In this Samsung HW-B650 review, I will introduce a soundbar that was brought to the market in 2022. This is the next generation of Samsung HW-A650 offering minor updates. It looks similar to Samsung HW-B550 and Samsung HW-B450, other products in this lineup, but HW-B650 gets an upper hand over these models with a center channel for improved vocal reproduction. This model doesn’t have as many features compared to higher-end Samsung soundbars, though it still boasts Dolby Atmos 5.1 and DTS Virtual:X support, 430W power, 3.1 channels, and 7 speakers to deliver realistic 3D sound. So, what can you expect from Samsung HW-B650?
Build and design
In general, the HW-B650 soundbar inherits all the Samsung-peculiar design elements that make it look similar to other brand’s products within the same category. Though we may trace some changes.
The HW-B650 measures 40.6 x 2.3 x 4.1 inches – a few inches bigger than HW-A650. So, it is fairly wide and will hardly fit between the legs of a 55-inch TV. At the same time, it is not that tall, so won’t obscure your TV screen. It is mostly made of plastic. The metal grille covers the front part of the divide and its sides. Also, the top of the soundbar features controls that let you adjust the volume and play/stop the playback. The edges are angled, not rounded, which sets HW-B650 apart from its previous HW-A650 model. There is a small four-character digital display on the front showing the volume level and current input.
The HW-B650 comes with a subwoofer. It is 7.2 x 13.6 x 11.6 inches, and it is mostly made of wood. The front of the sub is covered with fabric. It feels thin and loose, and, unfortunately, collects dust quickly.
Setup and connectivity
The setup of the Samsung B650 starts with connecting the TV or other audio source to the bar. For this, you may use an HDMI connection. The port supports ARC, so you will transmit Dolby Digital and DTS content over the HDMI cable. No Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio pass-through will be available to you with ARC.
Other connectivity options – optical and USB are also available. Along with a physical connection, you can wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the soundbar over Bluetooth. By the way, Bluetooth supports connecting multiple devices – like your TV and phone. Notably, HW-B650 misses any kind of Wi-Fi functionality, which cuts the odds to use Chromecast to transmit audio to the device. The sub connects to the soundbar wirelessly, so the only wire you have to use to sync the bar and the subwoofer is a power cord.
Out of the box, Samsung B650 delivers a neutral sound. Though with different customization options at hand, you can achieve the soundstage to your liking. To calibrate the bar, you can set bass and treble along with the appropriate sound mode. For more advanced settings, you can change specific frequency bands.
Features and specs
Many people willing to elevate their TV-watching experience choose Samsung HW-B650 for its compatibility with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Virtual:X. Support for these formats will allow you to move sound around you and recreate a realistic 3D sound performance. With this setup, the soundbar adapts to the content you view. The Adaptive Sound Lite technology dynamically optimizes audio. When the action-packed scene rapidly switches to whispering dialogs, the HW-B650 will fine-tune the settings so you do not miss a thing.
There are multiple sound modes for you to choose from: Bass Boost, Surround Sound Expansion, Game, Adaptive Lite, DTS Virtual:X, and Standard. These are the modes you will also see in the previous Samsung HW-A650 generation. A newer model gets a Voice Enhance Mode, which you may want to use for maximum voice clarity. With Night Mode, you will dim the loud effects and won’t disturb your loved ones as they sleep.
Samsung HW-B650 will give you exactly what you should expect from a basic 3.1 setup – nothing more and nothing less. Compared to the TV speakers, you will immediately notice that the front stage has become more pronounced and enriched with depth. Similarly to the last Samsung HW-A650, the sound is neutral, especially in the mids. Though I should admit that it is a little extra brighter in B650, but not that dramatically. The lack of low bass is still present in this device, which becomes especially noticeable when you listen to bass-heavy genres.
The surround performance is not brilliant, though it’s ok for the 3.1 bar. It makes you feel that the sound comes from the speaker placed in front of you, a bit spoiling all the charm of the surround sound.
The soundstage is wide, with the effects localized to accurate locations around you. The stereo dynamics are good – the soundbar is loud enough to fill the room with sound. Though it is a bit compressed at the max volume, especially in the bass range. At a normal volume, I traced no distortions – the sound was pure.
- Built-in channels: 3.1.
- Amplification type: active.
- Output power, W: 430.
- Separate speaker connections: yes.
- Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: no/yes.
- Multichannel surround: Dolby Atmos, DTS Virtual:X.