Samsung MS750 Sound+ Soundbar: Australian Review

Hot on the heels of the MS650, Samsung has an even more powerful all-in-one soundbar that promises to do away with bulky extra speakers or a standalone subwoofer -- unless you want to add them on, of course. Thing is, you don't really have to.

What Is It?

The $999 Samsung MS750 Sound+ is a soundbar that promises to deliver you the rich full-range sound of a proper sound system -- from singing highs to thumping lows -- in a single enclosure. With a series of audio engineering tweaks that massively improve the quality of bass that its relatively small speaker drivers can produce, Samsung doesn't actually bundle a subwoofer with the MS750, making it one of only a few high-end soundbars sans sub that you can buy.

Like the MS650 that it sits atop in the stack of the company's Sound+ all-in-one soundbars, the MS750 has re-engineered audio drivers as well as those software tweaks, courtesy of testing and refinement in Samsung's multi-million dollar LA Audio Lab, to improve its audio. Wide-range tweeters, for example, give the MS750 a much wider 'sweet spot' in which treble seems clear and direct compared to the tweeters in most forward-firing soundbars.

Measuring up at 1150x80x130mm, the flat MS750 should sit happily underneath any 55-inch to 65-inch TV screen. Rated at 50 Watts power consumption the soundbar can produce enough audio oomph to fill up a medium-sized room with ease, but you can also plug your TV straight into the soundbar to organise cables more simply. It comes with a wall mount bracket, too, as well as one of Samsung's slim-line remote controls -- but if you're using a Samsung TV with a One Remote you can control your whole setup with just that.

The Samsung MS750 hides 11 speakers inside its metre-long expanse, nine of which are forward-firing -- making it essentially identical to the MS650, with those same wide-angle tweeters and full-range speaker drivers. But the MS750 also has upward-firing tweeters built into its top, designed to reflect sound back off the wall or TV it is placed against, giving a wider soundstage again. It's a clever audio trick and works well for immersion but it's a very different approach to the good ol'-fashioned stereo speakers we're used to.

What's It Good At?

For a single speaker, the MS750 can produce some serious sound. And seriously well-rounded sound, too, with surprisingly strong bass given its size. As an old-school audio nerd it's always been basic maths as to how much low-frequency oomph you can get out of a speaker enclosure -- a function of its internal volume, basically -- but Samsung's done some fancy algorithmic amplifier and speaker driver tweaking to extend the low frequency threshold that the MS750 can reach without distortion. The end result? A small speaker that can hit impressively low notes.

As well as that full range of sound, the MS750's other hallmark is a wide soundstage, wider than just about any other soundbar I've listened to. Soundbars in general are hamstrung by the fact that they're essentially an oversized centre-channel speaker sitting underneath your TV screen, which doesn't afford them much audio separation between left and right channels. But the tweeter layout and design of the MS750 gives you a good -- if still imperfect -- approximation of left and right stereo channels.

It's also good to see that Samsung has put similar thought and effort into the MS750's design, the same that it's been doing with its QLED TVs of late. The wall mount kit for the MS750 also includes a standalone bracket that can hook the soundbar up directly to the base of a Samsung QLED TV -- this, plus the power pass-through, takes two headachey steps out of wall-mounting your new Samsung TV-and-audio setup when you buy it.

What's It Not Good At?

If you're buying an expensive TV, you want it to have good sound as well as good vision, and that's where a soundbar usually comes in. They're a common purchase for precisely this reason -- unless you're buying a really good TV with its own built-in sound system, most TVs sound a bit rubbish when you compare them to some actual standalone speakers. But soundbars are an additional expense, and the MS750 is an additional $1000 expense, which could blow out your TV purchase price by another 20 or 25 per cent.

I have almost nothing but praise for the additional low-frequency bass that the optional $799 SWA-W700 subwoofer brings to the MS750 soundbar package -- it really does transform the system into one that you can listen to music on and enjoy blockbuster movies with. But it's almost too powerful out of the box for the MS750's circa-50-Watt power; I found that unless I dialed it back significantly its bass volume it overwhelmed the MS750's own mid-range detail. Use its power wisely.

And the fact remains that if you're in a large living space, you will need a physically larger and more powerful sound system than the MS750. We love our oversized houses in Australia, but soundbars by and large are suited to smaller listening spaces and apartment living. Crank the MS750 up to its -- still impressive -- maximum volume and it loses some of its overall clarity; if you're going to be listening at louder volumes regularly, there are better speakers for the task.

Should You Buy It?

If you want a soundbar for your TV -- and, honestly, you probably should, because most TVs speakers could do with sounding a lot better -- then there's a stupidly large amount of choice on the market. Most soundbars sound pretty good, but there's a big gap in the market for something that sounds good as well as offering that all-in-one convenience that a soundbar should. The MS750 fills that hole perfectly.

If you want just the Sound+ soundbar itself, the $999 Samsung MS750 is worth its asking price. As a single-enclosure speaker goes, and as a soundbar goes, the MS750 does an incredibly good job of recreating a wide soundstage for your movies or music, and of recreating impressively low-frequency bass notes and crisp treble. It's a good speaker, simple as that.

If you decide to add on the $799 W700 subwoofer to the package, which coincidentally brings the MS750's system value right up to the circa-$1800 asking price of Samsung's own K950 Dolby Atmos soundbar, you'll get fantastic bass. Too much bass, in fact, for most homes -- you'll have to dial it back. But that subwoofer plus the optional rear speakers turns the MS750 into a proper sound system if you want to splash out for it.

But it comes at a proper sound system price, too. No matter whether you buy the soundbar itself or the full setup, the MS750 is expensive -- it's a purchase to go along with a $3000-plus TV, not a $1500 one. If you're prepared to pay that kind of money you'll get yourself excellent sound quality, far better than any TV itself can boast. And given the fact that you don't need a subwoofer to get great full-range audio from the MS750, it's a compact and convenient purchase too.

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