While I may have two complete 5.1 systems in my living room and master bedroom, I'm still intrigued by soundbars for I find many of them to sound rather good for what they are and be supreme value-for-the-money products. Take for instance Samsung's newest 2.1 soundbar, the HW-D450 reviewed here. It features an industrial design inspired by Bang & Olufsen, comes with a wireless subwoofer and retails for a manageable $349.99.
The HW-D450 measures 37-inches wide by nearly four inches tall and a slender one and three quarter inches deep making it ideal for small to medium sized HDTVs, be it LCD or LED. The HW-D450 can rest atop a dresser or piece of AV furniture just as easily as it can be mounted flush to a wall - no doubt the result of its featherweight design that tips the scales at a whopping five pounds. Of course the powered subwoofer weighs a bit more and cannot be mounted to your wall, but it is wireless and can be placed virtually anywhere in your room. Like its subwoofer, the HW-D450 is a fully powered design meaning you don't have to pair it to an AV receiver. Because no AV receiver will be required, it's important to note that the HW-D450 can decode and playback both Dolby Digital and DTS Audio codecs. As for connectivity the HW-D450 has one analog audio input and two digital audio inputs. There is an iPod dock that can be purchased separately that will interface with the HW-D450 seamlessly should you require such a thing.
In terms of sound the HW-D450 is one of the better soundbars that I've heard in recent memory, possessing a well balanced sound that while a bit cool isn't overwhelmed with boxy colorations. The HW-D450's bass response is solid but not earth shattering, but one can and should only expect so much from an affordable soundbar / wireless subwoofer combo. The HW-D450's high frequency performance isn't bad, possessing a rather polite, smooth demeanor that errs on the side of omission when driven hard. Dynamics are good when volume is kept within reason and the HW-D450's ability to create a convincing surround sound performance from a single source is better than average. The nice thing about the HW-D450 is that you can turn it up a bit more than most before it starts to misbehave, though when it does, it just flattens out and compresses a bit versus going to hell in a handbasket.
Read about High Points and Low Points, the Comparison and Competition and the Conclusion of the Samsung HW-D450 soundbar on Page 2 . . .