For many of us, a new TV is becoming more and more of a high priority as 4K content starts to become the norm. A new TV series on Netflix, Stan or Amazon is likely being released in Ultra High-Definition and to really appreciate that, we need a new TV.
The same now goes for gaming with the XBOX One X ready to play games and play blu-ray movies in 4K. So we bring home the latest and most beautiful 4K TV we can afford, the picture is beautiful, it’s movie night this weekend and we’re ready with pop corn. Something is missing. Something beyond the image is missing, and it makes a big difference, sound.
The soundbar has become the equivalent of forgetting to buy batteries for your new toy in 2017. You could spend thousands on a new TV so thin it would make Victoria’s Secret runway models wince, but if you forget the audio experience, you leave out the music, the atmosphere and the vibe that content can really create. We’ve been testing the latest Series 7 MS750 from Samsung to see just how much of a difference a soundbar makes and what makes this one special.
The Samsung soundbar line-up is rather extensive (We’ve tested the top of the range Dolby Atmos enabled K950 before), this is done to sometimes match the styling of their televisions but also to suit your budget. The model we are testing comes in at $999 for the soundbar and we’ve paired it with the subwoofer for that extra bass at a cost of $799. At this stage we’re expecting a lot from this package.
The MS750 is the perfect width for a TV larger than 50inch, anything smaller and it will make the TV look small. The soundbar has some nice surprises before you even fire it up, firstly if you have a compatible TV you can power it through the soundbar, yep, a power chord from the wall, to the soundbar and another from the soundbar to the TV.
Secondly, you can throw a bunch of inputs to this too, two HDMI, one optical, an auxiliary port but if your TV is compatible, you could actually run the audio from your TV content wirelessly. A wireless connection could mean that your soundbar is sitting far from your TV without needing to worry about how you will connect the two.
The subwoofer is also wireless so it can sit anywhere too. One thing we did notice at this point was that the wireless connectivity was achieved through a small dongle that needed to be plugged into the soundbar. This was a little odd as the whole package seemed so neat, why couldn’t Samsung just stick this wireless dongle into the soundbar somewhere?
Setting this up is all too easy, power and HDMI connections, we’re ready to roll. The pairing of the sub to the soundbar required us to use the instruction manual but that wasn’t difficult to follow. We then fired up Netflix and got started.
The remote control on for the soundbar is sexy and matches the Samsung TV design, if you have a Samsung TV, there is a good chance you could use the one remote too. Immediately from starting the show we notice the difference, the room is filling with sound like dry ice being poured from the TV. By pushing the Sound Mode button on the remote we are soon at the sweet spot for a movie and we start to understand the driver behind a higher end soundbar.
The soundbar itself isn’t huge but it packs 11 speakers across it’s five channels, it has wide range tweeters that fire toward the ceiling to help fill that room with the audio you desire. The sound quality is deep and powerful with the sub ensuring that bass is delivered… and felt!
If the room was really large you might want to consider the wireless rear speakers but for most rooms it would be overkill.
The MS750, even though it is connected to the TV, is not just a speaker for your viewing habits. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board. This means that you could stream music from your phone via bluetooth but you can also use the Samsung app to stream music over Wi-Fi. Add in some Samsung wireless multi-room speakers and you’ll find that your whole home could be connected, playing your music and rocking a party without wheeling out a jukebox.
It is these smart features that make it so much more than an ordinary soundbar. The connectivity to the TV without wires, connectivity to other speakers in the home, and all in such a simple format has us really enjoying what Samsung is achieving in the home entertainment space.
While we have been testing this Series 7 version, we’re pleased to know that many of these smart features are on the lower models, what really separates them is the amount of speakers inside the soundbar, and this is relevant to the room, your budget and the style of TV you own.
Gladly, the large range of soundbars on the market these days, we’re spoiled for choice!
Our final statement brings us back to where we started, if you’re investing money into a new TV to enjoy the visuals of 4K and forgetting the joy of hearing good audio then you’re only getting half the picture. The soundbar is the new “batteries not included”, so bundle it at the time you buy the TV, brand matching is also recommended.