Samsung HW-MS750 review: Samsung sound bar takes on Sonos, loses

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MSRP: $699.99

The Good The Samsung HW-MS750 is a decent sounding speaker which includes convenience features like HDMI switching and one of the better multiroom apps. The ability to add a subwoofer and surround speakers later adds to the system's flexibility.

The Bad Sound quality is not up to the level of other sound bars at the price with an unexpectedly thin sound. Adding the optional subwoofer is overly complicated and the display is hard to read. The HW-K850 cost a only little bit more and sounds a lot better.

The Bottom Line The Samsung HW-MS750 offers a decent mix of features and performance, but it's simply too expensive.

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6.5 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Sound 6
  • Value 6

When it was released in 2016, the Samsung HW-K950 was a bit of a surprise. Not only was it the most "affordable" Atmos sound bar on the market to that point, it also sounded fantastic. 

The Samsung audio lab, which designed that product, didn't have as large a hand in the HW-MS750 reviewed here. That might help explain its much less impressive sound.

The HW-MS750 is Samsung's attempt at taking on the four-year-old Sonos Playbar, and starts its sally with more features than Sonos can muster. Samsung includes HDMI switching, a better music app than Sonos, and Bluetooth built-in. It fails the most important challenge, however, falling short of the Playbar's audio quality. 

The HW-MS750 retails for $699, £799 and AU$999. In the US the Samsung is currently available on special for $550 -- but even at that price we'd recommend other models, such as the Zvox SB500, instead.  

'Meh' meets mesh

Samsung HW-MS750
Sarah Tew/CNET

For a company that prides itself on design, the boxy HW-MS750 is a little pedestrian, especially compared to products such as the egg-like WAM7500 or the sausage-like DA-E650. (What is it with the food obsession? Do they even feed those audio lab guys?)

You could be forgiven for thinking the MS750 is the latest version of the Dolby Atmos-toting HW-K950. Style-wise it is pretty much identical -- an elongated bar with a gunmetal finish. At 45 inches wide it's particularly suited to 50-inch TVs and, if you own a 2017 Samsung TV, the company also offers a bracket that connects the two together.

Samsung HW-MS750

The legibility of the display's scrolling text is impaired by mesh.  

Sarah Tew/CNET

On the right end of the sound bar you get a set of volume and power controls. The front and top are covered in a thick wire mesh. On the front's right side there's a small LED display, but since it's only a few characters long, the text has to do a lot of scrolling. If viewed at enough of an angle the display becomes illegible behind the mesh.

The resemblance to the K950 continues with the upfiring drivers -- but since the MS750 is not an Atmos sound bar, it doesn't have discrete Atmos height channels. Those extra drivers are wide-range tweeters that activate when you select certain modes, including Movie. The sound bar also includes a Smart mode, which is designed to change the sound profile based on what you're listening.

Despite what a user review on the company's own website might imply, Samsung confirmed this sound bar will not be made Atmos-compatible with a future software update.

Samsung HW-MS750
Sarah Tew/CNET

The remote that comes in the box is a clone of the company's TV remotes. It's attractive and relatively easy to use, but you can safely use your TV remote instead once setup.