Sound bars for home theaters

Samsung HW-C450 CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of

Samsung HW-C450

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very Good)

The good: Sound bar home theater system; very thin design; wireless subwoofer; surprisingly solid sound quality on movies, given its size; three inputs (two optical, one minijack); simple setup; useful "smart volume" control.

The bad: No HDMI connectivity; sounds lackluster with music; faux-surround effects are mild.

The cost: $347.00 - $349.99

The bottom line: The Samsung HW-C450 is an exceedingly thin sound bar home theater system that sounds surprisingly good with movies, but lacks HDMI connectivity.

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Sound bars get rid of all the bulk that comes with a full 5.1 speaker system, but they might still require an AV receiver. Sound bar home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) systems take it one step further, by building the amplification into the sound bar and including all the inputs you'll need to hook up your home theater gear.

We've rounded up four recent sound bar HTIBs we've reviewed that let you kick your bulky AV receiver to the curb. ©2014 CBS Interactive Inc., a CBS Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission

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