HWM (Singapore) - - Think -

Slim and slen­der, the HW-F850 sound bar’s de­sign is un­doubt­edly de­signed to be har­mo­nious with aes­thet­ics of Sam­sung’s ex­ten­sive line of HDTVs. Its fine black grill and mir­ror fin­ished side pan­els give the unit an in­dus­trial feel which should eas­ily com­ple­ment the other de­vices in your home the­ater setup. The hor­i­zon­tal speaker it­self sits at a low height, but it is also eas­ily the long­est one en­coun­tered from this roundup of four sound bars. Right smack in the mid­dle is a trans­par­ent panel of orange plas­tic which gives the users a peek at the HW-F850’s spe­cial fea­ture, vac­uum tubes. Four touch con­trol but­tons are also vis­i­ble.

Keep­ing up the hor­i­zon­tal speaker’s feat of stature, the sub-woofer too mea­sures in as the largest amongst all the con­tenders. It is also quite heavy and bulky which makes for awk­ward po­si­tion­ing, though thank­fully, this should only need to be done once. Like all the other sound bars, the HWF850’s sub-woofer also con­nects wire­lessly to the hor­i­zon­tal speak­ers and has to be plugged in to a power source. The wire­less setup process matches the sim­plic­ity of­fered by both LG and Philips’ en­tries.

The HW-F850 sound bar comes equipped with HDMI con­nec­tiv­ity so that it can be hooked up to your TV. An ex­tra port is pro­vided so that a source de­vice, such as a Blu-ray player, can also be plugged in. Au­dio can be trans­mit­ted to the sound bar wire­lessly with the help of Blue­tooth. To set the HW-F850 apart from the com­pe­ti­tion, Sam­sung throws in NFC. The NFC tag is clearly de­mar­cated on the top sur­face of the hor­i­zon­tal speak­ers and the tap to pair pro­ce­dure re­moves some of the has­sle in­volved with Blue­tooth pair­ing of smart de­vices.

Au­dio per­for­mance for the HW-F850 is col­ored by its main, unique fea­ture which is the vac­uum tube. The over­all tone of the sound is dom­i­nated by warm, lush mids. This char­ac­ter­is­tic works bril­liantly on Adele’s Melt My Heart To Stone. But on other songs such as Buck­et­head’s Sail On Sooth­sayer, tre­bles lacked crisp­ness. The mids have an ev­i­dent ten­dency to some­times over­power the tre­bles which re­sults in an un­bal­anced ren­der­ing of the mix.

Bass from the over­sized sub-woofer came across as re­ally strong, and in our case, a lit­tle too strong for our tastes.The sound of the low fre­quen­cies were boomy and un­de­fined. Cou­pled with the warm mids, the HW-F850 ends up un­able to bring forth the sub­tlety and de­tails of tracks as well as some of its other com­peti­tors.

Sam­sung also fits their sound bar with their 3D Sound Plus fea­ture to help pro­vide vir­tual sur­round sound. The stereo sound­stage from the de­cent, but the HW-F850’s sur­round sound ef­fect doesn’t quite match up to the HTL9100, for ex­am­ple.



The HW-F850 comes with NFC con­nec­tiv­ity. The vac­uum tubes are dis­played be­hind a win­dow.

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