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Samsung HW-A450 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Review updated Dec 16, 2022 at 08:44 am
Latest change: Writing modified Mar 13, 2023 at 10:16 am
Samsung HW-A450 Picture
This soundbar was replaced by the Samsung HW-B450

The Samsung HW-A450 is a simple 2.1 setup from Samsung's 2021 lineup. It's a budget-friendly offering designed with stereo content in mind, and it gives you access to some of the manufacturer's more premium customization features, including a graphic EQ to change up its sound. However, compared to the Samsung HW-A550, you won't find any HDMI inputs, so you can't use CEC to control the bar with your TV remote.

Our Verdict

N/A Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-A450 is decent for mixed usage. It's a 2.1 bar, so it's designed mostly with stereo content in mind. That's great if you mostly watch TV shows and listen to music since the bar reproduces dialogue and other instruments with great clarity. There are plenty of customization tools to switch up its sound, too. However, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, and its surround performance isn't as impressive as more premium models on the market.

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

The Samsung HW-A450 is good for dialogue-heavy TV shows and podcasts. Despite the lack of a center channel, this soundbar still reproduces dialogue with great clarity and accuracy, so you can easily follow along with your favorite characters. There's even a dialogue enhancement tool on hand to make voices more crisp and clear. That said, if you want to stream audio to the bar over a wireless connection, you're limited to Bluetooth.

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

The Samsung HW-A450 is good for music. Out-of-the-box, you get a neutral and balanced sound that's ideal for listening to many different genres. Voices and lead instruments are clearly and accurately reproduced, and the graphic EQ lets you switch up its performance to your liking. That said, it lacks a touch of low-bass, which is especially noticeable with 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.
N/A Movies

The Samsung HW-A450 is acceptable for movies. Dialogue is clearly reproduced, and you have some customization tools on hand. However, this 2.1 setup has to downmix 5.1 surround into stereo to play it, so you don't get a fully immersive feel. There's no Dolby Atmos support, which isn't ideal if you watch a lot of content on streaming platforms.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
  • Can get loud.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Dolby Atmos.
  • Poor surround performance.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated Mar 13, 2023: Added cable lengths to In The Box.
  2. Updated Mar 10, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. With this update, we've added a Mounting test and added information aboutSubwoofer Output, Spotify Connect, and Microphone Mute.
  3. Updated Dec 16, 2022: Updated the review text for clarity and accuracy.
  4. Updated Jan 06, 2022: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  5. Updated Apr 26, 2021: Review published.
  6. Updated Apr 21, 2021: Early access published.

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.

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 soundbar. 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-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.

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-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.

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 soundbar 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-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.

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.

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-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.

Hisense HS218

The Samsung HW-A450 is a bit better for mixed usage than the Hisense HS218. The Samsung soundbar 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.

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 soundbar, 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.

Polk Audio Signa S2

The Samsung HW-A450 is a better 2.1 soundbar than the Polk Audio Signa S2. The Samsung soundbar 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.

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.

Sony HT-S350

The Samsung HW-A450 is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Samsung soundbar 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.

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 soundbar, it has an HDMI ARC port.

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.

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.

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 soundbar, 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.

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-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 soundbar. That said, the 2.1 Samsung can reproduce a more extended low-bass.

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 soundbar.

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.

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.

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 soundbar, it supports Dolby Atmos content and has HDMI inputs. It's also better built with a better center channel performance.

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.

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.

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.

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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, and it's mostly made of plastic. There's fabric covering the front and the top of the bar, too.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Locked
Enclosure
Locked

The subwoofer is mostly made from wood. Its front face is covered in fabric.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
Locked

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

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The bar is a bit long, but it fits between the legs of most 55-inch TVs. It won't obscure your view of the screen either unless your TV sits flush with the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock 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
Mounting
Mountable Bar
Locked
Bar Brackets Included
Locked
Mountable Satellites
Locked
Satellite Brackets Included
Locked
N/A
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, the fabric feels loose and seems like it could rip easily or collect dust. For a better-built option, see the Samsung HW-B450.

Design
In The Box

  • Manual
  • Optical cable (4.9ft / 1.5m)
  • Remote (2x AA batteries)
  • 2x AC power cables (4.9ft / 1.5m)
  • Wall-mounting brackets with screws

Sound
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
2.1
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

This soundbar has a great stereo frequency response. With its balanced sound, voices and lead instruments reproduce with clarity, and dialogue is accurate in the mix. As a result, it's suitable for listening to a wide range of audio content, from music to movies to TV shows. That said, there isn't a lot of rumble in the low-bass, which is noticeable with bass-heavy content like EDM and hip-hop.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Locked
Suggested Bass Setting
Lock
Suggested Treble Setting
Lock
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock 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.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock dB

The soundstage is perceived to be about the size of the bar, but it doesn't do any tricks to widen it past that. Still, this bar has good focus for a 2.1 setup, so sound effects seem to come from more pinpoint regions in the space around you.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
Lock dB

This soundbar 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, even when you crank it up.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

This soundbar has a good THD performance. At a normal listening volume, distortion falls within good limits, so audio reproduction is clear and pure. As with most bars, there's a slight jump in distortion when you push the bar to max volume. That said, it's quite hard to hear with real-life content.

N/A
Sound
Center
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

With a 2.1 setup, this soundbar 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 won'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.

N/A
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock
7.1 Rears
Locked

This 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 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.

N/A
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Locked
Slope
N/A
Std. Err.
N/A
SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
Weighted THD @ 80dB
N/A
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A
N/A
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Locked
Dialogue Enhancement
Locked
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Locked
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Locked
Bass Adjustment
Locked
Treble Adjustment
Locked
EQ
Locked
Surround Level Adjustment
Locked
Rear Level Adjustment
Locked
Height Level Adjustment
Locked
Virtual Surround
Locked

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
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Locked
HDMI ARC
Locked
HDMI Out
Locked
Full HDMI In
Locked
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
Locked
RCA In
Locked
USB for Files
Locked
Ethernet
Locked
Subwoofer Output
Locked

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.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Locked
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X (eARC only)
Locked
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Locked
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Locked
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Locked
N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
5.1 PCM
Locked
N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Locked
DTS
Locked

This bar 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.

N/A
Connectivity
Latency
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Samsung HW-A450 Latency Video Sample
ARC
N/A
Optical
Lock ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The bar 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. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

N/A
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Locked
Wi-Fi Playback
Locked
Chromecast built-in
Locked
Apple AirPlay
Locked
Spotify Connect
Locked

This soundbar supports Bluetooth, so you can easily stream your favorite content to the bar wirelessly.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Locked
HDR10 Passthrough
Locked
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Locked

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

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
Locked
Google Assistant
Locked
Apple Siri
Locked
Microphone Mute
Locked