SAM­SUNG HW-MS750

Computer Shopper - - SOUNDBARS -

£699 • From www.cur­rys.co.uk VER­DICT A bril­liant sound­bar that’s ver­sa­tile, sounds great and pro­duces phe­nom­e­nal bass with­out a sub­woofer

AS THE NEW­EST and most expensive of Sam­sung’s HW-MS sound­bars, the HW-MS750 has the tough job of fol­low­ing the HW-MS650. Both are sin­gle-body mod­els with­out a ded­i­cated sub­woofer, and al­though the HW-MS750 costs nearly £300 more, at first glance it’s hard to see why.

Once you start lis­ten­ing to it, how­ever, it be­comes clear that the HW-MS750 is a big step up in terms of sheer sound qual­ity, es­pe­cially when it comes to the lower fre­quen­cies.

Once again, this is a Sam­sung sound­bar that’s best suited to larger TVs and rooms: it mea­sures 1,150mm across, so pairs well with TVs 49in and larger in size, and it can be wall-mounted us­ing the bun­dled bracket and at­tached be­neath com­pat­i­ble Sam­sung TVs with the op­tional TV mount. It’s not too tall, so if you want to place it in front of your TV it should fit per­fectly well with­out get­ting in the way of the pic­ture.

This is not just a TV speaker, how­ever. Yes, you can use it for movie, TV and gam­ing au­dio du­ties, but Sam­sung also wants it to be your main speaker for mu­sic and wire­less au­dio stream­ing, so you can play tunes di­rectly to it from your phone or over your home net­work via Spo­tify Con­nect or the Sam­sung app.

When it comes to con­nec­tions, the HW-MS750 has it all. Phys­i­cal con­nec­tions are all lo­cated in a cutout un­der­neath the sound­bar, and you get ev­ery­thing you need. There are three HDMI ports – two in­puts, both 4K passthrough-en­abled and one ARC-en­abled out­put – one 3.5mm in­put jack and an optical S/PDIF in­put.

SOUND WAVES

Wire­less con­nec­tiv­ity in­cludes Blue­tooth, so you can play tunes di­rectly from mo­bile de­vices, and Wi-Fi for play­back via Spo­tify Con­nect or other stream­ing ser­vices. These are ac­cessed via the Sam­sung Wire­less

Au­dio-Mul­ti­room app and in­clude Tidal, TuneIn, Deezer and Qobuz. You can also stream mu­sic from files stored in shared net­work fold­ers, and own­ers of com­pat­i­ble Sam­sung TVs can also stream au­dio wire­lessly to the sound­bar via Blue­tooth or Wi-Fi.

De­sign-wise, the HW-MS750 is at­trac­tive and well made, but rather staid. It’s wrapped mainly in a per­fo­rated steel grill, with a mix of plas­tic and alu­minium trim to set it off and ev­ery­thing – bar the sil­ver con­trol but­tons on the right end panel – is fin­ished in black. There’s a white OLED dis­play show­ing sta­tus, vol­ume lev­els and the like be­neath the grille on the right-hand side, with a cou­ple of small LEDs above it, but that’s your lot when it comes to vis­ual ap­peal.

The re­mote con­trol is pretty plain, too, but it’s won­der­fully us­able. It’s com­pact and slim, very com­fort­able to hold and keeps the num­ber of but­tons to a min­i­mum.

As per usual for sound­bars, the HW-MS750 has a num­ber of dif­fer­ent sound pro­files, tai­lored for dif­fer­ent du­ties. How­ever, we found our­selves de­fault­ing to the Sur­round Sound op­tion, which uses the HW-MS750’s 450W of power and 11 driv­ers to spread au­dio around your room in an at­tempt to sim­u­late a mul­ti­speaker setup.

It’s re­mark­ably ef­fec­tive, and while it doesn’t quite cre­ate the height and con­vinc­ing sound bub­ble that the Sam­sung HW-K850 (Shop­per 353) does – mainly owing to the lack of Dolby Atmos sup­port – it’s still im­pres­sive. Au­dio ap­pears to come from the sides and around you, and there’s a real sense of depth and po­si­tion­ing to sound ef­fects, with voices and speech clear and in­tel­li­gi­ble at all times.

SOLO ACT

We were wor­ried about the lack of a sep­a­rate sub­woofer, but the HW-MS750 quickly over­came our fears. Sam­sung’s anti-dis­tor­tion tech­nol­ogy works here to pro­duce a

phe­nom­e­nal amount of low-end thump, which Sam­sung says reaches right the way down to 27Hz. You can add that £499 SWA-W700 wire­less sub­woofer if you re­ally want the deep­est sound pos­si­ble, but the sound­bar alone should eas­ily suf­fice for most peo­ple’s needs. The bass it kicks out is as­ton­ish­ing for a speaker this slim; im­por­tantly, it’s a big im­prove­ment on the HW-MS650, which doesn’t reach down as low.

And the HW-MS750 per­forms just as well with mu­sic as it does with film sound­tracks, with a huge acreage of sound­stage and a sense of clar­ity and dy­namism that makes your skin tin­gle.

The only gripe we have is that, with some tracks, the sheer clar­ity of de­tail it’s ca­pa­ble of re­pro­duc­ing at the top end of the au­dio spec­trum can clash and grate a lit­tle on the ears. The flip side is that the HW-MS750 is ca­pa­ble of cre­at­ing a huge amount of at­mos­phere in quiet acous­tic tracks, pick­ing out the nu­ances in live record­ings that other sound­bars can only dream of.

BAR NONE

If there’s one thing that’s abun­dantly clear, the Sam­sung HW-MS750 is the most tech­ni­cally ex­cel­lent stand­alone sound­bar you can buy. There’s noth­ing else that comes close to the scale of sound, the sound­stage and the sense of at­mos­phere that this sound­bar is ca­pa­ble of re­pro­duc­ing. And the amount of gutrum­bling bass it pumps out with­out need­ing a sub­woofer is truly out­stand­ing.

If you need a sound­bar and have no room for a sub, there’s sim­ply noth­ing bet­ter­sound­ing you can spend your money on. The only prob­lem, on that note, is with the value. It’s a pricey £699, and the only slightly less im­pres­sive HW-MS650 can cur­rently be had for a com­par­a­tively rea­son­able £419. Still, if you want the very best, you most cer­tainly won’t be dis­ap­pointed with the HW-MS750.

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