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Samsung HW-J7500 review

Katharine Byrne
30 Apr 2015
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Samsung HW-J7500 soundbar
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
750
inc VAT

Excellent audio with an equally stunning design, the Samsung HW-J7500 will give your films a palpable punch

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Specifications

Speakers: 8, RMS power output: 320W, Dimensions: 1,230x170x42mm (soundbar), 291x371x291mm (subwoofer), Weight: 4kg (soundbar), 7.8kg (subwoofer), Dock connector: N/A, Networking: Bluetooth 3.0

As one of the major proponents of curved TVs, it was only a matter of time before Samsung released a curved soundbar to match. Following the same 4,200mm curvature radius as Samsung’s UHD TV range and measuring a substantial 1,230x170x42mm, the HW-J7500 is compatible with every HU7, HU8 and HU9 model save the HU7100 series, but is best suited to 55in and 65in models.

The base has a sculpted cut-out so it can slot directly over an HU-series TV stand so it sits directly under the screen. Alternatively, you can wall mount it using the bundled shelf stands, but it won’t sit flush to the wall. Still, at least you don’t need to worry about it looking out of place, as the elegant aluminium body is much more stylish than the outgoing HW-H750 soundbar. Of course, you don’t need a curved TV to use the HW-J7500, but it might look a little odd if you decide to wall-mount it underneath a flat TV.

Samsung He-H7500 curved soundbar

^ The HW-J7500 is a perfect companion to Samsung's 2014 UHD curved TVs

Either way, this 8.1 channel system and wireless subwoofer certainly won’t disappoint when it comes to audio. It won’t replace a dedicated surround sound system, unless you plan on going down the pricey route of pairing it with speakers from Samsung's multiroom range, but the HW-J7500’s 320W total RMS output delivers a full-bodied soundstage in isolation, with plenty of warmth and rich detail.

It’s a significant step-up from the HW-H750: the four extra speaker drivers help deliver a much clearer and more balanced sound in our How to Train Your Dragon 2 test tracks when we compared each soundbar side-by-side. The bass in particular sounded much deeper and more natural on the HW-J7500 against higher treble melodies, and the HW-J7500's side speakers were clearly audible against those in the centre, adding an extra layer of immersive detail.

The HW-J7500 also won out when it came to the underlying percussion, as cymbals and hi-hats in particular sounded much more authentic in our Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks compared to the rather more artificial renditions on the HW-H750. Classical music such as Lizst’s Liebestraum No.3 also sounded excellent, almost like the pianist was playing right there next to us rather than being an obvious recording.

Samsung HW-J7500 remote

^ The remote has plenty of controls and its larger-than-average size should hopefully prevent it from getting lost down the back of the sofa

Dialogue was also crystal clear against heavier sound effects in Star Trek, and it never sounded like the HW-J7500 was giving too much precedence to the bass over the ensuing conversations. You can always adjust the treble and bass using the remote if the sound mix doesn’t quite suite your tastes, though. If you want to make the dialogue more prominent, your best bet is to decrease the treble, as switching to the extremities of the bass setting didn’t produce a particularly noticeable jump in quality. Instead, you’re better off adjusting the subwoofer level if you want to cut down on the amount of bass, as this was far more effective.

Whatever you settle for, the 160W wireless subwoofer can still produce a palpable thump when necessary. The warp jumps in Star Trek, for example, really pounded through our test room and it brought an extra level of detail to the overall atmosphere of the film. The subwoofer is quite sizeable, measuring 291x371x291mm, but its long rectangular shape should make it easy to slide in next to your AV cabinet of behind a sofa. It also pairs with the soundbar automatically, so you’re ready to go as soon as you’ve plugged it in.

The HW-J7500 has several sound modes, including Standard, Music, Voice, Sports, Cinema and a Night Mode that cuts down on the bass so you don’t disturb your neighbours while listening to music late at night. We thought Standard produced the most balanced sound overall, but Cinema did bring a welcome amount of extra bass, so we’d recommend switching over when watching films if you want a more immersive audio experience.

Samsung HW-J7500 soundbar ports

^ The HW-J7500 has its fair share of ports, but its HDMI inputs only support the 1.4 standard, so it will only be able to play 4K content at 30fps

An HDMI input and an HDMI output that supports ARC (audio return channel) makes it easy to hook up to a TV. However, these are only HDMI 1.4 ports, so they'll only be able to pass through 4K signals at 30fps rather than the full 60fps. This should still be fine for films, as these generally run at 24fps, but it's an odd omission considering most of Samsung's curved TVs are 4K.

There are also auxiliary and digital S/PDIF inputs, along with a USB port for software updates and connecting an MP3 player. File format support is decent, letting us play MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, OGG and FLAC files without any problems. It also supports High Resolution Audio files. If you don’t have an MP3 player to hand, you can always play music off your phone or laptop over Bluetooth. Even better, if you have a Samsung TV that supports Samsung’s TV SoundConnect feature (any 2013 Samsung 3D TV onwards except the LED F6100 series), then you can pair the entire system wirelessly.

The Samsung HW-J7500 is without doubt one of the best soundbars we've heard in quite some time. At £750, it's not exactly cheap, but its audio is easily as good as the £1,295 Paradigm Soundscape and it's more versatile than the £800 Dali Kubik One. The curve won't suit every home cinema setup and the lack of HDMI 2.0 is perhaps a bit of an oversight, but it produces excellent sound and is a worthy companion for Samsung's compatible UHD TVs.

Hardware
Speakers8
RMS power output320W
Subwoofer option160W (included), wireless
Rear speaker optionN/A
Dimensions1,230x170x42mm (soundbar), 291x371x291mm (subwoofer)
Weight4kg (soundbar), 7.8kg (subwoofer)
Ports
Audio inputsN/A
Audio outputsOptical S/PDIF, auxiliary
Video inputsHDMI
Video outputsHDMI
Dock connectorN/A
USB portUSB
NetworkingBluetooth 3.0
NFCNo
Features
Video playback formatsN/A
Image viewing formatsN/A
Audio playback formatsMP3, FLAC, AAC, WAV, WMA, OGG
Smart TV appsN/A
Buying information
Price including VAT£750
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Detailswww.samsung.com
Part codeHW-J7500

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