Samsung is appealing to the lucrative gaming market with its new HW-N650 sound bar, which uses a unique series of holes designed to lock sound effects to the screen better. In addition the company is announcing its first hardware update to 2016's HW-K950 Atmos sound bar.
The HW-N650 features a line of over 50 openings across the top which Samsung calls "Acoustic Beam" technology. The sound bar is designed to be wall-mounted, and the company says the imperceptible holes make left-to-right effects more seamless. The speaker comes with a wireless subwoofer and, as you'd expect for console-centric system, it includes a dedicated gaming mode. We've seen gaming sound bars before, including the Polk N1 and the Sound BlasterX Katana, but thankfully the HW-N650 is less revolting to look at than most "gamer" accessories. The $499 N650 will be available in April with Australian and UK pricing and availability to be announced. Expect around £499 and AU$1,000 though.
Samsung is also rereleasing the CNET Editor's Choice-winning HW-K950 in June with a couple of new tweaks. The main difference is that the main 'bar now includes side-firing speakers on each end, which are supposed to add to the sense of immersion with surround effects or On the software side, the sound bar will now feature support -- something the existing model doesn't have.
Otherwise the hardware stays the same with a wireless subwoofer in addition to upfiring front and rear speakers (via wireless surrounds). The new additions are going to increase the US price, Samsung says, to over $1,500. While the changes are welcome we would have liked to see a new model number to lessen confusion. The existing HW-K950 is priced at $1,499/£1,299/$1,999.