Review: Samsung Home Entertainment System HT-E6750W PDF Print E-mail

You would think that only political writers get into trouble with readers, but I recently managed to get a number of home theatre fanatics a little hot under the collar.

But let me start at the beginning. Regulars to My Digital Life will know that I have a monthly column (this one you happen to be reading right now). In the last few, I have been explaining just exactly what my job as an audio/visual product reviewer requires. This time, I am going to explain how I go about rating the products I review.

I used to think that ratings wars only ignite among TV and radio stations. Who knew that a rating given by an audio/visual product reviewer could have a similar effect on readers? I angered the home threatre fans I mentioned in the intro, because they couldn’t believe that I dared to give an "affordable" system a higher rating than some far pricier (and therefore allegedly better) systems.

Now if you quickly scroll down to the bottom of the page, you'll see that I've given the Samsung HT E6750w All-in-one home theatre system that is featured in today’s column a score of eight out of ten. I'm quite stingy when I hand out ratings, and eight out of ten is high. So how did I get to give it such a generous score?
Firstly, because it is packed with features and contains nearly everything most people want from a home theatre system.You get an amplifier/processor that offers good power; inputs for an additional two HDMI equipped devices; an iPod dock; USB in; wired and wireless Internet connectivity; a full complement of speakers – including wireless rear speakers – although it's not a real 7.1 system as claimed; a 3D capable Blu-ray player; and even "sound enhancing" vacuum tube technology. About the only thing you don’t get is a TV, but Samsung will be more than happy to sell you one of those.
System set up and installation is pretty easy, although you do need to assemble the front and surround speakers, and you have to ensure that there is a plug point somewhere at the back of your room. This is for the receiver/amplifier of the surround speakers.
Speaking of surround speakers: you would usually have two pairs of these, surround and surround back, in a real, 7.1 channel system. What Samsung gives you instead, is a 5.1 surround system with Matrixed front height speakers.
The best aspect of the Samsung HT E6750w system is that everything just works. There was no fussing around to try and get the rear speakers working. The built-in WiFi connected quickly to the wireless network, and as advertised, the Smart Hub functionality functioned as it was supposed to. Even the valves lit up nicely, although I quickly learned that their warm glow was more due to the little LEDs  placed under them, than their fillaments emitting light.
I had absolutely no complaints about the image quality when I used it to play Blu-ay discs. The built-in player was quite good and delivered decent video quality from DVD's too.
Things on the sound front were mostly good, especially for a setup that is considered to be entry level in terms of home theatre systems.
The surround sound delivers. You get to hear all the wonderful effects and audible intricacies that directors put into movies. The sounds truly do arrive from all around you. It really creates an immersive experience as the bullets whiz past your ears and explosions rumble around the room.
Unfortunately, the subwoofer doesn’t play too low, and it is rather good at playing one note bass, so all you really feel is rumble, and not the kind of visceral impact you would experience from real subwoofers that play low enough to literally shake you. However, the system does play loud and cleam enough to make you feel as if you're in the middle of the action.
Music fans will be a little less pleased than movie fans. Despite the Samsung’s claims of bringing it for audiophiles by using valves to "enhance" sound quality, I don’t believe the addition of these to the system does that much, other than increase the system’s power consumption. While you can listen to and even enjoy music through the HT E6750w, you're not going to hear the kind of subtelty or naunces that even a similarly priced stereo system is able to deliver.
Since I already have a dedicated stereo audio system, I would be perfectly happy living with the Samsung HT E6750w functioning as my home theatre system. It delivers almost exactly what it claims to, at a reasonable price.
Good: Decent sound for an all-in-one system, the wireless rear speakers work well, and built-in WiFi and APPS add to its entertainment value.
Bad: Its build quality isn't the best, it's not a real 7.1 channel system, the sub woofer doesn’t play that low and it's a bit “boomy”, and the inclusion of valves is, in my opinion, there more for marketing purposes than for true sound enhancement.
Rating: 8/10
Price: R 10 000.00

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