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Sonic BOOM: 10 blast-tastic soundbars

Fatten up your fat telly audio

Samsung HW-F551

RH Numbers

Samsung may not be the first brand you associate with high performance audio, but its soundbars consistently over-deliver against its high-street peers. The HW-F551 is a case in point. It’s a slick and glossy 2.1 package with a crisp presentation. Connectivity includes an HDMI loop-through with ARC, plus an optical digital audio input, stereo minijack and rear-mounted USB reader, compatible with a variety of audio file types including FLAC.

Samsung HW-F551

There’s also Bluetooth support (sans aptX), not just from your mobile device but also between the HW-F551 and a compatible Bluetooth TV. This soundbar may lack the vacuum tubes found higher up the Samsung range, but it has functional flash in the shape of a scrolling LED status display positioned behind the grille.

The sonic balance between the soundbar and the wireless subwoofer is good, provided they are positioned close together. Samsung optimistically claims 150W for the sub, with 160W going to the soundbar, but all you really need to know is it’s capable of real heft and dynamics when needed. The post processing surround modes are more of a distraction though, just various dollops of reverb. Overall, a decent attempt designed to delight the Samsung faithful.

Price £250
More info Samsung

Next page: Yamaha YSP-2500

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