Samsung HT-X810

The Samsung HT-X810 is a breeze to set-up and looks great sitting underneath your TV, and while picture quality is great, the sound slightly disappoints.


7.3
CNET Rating
6.5
User Rating

View more from Samsung »

About The Author

CNET Editor

Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


One of the keys to a successful home-theatre-in-a-box is simplicity, and Samsung may have just delivered this with its new HT-X810 sound bar system. Basically, if you can plug in a power cable you can set up this system. This is because almost everything about the Samsung is wireless — from the subwoofer to its support for Bluetooth devices.

Design
In keeping with the curvy looks of Samsung's past ranges, the HT-X810's main module has a rounded bottom bezel, sides and speaker grille. It's quite a wide unit at one metre across, and is designed to complement 42-inch screens. It's also wall-mountable with the ports at the rear angled so cables won't break off.

The digital readout is small and a little hard to read due to the high gloss finish, but the capacitive play controls along the other edge are quite nifty. One minor quirk we found though was that only the Eject button on the unit itself can both "open" and "close" the DVD mechanism. Meanwhile, the remote's Eject will only eject.

While the main unit is stylish, the subwoofer gets off less lightly — it's a black, rectangular box. A piano-black, though. But unlike the sub from Sony's DAV-IS10 system, it's not as fussy about placement, and given that it's wireless you can put it in the next room if you really want.

The pointing stick itself is OK, but is somewhat confused. It suffers from the "little button syndrome" at the bottom — a lot of functionality is offered but it's hard to tell at a glance what everything does.

Features
Like the similarly priced Philips Soundbar system, the X810 offers an on-board DVD player which is capable of upscaling to 1080p resolution. However, it's a little quirkier with its slot-loading that somewhat resembles an angled toaster.

Where similar systems from Yamaha and Philips use a series of speakers to simulate surround sound by bouncing signals off rear walls, the Samsung does not. It's only 2.1 — two speakers and a sub. However, it does feature a "simulated surround" mode through Samsung's proprietary DNSe 2.1 sound engine.

Connectivity is one of this system's strong points and it features HDMI output (with CEC), digital optical audio input, USB, Bluetooth and component outputs. The Bluetooth is particularly interesting because it allows you to use any compatible mobile, PC or even MP3 player to act as a sound source.

The wireless system that the subwoofer utilises is 5.8GHz, and not the more crowded 2.4GHz spectrum shared by microwaves, cordless phones and home networks. This means there's less likelihood of interference, and we found the sub connected to the main unit as soon as it turned on — we didn't need to do a thing.

Performance
We were mostly impressed with the performance and ease of use of the Samsung system. Set-up was a breeze, and that wasn't only due to the lack of cabling. In fact, when browsing the device's Setup there are very few settings you can actually change — apart from a parental lock and minor interface tweaks.

However, this simplicity means it's also hard to get a good sound out of the unit. There's no calibration routine and finding the subwoofer volume control requires browsing the manual (it's a small button at the bottom of the remote labelled Sound Edit). The reason you need a sub volume control? It's way too loud! And while this is good for action movies it's not good if you want to listen to music, due to the sub's "one-note" response. Also, the remote only lets you change the sub volume +/- 6dB. Not really enough to make an appreciable difference.

Upper register sounds, such as breaking glass or cymbals, are also a little shy. Lastly, though the unit goes up to "30", anything above 20 results in the unit audibly vibrating and is unusable.

Video quality, on the other hand, is very good for a home cinema system at this price. Our usual flotilla of test DVDs were greeted with realistic colour reproduction, fine amounts of detail without noise, and decent black levels.

Connecting a Bluetooth device was an experience, and basically you need to control everything from the handset — effectively using the X810 like a headset. Pairing it was easy enough though, but the sound quality left something to be desired — Smashing Pumpkins MP3s carried a faint, rustling paper-like distortion.

Conclusion
The Samsung HT-X810 is a great looking system — it's easy to set-up and works quite well. However, it's not quite the perfect blend of "performance and style" that Samsung promises.

Previous Story

Samsung HT-BD2

Home Cinema
Next Story

Samsung HT-X715



Add Your Review 10


* Below fields optional


Post comment as
Mark
4
Rating
 

Mark posted a review   

The Good:Sound Quality

The Bad:DVD/CD Tray-Eject Problem

DVD/CD loading system problem. Tray door stuck in closed position. Won't open to eject DVD/CD.

 

Disgruntled posted a comment   

The Good:When it works it is ok

The Bad:Service centre,

Samsung stink. I've had problems with my unit and Samsung have not only failed to help out in the process, they've never returned my phone calls, replied to e-mails or provided any assistance whatsoever. Save yourself soem frustration and look elsewhere.

Troy711
2
Rating
 

Troy711 posted a review   

The Good:Wireless sub, good sound when it works

The Bad:Wireless sub, pathetic door system

I bought this unit 18 months ago and within 6 months the door had fallen off. It has now broken again and Samsung have told me that it's too bad and that I now have to pay for it. The wireless subwoofer is great when it actually works but most of the time it will not connect.

I would not recommend this unit to ANYONE, for the money you can get a much better Blu Ray system that is probably a lot more reliable.

 

TTTWWW posted a comment   

Wouldn't recommend as the DVD gets stuck in the unit. Have taken it in twice for repair and it is still not ejecting.

 

Ralph posted a comment   

Excellent unit until it misbehaves!! I am on my second unit now and will be calling customer service tomorrow as the disc cover again will not open. I had to send the first unit back twice and on the third time, they replaced it with this unit which is now not operating!! I do not recommend this unit!!!

 

Jake posted a comment   

The Good:stylish

The Bad:may sometimes have a problem on the disc loader system (sometimes the disc will stuck inside)

Audio is fine but my may lost your patience when encounter the problem on the disc loading system.

Mark hamilton
10
Rating
 

Mark hamilton posted a review   

The Good:No wires good base wall mounted top loader fits under tv , you can put sub anywhere.

The Bad:None at the moment.

Brill bit of kit

cpthell
7
Rating
 

cpthell posted a review   

The Good:Great visuals and sound in movie mode.

The Bad:Below average CD music reproduction - way too much boomy bass from the subwoofer.

Not fully satisfied with this combo.

ginsberg9
8
Rating
 

ginsberg9 posted a review   

The Good:Excellent sound (after reducing bass) and so easy to set up and get going. No wires all over room.

The Bad:Instructions not friendly: I had to read this article to discover how to adjust bass. Remote fiddly and overcomplicated.

Gives a real cinema feel to the sound of a good movie.

Bulldog
8
Rating
 

Bulldog posted a review   

Suits me no wires looks great sounds great play star wars movie & find out




Sponsored Links
CNET's latest

User Reviews / Comments  Samsung HT-X810

  • Mark

    Mark

    Rating4

    "DVD/CD loading system problem. Tray door stuck in closed position. Won't open to eject DVD/CD."

  • Disgruntled

    Disgruntled

    "Samsung stink. I've had problems with my unit and Samsung have not only failed to help out in the process, they've never returned my phone calls, replied to e-mails or provided any assistance whats..."

  • Troy711

    Troy711

    Rating2

    "I bought this unit 18 months ago and within 6 months the door had fallen off. It has now broken again and Samsung have told me that it's too bad and that I now have to pay for it. The wireless subw..."

CNET Speedtest

Recently Viewed Products