Review: Samsung HWK651 Wireless Multiroom Soundbar

Guest blog by Phill.

Designed and engineered at Samsung’s new Audio Lab in California, the HWK651 sits in the middle of the company’s 2016 soundbar range and is available in a silver (HWK651) and black (HWK650) finish.

Boasting multiroom functionality via a smartphone app, a stylish and elegant design and the novelty of a dedicated centre speaker, the HWK651 has a premium feel that extends beyond its looks to the sound as well.

In the box you’ll find the soundbar and its accompanying wireless subwoofer along with the remote control, a basic wall mount bracket and an instructions book.

hwk651-2The soundbar is covered in an aluminium mesh with a large clear LED display that makes it easy to see volume changes and set up options from across the room. The speaker stands 54mm high, meaning the speaker won’t obscure the remote sensors of most televisions. There are physical buttons hidden away on the right hand side of the soundbar for volume control and input changes if you discover yourself in a situation where the remote isn’t to hand. The power supply isn’t built in to the main unit which means a thinner power cable that’ll be easier to conceal if your plans include wall mounting the speaker.

Setting up the soundbar is relatively straightforward and the instruction book makes a good job of explaining the process. Certain Samsung TVs will be able to connect wirelessly to the soundbar using Samsung’s TV Sound Connect, thereby minimising the number of cables needed. If this isn’t an option, underneath the soundbar are two HDMI sockets; one is an HDMI-ARC connection for use with an ARC compatible television, the second allows you to route other HDMI devices such as Blu-ray players or games consoles through the soundbar. There’s also an optical input for older non-HDMI equipment and an AUX input. You’ll find the buttons used for pairing the soundbar to the subwoofer and other wireless speakers here, too.

hwk651-4Once hooked up to your TV the 350w HWK651 doesn’t disappoint. Whether it’s a noisy action film soundtrack with low rumbling bass, a TV quiz show or music played using Bluetooth from a mobile phone, the HWK651 delivers a warm and detailed sound with its 6 speaker design. Usually soundbars are simply stereo with the left and right speakers at either end of the bar – the HWK651 adds a dedicated centre speaker into the mix, meaning dialogue is locked to the centre of the screen and voices cut through the busiest soundtracks with ease.

hwk651-3Linking the HWK651 to Samsung’s multiroom smartphone app opens the door to all sorts of connectivity options. The app allows you to access a wide range of music subscription services including Spotify, Napster & Deezer and is compatible with services such as Tidal and Qobuz that offer music in high quality HD Audio formats. Not content with that you could create a wireless 5.1 surround system using two of Samsung’s WAM3500 Smart speakers. The app allows you to control multiple Samsung wireless Smart Speakers enabling you to connect several speakers together to create a house wide multiroom music system similar to that offered by Sonos.

The Samsung HWK651 is a confident entry into the soundbar market; the combination of great sound and stylishly subtle design guarantees this particular soundbar will be improving the television sound of a great many people. Find your local store and ask about a demo or find out how to buy or rent online.