So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Immense amount of power, strong bass and mid-range make it great for action-packed movies, attractive design
- Weak and poorly defined treble, limited connection options
For a pre-packaged system in this price range, the Samsung HT-TX500 actually delivers impressive value for money. Fans of huge explosions and roaring car engines will love this system, although those looking for something a little more refined and subtle may be better served by a different product.
Price$ 1,099.00 (AUD)
Samsung's HT-TX500 is an all-in-one 5.1 home theatre system, including a DVD player and receiver. With a whopping 1000W of power, a strong bass and mid-range, and 1080p DVD upscaling, the TX500 is highly suited to action movie buffs. A fairly weak treble and limited connection options hold it back, however, but an attractive design rounds the system out nicely.
Audio quality is dominated by the bass and mid-range. The front and surround speakers boast three mid-range drivers each, enough to occasionally overpower other parts of the audio, especially the treble. The bass and mid-range are generally clear and well defined, with a slight tendency towards muddiness in the bass. Treble loses a lot of definition, especially in the highest frequencies, and subtler notes are often lost under the weight of the mid-range and bass. Nevertheless, for the most part, the audio blends together well, although there is a noticeable bias for this system towards action movies and bass heavy music.
The volume is incredible, we couldn't get much past around 80 per cent of maximum without deafening ourselves. We didn't notice any undue distortion up until that point, and didn't dare go further. This system should be more than capable of projecting audio throughout at least one floor of most houses, although at high volumes the quality is likely to suffer somewhat. The sub produces some incredible vibrations, and should have the floor shaking in no time.
Samsung has employed a somewhat differing design for the HT-TX500 in terms of the floor-standing speakers, which are typically supported by thin metal poles. In lieu of this, the TX500 floor-standing speakers are entirely plastic, with a wide base and uniform diameter for their entire height. The DVD player/receiver is attached to a metal pole, consistent with the traditional design of floor-standing speakers. Although this does improve the overall aesthetic, we also found that, with our setup at least, it increased the chances of tripping over cables. Clumsy users beware! We found the complete packing to be quite attractive, however, and it should fit into most modern living rooms well.
DVD upscaling on the included player is quite respectable, and adds an extra element of sharpness and clarity to DVDs on large screens. Unfortunately, there is a somewhat limited amount of connection options on the receiver that may inhibit this, depending on how your setup is configured. The receiver lacks any video inputs at all, which means that you'll need to run separate video and audio cables from other devices, such as a Blu-ray player or digital set-top box to the receiver and to the television. This uses up extra connection ports, and requires a lot more fiddling with the remote to change inputs. It's a minor quibble, and shouldn't affect anyone but those who already have expansive home entertainment setups.
Samsung's HT-TX500 is an incredibly powerful home theatre system. The huge amounts of bass and mid-range power make watching action movies an incredible experience, although lovers of treble-based music or movies may be left slightly disappointed. The DVD upscaling and attractive design, combined with a relatively low RRP, make it quite good value as an entry-level system though.
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