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Samsung's HW-E550 sound bar 'morphs' into vertical speakers

Samsung's upcoming HW-E550 Surround Sound Bar can be split into two and turned into two vertical-standing speakers.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read
Samsung HW-E550
Samsung's HW-E550 can be used as a sound bar or split in two to transform into a 2.1-speaker system. Samsung

Typically, sound bars are horizontal speakers that are designed to be placed below your TV.

Samsung's upcoming HW-E550 Surround Sound Bar is just that--but with a twist. Not only can you place it horizontally below your TV (the speaker weighs 4 pounds), but you can split it in two and turn it into a traditional 2.1-channel floor-standing system using the included bases.

Yes, there's also a subwoofer, but the sound bar (or speakers if you split it in two) connects to it wirelessly using Samsung's proprietary dual-band 5.2/5.8GHz wireless technology. Samsung says the subwoofer, which has a frequency response of 40Hz to 200Hz, can be placed anywhere in the room "without any compromise."

Needless to say, the HW-E550 offers virtual surround sound (Samsung says it's enhanced with something called 3D Depth Sound) and has six settings--movie, game, drama, music, news and sports--to "deliver optimal sound quality according to the content of the video."

You also get Smart Volume, "an active audio monitoring system that prevents spikes in volume when TV channels or radio stations are changed." Samsung says this not only protects the listeners' ears but also the soundbar's speakers.

As far as connectivity goes, you get two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, as well as a USB port. It's also worth mentioning that the speaker is Bluetooth-enabled so you can wirelessly stream audio files from other Bluetooth-enabled devices directly to the speaker.

Alas, no word on pricing or availability yet, but we'll add that to the post as soon as we get more details.