You can’t say this Samsung Blu-ray-system-in-a-box doesn’t look impressive. And you definitely can’t say it doesn’t look impressive for the price. But you know what they say about proof and puddings. Time to get a spoon …

You’re surrounded

Setup isn’t as quick as some systems – there’s no mic-driven calibration, like you’ll find on the Sony BDV-E300 – but it’s nice to use, with touch-sensitive controls and a premium-feeling volume wheel. And once up and running, the 1255 produces a sound that’s brilliantly large-scale.

There’s fine depth and scale to the delivery, lending a three-dimensionality to the audio performance. Add the excellent dispersion of those monolithic satellites, and you’ll find yourself nicely ensconced, with the seamless surround-sound field extending right behind the listening position. It’s like being given a big sonic hug.

Switch to a music Blu-ray and the size of the delivery enhances the spaciousness of an open-air venue. This is also the point where we really started to appreciate the taut, punchy subwoofer. It’s tonally accomplished and brilliantly integrated with the satellites.

The Blu-ray picture’s great, too. Insight into blacks isn’t quite the best but the overall image is sharp, detailed and balanced, and the same can be said of upscaled DVD.


Centre of attention

But the Samsung has its flaws, too. That small centre speaker sounds thinner and weaker than the floorstanders, leaving voices without fullness or definition. It also means sound effects that fill the whole surround field have a weak spot right in front of the listening position.

Switch to stereo music and the centre isn’t involved, so the tallboy speakers and musical sub are free to create a solid, taut and punchy soundstage.

Of course, this is a surround system, so we can’t let the centre’s shortcomings slide – but more significant is the price. At £600, it doesn’t quite make it to the top.


Stuff says... 

Samsung HT-BD1255 review

For the style-conscious home-cinema fan, the Samsung’s well worth a look. But we wish that centre were better