"Your rating will be based on expectations."3.0 starson by VegasDV
Pros: * Moderately priced
* Wireless subwoofer can be set just about anywhere
* Preset sound "effects" (may also be considered a CON)
* HDMI in/out + Optical audio + USB
* Above average sound with select videos and TV shows/movies (see details below)
Cons: * Not much better than above average TV speakers for standard TV and videos (see details below)
* Customized sound settings not available
* Adjustments to sound "effects" and subwoofer/bass volumes are subtle
Summary: I purchased the Samsung HW-E450C Sound Bar System new from Costco, which is identical to the Samsung HW-E450 with the exception that "C" version includes HDMI and Optical audio cables (one each). My opinion is also based on the fact I have a built-in surround sound system in the main TV room with some quality Polk Audio ceiling speakers and a nice Onkyo receiver. This product was purchased for our loft area, which is the "second room" for watching TV with the family.
I admit that I did not have extremely high expectations in terms of sound from this product based on the relatively low cost (compared to a 5.1 surround sound system and other "high end" sound bars), and listening to demos in the stores. However, I connected this sound bar to our VIZIO XVT473SV HDTV, which only provided average sound like so many flat panel TVs due these days (I assume) mainly due to the fact they can't pack a punch with so little space.
This sound bar offers slightly above average sound with standard TV shows, older movies, or any video that is not programmed with higher quality sound. You can try different sound "effects" with labels like "Cinema", "Sports", "News", "Music", etc., but there are only subtle differences between them. Also, there are only subtle differences when adjusting the sub-woofer/bass levels up and down.
On the other hand, this sound bar performs above average when viewing videos or TV shows/movies that are programmed with higher quality sound. For example, the sound bar performed much better than the standard TV speakers when playing the Cars 2 movie on our Sony BDP-BX18 Blu-ray (another product I would recommend for those that want a Blu-ray without a ton of features).
Although there is not a significant "surround" sound effect (which one should not really expect with a 2.1 system) it does offer some noticeable "depth" in the sound, especially when using the 3D sound effect option.
In summary, if you are looking for "huge" sound on most video and/or have high standards for audio, then look at the higher end (i.e. more expensive) models like the Harman Kardon SB16 Soundbar (which provided awesome sound when I tried the demo in the store). Otherwise, if you are looking for something that simply delivers above average sound especially on new Blu-ray movies, this sound bar delivers.