CES 2012: Samsung HW-E350 Soundbar

Sound bars are a great solution to an age-old problem – how to add a decent-looking and decent-sounding system to enhance the clean, minimalistic look of your flat-screen TV. The problem is that they can sound pretty crappy – mainly thin and tinny unless you add a subwoofer. And there goes that nice, clean minimalistic look.

The new Samsung HW-E350 TV ARC sound bar adds a small, built-in woofer to provide the additional bass impact that many soundbars lack. Keeping things real, Samsung doesn’t call it a subwoofer – it really is just a slightly larger than the speaker drivers used in most soundbars. The HW-E350 also uses Samsung’s 3D technology to create a pseudo-surround sound. To make it ultra-simple to play music, there’s a USB input for direct-play convenience. An HDMI pass-through eliminates excessive cable runs.  HDMI ARC lets users connect compatible devices that can process the TV’s audio signal without having to run an additional optical cable. 

While this will never compete with a system with a dedicated subwoofer, it’s still way better than nothing. Or heaven-forbid, relying on a TV’s built-in speakers.