With one HDMI input and output, it is natural to connect Samsung’s soundbar to the TV’s audio return channel, if you have more than one video source to connect to. The soundbar is relatively easy to connect to the wireless network, but in the manual it tells only how to do this if you have a compatible Samsung TV. It works best with Samsung’s own TVs, since it opens a few extra features like wireless rear speakers, and the multi-room feature becomes more seamless.
It is still quite possible to connect MS660 to your home network and stream music, even if your TV is not from Samsung. If you hold the Wi-Fi Setup button down, the soundbar is found as a wireless network on the mobile phone, and then press the “ADD Speaker” button on the back of the soundbar. The speaker is found in the Samsung app and you’re asked to enter the network password.
The soundbar, which should work on its own without a subwoofer, is a typical black box, but we like the display that pops up on the right side behind the grill. A small, cool detail.
We used a Sony TV during the test, and the audio from the optical cable is delayed in relation to the picture. With Samsung, you must therefore use HDMI, otherwise the sound does not match the lip movement in the dialogue. If you have a Samsung TV it should not be a problem, but we recommend using HDMI. You will then get better support for the surround sound formats.
The surround mode provides a large and immersive soundscape on movies. The dialogue becomes even clearer in stereo mode, but the sound is still more engaging with the surround feature. The whole thing sounds better than Bose and both of the Yamaha soundbars. In our ears, Samsung also sounds more natural in the timbre than Sonos and Heos. Without an external subwoofer, you cannot get the most powerful bass.
As you might expect, music sounds best in stereo mode. However, even with surround sound enabled, the soundbar does not do much more than create a larger soundscape. It does not ruin the rendition of vocals. This in itself is quite impressive.
Female vocals sound open and fine. Samsung sounds more tidy and dissolved than the other soundbars. Here you get a very balanced and decent sound, which accommodates the various instruments in the soundscape. There are clear overtones, a guitar sounds like a guitar and not like a ukulele. There is no rumbling or masking in the bass range. Sometimes bass instruments sound a little swollen, just turn down the bass with the remote control.
Samsung HW-MS660: Conclusion
Samsung has made a soundbar that sounds very clear and clean, and it is also fuller in the bass than you might think, considering that it has no external subwoofer. Very impressive.
We saw a prototype of a subwoofer at the CES in Las Vegas in January, so all indications are that a matching subwoofer will be included in the purchase.
Edit review: Samsung now also supplies a matching subwoofer for those who want extra bass: SWA-W700.
Also in this test
The biggest problem with this soundbar is a huge hole in the soundscape.
Bluesound Pulse Soundbar
The most accomplished
Bluesound’s soundbar costs a bit more, but pays off in the form of a much better experiences on both film and music.
The TV's resting pad
Sonos’ new sound base PlayBase acts as a base for the TV. But did it arrive too late?
This is designed to lie flat and point towards the ceiling, but nevertheless sounds good facing forward. It works pretty good.
If you are looking for an affordable option with multi-room, and do not want an extra bass crate, then this one is good.
The Philips soundbar does its job, with crystal clear dialogue and a fairly balanced sound.
Bose SoundTouch 300
Not good enough
Bose has banked on user-friendliness, but has unfortunately forgotten about the sound quality.
A lot of sound pressure, little else
Klipsch has the highest sound pressure in the test. But the soundbar disappoints on sound quality.
User-friendly and tough
Heos has endowed this with user-friendliness, and here one also gets tough, rich sound for one’s money.