Say what you like about Samsung’s latest home cinema in a box, it’s achingly pretty.
The various speakers share a high quality piano-black finish and are sturdily well-made. The dinky pill-shaped speakers can be mounted on a wall or will sit on a stand or shelf, courtesy of a single, neatly designed foot.
Even the sub (the home cinema equivalent of the ‘musically-talented’ boy-band member) is a bit of all right, sharing the shiny finish and rounded edges of the rest of the speakers. It’s smaller than most but the performance certainly doesn’t suffer as a result – as we shall come to in just a moment.
The best bit, though, is the main unit. Looking more like a large dedicated display unit than the usual boxy brains, this gorgeous ergonomic design sits vertically on its own stand, has a sweet top-loading disc tray and shows information clearly.
It all looks great and Samsung has done a great job of matching the design look of its TVs but at such a reasonable price something had to give in the performance stakes, surely?
Not just a pretty face
Not a bit of it. Just as its bargain flatscreens manage to outperform many more expensive rivals, the HT-XQ100 makes a mockery of its £330 asking price.
The surround sound it produces performs really well as a whole, all speakers working together in harmony, with integration between the satellites and the subwoofer particularly convincing.
And although that relatively small sub won’t rattle your fillings every time the bass kicks in, the decision to rein in the low end has produced tight, controlled results that won’t beat you into submission.
The picture performance, too, is superb, with 1080i upscaled DVDs producing good contrast and line definition with sharp but not overwhelming colours.
Philips HTS 9800W