One thing Samsung hasn't held back on this year at CES is displays. Big, small, curved and bendy... Samsung's on it. But, it's not totally forgotten the rest of your digital world, the Korean firm also knows that you sometimes need something to go underneath those screens. Enter the Vacuum Tube Soundbar (HW-F750). The company claims this is a world first -- a soundbar-style speaker to feature a built-in vacuum tube, and we hunted it down to soak in its majesty. Okay, so design-wise, it's pretty simple. One long oblong of speaker-grille, punctuated by a central block that houses the all important valves, as well as a control section underneath. You might also notice that there's a distinct lack of wires in the picture above. This isn't clever booth wiring, the HW-F750 has Bluetooth and works with SoundShare, which should keep cable-haters happy. That's not the only party trick. There's also a gyroscope sensor that takes the height, rotation and slope into consideration, and optimizes the audio accordingly. Still not convinced? Well perhaps the AirtrackON feature that powers on the soundbar when you turn on the TV will swing the deal?
On closer inspection, the simplistic design might not be a showstopper, but it's certainly neat, and fitting (or at least with the display TV it was set up with it was). We mentioned already that there are sensors that detect its position, as you might have guess, this means you can place the soundbar in a variety of orientations to suit your home's particular set up. There is also a display, just you don't see it until you nudge the volume up, or change the audio source etc, as it's set behind the casing. This creates a nice visual touch, without breaking up the aesthetic line. We already mentioned the Bluetooth connectivity, but if you do prefer to cable up... no problem as there are also a couple of HDMI ports dotted around. The Samsung rep kindly jacked up the sound for us while we were there, and while it's tough to give it a full critique from a busy show floor, it certainly seemed loud enough, and gave the full surround system -- in a glass room just to the side of it -- a run for its money. So, perhaps not the ideal conditions to truly experience the effects of the valves, but a nice looking, loud sounding start for the product.
Samsung Vacuum Tube Soundbar HW-F750 eyes-onSee all photos
Billy Steele contributed to this report.