setting up this sound bar was basically plug and play. Connect the sound bar to the One Connect box, turn it on and it’s ready. There’s no need to set up or pair the sound bar with its included remote.
Depending on your set up preferences, this sound bar can sit under or in front of the TV, or be wall mounted.
Samsung Sound+ Sound bar features
This sound bar — the Samsung Sound+ HW-MS650, to be specific — is a 3-channel sound bar with nine small speakers inside. It’s also got Bluetooth so you can connect your phone and use it to play music. The Samsung Multiroom App is said to work with that Bluetooth technology and your Wi-Fi connection to let you easily stream music from your mobile device using services like Spotify and TuneIn Radio
“Innovative bass technology and top-of-its-class wide range tweeter delivers advanced audio processing and precise speaker control with minimal sound loss,” says Samsung.
The soundbar also supports the newest and best audio technology, Dolby Digital Surround Sound for “rich, enveloping, and dynamic audio”.
It’s also compatible with other speakers so you can create a wireless home threatre surround sound set up.
Sound+ Sound Bar is also a speaker for music
You can use your soundbar as a music speaker or for multiroom audio too. To do that you’ll need to pair your sound bar to your phone using the Samsung Multiroom app. You can connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
I actually had some trouble using the Multiroom App; I followed the instructions in the manual to connect to the speaker via Bluetooth but it just wouldn’t connect.
I tried using the app to connect with Wi-Fi next, but the app seemed hung up. In the end, I used the connection button on the sound bar’s remote to put it into Bluetooth pairing mode, then I just went to my Samsung Galaxy S8+’s Bluetooth settings menu. I saw the speaker pop up right away and connected that way in an instant. From there I just played music via the Play Music app and nixed the Multiroom app altogether.
Right away I noticed the speaker has a good room-filling sound, rich bass and was very easy to listen to.
There’s a remote control
Even though you probably won’t need it, this sound bar comes with a small, narrow, black remote control. With just a handful of the most needed buttons, it’s streamlined and clutter free. When paired with a Samsung TV, you can use that remote to control the audio, and when listening to music you’ll likely use your phone or tablet, so while having a remote can sometimes be handy, you probably won’t reach for it that often.
Detailed specs – Samsung Sound+ Sound Bar HW-MS650:
- 9 speakers
- Audio Processing: Dolby Digital 5.1ch, DTC 2 channel
- Number of Sound Modes (DSP): 5 (Standard, Music, Clear Voice, Sports, Movie)
- HD Audio (High Resolution Audio)
- Built in subwoofer
- Surround Sound Expansion ready
- Works with Multiroom Audio or optional SWA-9000S speakers sold separately.
Sound quality – Samsung Sound+ Sound Bar
This soundbar is a winner as far as I’m concerned. Dialogue sounds crisp and great on this sound bar. It was easy to discern subtleties in whispered scenes, but at the same time it wasn’t blaring when it came to shouting and raised voices. There was no hiss, no tinniness, and no distortion. Listening to music was also a treat; the sound bar has strong bass and no tinniness or buzziness on the high end. I found it gave me plenty of volume without distortion on both the TV and just when listening to music.
Overall review – Samsung Sound+ sound bar
I love the versatility of sound bars today, and the Samsung Sound+ doesn’t disappoint. Audio for TV and movies is both subtle and strong and the speaker for its size can fill the room quite well with sound. I appreciate the fact I can also use this as a music speaker for my smart phone and play audio at a dinner party or gathering. While the multiroom app didn’t work for me, it wasn’t needed at all, since the speaker connects in seconds using your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
The sound bar was easy to set up and worked exactly as it should with no bugs, not lagging, and no problems at all.
When it comes to sound quality, ease-of-use, and it’s ability to work with the other Samsung devices I tried, like the Galaxy S8 smartphone, and Samsung Q8C 4KTV this sound bar is a winner.
The Sound + Sound bar HW-MS650 is available at Best Buy.