Why a 2.2-channel soundbar is not required to have two external subwoofers

When a Dion Wired customer went to purchase a Samsung 2.2-channel soundbar in June, he expected to receive two subwoofers with his purchase. The second “2” in the 2.2 model name indicates that two standalone subwoofers are part of the sound system, he submitted[1] to the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa in a formal complaint – referencing an article[2] about sound system naming standards. The customer asked a sales person at the retailer about the lack of external subwoofers, and was reportedly told that the soundbar contained built-in subwoofers.

He then purchased the soundbar and took it home, after which he noticed the packaging referred to the unit as a “DTS 2.0 channel device”. “The complainant added that he tested the speaker, and its performance was unsatisfactory due to the fact that it does not contain a subwoofer,” said the ASA.

Subwoofer support

In reply to the ASA complaint, Dion Wired submitted an email from a Samsung representative which stated that:

The first digit of the 2.2 nomenclature represents the number of speakers – or main audio channels – involved, whereas the second digit provides an indication of whether or not the sound system contains a subwoofer or supports low-frequency effect channels.

Supporting evidence on sound system naming standards[3] was also supplied, and it confirmed that the soundbar in question is a 2.2-channel unit which supports low frequency. “It should be kept in mind that this is an entry-level 80W soundbar, so one cannot expect the bass to be impressive.”

The “DTS 2.0 channel” specification “has nothing to do with the hardware specifications” and refers to a built-in codec which “downmixes” the digital surround sound for analogue output, it added.

Complaint dismissed

The ASA stated that based on all evidence submitted, the manner in which the soundbar was advertised was not misleading. “The Samsung representative explained that the soundbar does contain Low Frequency Effect functionality and is correctly labelled as a 2.2 Channel Soundbar. It explained, however, that this is an entry-level soundbar that will not deliver world-class bass output,” said the ASA.

The complaint was dismissed.

Now read: Next Apple TV will support 4K and HDR – Report[4]


  1. ^ he submitted (
  2. ^ an article (
  3. ^ naming standards (
  4. ^ Next Apple TV will support 4K and HDR – Report (

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