If you’ve purchased a curved TV and you’re looking for a sound bar that doesn’t look ridiculous, check out the Samsung HW-J7500. It integrates wonderfully thanks to its curved design, and even works with Samsung’s wireless multiroom audio system.
The catch: it’s going to cost you! What’s more, it’s a bit difficult to get the Wi-Fi up and running. If you don’t have a curved TV, you probably won’t want anything to do with this sound bar. And if you do, and aesthetics don’t matter to you, there are plenty of other sound bars that will cost you much less and deliver better sound.
The Samsung HW-J7500 sound bar features a wireless subwoofer and a host of other features contained within its sleek, curved housing. It was designed with the curved TV in mind, which is fitting since Samsung was the first to market a curved TV in 2014. They’ve even released a curved Blu-ray player. If you’re going to buy a curved TV, of course you want other curvy components, right?
The HW-J7500 is 48.4 inches wide and 1.9 inches tall, curved to exactly match all of Samsung’s curved TVs -- whether 48-inch, 55-inch, or 65-inch -- and low-profile enough to blend in unnoticed. Even if you opt for another manufacturer’s curved display, it will still look great, wrapped in attractive brushed aluminum.
Inside are eight speakers and eight amplifier channels. The wireless subwoofer isn’t as complementary in design -- it’s not curved, and takes up significant real estate at 19.7 by 13.1 by 6.3 inches in size. You can choose to use the included remote to change certain functions, or you can use the Samsung Multiroom app.
Although the HW-J7500 claims 8.1 channels, the number actually refers to how many drivers the sound bar uses. It’s not a surround sound bar -- it just emulates the effects of surround sound.
As previously mentioned, it works along with the Samsung Multiroom system which has increased the number of services it supports from four to 11, including the CD-ripping service Murfle and Spotify.
No need for hideous cables -- the HW-J7500 puts to use Samsung’s TV SoundConnect Bluetooth protocol to wirelessly communicate with Samsung TVs. It features stereo analog, USB, optical digital, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as HDMI-In and -Out that support both DTS and Dolby Digital.
Setup is easy, unless you have to set up Wi-Fi. There is no onscreen display, so all of this is done using your smartphone and a paper clip. Cnet testers struggled to get the app to recognize the sound bar, after repeated attempts to do so. Once it was up and running, they were unimpressed with the sound quality. They have dubbed it an “average” sound bar.
The only way to get the most out of the sound is to mess with the EQ every time the sound type changes, and that’s just no fun. For the price -- MSRP $799.99 -- you’re better off purchasing a plain old rectangular sound bar.