How to Install Samsung 2.1-Channel Sound Bar Home Theaters

By Scott Shpak

Adding high-quality audio to your flat-screen television is a first step toward a custom home-theater experience. Surround-sound systems can completely immerse you in the soundtrack of your favorite movie, but these require the placement of six speakers or more, and some rooms just can't accommodate that, whether for physical or aesthetic reasons. Samsung 2.1 Sound Bar systems, sometimes called Air Tracks, provide a balance between great sound and convenient setup.

Understanding the Dot

The "dot one" convention applied to audio systems denotes the number of channels and the presence of a subwoofer. A 5.1 system has five speakers plus a subwoofer, and a 7.1 system has seven speakers plus a sub. Samsung 2.1 Sound Bars include a pair of stereo speakers built into a single narrow enclosure -- the sound bar -- and a separate subwoofer. A wired subwoofer model, the HW-F355, is available at time of publication, but most 2.1 Sound Bars feature wireless subwoofers.

Using the Optional Wall Mount

Samsung Sound Bars ship with a wall-mount bracket, but you don't need to use it if it doesn't suit your home-theater arrangement. If you choose to use the bracket, install it first following the procedure in the manual. All the connections on the Sound Bar itself are made before hanging it on the bracket, which includes mounting slots for easy hanging and removal when you have changes to your home-theater components.

Analog Connections

The Samsung Sound Bar series connects with audio and video devices in several ways. Analog output from your TV is supported through the "AUX IN" jack, a 3.5-mm stereo jack on the Sound Bar. Depending on your model of Sound Bar, you may have a 3.5 mm-to-3.5 mm cable or an RCA-to-3.5 mm adapter supplied. Which you use depends on the connections available on your TV; you may need to purchase an additional adapter.

Digital Connections

Many home theaters are based around a personal video recorder from your TV service provider. These digital units commonly connect using high-definition multimedia interface cables. Most Samsung Sound Bars support HDMI with both HDMI IN and OUT connections. Connect one HDMI cable from your PVR's HDMI Out jack to the HDMI IN jack on the Sound Bar. Connect a second HDMI cable from the HDMI OUT jack on the Sound Bar to the HDMI IN jack on your TV. The Sound Bar plays digital sound and passes video on to your TV. You may need to redirect the sound on your TV by way of its internal settings.

Other Connections

Sound Bars include optical inputs for use with devices such as DVD, Blu-ray and video game players. Route an optical cable from the output of the video device to the OPTICAL IN jack on the Sound Bar. USB devices can be attached to the Sound Bar's USB input. Power to the Sound Bars comes from an adapter that is plugged into a wall outlet. Connect the AC plug to the adapter and then plug the adapter cable into the Sound Bar.

Bluetooth Connectivity

If you have a Samsung high-definition TV that supports SoundShare or another TV that supports Bluetooth, you can connect the Sound Bar wirelessly using Bluetooth. Devices that support the Bluetooth stereo headset function can also connect to the sound bar. Press the "SOURCE" button on the Sound Bar remote to display the "BT" message. After four seconds, you will see "BT READY" on the display. Select the stereo headset menu on the connecting device and select "[Samsung] Air Track" from the list. The Sound Bar display will confirm the connection. See user manuals for SoundShare and Bluetooth access on TVs and other devices.

Subwoofer Connections

The Sound Bar model HW-F350 has a jack for the subwoofer audio cable on the back panel. Connect the cable from the subwoofer to this jack. For wireless models, the wireless link is set in the factory, so the "LINK" light on the subwoofer lights when both the subwoofer and Sound Bar are plugged in and turned on. Wrapping two loops of the wireless subwoofer's power cord through the supplied ferrite core reduces radio frequency interference from outside signals.