Samsung HT-E8200 Blu-ray Sound Bar System - Where's The Bass?

Launch SRP: S$999

Performance I

MP3 Performance

Seeing that the Samsung HT-E8200 has a USB port, we decided to plug in our USB drive with our standard MP3 tracks for the purposes of testing the audio capabilities. While MP3 tracks are not the best material to fully gauge the ability of the sound bar, it provides us an easy reference point for us to compare the quality of sound with a wide spectrum of audio products which we have previously tested.

MP3 Test Findings

Shifting from our usual order of listening, we started off our MP3 tests with Tiesto’s Elements Of Life to see if the large subwoofer is worth its size and stature. Unfortunately our anticipation as replaced with disappointment after listening to the audio delivered. While the bass notes were deep and extended over a good part of the low register, they lacked definition and tightness. The bass was rumbly and sprawling, which overpowered the rest of the elements of the track, so much so that the subtle nuances of the synth in the mid-frequency range were virtually absent.

On Melt My Heart To Stone by Adele, the lack of heavy low frequencies in the song let the Samsung HT-E8200 show off its ability with the rest of the spectrum of sound. Nice strong mids with good presence helped the sound bar render the melody of the song adequately. The reverb effect for the keys used on the track were well rendered and the warmth required by the song was also present. However we expected a certain degree of brightness to the highs for the rendition of the song to be classified as good. Unfortunately this sound bar was unable to deliver in this regard, which suppresses the overall score somewhat.

Sail On Soothsayer by Buckethead is a hard track for the best of speakers to reproduce accurately. The Samsung HT-E8200 falls short of the mark when handling this song. The distortion heavy guitars lacked definition and much like the bass performance for Elements Of Life, they sounded ambient and sprawled. Highs and trebles were also muted and lacked the crystalline quality we always search for when listening to this track. The overall muddy audio delivered by the sound bar was below par.

Thanks to a decent sound stage, with adequate width and depth, the HT-E8200 manages to regain some credibility with Hotel California by The Eagles. The live ambience of the song was captured and portrayed in the playback which is a definite plus. Decent transient response also meant the alternate percussions used in the performance retained a modicum of their vitality. Hotel California as a song has prominent mids and the HT-E8200’s strengths when reproducing the middle ranges definitely helped it make amends for its prior, lackluster showing. Even then, we've heard better reproduction from other sound bars tested.

It is quite hard to pinpoint the overall timbre and tonal characteristics of the Samsung HT-E8200. The middle ranges of the audio playback were warm and had good presence. But the muted highs and the loose bass suppresses these qualities on most of the audio tracks that we tested out. 

Samsung HT-E8200  - MP3 Performance Report Card
MP3 Testing Score
Melt My Heart to Stone - Adele 7.0
Sail on Soothsayer - Buckethead 6.5
Elements of Life - Tiesto 6.5
Hotel California - The Eagles  7.0
7.0
Design
7
Performance
6.5
Features
8
Value
7.5
The Good
Wireless Subwoofer
Excellent suite of smart features
Wide soundstage
The Bad
Weak and anemic low reigsters
Muted highs and trebles
Bulky and heavy construction