Top critical review
96 people found this helpful
What TV Speakers should be like
on 4 May 2012
At the time of me buying the HW-E350 is a new model soundbar from Samsung. Not to be confused with the HT-E350 or HW-D350 which are both completely different things.
In the box came:
3.5mm jack to dual phono cable
2 ferrite cores
small wall bracket (only suitable for flat wall)
small usb cable
The remote is small but of good quality. it switches my old Samsung TV on and off. More on this later.
The Soundbar is standard Samsung shiny piano black and looks very smart. As it's been designed to go with 32" TVs its a little shorter than many soundbars, being about 750mm wide. It has a flat front and a curved back. it has two speakers each side at the front and a small upward-firing sub on the top.
HDMI In (I have a Sky boxed plugged in to this)
HDMI Out (My TV is plugged in here) This port also supports ARC. My TV is too old to support ARC. It also support anynet+ if your TV does.
Aux in (3.5mm jack) I have the jack to phono connection in here, connected to my DVD player.
USB in to allow you to play music from a usb stick or mp3 device. It must be presented at FAT/FAT32 storage, not NTFS.
The HDMI looping through the sound bar makes for really simple connections BUT they dont supply a HDMI cable to you will need to source one of these.
The soundbar has a small vacuum-led type blue LED display (dimmable) which tells you what input and what sound mode you are in. You can dim it.
The sound controls are reasonably basic, you can change between various programmes like drama, news, music, cinema, which seem to be like a digital equaliser being applied. They do make a difference. You can turn the small sub up and down, but it is small don't expect the neighbours to complain much even if you have it on +6.
As for the sound, it's nice, it does add some depth to the TV and is MILES better than the (frankly awfull) speakers built in to my TV, but this is in now way an ear-splitting cinema sound experience. That's OK becuase actually this is what I wanted.
This unit both looks like, and sounds like the speakers they should build into the TVs by default!
If your TV supports ARC then you can send sound back from it in to the soundbar, then I guess you would have control of the volume from the TV. likewise if your TV supports anynet+. Mine had neither so I mustn't loose the soundbar remote control, but I knew this, My TV is from 2007 :-)
The only real disappointment is the bar has no auto power off/on feature (the D350 does but that has no hdmi but optical connectors and no sub). This helps me take -1 off the score.
Overall I'm reaSONABLY pleased with the device, and would recommend as long as you have a tv with anynet+, but if you are an audiophile and want the full cinema experience then this is not for you. If you just want TV sound that works properly, then it's ok. A sub-£100 price would make it more reasonable value for money.
The manual for this model can be hard to find on-line, it's here:
[...] (as Amazon edited out the link I guess its still hard to find)
Edit: Second annoyance - When the Soundbar is powered off it doesn't pass through anything to the HDMI out, so with the powerbar off there is no picture or sound passed from my sky box to the TV. minded to reduce the reivew to 3*