Rigging up the system is a piece of cake. Obviously some DIY is required for wall-mounting but the bespoke bracket makes the process straightforward. Once installed all that's left to do is connect the optical cable from your player and plug both components into the mains. The wireless sub should pick up the wireless signal from the box straight away, but if not there's an ID set button on the back to reset the connection. There isn't any way of tweaking the levels, so you have to take the sound as it comes.
The system is supplied with a decent remote control, which is short and stumpy yet ergonomic, and boasts good button placement and foolproof labelling. Most of the zapper's buttons are actually designed to control a compatible Samsung TV, which is an added bonus if you're suffering from remote overload.
To check out the HT-WS1G's audio chops, we rigged up our DVD player via the optical input and let it rip with Independence Day's 5.1-channel Dolby Digital soundtrack. It delivers a swift, stirring performance with the movie's raucous action scenes, expressing high frequencies with plenty of snap and mustering a respectable but not foundation-shaking amount of low-end rumble.
As the alien spaceships obliterate Earth's monuments, the explosions sound solid and meaty, while other sudden effects like gunfire and smashing windows sound sharp but not abrasive. The dramatic score is conveyed with drive and urgency too, and the decent midrange handling results in clearly articulated dialogue.
The trouble is, to get the full impact you need to turn the system's volume up to the maximum, but when you do it still feels like it's holding back - there's no way of pushing it to truly wall-shaking levels. With a claimed 260W blasting into the room, the sound is certainly a lot more powerful than your average TV speakers, but it doesn't get as loud or dynamic as other soundbars we've tested. Also, there's absolutely no surround presence at all despite the supposed inclusion of a virtual surround mode, but that's not unusual for a soundbar.
The HT-WS1G feels right at home with music material. The retro-soul of Daniel Merriweather's Love and War on CD is treated to a vibrant and rhythmic rendition, dripping in crisp hi-hats, sharp brass and punchy beats.
We immediately fell in love with the HT-WS1G's unique design, in particular the touch-sensitive controls and wireless subwoofer, which makes for a neat, cable-free installation. It's supremely stylish as most Samsung products are, and while its sound quality is generally impressive, it's not quite powerful or expansive enough to challenge the more potent movie performance of soundbars from B&W, Denon and Marantz. It could also do with a few more connections on the back, but if you can live with these drawbacks then this is a great-value way of upgrading from your TV's speakers.