Samsung HW-T450 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jul 29, 2020 at 08:22 am
Samsung HW-T450 Picture
6.5
Mixed Usage
7.0
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.3
Music
5.7
Movies
Channels
2.1

The Samsung HW-T450 is an entry-level 2.1 setup that replaces the Samsung HW-R450 from 2019, which we haven't reviewed. It has a build quality unlike other Samsung soundbars as it's made from thin plastic and it uses a fabric covering to protect the speakers, which doesn't feel very robust. It also lacks a variety of inputs as it only has an Optical Audio In port as well as a USB port, which is a little disappointing. That being said, it offers a fairly well-balanced sound while still delivering a punchy bass, and there are also EQ presets available if you prefer a different sound.

Our Verdict

6.5 Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-T450 is adequate for mixed use. It has limited inputs and it doesn't support Atmos content, which is disappointing for movie fans. It has a bass-heavy sound profile that can also be tweaked using its bass or treble adjustment features or you can select an EQ preset for easy customization. It's also pretty okay for dialogue-centric content like audiobooks as voices sound fairly clear and accurate. You can also stream your favorite content to the bar using Bluetooth, which is nice.

Pros
  • EQ presets plus bass and treble adjustment available.
  • Bluetooth compatible.
Cons
  • No Atmos support.
  • No room correction feature.
7.0 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-T450 is decent for dialogue and TV shows. While it has a bright and bass-heavy sound, it can reproduce fairly accurate and clear dialogue, which is well-suited for podcasts or soap operas. It can also get loud enough to fill a large room or a crowded environment, and you can stream your favorite audiobooks to it via Bluetooth. It lacks a dialogue enhancement feature, though.

Pros
  • Bluetooth compatible.
Cons
  • No room correction feature.
7.3 Music

The Samsung HW-T450 is decent for music. Thanks to its wireless subwoofer, it has a punchy bass that should please most. While some may still find it a little light on low-bass, there are bass and treble adjustments available, as well as EQ presets to help you find the right sound. It can get loud enough for a large room or crowded environment. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a room correction feature.

Pros
  • EQ presets plus bass and treble adjustment available.
Cons
  • No room correction feature.
5.7 Movies

The Samsung HW-T450 is disappointing for movies. It doesn't support Atmos as it only has an Optical Audio In and USB port, and all surround content gets downmixed into 2.1 to play it. Although it has a bass-heavy but bright sound profile, it also lacks a little bit of low bass. Luckily, you can adjust the bass or use one of its EQ presets to get a sound that better suits your audio.

Pros
  • EQ presets plus bass and treble adjustment available.
Cons
  • No Atmos support.
  • No room correction feature.
  • 6.5 Mixed Usage
  • 7.0 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.3 Music
  • 5.7 Movies
  1. Update 9/22/2020: The Dynamics tests have been reconducted due to a value input bug.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung HW-T450 soundbar is an entry-level 2.1 setup from Samsung's 2020 lineup. It's the next version of the Samsung HW-R450 from 2019 and the Samsung HW-N450 from 2018. Just like many other soundbars from Samsung's 2020 lineup, it also lacks a companion app, so everything is controlled by using its included remote. Its competitors are the Samsung HW-T550, the Yamaha YAS-209, and the Polk Audio SIGNA S2.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-T450 doesn't look a lot like other Samsung models. Its front and top are covered in a slightly shiny thin fabric that resembles the Vizio SB3220n-F6. It uses thin black plastic everywhere else.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The subwoofer is made from mostly wood. Its front face is covered in fabric, but it feels thin and gets easily dusty or dirty.

Design
Style - Satellites

This soundbar doesn't have satellites.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 34.3" (87.0 cm)
Bar Height 2.1" (5.3 cm)
Bar Depth 3.0" (7.6 cm)

The Samsung HW-T450 is a long bar but it should fit between the legs of most 55" TVs. It shouldn't obscure your screen either unless your TV sits flush to the table.

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

The Samsung HW-T450's subwoofer is about the size of an average desktop computer. As it wirelessly connects to the bar, you can place it anywhere in the room, as long as you connect it to a power source.

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

The back of the bar is fairly plain. There are two openings: the left side is for the power cable while the right side is for the inputs. You can also wall-mount the bar using the universal holes found on its underside.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the subwoofer is very simple. Its port is located at the top, and the power cable input as well as the wireless pairing button are located at the bottom.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

There are no satellites in this setup.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung HW-T450 has an acceptable build quality but it's a step down from the Samsung HW-N450. The bar is made from thin plastic and it doesn't feel heavy duty or robust. There's a fabric covering too, which is a little unusual for a Samsung soundbar, and it's fairly loose on the bar and can easily rip or collect dust.

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

  • Manual
  • Optical cable
  • Remote
  • 2x Batteries for remote
  • 2x AC power cables
  • Wall-mounting brackets with screws

Sound
7.3
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
-0.86
ST Std. Err.
2.66 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
41.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.0 kHz

The Samsung HW-T450 soundbar has a decent stereo frequency response. It sounds brighter than the Samsung HW-N450 and it has a touch more bass too. However, it's still lacking low-bass, so it isn't ideal for bass-heavy content like EDM or action-packed movies. That being said, there are a few EQ presets available so that you can find the best sound for your audio.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.52 dB

The Samsung HW-T450 has a decent stereo soundstage. It sounds a bit wider than the bar, which is better than the Samsung HW-N450, but the bar doesn't do any tricks to widen the soundstage. It has okay focus, and objects seem to come from more accurate pinpoint locations rather than general areas.

8.3
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
93.3 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
0.68 dB

Update 09/22/2020: We've discovered a value input bug that would cause the Dynamics box results to be slightly off. All soundbars reviewed since January 30th, 2020 have been updated.

The Samsung HW-T450 has great stereo dynamics. It can get loud enough for a large room or crowded environment, and there aren't a lot of compression artifacts when you play it at max volume.

7.4
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.48
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.30

This soundbar has a decent THD performance. At a normal volume, it produces a clear and pure sound. However, when pushed to its max volume, there's a big jump in THD, especially across the bass range. However, it may not be so audible with real-life content.

5.0
Sound
Center
C Localization
Phantom
C Slope
-1.77
C Std. Err.
4.77 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
84.6 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
0.60
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.82

As the Samsung HW-T450 is a 2.1 setup, it doesn't have a dedicated center speaker. Instead, it uses its left and right speakers to create a sound in the center, which sounds more diffused and less clear than discrete center speakers. Although it has a bass-heavy sound profile, this shouldn't affect its performance too much as there's not a lot of bass on the center channel anyway, so voices sound fairly clear and accurate.

2.5
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Rears
N/A
Sr Slope
-1.81
Sr Std. Err.
5.25 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
81.9 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.83
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.52

The Samsung HW-T450 is a 2.1 setup and it downmixes surround content into stereo. It uses its left and right speakers to simulate a more immersive experience, but it doesn't sound as accurate or clear. Surround objects are perceived as coming from the front instead of to your sides or behind you.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
N/A
H Slope
N/A
H Std. Err.
N/A
H SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
H Weighted THD @ 80
N/A
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A

This soundbar doesn’t have height channels and doesn’t support Atmos.

5.5
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
No
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
N/A
Height Level Adjustment
N/A
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Samsung HW-T450 has disappointing sound enhancement features. Unlike the Vizio V Series V21-H8, it lacks a dialogue enhancement feature. However, it has a few EQ presets available: 'Standard', 'Surround Sound', 'Game', and 'Smart'. You can also adjust treble and bass, but that's about it.

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
USB for Files
1
Ethernet
No

This soundbar has very limited inputs. Unlike the Samsung HW-N450, there's only an Optical Audio in and USB input, which is pretty disappointing.

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

This soundbar doesn't have an HDMI ARC port.

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

The Samsung HW-T450 ZA doesn't have a Full HDMI In port.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
Yes

The Samsung HW-T450 can support Dolby Digital and DTS content via Optical Audio In, but it's downmixed to 2.1.

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

The Samsung HW-T450 has mediocre wireless playback connectivity options. You can only use Bluetooth to wirelessly stream audio to the bar, which is somewhat limiting.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
N/A
HDR10 Passthrough
N/A

This soundbar doesn't have an HDMI In port, so it doesn't support passthrough.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the soundbar. You can pair it by using the small button found on its lower right back. The only wired connection it has is its power cable.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

There are no satellites in this setup.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The Samsung HW-T450's interface is simple. It's located in the middle of the bar, behind the fabric covering. It can only display six characters at a time and it has to scroll to complete words, which can be a little annoying. That being said, the screen isn't visible if you're not adjusting the settings. Otherwise, it shows you the volume number and the sound mode when adjusting your settings.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The Samsung HW-T450 ZA has four buttons found on the top middle of the bar. You can turn the bar on/off, adjust volume, and switch inputs.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote is the same style and control setup as the Samsung HW-N450. You can control all of the soundbar's settings by using it.

Additional Features
App
App Name N/A
iOS No
Android No
Acts as the Remote
No
Controls Soundbar's Settings
No
Casts Device Files
No

This soundbar doesn't have an app.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Standby
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
No

This soundbar goes into standby mode after an indeterminate amount of time.

Compared to other soundbars

The Samsung HW-T450 is the next generation of the Samsung HW-R450 and HW-N450. This model has a bit more bass and it sounds a bit brighter compared to HW-N450. However, it isn't as well-built and it doesn't have as many inputs as it's lacking both an HDMI ARC and a Full HDMI In port, which is disappointing.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best soundbars with subwoofer, the best soundbars for music, and the best soundbars under $300.

Samsung HW-T550

The Samsung HW-T550 is a better overall 2.1 setup than the Samsung HW-T450. The HW-T550 is better built, and it has both an HDMI ARC input as well as a Full HDMI In input, which allows it to support Dolby Digital content. It has a slightly more neutral sound profile, and it also has a dialogue enhancement feature as well as a graphic EQ. 

Polk Audio SIGNA S2

The Polk Audio SIGNA S2 is a slightly better performing 2.1 setup than the Samsung HW-T450. While both bars have a similarly bass-heavy sound profile, the Polk can get slightly louder, but with more compression artifacts present. It also has an HDMI ARC input so it supports Dolby Digital, is center and surround performances are a bit better, and it has a dialogue enhancement feature. However, only the Samsung supports DTS via its Optical Audio In port.

Samsung HW-N450

The Samsung HW-N450 is a previous generation of the Samsung HW-T450, but it performs slightly better in some regards. The HW-N450 is slightly better built, its center and surround performances are a bit better, and it has a graphic EQ available. It also supports Dolby Digital over both its HDMI ARC and Full HDMI In ports.  However, the HW-T450 is slightly more neutral sounding.

Samsung HW-Q70T

The Samsung HW-Q70T is a better overall soundbar than the Samsung HW-T450. The 3.1.2 Q70T is a more premium-looking, better-built setup than the 2.1 entry-level T450. Both setups have a decently well-balanced default sound profile, but the Q70T has more customization options that let you tweak the sound to meet your unique needs. Unlike the Q70T, the T450 doesn't support Atmos content, which is disappointing for movie fans. If you want to connect multiple devices to your soundbar, you'll appreciate that the Q70T has more input options than the T450.

Yamaha YAS-209

The Yamaha YAS-209 is a better overall performing 2.1 setup than the Samsung HW-T450. The Yamaha is a bit better built, and it has more physical inputs including a Full HDMI In, so it can support Dolby Digital. It has a more balanced and neutral sound profile, and its center and surround performances are better too. Besides Bluetooth, you can also stream to it using Wi-Fi, which is nice, and it supports 4k @ 60HZ passthrough. That said, the Samsung can get louder, so it's better-suited for use in large rooms and crowded environments.

Vizio V Series V21-H8

The Vizio V Series V21-H8 is a somewhat better overall soundbar than the Samsung HW-T450. The Vizio is better-built, and it comes with more connectivity options, including an HDMI ARC port and two AUX ports. It also has more sound enhancement features, including dialogue enhancement. That said, the Samsung has less compression at max volume, so it may be better suited for use during loud parties.

Sony HT-S200F

The Sony HT-S200F is a slightly better performing 2.1 setup than the Samsung HW-T450. The Sony is slightly better built, and it's smaller in size. It also has a dialogue enhancement feature as well as an HDMI ARC input so it supports Dolby Digital. However, the Samsung is slightly more neutral and balanced, it has both a subwoofer and treble level adjustment feature, and it supports DTS via its Audio Optical In.

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