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Samsung HW-A450 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Jan 06, 2022 at 04:52 pm
Samsung HW-A450 Picture
7.0
Mixed Usage
7.7
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.7
Music
6.1
Movies
This soundbar was replaced by the Samsung HW-B450
Channels
2.1

The Samsung HW-A450 is a budget-friendly 2.1 setup from 2021. Out-of-the-box, it has a neutral sound profile with a touch of extra boom. If you prefer a different sound, it also has a few sound enhancement features like a graphic EQ and presets. However, it still lacks low-bass, even after calibrating it. That said, the bar can get loud without too much compression. It has a simple design with an Optical In and USB port. It also supports Bluetooth for wireless streaming from your mobile device. However, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos, and its surround performance is poor.

Our Verdict

7.0 Mixed Usage

The Samsung A450 soundbar is decent for mixed use. Its neutral sound profile with a little extra boom in the bass range is still suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, and there are lots of sound customization features available. However, it struggles to reproduce the rumble in the low-bass, so it's not ideal for listening to bass-heavy music or action-packed movies. Also, its surround performance is poor.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Dolby Atmos.
  • Poor surround performance.
7.7 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung A450 soundbar is good for dialogue and TV shows. Out-of-the-box, voices are reproduced clearly and accurately. You can even use its Adaptive Sound feature to enhance dialogue, and the Sound Mode auto-volume feature can balance out the volume when watching TV at night. However, due to its phantom center, voices aren't anchored to a pinpoint location in the soundstage, which can be disappointing.

Pros
  • Can get loud.
  • Dialogue enhancement feature available.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Wi-Fi, Chromecast, or Apple AirPlay.
7.7 Music

The Samsung A450 soundbar is good for music. Out-of-the-box, it has a pretty neutral sound profile that's suitable for listening to most genres, and there's even a little extra boom in the bass range. There are many customization features available to tweak its sound, including a graphic EQ and presets. However, it struggles to reproduce the thump in the low-bass, which can be disappointing for fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Wi-Fi, Chromecast, or Apple AirPlay.
6.1 Movies

The Samsung A450 soundbar is mediocre for movies. Due to its 2.1 configuration, this soundbar has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound very immersive. There's also no support for Dolby Atmos. That said, voices are still reproduced pretty accurately, so dialogue is clear and easy to understand.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Dolby Atmos.
  • Poor surround performance.
  • 7.0 Mixed Usage
  • 7.7 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.7 Music
  • 6.1 Movies
  1. Updated Jan 06, 2022: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  2. Updated Apr 26, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Apr 21, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung A450 soundbar looks very similar to the Samsung HW-T450. It has a rectangular design with its front and top sides covered in a thin, slightly shiny fabric. There's black plastic everywhere else on the bar.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The subwoofer is mostly made from wood. Its front face is covered in fabric. However, the fabric feels thin and can easily get dusty or dirty.

Design
Style - Satellites

This soundbar doesn't come with satellites, but you can purchase Samsung's Wireless Rear Speaker Kit separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 33.9" (86.0 cm)
Height 2.1" (5.3 cm)
Depth 3.0" (7.6 cm)

The Samsung HW-A450 is a bit long, but it should fit between the legs of most 55 inch TVs. It shouldn't obscure your view of the screen either unless your TV sits flush to the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 7.2" (18.2 cm)
Height 13.4" (34.1 cm)
Depth 10.7" (27.3 cm)

The Samsung HWA450's subwoofer is about the same size as an average desktop computer. Since it connects to the bar wirelessly, you can place it anywhere in your room, as long as it's connected to a power source.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Universal (holes on underside)

The back of the Samsung A450 is pretty plain. There are two openings. The left side is for the power cable, while the right side has the inputs. There are also universal holes on its underside so that you can wall-mount it.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the subwoofer is very simple. There's a port located at the top. Below, it has a power cable input and a wireless pairing button.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung A450 has an okay build quality. The bar is made with a thin plastic that doesn't feel very durable while the subwoofer is made of wood. On both the bar and subwoofer, there's a fabric cover to protect the speakers. However, it feels loose, and it seems like it could rip easily or collect dust. For a better-built option, see the Samsung HW-B450.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
N/A
Digital Optical Cable Length
1.5 m (4.9 ft)

  • Manual
  • Optical cable
  • Remote (2x AA batteries)
  • 2x AC power cables
  • Wall-mounting brackets with screws

Sound
8.0
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.45
Std. Err.
2.31 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
40.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Samsung A450 has a very good stereo frequency response. Its default sound profile is neutral, making it suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. There's a little extra boom in the bass range, too. However, it struggles to reproduce the thump and rumble in the low-bass, which can be disappointing for listening to bass-heavy music genres and action-packed movies.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
-3
Suggested Treble Setting
2
Slope
-0.19
Std. Err.
2.20 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
40.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

With calibration, this soundbar has a great stereo frequency response. With the Bass set to '-3' and the Treble set to '+2', the bar has a very neutral sound suitable for a variety of audio content. However, it still struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.65 dB

The Samsung A450 has a decent stereo soundstage. It sounds about the size of the bar, but it doesn't do any tricks to widen the soundstage. It also has good focus for a 2.1 setup, although objects seem to move in regions rather than from accurate pinpoint locations.

8.1
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
93.1 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
0.91 dB

This soundbar has a great dynamics performance. It can get loud enough to fill a large or crowded room. There are also few compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio sounds clean.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.47
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.49

The Samsung A450 has a good THD performance. At a normal volume, it performs quite well as it can produce a clear and pure sound. However, when pushed to its max volume, there's a jump in THD, especially in the bass range. That said, it may not be as noticeable with real-life content.

5.8
Sound
Center
Localization
Phantom
Slope
-1.41
Std. Err.
4.74 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
84.4 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.52
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.88

The Samsung A450 has a middling center performance. With a 2.1 setup, it has to use its left and right channels to simulate a phantom center. Unfortunately, as a result, voices aren't anchored to a pinpoint location in the soundstage. On the upside, even though the frequency response is quite bass-heavy, this shouldn't be too noticeable since there usually isn't a lot of bass reproduced on the center channel. Voices are still fairly clear and accurate-sounding.

3.2
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-1.46
Std. Err.
4.93 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
81.7 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.15
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.46
7.1 Rears
No

The Samsung HW-A450 soundbar has a poor surrounds performance. Due to its 2.1 configuration, it has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it. Surround objects like voices don't seem as clear or as real in the soundstage as they do with a discrete localization. The frequency response is also quite bass-heavy, which can be boomy and even overwhelming for some listeners.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Not Supported
Slope
N/A
Std. Err.
N/A
SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
Weighted THD @ 80dB
N/A
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A
6.5
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
No

This soundbar has a fair selection of sound enhancement features. Like most Samsung soundbars, it comes with a graphic EQ and presets as well as bass and treble adjustments so you can customize its sound profile. The EQ presets include 'Standard', 'Surround Sound', 'Bass Boost', 'Game', and 'Adaptive Sound'. Adaptive Sound doubles as a dialogue enhancement feature by analyzing audio in real-time to automatically provide an optimal sound field.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
No
HDMI Out
No
Full HDMI In
No
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
No
RCA In
No
USB for Files
1
Ethernet
No

This soundbar doesn't come with very many inputs. You can plug it into your TV using its Optical port, but there's no HDMI support. If you want a similar bar with HDMI inputs, check out the Sony HT-S400.

0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
No
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No
0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
No
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
No
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
Dolby TrueHD
No
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
No
10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
Yes

The Samsung A450 can support Dolby Digital and DTS content normally found on Blu-ray discs and some streaming platforms via Optical Audio in. However, it has to downmix this content into 2.1.

8.7
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
N/A
Optical
39 ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The Samsung A450 has an excellent latency performance. It only supports Optical, but it has very low latency using this connection, so your audio and visuals are in sync. That said, some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

6.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
No

The Samsung A450 has mediocre playback options. It only supports Bluetooth, so you can easily stream your favorite content to the bar wirelessly.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
No
HDR10 Passthrough
No
Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the soundbar. It has a pairing button on the lower right of its back. It has a wired power cable connection.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
No
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The Samsung HW-A450 has a simple interface. It's a small screen located in the middle of the bar, behind the fabric covering. It can only display a max of six characters at once, so it needs to scroll to complete words. When you're not adjusting anything, the screen isn't visible. However, it displays the volume number as well as the sound mode as you're adjusting it.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

This bar has four buttons on the top middle of the bar. You can turn the bar on or off, adjust the volume, and switch inputs.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote is the same style as the Samsung HW-T450. It allows you to control all the soundbar's settings. Samsung also advertises a 'One Remote' feature, which lets you use the soundbar's remote to control compatible Samsung TVs.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No
Additional Features
App
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
Acts As A Remote
No
Controls Soundbar's Settings
No
Casts Device Files
No
Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Auto-off
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
No

The Samsung A450 soundbar turns off after receiving no audio signal after 18 minutes. However, you can't control the bar's basic functions with your TV's remote as the bar doesn't have an HDMI ARC port.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Samsung A450 soundbar comes in one variant: 'Black' and you can see its label here.

Best Buy also markets a Black Friday variant of this soundbar called the Samsung A430. 

If you come across another variant of this soundbar, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung HW-A450 is a budget-friendly 2.1 setup and is the next generation of the Samsung HW-T450. Unlike some of the other soundbars from this manufacturer's 2021 lineup, like the Samsung HW-Q700A, it's a bit more barebones in terms of extra features. It lacks Q-Symphony and Acoustic Beam technology. It doesn't support Dolby Atmos or have voice assistant support. However, it has a neutral sound profile suitable for a variety of audio content, and it can get loud with few compression artifacts.

Check out our recommendations for the best soundbars under $200, the best budget soundbars, and the best soundbars with subwoofer.

Samsung HW-A550

The Samsung HW-A550 is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-A450. The HW-A550 is better built and comes with more physical inputs, including a Full HDMI In port and an HDMI ARC port. It also comes with a virtual surround feature, unlike the HW-A450.

Samsung HW-B450

The Samsung HW-B450 is the next generation of the Samsung HW-A450. The bars are very similar, but the B450 is better built. That said, it doesn't come with a graphic EQ like the A450, and its out-of-the-box sound isn't quite as neutral.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-A450. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup that's better-built and offers better soundstage, center, and surround performances. It also supports Dolby Atmos content and comes with a room correction feature, unlike the Samsung. You can even upgrade it as the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers for better performance. However, the Samsung comes with a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization, unlike the Sonos.

Samsung HW-A650

The Samsung HW-A650 is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-A450. The HW-A650 is a 3.1 setup, so it comes with a discrete center channel that can reproduce clearer and more accurate dialogue in TV shows than the 2.1 HW-A450. It's also better-built, and it comes with a virtual surround feature, as well as an ARC port and a Full HDMI In port.

Samsung HW-T450

The Samsung HW-A450 is the next generation of the Samsung HW-T450. While the HW-A450 performs similarly to its predecessor in most regards, it now comes with a graphic EQ in addition to its presets, which is nice if you like to customize your audio experience. Its latency performance is better too. However, the HW-T450 comes with a virtual surround feature. 

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is better than the Samsung HW-A450. The HW-Q600A is a 3.1.2 setup that's better-built. It has a better center channel performance, and it also supports Dolby Atmos content.

Hisense HS218

The Samsung HW-A450 is a bit better for mixed usage than the Hisense HS218. The Samsung has a better soundstage performance, and it has more sound enhancement features, such as a graphic EQ. Some listeners may also prefer its more balanced sound profile out-of-the-box. That said, the better-built Hisense offers better center and surround performances.

Sony HT-S350

The Samsung HW-A450 is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Samsung reproduces a more extended low-bass, and some users may prefer its more neutral out-of-the-box sound profile. It's also more customizable thanks to its graphic EQ, and it has a better surrounds performance. However, the Sony is better built with an ARC port, and it has a better center channel performance.

Sony HT-S400

The Samsung HW-A450 and the Sony HT-S400 are both simple 2.1 soundbars, but the Samsung offers a better value overall. Out-of-the-box, the Samsung has a more neutral sound, especially compared to the Sony, which has some extra emphasis in the bass range. It has more features, including bass and treble adjustments, and a graphic EQ that lets you adjust its sound to get similar performance to the Sony. It even has DTS support for users who watch a lot of Blu-rays. Unlike the Sony soundbar, it doesn't support HDMI, so you can't control the bar with your TV remote. However, this feature isn't worth the extra cost, especially since the Sony model doesn't support any additional audio formats via HDMI.

Samsung HW-Q700A

The Samsung HW-Q700A is better than the Samsung HW-A450. The HW-Q700A is a better built 3.1.2 setup with better center and surround performances. Unlike the HW-A450, it even supports Dolby Atmos content. The 2.1 HW-A450 can get louder with less compression at max volume.

Samsung HW-Q60T

The Samsung HW-Q60T is a bit better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-A450. The 5.1 HW-Q60T is better built and has better center and surround performances. Unlike the 2.1 HW-A450, it also has ARC and Full HDMI In ports.

Polk Audio SIGNA S2

The Samsung HW-A450 is a better 2.1 soundbar than the Polk Audio SIGNA S2. The Samsung has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, which some listeners may prefer. It also reproduces a more extended low-bass, and it has more sound enhancement features like a graphic EQ. That said, the Polk Audio is better built with an HDMI ARC port.

Samsung HW-S60A

The Samsung HW-S60A is marginally better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-A450. The HW-S60A is a better-built 5.0 setup with better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Unlike the HW-A450, it has an ARC port and built-in voice assistant capabilities. However, the HW-A450 comes with a dedicated sub, and it can reproduce a more extended low-bass.

LG SN6Y

The LG SN6Y is slightly better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-A450. The LG is better built, and thanks to its 3.1 setup, it comes with a discrete center channel. That said, the Samsung is better for music since it reproduces a more extended low-bass and comes with a graphic EQ.

Samsung HW-Q800A

The Samsung HW-Q800A is better than the Samsung HW-A450. The HW-Q800A is a better built 3.1.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. It can even reproduce a more extended low-bass. Unlike the HW-A450, it has HDMI inputs, too.

LG SL6Y

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the LG SL6Y or the Samsung HW-A450. The LG is a 3.1 setup that's better built with better center and surround performances. It also comes with HDMI ports, unlike the Samsung. That said, the 2.1 Samsung can reproduce a more extended low-bass.

TCL Alto 6+

The Samsung HW-A450 is better than the TCL Alto 6+. The Samsung has a better soundstage and it can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also has more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ. Some listeners may also prefer its more balanced sound profile out-of-the-box. That said, the better-built TCL has a better center channel performance, and it has an HDMI ARC port.

Sony HT-S100F

The Samsung HW-A450 is better than the Sony HT-S100F. The Samsung comes with a dedicated sub, so it can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It has better soundstage and surround performances, and it comes with more sound enhancement features like a graphic EQ. That said, the Sony is better built with a better center channel performance.

Vizio V Series V21-H8

The Samsung HW-A450 is a slightly better soundbar than the Vizio V Series V21-H8. The Samsung has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, which some users may prefer, it can reach its max volume with fewer compression artifacts, and it has a graphic EQ so that you can customize its sound. However, the Vizio is better-built, offers more inputs such as an HDMI ARC port, offers a better surround performance. 

Bose TV Speaker

The Samsung HW-A450 is better than the Bose TV Speaker. The Samsung is a 2.1 setup with a dedicated sub that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It has a better center channel performance, and it gets louder with less compression at max volume. There are even more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ. That said, some users may prefer the Bose's compact, standalone design. It's also better built.

Bose Smart Soundbar 300

The Samsung HW-A450 is a bit better for mixed usage than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Samsung comes with a dedicated sub, so it can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also comes with more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ and presets. That said, the Bose is better built with better soundstage and center performance. It also has built-in voice assistant support, unlike the Samsung.

Vizio V Series V51-H6

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is better than the Samsung HW-A450. The Vizio is a 5.1 setup with discrete satellites that's better built. It has better center and surround performances, and it gets louder. Also, unlike the Samsung, it has an HDMI ARC port. 

Samsung HW-T550

The Samsung HW-T550 and the Samsung HW-A450 are similarly performing soundbars but the HW-T550 has a slight edge. While both soundbars have a very neutral default sound profile and have very comparable overall performances, the HW-T550 is better built and has a virtual surround feature. It also has more inputs including a Full HDMI In port. However, the HW-A450 can get a bit louder.

TCL Alto 8+

The Samsung HW-A450 is a better soundbar than the TCL Alto 8+. The Samsung has a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, a better dynamics performance, and offers more sound enhancement features like a graphic EQ. However, the TCL has an HDMI ARC port. 

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is more versatile than the Samsung HW-A450. The Sonos is a premium 5.0 setup with a small, compact design. Unlike the Samsung, it supports Dolby Atmos content, and it has HDMI inputs. Its soundstage, center, and surround performances are better, too. That said, the 2.1 Samsung is still a good choice for TV shows and music. It comes with a dedicated sub, and it reproduces a more extended low-bass right out-of-the-box.

Sonos Beam

The Sonos Beam is a bit better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-A450. The Sonos is better built, and some listeners may prefer its more compact design. It has better soundstage and center performances as well as a room correction feature. Unlike the Samsung, it offers built-in voice assistant capabilities and an HDMI ARC port. However, the Samsung comes with a dedicated sub, so it reproduces a more extended low-bass. It also has a graphic EQ and presets, which some users may prefer for sound customization.

Samsung HW-T650

The Samsung HW-T650 is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-A450. The HW-T650 is a 3.1 setup with better build quality and a better center channel performance. It also has HDMI ARC and Full HDMI In ports. However, the Samsung HW-A450 is a 2.1 setup, and it has a graphic EQ so you can customize its sound to your liking.

TCL Alto 8i

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the TCL Alto 8i or the Samsung HW-A450. The Samsung comes with a dedicated sub that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also has a few more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ. However, the TCL may be better for users who want a standalone bar. Unlike the Samsung, it supports Dolby Atmos content and has HDMI inputs. It's also better built with a better center channel performance.

Yamaha YAS-209

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Yamaha YAS-209 or the Samsung HW-A450. The Samsung offers more sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ, and it gets louder. However, unlike the Yamaha, it doesn't have any HDMI inputs or built-in voice assistant support. The Yamaha is also better built, with better center and surround performances.

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