Samsung HW-C450 2.1 soundbar
Review Once you've tried upgrading the raw sound that comes from your TV, there's simply no way back. Virtually any dedicated sound system will be better than the speakers on even the most highfalutin of tellies. If you’re looking for something less sprawling than a multispeaker surround set-up, the then Samsung’s HW-C450 is aimed at you. This slim Jim soundbar doesn't take up much space, is easily mounted on a wall and delivers a 2.1 sound output for a decent price.
Channel strip: Samsung's HW-C450
The main soundbar has a slender, discreet look to it and measures 955 x 92 x 45mm while the subwoofer is a reasonable 175 x 35 x 295mm. There's no cover for the speakers, but that's not much of a problem when they're as appealing as these are. There are two pairs of 2in midrange drivers, each surrounding a 1in tweeter.
The HW-C450 comes with its own wall bracket and not being particularly heavy means it's easy to attach to a wall – a couple of screws into Rawlplugs ought to do it. A little panel of touch-sensitive LED symbols on top deal with power, volume up/down, soundfield (news, drama, sports, game, cinema, music and none) and input mode. There's also an LED display.
The subwoofer is the wireless type, which cuts down on cables and makes placement easier. It's not totally wireless, of course, you'll need to plug it into the mains, but it will connect to the main unit using a wireless link. It feels a little lightweight and cheap compared to the main unit, with little depth behind the 6in driver.
This soundbar bar is not exactly bursting with connection options either. There are two optical digital connections and one analogue. This is less than ideal if you want to take your sound directly from several different inputs such as TV, Blu-ray player, Sky/cable box and games console. The analogue input is a simple 3.5mm stereo jack socket, which is really intended for iPod or other MP3 players though it can also connect to your TV with a suitable RCA adaptor cable. There's also a USB port for receiving software updates.