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Samsung HW-F751 review

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Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751
  • Samsung HW-F751

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Pros

  • Gorgeous design and build quality
  • Warm, powerful sound quality
  • Attractive feature list

Cons

  • Loses composure at high volumes
  • Expensive
  • Cramped socketry recess on rear

Key Features

  • 310W power output
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Vacuum tube amplifier
  • Dolby Digital and DTS decoding
  • 3D Sound Plus and Vertical Surround
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £600.00

What is the Samsung HW-F751?

Soundbars are all about style and convenience, and the Samsung HW-F751 has both in spades. This 2.1 channel soundbar and subwoofer sits atop Samsung’s latest soundbar range and boasts some tasty features and a luxurious, versatile design. There’s no built-in Blu-ray player, but if you’re looking for a way of getting cinema-like sound quality without the clutter, then it could be just the ticket.

Samsung HW-F751

Samsung HW-F751 – Design

There are just two components in the box – a slim soundbar and a wireless subwoofer. The soundbar is a single 943mm-wide block with mesh across the front and gently curved corners.

Samsung HW-F751

It’s beautifully styled in silver metal, which matches Samsung’s TVs perfectly (it’s ideally designed for 46in sets) and makes the casing feel sturdy and substantial. It’s remarkably well made - every inch a premium product.

There are other lovely touches like the mirrored silver panels at either end of the bar and a small window in the middle revealing the HW-F751’s secret weapon – a vacuum tube amp. You get a tantalising glimpse of the valves glowing red through the window, below which is a quartet of touch-sensitive controls (power, volume up/down and function). There’s an OLED display to the left of the control panel, stylishly hidden behind the mesh, which shows all the relevant info in large digits. It scrolls to reveal the name of selected sound mode, and disappears when idle.

READ MORE: Best surround sound systems

Samsung HW-F751

The cleverest part however is the choice of installation options. You can mount it upright on the wall using the supplied bracket, with the valves and controls facing forward, or place it flat on a tabletop with the valves face up.

When you do the latter, a built-in sensor detects which way it’s facing and moves the OLED display to the thinner front edge, as well as optimising the sound for its new position. These brilliant little flourishes makes this the most stylish soundbar we’ve tested this side of the B&W Panorama 2.

Samsung HW-F751

The active subwoofer sports a similarly fetching silver design and excellent build quality. The curved corners make it more elegant than many subs, and because it’s wireless you won’t have any messy wires to spoil the look (besides the power lead).

Sillypollas

April 23, 2013, 8:03 am

Good review. I am very tempted to buy one of these soundbars for my lounge. There is so much choice now I am not sure which would work with my home setup. I have a projector and an HTPC behind the sofa and would like to install a wireless soundbar across the other side of the room below the projected image. If I installed a bluetooth stick on my HTPC would it be able to connect to the soundbar and transmit the audio? If not, is there a soundbar out there that would work wireless?

Marshall1000

April 23, 2013, 9:19 am

Good review, but Im surprised theres no mention of musical performance. A lot of people would want to use this both for movies and music playback.

Evan

April 23, 2013, 11:25 am

That's an excellent point. We'll add it to the list to ensure it gets covered in more detail in future.

Kruger

April 23, 2013, 4:25 pm

How does it compare to the SONOS PlayBar? I know the PlayBar doesn't sport HDMI or DTS/Dolby Surround. Plus the PlayBar itself is almost as expensive as this Samsung set.

Prem Desai

April 24, 2013, 3:07 pm

Valve amplifier - with tinny speakers and this budget ?? Surely not.

Connections that you struggle with to use decent cables (which you would for a valve amp).

I'm sure this soundbar is good, but it looks more of a tick-box exercise than anything else.

There's a reason why the B&W and Sonos cost more.

Jess Degenkolw

April 29, 2013, 12:10 pm

I'm curious on how it works with auto turn on and off. I have the 450 model from Samsung and It does not turn on automatically when I turn on the Samsung ES8005 TVset. Will this model do that?

Damian Brooks

April 29, 2013, 2:42 pm

Hi Jess, this will turn on with your TV using HDMI (arc) but also I think using Soundshare

Jess Degenkolw

May 25, 2013, 10:35 am

Now I bought it. I will NOT turn on :(( It does not turn off with Soundshare and the there is a high pitch noise when using soundshare.. Bommer.

TIMOTHY KIM

July 1, 2013, 5:02 am

I am using F751 soundbar for two mondths. The 3D plus modes are amazing for every movie, every TV drama and for "some" musics. For musics such as piano solo, guitar solo and vocal sounds are good in 3D plus movie or music modes but not enough for concertos and symphonies. For Symphonies and concertos, it would better to listen to music with other audio system. The music, Drama, cinema modes without 3D mode sound flat and useless. That's why I always use 3D plus movie mode.

Examples of 3D plus sound modes are.....

(1) Movie

-Dark Knight rises: When you watch the first "The Bat" flying scene, you can feel vertical surround effect from bottom to ceiling with such a huge woofer sound.

(2) Musics in 3D pluse move or music modes

-Claude Ciari: when you listen to this guitar music, this is a reference for music. I recommend you to enjoy "Le premier pas". The guitar sound spreads to ceiling just like sitting in a concert hall.

-George Winston: Thank giving and Canon etc. are good for listen to.

-Beethoven symphonies and Chopin's piano concertos: For such musics I could not enjoy with the soundbar. The detailed sound couldn't be expressed.

-Rock: Any rock isn't good................I mean "bad"

So the soundbare is "not" good for "every" music if you want to enjoy classics and rocks.

But when you choose this soundbar for watching movies and TV dramas, It will be one of the best choices replacing multi-channel home theaters.

If you want to enjoy music also, it's also good but you have to be generous and ready for give up "detailed sound of instruments" when you listen to classics.

Soundbar is a soundbar not a component audio system.

Wishing you a good choice for your life.....

TIMOTHY KIM

July 1, 2013, 5:23 am

Hi Mark.
If you have devices bluetooth available, you can easily access to this soundbar through bluetooth. I also use bluetooth connection for my smart phone or computer. You can transmit the audio through bluetooth.

Andrew Katz

September 8, 2013, 6:59 pm

I've had one of the these for a couple of months: I got it with a Samsung 7000 series TV in a deal from John Lewis.

On the plus side, it's extremely easy to set up, and works well straight out of the box. It syncs with the TV perfectly including going into standby when the TV does. It really is set-it-and-forget-it. It's reasonably easy to connect it to a an iPhone, for example, through bluetooth, although I had problems with the range - I was line of sight in the next room through open double doors about 6 metres away and the signal kept dropping (I realise that this is at the upper end of bluetooth range, and it may be an issue with the iphone, but even so, it's annoying). (If you have been listening using bluetooth you do have to remember to set the sound back to TV when you listen to TV again - hardly a major issue, but unless you only use it with the TV, you will need the supplied remote from time to time).

The other irritating thing is that in order to ensure instant gratification when you turn it on, the valve heaters are powered up on low power permanently. This means that even on standby, the valve cover gets hot. It must be using at least 5w on standby the whole time (which I thought was illegal under EU rules, but maybe they haven't implemented that bit yet). I for one would be happy to wait a few seconds for it to warm up, or, at minimal cost, they could have put in some solid state circuitry to do the valves' job until they have warmed up. (The valves are probably a bit of a gimmick).

Sound quality: there's no way this thing is a patch on a proper discrete setup. My previous system consists of a set of Mission M-Cubes powered by a Denon 1709 receiver (reasonably high-end speakers, and budgetish amp). The Denon/Mission combination is miles ahead of the Samsung soundbar in terms of musicality, soundstage and immersiveness.

Having said that, the Samsung is far from bad. I've tried all the different modes, and found that the custom DSP modes were far too bass heavy - I've turned the sub down as far as I can and now I'm a lot happier with it. It works a lot better with TV and video (including movie) material than it does with music. For a soundbar, it's pretty impressive. For a soundbar.

If you want something discreet and easy to set up, then the Samsung pretty good. If you want good sound quality and you're prepared to locate some speakers and their associated wiring, then a proper separates system will beat this fairly easily, especially for music.

Nils Wachter

January 15, 2014, 10:35 pm

Hello, could you please tell me how loud the subwoofer is on the lowest volume? Is it still too lould with neighbours above, under and next to my flat? I recently bought an onkyo ls3100 and the subwoofer was way too loud and unnatural even at the lowest volume (-10). Is it possible to nearly mute the sub of the samsung soundbar or is it quiet loud even at low level? How is the understanding of voices when watching movies? On the onkyo they were very bad implemented in the soundstage. thanks for your answers

Alain Pierre

July 30, 2014, 12:01 pm

Dear all. Can I install this sound bar below or on top of my mounted flat screen? Which would be best, and why?

Daniel Noormohamed

August 30, 2014, 10:48 am

it needs very close to your listening angle. mines on the bottom of it and sounds really good. i will wall mount it soon

Daniel Noormohamed

August 30, 2014, 10:50 am

its most probably the same as the Onkyo. i have a room connected to my lounge without a dividing wall so i just placed it in the other room. sounds the part now.

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