A three-channel soundbar with a separate subwoofer seems to be the most appropriate option for the price. Samsung’s HW-A650 is a good example of a soundbar and subwoofer solution that boasts 3D surround sound capabilities. But is it really so? Let’s try to understand the Samsung HW-A650 review so as not to disappoint a potential buyer.
Samsung HW-A650 review
The Samsung HW-A650 3.1 CH soundbar was released in 2021. The bar’s factory settings give a very simple sound profile that is suitable for playing various types of audio content, although the soundbar tries to reproduce loud low bass. The predecessor is the Samsung HW-T650 soundbar .
The soundbar comes with many sound enhancement features including a graphic equalizer and several different presets. To improve dialogue, it is suggested to use “Adaptive Sound Lite”, and “Bass Boost” is able to add more energy to the audio. 3D surround mode is included in the specification, but for this kind of playback the bar has to mix the signal in stereo.
The soundbar is designed in a simple style and is very similar to the younger model Samsung HW-A450 . The soundbar Samsung A650 with subwoofer has a slim profile. It can be wall-mounted or placed on a horizontal surface in front of the TV. The soundbar is available only in black without clearly distinguishable buttons or display with a remote control.
The top and front of the A650 soundbar are covered with a metal grill, while the rest of the bar is made of plastic. The sub is made of wood. The power port is located at the back with a cloth covering the front. The HW-A650 package does not include any satellites.
But it is compatible with Samsung’s Wireless Surround Kit, so you can expand it with surround speakers. You will have to purchase them separately. The Samsung A650 soundbar itself is quite wide, so it may not fit between the legs of a 55-inch TV. However, its height allows for placement in front of the screen as it does not block the bottom of the TV. The dimensions of the bar are 98×5.8×10.5 cm.
The Samsung HW-A650 subwoofer has a size of 20.4x35x30 cm. It connects to the bar wirelessly and can be placed anywhere in the room. The interface part is located on the back of the soundbar. These are the ports for the power cable and inputs. Wall mounting is provided. The rear panel of the subwoofer has a power port and a wireless pairing button.
The A650 soundbar paired with a subwoofer is equipped with DTS Plus and Dolby Audio bass boosters and decoders. Despite this, the bar has an understated minimalist audio profile. The soundbar has a dedicated center channel for clear speech.
The left and right channels are capable of projecting sound in any direction to provide a spacious soundstage. Adaptive Sound Lite is able to create more realistic sound. Additional acoustics can be integrated into the 3.1 CH system via a Bluetooth connection to create a complete home theater experience.
The A650 soundbar has a very good midrange response. But out of the box, the bar only has a neutral, balanced sound profile that is suitable for listening to simple audio content.
However, the HW-A650 tries to reproduce deep low bass, although the deep thump and rumble of heavy bass music is lacking. True, there are some sound customization features, including a graphic equalizer and presets, as well as bass and treble settings. They allow you to somehow add richness to the sound.
As much as the manufacturer assures us, the Samsung A650 soundbar has poor surround sound performance. It reduces surround content to simple stereo. Therefore, things like voices and footsteps will not be presented as clearly and accurately in the soundstage. Even when the speakers are expanded to 5.1 CH, it may seem that the sound is coming directly in front of you, and not from the speakers located around you.
Samsung’s A650 soundbar has a wide variety of sound enhancement features. There is a graphic equalizer to help you get the sound right. Several EQ presets are also available: Standard, Surround, Bass Boost, Game, Adaptive Sound Lite, and DTS Virtual X. Adaptive Sound Lite can improve the sound of dialogs, making voices clearer.
The Game preset is recommended for adjusting sound settings for better directivity. This helps to track audio cues in games, although it is not known whether it works correctly. Next, you can turn on or off the automatic volume control mode. How to do this is described in the manual.
The Samsung A650 soundbar has multiple physical inputs. There is a full HDMI In port, which allows the panel to be used as a hub between various devices. However, the bar does not have an AUX port, so the connection of “old” devices is questionable. Optical audio input, one HDMI ARC input and one HDMI output are available to the user. A USB port complements these connections (reads files from a USB flash drive).
You can connect the Samsung A650 to your phone or tablet wirelessly via Bluetooth. It will play audio from these devices without the need for wiring. However, Wi-Fi playback (Chromecast or Apple AirPlay respectively) is not available.
Simple design – fits any decor.
Combination of subwoofer and soundbar.
DTS Virtual: X.
3.1 CH soundbar.
Surround 3D sound.
Bluetooth wireless connection.
HDMI and digital connections.
Adaptive Sound Lite mode.
There is no virtual assistant for correct setup.
In short, the Samsung HW-A650 Soundbar is a great soundbar at an affordable price. The user will receive not only a subwoofer, but also improved audio with support for Dolby Digital, DTS Virtual: X, Adaptive Sound Lite and Bass Boost. Unlike this year’s younger model, the HW-A450, there are improvements in dialogue clarity thanks to a dedicated center channel.