The newly announced Samsung HW-F750 is dubbed the “world’s first sound bar with a vacuum tube amp”, which is technically true: like last year’s models, it has a tube preamplifier paired with a digital amplifier. In any event, the difference is largely academic, as I didn’t find that the DA-E750’s tubes added a distinctively analog sound, although it was a good-sounding tabletop system.
Aside from the tubes, it’s a pretty standard 2.1 sound bar, featuring one-inch tweeters and a wireless subwoofer. There’s built-in Bluetooth, plus it’s compatible with Samsung’s proprietary SoundShare platform, so it can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to Samsung TV‘s with the same feature, although I’d be surprised if that didn’t degrade sound quality. Additionally, Samsung’s AirtrackON feature automatically powers on the sound bar whenever your TV is powered on.
Samsung also touts an array of sound processing features, including virtual surround sound, 3D Sound Plus and a gyroscopic sensor. 3D Sound Plus supposedly “calculates the depth of onscreen 3D images and configures the system’s depth of sound accordingly”. I wouldn’t put too much stock in that gimmicky-sounding feature, especially from a system that lacks true surround capabilities. The built-in gyroscope senses the exact positioning of the sound bar and adjusts to optimize sound quality.
The HW-F750 is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2013. No pricing has been announced yet.