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Samsung HW-B450 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed May 25, 2022 at 11:56 am
Samsung HW-B450 Picture
7.0
Mixed Usage
7.8
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.4
Music
6.2
Movies
Channels
2.1

The Samsung HW-B450 is a 2.1 model released in 2022. It's the next generation of the Samsung HW-A450, and it's a simple soundbar that's ideal for listening to stereo content like TV shows and music. You can always upgrade it with a Samsung Wireless Rear Speaker Kit if you want to improve its surrounds performance. However, you won't find support for the manufacturer's more premium features, like Q-Symphony, which pairs the bar with compatible Samsung TVs for an enhanced sound, or SpaceFit Sound, which optimizes audio based on your room's size and shape. It doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, either.

Our Verdict

7.0 Mixed Usage

The Samsung B450 is decent for mixed usage. It's a simple bar that's best suited for listening to dialogue-heavy content like TV shows or music. Its neutral sound profile reproduces dialogue with clarity and accuracy, and there's a little extra boom in the bass. You can customize its sound with its bass and treble adjustments. However, its surround sound performance is poor, and there's no Dolby Atmos support.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Gets loud.
  • Dialogue enhancement mode.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • No graphic EQ.
  • No Dolby Atmos support.
7.8 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung B450 is very good for dialogue-centric content like TV shows and podcasts. It offers balanced mids, so voices reproduce with clarity and detail. There's a dialogue enhancement feature called Adaptive Sound Lite available as well, and its night mode balances out the volume levels when you watch at night. However, since it's a 2.1 setup, it lacks a discrete center channel, so dialogue isn't quite as accurately localized within the soundstage.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Dialogue enhancement mode.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
7.4 Music

The Samsung B450 is satisfactory for music. Out-of-the-box, it offers a neutral sound profile, especially in the mids, so vocals and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix. There's a little extra boom in the high-bass, too. If you prefer a different sound, you can customize it with its bass and treble adjustments. However, it can't reproduce a very extended low-bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble in bass-heavy music like hip-hop and EDM.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • No graphic EQ.
6.2 Movies

The Samsung B450 is okay for movies. It's a 2.1 setup, and while it supports surround sound formats like Dolby Digital, it has to downmix them into stereo to play them, which doesn't offer the same feeling of immersion in your favorite movies. There's no Dolby Atmos support, either. If you want to improve its surround performance, you can always add on separate satellites.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • No Dolby Atmos support.
  • 7.0 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.4 Music
  • 6.2 Movies
  1. Updated May 25, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated May 19, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung B450 is a simple soundbar with a unique design. It's mostly plastic with a tight fabric covering the front and the sides. There's an angled design on the sides of the bar, which makes it stand out compared to the Samsung HW-A450.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The sub is mostly made of wood-like material, and there's fabric on the front. It's all-black, and the port is on the back.

Design
Style - Satellites

You can add on a Wireless Rear Speaker Kit if you want to improve its surround performance, but you have to buy it from the manufacturer separately.

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

The bar isn't very wide, so it fits between the legs of a 55" TV stand. It isn't very tall, so it doesn't obscure your TV screen.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 7.2" (18.2 cm)
Height 14.0" (35.6 cm)
Depth 11.7" (29.6 cm)

The sub is about the size of an average desktop computer. It's a little taller and deeper than the sub that comes with the Samsung HW-A450, but it has the same width.

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 bar has some openings for the inputs and the power cable. You can also mount it to your wall using the included wall-mounting kit and the holes beneath the bar.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The port is on the back of the sub. There's also an input for the power cable.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung B450 has a decent build quality. The bar is mostly made of plastic, and the fabric on the front and the sides of the bar feels tighter and more solid compared to the fabric on the Samsung HW-A450. The sub is mostly made of a wood-like material. The fabric on the front is thinner than the fabric on the bar, and it seems like it could collect dust easily.

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

  • Manual
  • Mounting brackets with screws and template
  • Remote with batteries (2x AA)
  • 2x power cable
  • Optical cable

Sound
7.8
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.26
Std. Err.
2.52 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
40.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.3 kHz

The Samsung B450 has a very good frequency response out-of-the-box. Its sound profile is neutral, especially in the mid-range where most vocals and lead instruments reproduce, so these elements are clear in music and TV shows. There's a touch of extra boom in the high-bass, too. However, it can't reproduce a very extended low-bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble in certain music genres like EDM or action-packed scenes in your favorite TV shows.

7.8
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
-1
Suggested Treble Setting
1
Slope
0.08
Std. Err.
2.54 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
41.8 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

With its bass set to '-1' and its treble set to '1', the Samsung B450 has a more neutral and balanced sound. Voices and lead instruments are clear and detailed in the mix, and bass-centric instruments are present and accurate. That said, bass adjustment features can't make up for the lack of low-bass, so you still can't feel the rumble in bass-heavy music genres or intense TV scenes.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.06 dB

The Samsung B450 has a decent stereo soundstage. The soundstage is perceived to be able as wide as the bar itself, but it doesn't have any features to make it seem wider than that. It has good focus compared to other 2.1 bars, though. Sound objects like instruments in an orchestra seem to come from a certain region, but it doesn't replicate the same accuracy as more premium models.

7.3
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
91.4 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
2.15 dB

The Samsung B450 gets decently loud. It's more than suitable for small living rooms, but if you have a very large or open space, it doesn't fill up the whole space with sound. There's also some compression when you push it to max volume, which affects the clarity of audio reproduction.

7.4
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.42
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
4.05

The Samsung B450 has a decent stereo THD performance. At normal listening volumes, distortion falls within good limits, so audio reproduction is clean and pure. There's a big jump in distortion when you push the bar to max volume. Still, distortion is hard to hear, so casual listeners aren't as likely to notice it as serious audiophiles.

6.9
Sound
Center
Localization
Phantom
Slope
-0.32
Std. Err.
2.51 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
91.9 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.50
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.84

The Samsung B450 has a fair center channel performance. It's a 2.1 setup, so it uses its left and right stereo speakers to simulate a phantom center channel. As a result, voices don't seem like they're anchored to a pinpoint location in the soundstage. Still, with its balanced frequency response, dialogue is clear and accurate in the mix.

4.4
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-0.33
Std. Err.
2.51 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
92.0 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.50
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.69
7.1 Rears
No

The Samsung B450 has a poor surrounds performance. Since it's a 2.1 setup, it has to downmix surround sound into stereo in order to play it. As a result, sound objects like voices and footsteps don't seem as clear or real in the soundstage. For example, a car seems like it's coming from a speaker placed in front of you, rather than racing from one side of the room to the other.

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

For a soundbar with Dolby Atmos support, check out the Samsung HW-Q60B.

6.8
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
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
Yes
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
No

The Samsung B450 has a typical selection of sound enhancement features compared to other bars in its price range. You won't find more premium features like room correction, but you can still customize its sound with its bass and treble adjustments and its EQ presets: 'Standard', 'Surround Sound', 'Bass Boost', 'Game', and 'Adaptive Sound Lite'. The settings button on the remote gives you access to other tools like Night Mode, Voice Enhance, and the Audio Sync feature to reduce latency. If you choose to add on a Wireless Rear Speaker Kit, you can adjust its levels.

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

The Samsung B450 doesn't come with a lot of inputs. There's no HDMI connection, so you have to plug it into your TV using an Optical connection. There's an Optical cable included with the bar, which is handy.

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 B450 supports both Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound formats, though it has to downmix it into stereo to play it. These formats are often found on streaming platforms and Blu-rays.

8.8
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
N/A
Optical
37 ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The Samsung B450 has a great latency performance. You don't notice a delay between the audio you hear and the video you see. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary. If you have any issues, there's an Audio Sync feature that you can access using the settings button on the remote.

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

The Samsung B450 supports Bluetooth connectivity. You can stream audio from your phone or tablet to the bar wirelessly over this connection.

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 sub connects to the bar wirelessly, so you just need to wire it to a power source.

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

On the front of the bar, there's a small six-character display screen. It shows the settings you adjust, like the volume and the sound mode. Otherwise, the screen isn't visible.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

On top of the bar, buttons let you power the bar on/off, adjust the volume, and change the source. You'll need to use the remote to access the rest of the bar's features, though.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote is simple and lets you access the bar's features, including the volume, the sound modes, and the EQ presets.

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
Standby
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
No

The Samsung B450 goes into standby mode after a certain period of inactivity. There's no HDMI CEC support, though, so you can't use your TV remote to control its basic functions.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Samsung B450 is available in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

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

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung B450 is a fairly barebones setup that's the next generation of the Samsung HW-A450. Like its predecessor, it's ideal for stereo content like music and TV shows, but it lacks support for more premium audio formats like Dolby Atmos. There's no HDMI connection available, either. It lacks some of Samsung's more premium enhancement features, like a graphic EQ or room correction.

See also our recommendations for the best soundbars for dialogue, the best Samsung soundbars, and the best soundbars under $300.

Samsung HW-A450

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-A550

The Samsung HW-A550 and the Samsung HW-B450 are very similarly-performing 2.1 soundbars, meaning you may prefer one over the other. The HW-A550 comes with HDMI connections, and it gets louder. The frequency response for the center and surround channels on the HW-B450 are more neutral and balanced, so voices are clearer in the mix with multichannel content.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is better than the Samsung HW-B450. The HW-Q600A is a 3.1.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content, unlike the B450. It comes with HDMI connections, too, and it has a graphic EQ to give you more control over its sound.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is better than the Samsung HW-B450. The Sonos is a premium 5.0.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content, unlike the Samsung. It has better soundstage and surround performances, too. However, if you just want a simple setup for watching TV, the Samsung is still a solid pick at a more affordable price.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is more versatile than the Samsung HW-B450. The Sonos is a premium setup with Dolby Atmos support, which the Samsung soundbar lacks. It's a small, standalone bar ideal for smaller living rooms, and it has better surround and soundstage performances than the Samsung. Still, if you want a more budget-friendly option for stereo content like music and TV shows, the Samsung is a solid pick.

Samsung HW-Q60B

The Samsung HW-Q60B is better than the Samsung HW-B450. The HW-Q60B is a 3.1 setup with Dolby Atmos support, unlike the B450. It's better built, too, and it comes with more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ. Dialogue is more clear thanks to its discrete center channel, and there are HDMI connections available, unlike the B450.

Vizio V Series V51-H6

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is better than the Samsung HW-B450. They're both budget-friendly setups, but the 5.1 Vizio is more versatile. Unlike the Samsung soundbar, it comes with discrete satellites and HDMI connectivity. Its surround performance is better, too, and it can reproduce a more extended low-bass.

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