Samsung HW-N400 Review: a good entry-level soundbar

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What is the Samsung HW-N400?

The Samsung HW-N400 is an entry-level soundbar and the newest member of the corporate’s ‘all-in-one’ vary, which implies there’s no separate subwoofer. Instead, the N400 makes use of a smaller cupboard that’s particularly designed for less-imposing display sizes.

The function set is affordable and contains HDMI inputs and outputs, together with assist for Bluetooth. However, the HDMI connections are restricted to model 1.four and, mixed with the dearth of a subwoofer, this places the N400 at a drawback towards rivals – particularly at £299.

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Samsung HW-N400 – Design

The Samsung HW-N400 makes use of a really related design to Samsung’s different soundbars, and is predicated round a easy rectangular block with a black end. The construct high quality is pretty respectable, and the soundbar has a little bit of weight to it, which all the time provides confidence.

At the entrance of the soundbar you’ll discover a steel grille, and alongside the highest it’s completed in a brushed steel; the perimeters are simply plastic, nevertheless. On the right-hand aspect there are some primary controls that can help you choose inputs, regulate the quantity and switch the soundbar on and off.

Samsung HW-N400

An LED show is positioned on the entrance and centre of the N400, which gives primary data. So when the soundbar receives a command, the show lights up, offering suggestions on the chosen inputs, numerous settings and the quantity.

The N400 is 64cm extensive, making it superb for smaller-sized TVs; and at 7.1cm excessive, it shouldn’t block the display, even when positioned in entrance of it. Thanks to its diminutive cupboard, the N400 can even match simply onto a shelf underneath the TV. If you’d moderately wall-mount the soundbar, Samsung conveniently contains devoted brackets for simply such a goal.

 

Samsung HW-N400

Unlike loads of smaller soundbars, the N400 comes with a distant management that’s truly match for goal; it’s bigger, higher designed, and comfy to carry. It additionally contains all of the buttons you’ll want, which have been intuitively laid out to make working the soundbar so simple as potential.

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Samsung HW-N400 – Features and Connectivity

Since the Samsung HW-N400 is an entry-level soundbar, its function set is pretty primary. For a begin, it makes use of a easy two-channel format with two forward-firing audio system composed of mid-range drivers and wide-dispersion tweeters.

As a results of this specific configuration, there’s no devoted centre channel for dialogue on the N400. However, because the Samsung helps solely two-channel Dolby Digital and DTS, the dearth of a centre channel gained’t actually have an effect on the efficiency.

The N400 comes with two sound modes included: Standard and Surround. Standard is basically a bypass mode that merely makes use of the entrance two audio system, making it superb for music and sure TV programmes. Surround, however, is designed to ship a extra immersive expertise with motion pictures, TV dramas and video games.

Samsung HW-N400

Like loads of Samsung’s new soundbars, the N400 doesn’t assist its multiroom system, which is a disgrace since this has grow to be a preferred function just lately. This resolution is little question monetary, and meant to maintain down the price by not together with Wi-Fi.

Thankfully, the N400 does embody Bluetooth. This means you possibly can stream music on to the soundbar out of your smartphone or pill. If you personal a suitable Samsung TV then you definately’ll additionally be capable to ship sound wirelessly out of your TV to the soundbar, thus decreasing the quantity of cabling.

In a recessed space on the backside of the soundbar are the connections, the place you’ll discover an HDMI enter and an HDMI output with assist for ARC (Audio Return Channel). There’s additionally an optical digital audio enter, a three.5mm auxiliary audio jack, a USB port and a connector for the separate energy provide.

Samsung HW-N400

At first look the connectivity of the N400 appears affordable for a soundbar at this worth level, as a result of many don’t even embody HDMI assist. However, the included HDMI enter and output are each model 1.four, which implies the Samsung can’t move 4K and HDR.

Whether it is a stumbling block will largely rely in your show and sources. However, the simplest resolution is to attach all of your sources to the TV, after which ship all of the audio to the soundbar through ARC, thus mitigating its lack of 4K and HDR passthrough.

Samsung HW-N400 – Performance

I’ll admit to being barely disenchanted by the Samsung HW-N400. In half it is because so most of the firm’s latest soundbars have sounded genuinely good. However, the N400 additionally appears over-priced in comparison with the competitors.

It feels under-powered, too – and though this may be a coincidence, I couldn’t discover any point out of the amplification in Samsung’s advertising. The N400 definitely isn’t loud, even when turned as much as the max, though I’m happy to say the audio didn’t distort at full quantity.

Samsung HW-N400

The N400 definitely isn’t a foul sounding ‘bar, and with two-channel content material it might be very efficient. When watching TV programmes akin to Million Dollar Menu or the brand new documentary collection Africa, the N400 delivered the music very nicely; regardless of the dearth of a centre channel, dialogue additionally remained clear and targeted.

The identical was true when listening to music, and the N400 may ship two-channel content material with a good stage of stereo separation. There was was additionally an affordable quantity of element to the copy, with a strong mid-range and a few properly rendered larger frequencies. Thankfully, the wide-dispersion tweeters didn’t appear to negatively have an effect on top-end efficiency.

Where the N400 struggled was on the decrease finish of the frequency vary. The soundbar doesn’t have any built-in woofers, only a small bass port on the rear left of the cupboard. As a outcome, there was little or no in the best way of bass presence. This was apparent as I listened to Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

This lack of low-end grunt was much more obvious as soon as I moved on to TV dramas, motion pictures and video games. This kind of content material depends closely on bass power to provide key sequences influence – and, sadly, that simply wasn’t there with the N400. Blockbuster motion pictures, particularly, misplaced a few of their scale.

Samsung HW-N400

A movie akin to Pacific Rim, which makes use of low frequencies to provide dimension and weight to the battling Jaegers and Kaiju, felt diminished due to the N400. The film lacked that sense of epic destruction that the soundtrack was designed to convey. Despite using wide-dispersion tweeters, the entrance soundstage was additionally moderately slender.

This meant that there was little in the best way of immersion when listening to soundtracks through the N400, though on the plus aspect dialogue remained clear. The Surround mode did little to enhance the sense of immersion, typically simply including echo to results. As a outcome, I tended to stay with Standard, which is a passthrough mode that merely makes use of the N400’s two forward-firing audio system.

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Why purchase the Samsung HW-N400?

The Samsung HW-N400 is definitely price contemplating when you have a smaller-sized TV. Its less- imposing cupboard is properly designed and nicely made, making it a sexy method of boosting the audio high quality of your TV. It additionally sounds moderately good for a smaller two-channel soundbar, however it does undergo from numerous limitations.

For one factor the amplification is under-powered, so it gained’t swimsuit bigger rooms, and the absence of a subwoofer leads to a scarcity of bass. As such, the N400 has no points with music and sure TV reveals, however is much less assured with TV dramas, motion pictures and video games, the place it struggles to ship a extra immersive expertise.

This is a disgrace, as a result of I’ve been genuinely impressed by the sound high quality on a lot of Samsung’s latest soundbars. Sadly, the N400 additionally lacks the more and more common multiroom performance, and is unable to move 4K and HDR. Ultimately, whereas the N400 can enhance the sonic efficiency of smaller TVs, there are higher soundbars accessible at this worth level.

The Q Acoustics M3 is certainly price contemplating, with a large soundstage and deep bass regardless of the dearth of an exterior subwoofer. The Acoustic Energy AEGO Sound3ar is one other good-sounding alternative that lacks HDMI assist however does included a wired subwoofer. Finally, there’s the Polk Magnifi Mini, which has a separate wi-fi subwoofer and an HDMI output, making it an amazing total package deal.

Verdict

The Samsung HW-N400 is definitely able to upgrading the audio of TVs with smaller display sizes, however a restricted set of options, under-powered amplification and no subwoofer put it at a drawback in comparison with a few of the competitors.

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