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Samsung HW-MS750 Soundbar Review

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High-end performance at a more competitive price

by Steve Withers Oct 13, 2017 at 7:13 AM

  • Home AV review

    32

    Highly Recommended
    Samsung HW-MS750 Soundbar Review
    SRP: £599.00

    What is the Samsung HW-MS750?

    The Samsung HW-MS750 Sound+ is the latest soundbar from the Korean giant and forms the next step in their on-going assault on the higher-end of the audio market. Anyone who doubts the seriousness of Samsung's intentions in terms of audio need only look at their recent actions for clarification. The company whipped out its not inconsiderable cheque book at the end of last year and snapped up the Harman Kardon group which includes JBL, Infinity and AKG. It will take time for this new expertise to filter down into Samsung's own products but in the meantime the company's Audio Lab in California has been busy developing new technologies that push the audiophile capabilities of Samsung's products.

    The first fruits of this innovation were seen in the HW-MS650 and HW-MS6500 Sound+ soundbars that were released earlier in the year and included Samsung's distortion-cancelling technology that has been designed to deliver a cleaner sound with improved detail and clarity. The results were impressive, with both models delivering a highly musical performance for a soundbar. The MS750 appears almost identical to the MS650 but once you get up close you realise that the new model has upward-firing drivers. However these aren't Dolby Atmos speakers like those found on the HW-K950 and HW-K850, instead they are designed to deliver a higher front soundstage that ensures sounds seem to emanate from the TV screen rather than below.

    If there has been one area where Samsung have been open to criticism this year it's pricing, which was the main reason that the MS650 wasn't awarded a Highly Recommended badge when we reviewed it recently. Thankfully Samsung have responded to feedback, reduced their pricing considerably, and as a result the MS750 retails for £699 which, when you consider its features, is a much more competitive price compared to the original pricing for the MS650 - although that's also now cheaper. Samsung are offering some great deals as well, with £200 off the MS750 if bought in conjunction with a TV (any brand, not just Samsung) and if you buy it with the SWA-W700 subwoofer, which normally retails for £599, the combined price is £1,099.

    Of course we appreciate that's still a considerable amount of money and you could buy an AV receiver and 5.1 speaker package for the same amount or get Samsung's own 5.1.4-channel K950 Dolby Atmos soundbar for an additional £200. That means the HW-MS750 is definitely going to need to deliver the goods in terms of audio performance in order to justify its price, so let's find out.

    Design

    Samsung HW-MS750 Design
    At first glance the HW-MS750 appears identical to the HW-MS650, they both use a similar rectangular block design, come in a choice of what Samsung refer to as Dark Titan or Sterling Silver (HW-MS751) and have an attractive brushed metal finish. There's the same angled edge at the top front but, and this is where the two soundbars start to differ, there are metal grilles on the top and front of the chassis. This is because the MS750 not only has three front firing drivers but two upward firing ones as well. Just like the other Samsung soundbars that we have reviewed to date, the overall build quality is excellent and the MS750 feels like a well engineered and constructed product.
    Samsung HW-MS750 Design
    As with all of Samsung's recent soundbars, there is a small display on the front right that shows information like the source or volume level selected. The MS750 measures 1150 x 80 x 130mm (WxHxD) and weighs in at 6.3kg. The Samsung has three forward-firing drivers, each composed of two woofers and a tweeter, along with two upward firing tweeters. The MS750 can be positioned in front of your TV, assuming you have a wide enough surface and sufficient clearance beneath the screen, or you can also wall mount the soundbar and it comes with a pair of brackets for the purpose. Although if you own a compatible Samsung TV, you can buy the optional One Mount (WMN300SB) which attaches the MS750 directly to the TV and allows you to power both devices from a single cable.

    The attractive design is combined with an excellent level of build quality

    Connections & Control

    Samsung HW-MS750 Connections & Control
    The connections on the HW-MS750 are located in a recess on the underside of the soundbar and here you'll find two HDMI inputs (as opposed to the one found on the MS650/6500) and an HDMI output, all of which support 4K/60p, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and HDCP 2.2, whilst the HDMI output also supports Audio Return Channel (ARC). There is an optical digital input and an aux input using a 3.5mm jack, along with built-in WiFi as part of Samsung's Multiroom system and support for a wireless connection to Bluetooth enabled devices. There is a connector for the provided two-pin power cable and also a connector for powering your Samsung TV in conjunction with the One Mount. There's also a connector for attaching a wireless dongle that can wirelessly connect the soundbar to SWA-9000S wireless rear kit and the SWA-W700 wireless subwoofer.
    Samsung HW-MS750 Connections & Control
    As is typical for a Samsung soundbar there are some basic controls on the right hand panel for volume up and down, source select and on/off, along with two buttons on the underside for WiFi setup and adding the MS750 to an existing multiroom system. The included remote control is small but comfortable to hold and easy to use with one hand. In the centre are the navigation and play/pause buttons and above them is the sound control button for setting treble, audio sync and, where applicable, the rear speaker levels. There's also the source select button (which doubles as the Bluetooth pairing button) and, in the top left hand corner, the power button. Under the navigation controls are the surround mode, the sound mode, the smart mode, the volume up and down control (press it to mute) and the bass up and down control.

    The MS750 boasts a better remote and more HDMI inputs than much of the competition

    Features & Specs

    Samsung HW-MS750 Features & Specs
    As you would expect from a Samsung soundbar the HW-MS750 is feature packed but the headline grabber is the distortion canceling technology which is designed to deliver deeper bass and a clearer more detailed sound. This technology is based on measurements of the soundbar taken in an anechoic chamber that are then applied to an algorithm that predicts the distortion at the end of the driver movement and then pre-adjusts for it upfront, thus eliminating low frequency distortion.

    The MS750 uses a five-channel configuration with eleven speaker units in all, six long-excursion woofers, three wide-range tweeters and two vertical tweeters. All the speaker units have their own digital amplification and have been specifically developed and tuned at the Samsung Audio Lab in California. The wide range tweeters use a lower crossover of 600Hz to deliver a more uniform sound dispersion with less of a sweet spot, which means it's better suited for living rooms where everyone is spread out.

    The soundbar itself uses a closed enclosure and has a frequency range from 38Hz to 20kHz, according to Samsung. This extended bass performance is partly due to the distortion cancelling technology but also thanks to the long-excursion woofers, which increase the depth of speaker movement and thus deliver more powerful bass. In addition the multi speaker control enables the multi-array speaker units to move simultaneously, which in turn produces deeper bass.
    Samsung HW-MS750 Features & Specs
    The MS750 supports both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1-channel audio and has been designed to operate on its own, using its superior bass performance and 'surround sound expansion' to create a more immersive and impactful sound experience from a single unit. The addition of the vertical tweeters means that the MS750 also has 'height channel upmix' technology which extracts height cues from content to create a front soundstage that has greater height, which places sounds around the screen rather than below it.

    However if you would prefer a genuine surround sound experience, then you can add the Wireless Surround Kit (SWA-9000S) which uses a wireless dongle. If you want even more bass extension, especially for movies, then you can also add the Wireless Subwoofer (SWA-W700) with the same dongle. Other features include the ability to wirelessly connect to your Samsung TV using either WiFi or Bluetooth and you can use the latter to connect to various Bluetooth enabled sources as well.

    The MS750 supports Samsung's Multiroom system, so you can add it to an existing multiroom system and control the soundbar using the Multiroom App. The MS750 supports Hi-Res audio up to 96kHz/24 bit with MP3, WAV, AAC, OGG, FLAC and ALAC support and, via the Multiroom app, you can stream music from Spotify, Tidal and Amazon Music, to name a few. In addition the MS750 also supports UHQ 32-bit upscaling hi-res audio, something that isn't included on Samsung's other soundbars.

    There are built-in upward-firing drivers that deliver greater height to the front soundstage

    Setup & Testing

    Samsung HW-MS750 Setup & Testing
    The MS750 is straight forward to set up, just make sure the soundbar is level, that it isn't blocking your screen and also that there's nothing in the way of the drivers – in front and above. For testing we connected various devices via HDMI such as the Samsung UBD-M9500 UHD Blu-ray player, a PS4 Pro, an Apple TV 4K and a YouView set top box. We also connected these devices to a Samsung QE55Q7F that we were testing at the same time, so that we could send the audio back to the soundbar via ARC (Audio Return Channel).

    We also connected an Amazon Dot via the 3.5mm jack and we paired the MS750 to our iPhone 7 via Bluetooth. You can connect to your TV using Bluetooth or, if it's a Samsung Smart TV released after 2014, you can connect via your WiFi network using the Samsung Multiroom App. You can also use the Samsung Multiroom App to set up the MS750 up as part of a multiroom system, which we also tested using the Multiroom App. Samsung provided a SWA-W700 wireless subwoofer as part of the review, so were able to test the bass performance with and without the sub connected.
    Samsung HW-MS750 Setup & Testing
    We found that controlling the MS750 is easy, thanks to the excellent remote control, with the Source button allowing you to cycle through all the available inputs. The Sound Mode button allows you to select from five different sound modes – Standard, Music, Voice, Sports and Movie – and there's also a DRC (Dynamic Range Control) mode that you can engage by pressing and holding the Sound Mode button for watching content at night.

    The sound control button allows you to set the treble and audio sync, if necessary, as well as turn the rear speakers on and off and set their levels if wireless surround speakers are connected. There's the Surround button, which adds a surround effect to the audio, the Height Channel Upmix for the vertical tweeters and the Smart Mode button that automatically optimises sound effects to suit the scene playing. Finally the bass control allows you to adjust the amount of bass or, when a wireless subwoofer is connected, you can adjust the subwoofer level instead.

    The setup is straightforward and using and controlling the soundbar couldn't be easier

    Performance

    Samsung HW-MS750 Performance
    Since we had previously reviewed the MS650 and MS6500 we had a pretty good idea of what to expect from the MS750 and we're pleased to say that we weren't disappointed. Samsung's distortion cancelling technology really does work and the resulting audio is among the best we've ever heard from a soundbar. There's a cleanness and clarity to the sound that is very appealing, with the kind of detail retrieval that you would expect from a studio monitor, but there's also a slight warmth in the tuning that means the sound doesn't come across as clinical. However what really impresses is the bass extension of the MS750 and it genuinely does go surprisingly deep. In fact the low frequency performance of the soundbar is definitely good enough for music listening and most TV watching. It's only really when it comes to blockbuster movies that a little extra bass would be nice but if you really only want a single unit solution, then the MS750 is an ideal choice.

    Of course if you would rather add a wireless subwoofer then the SWA-W700 makes for a great option. Setting up and pairing the two is extremely simple because the dongle you attach to the soundbar is already paired with the sub, so literally just need to plug it in. Once you done that it's just a question of positioning the sub – don't forget that although it's wireless you'll still need to plug it into a power socket – and fine tuning the levels to suit your room. We found that the SWA-W700 is a definite step-up in terms of performance from previous Samsung subwoofers. The new model uses a more traditional cube design and is a lot larger, which results in a powerful low frequency performance. However we also found it was more controlled than previous Samsung subwoofers, which could often be a little heavy-handed. The SWA-W700 was tight and responsive, integrating seamlessly with the MS750 and delivering that extra bit of bass that gave movies greater impact.

    When it came to TV broadcasts, the MS750 comfortably handled any programme we watched and we were pleased by the clarity of the dialogue. This emanated from the centre of the soundbar, whilst music was delivered in a wider soundstage across the front of the room. The addition of a height effect thanks to the vertical tweeters also meant that sounds emanated from around the TV itself, creating a more immersive front soundstage. This was especially true of TV dramas and when watching Star Trek Discovery the addition of the height channels gave the audio a bigger and more effective presence. In switching between the two we definitely found that we preferred the height upmixing, with the Samsung proving very accomplished, delivering the dialogue with focused clarity, rendering the music well and localising the effects with precision. The bass was also pleasingly deep and the soundbar managed to deliver an excellent low-end that was certainly sufficient for the majority of our TV viewing. When it came to shows with a lot of music the MS750 also sounded fantastic, with solid bass extension, but in this instance we tended to turn off the height upmixing to retain clearer stereo separation.
    Samsung HW-MS750 Performance
    We then moved on to Blu-rays and Ultra HD Blu-rays, where 6the performance was equally as impressive. We're pleased to see that Samsung has been listening to feedback and have now added DTS 5.1 decoding to their soundbars, along with the existing Dolby Digital 5.1 support. The sound quality was certainly excellent and a Blu-ray like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sounded fantastic with the songs on the soundtrack being delivered with great clarity, whilst the effects and bass were handled with precision. The MS750 was also capable of delivering a balanced sound and it could go very loud without distorting or becoming brittle. There was a nice sense of width to the soundstage, although if you want genuine surround effects you'll need to buy there optional rear wireless kit. The height upmixer also worked very well giving the front soundstage more presence although, again, if you want a genuine Dolby Atmos experience you'll need to look at the HW-K850 and HW-K950. The bass performance was certainly impressive for a single unit but there's no doubt the addition of the SWA-W700 gave film soundtracks a bit more impact that really added to the overall enjoyment.

    If there's one area that often gets ignored when it comes to soundbars it's music and most people probably wouldn't consider one a suitable device for serious music listening. However the move towards multiroom audio means that soundbars are often the primary method of listening to music in many living rooms and as such their abilities with music have become more important. We listened to a number of different sources including our smartphone via Bluetooth, our home network via WiFi, CD via our disc player and various streaming services. The MS750 was simply the best soundbar we have heard to date when it comes to music, which makes it a viable component in a multiroom system where sound quality becomes more important. We have recently been enjoying much of David Bowie's back catalogue and the MS750 handled it very well, with the deeper bass presence of the soundbar giving the drums at the beginning of Cat People greater presence. The aggressive guitar work from Mick Ronson on Moonage Daydream was perfectly rendered, whilst the epic synth landscapes of the Low and "Heroes" albums retained their cold aloofness. Overall the MS750 delivered a great all-round performance making it an ideal soundbar for watching TV and movies or listening to music.

    The audio performance was excellent with no discernible distortion and plenty of bass

    Conclusion

    9
    AVForumsSCORE
    OUT OF
    10

    Pros

    • Great sound
    • Good connections
    • Plenty of features
    • Solid build quality
    • Attractive design

    Cons

    • Bass could be better
    • Fairly expensive
    You own this Total 1
    You want this Total 3
    You had this Total 0

    Samsung HW-MS750 Soundbar Review

    Should I buy one?


    The Samsung HW-MS750 is an excellent soundbar that takes what was good about their earlier models and expands on it by adding a height element to the audio. As a result the front soundstage is suitably wide and the extra height does help to position sounds around the screen, although it should be stressed that the MS750 isn't a Dolby Atmos soundbar. However it does support both Dolby Digital and DTS in 5.1-channels and if want to include actual surround speakers there is a wireless rear kit available. The MS750 can produce some excellent bass extension and, with music at least, there really is no need for a separate subwoofer. However if you do want to get the optional wireless subwoofer, and there are some good deals available, it can definitely help add a bit more low frequency punch to movie soundtracks.

    The MS750 includes the same distortion cancelling technology that has worked so well on other Samsung models this year, delivering a clean and detail audio that is genuinely free of distortion. The new soundbar now has two HDMI inputs, along with an effective remote control and support for Samsung's multiroom system thanks to the built-in WiFi. The excellent Multiroom App makes adding and controlling the MS750 as part of a multiroom system very easy and there is extensive support of various file types, including hi-res audio, as well as plenty of popular music streaming services. The Samsung HW-MS750 is one of the best performing soundbars in terms of audio quality that we've reviewed to date and its design, build quality and features certainly justify the £699 price tag, making it highly recommended.

    What are my alternatives?

    There are a number of interesting alternatives available from Samsung themselves, including the HW-MS650 which you can currently pick up for £499. The MS650 only has one HDMI input and doesn't have UHQ support or the vertical tweeters but it remains an excellent soundbar with plenty of features. If you like the idea of upward-firing drivers but also want Dolby Atmos support the there's the HW-K850, which can deliver a 3.1.2-channel experience at a cost of £899. However if you want to go for a proper surround setup then the HW-K950 delivers a full 5.1.4-channel Dolby Atmos experience at a current retail price of £1,299. The K850 and K950 both come with wireless subwoofers included but the new SWA-W700 wireless sub is better.

    We have also recently reviewed the Bluesound Pulse, which is another single unit soundbar that has been designed to deliver a superior audio performance and deeper bass. The Pulse certainly succeeded in this regard but it did so at a price, costing £999 which definitely puts the value of the MS750 into perspective. For £300 less you get a soundbar that sounds just as good, has deeper bass and comes with a remote control, HDMI connections and more features. So this time it looks as though Samsung's HE-MS750 is the value option if you're looking for a great sounding unit that can delver deep bass without resorting to a subwoofer.

    MORE: Read All Soundbar Reviews



    The Rundown

    Build Quality

    9

    Connectivity

    9

    Ease of use

    9

    Sound Quality

    9

    Features

    9

    Value for Money

    8

    Verdict

    9

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