Samsung HT-F6500 review

You get a great set of features for the money, but performance suffers Tested at £430

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Our Verdict

You get a great set of features for the money, but performance suffers

For

  • Tons of web content
  • Plays almost anything
  • Controlled sound with well-integrated subwoofer

Against

  • Sound lacks dynamics and dispersion
  • Picture could be sharper and more neutral
  • No auto-calibration of speakers

One-box home cinema systems have always represented value and simplicity. But finding just five speakers and a sub for £430 is tricky – let alone a set that includes a surround amp, 3D Blu-ray player and all the cables.

It’s with that value in mind that we unbox the HT-F6500.

Samsung HT-F6500

Samsung HT-F6500

Design

The speakers are fairly stylish and well made. Plastic dominates, but it’s solid and glossy.

Less effort’s been made with the sub, which is an (admittedly relatively slim) MDF box with a sticky-out grille on the left.

Calibration isn’t included, so it’s worth going to the menus for tweakage.There’s no mic-driven setup, so have a sound-meter app handy on your phone.

It’s also worth turning off the Equalizer and Dynamic Range Control. You’ll thank us later.

On-demand content

Samsung HT-F6500

Samsung HT-F6500

The simple home menu has three main areas – Films and TV Shows; Apps; and Photo, Videos and Music.

Then there’s a row of shortcuts to ITV Player, BBC iPlayer, Knowhow Movies and the web browser. That gives you a lot to take in before you even put a disc in.

The Apps section is crammed with services, and if video-on-demand is your thing you’re not going to be disappointed.

Practically every base is covered – including Netflix, LoveFilm, and catch-up services.

Samsung HT-F6500

Samsung HT-F6500

There are the seemingly requisite but probably never used Twitter and Facebook apps, and while Spotify is missing, Napster is on board.

The Films and TV Shows section is more disappointing. Rather than bring in movies from all of the services, it only shows content from Samsung’s own Video Hub.

That’s fine in terms of movie catalogue, but it is almost entirely standard-def and has just one TV show – a single episode of Scooby-Doo.

Samsung HT-F6500

Samsung HT-F6500

Got a bunch of your own media files? The Samsung is happy to oblige – standard-def AVIs and HD MKVs are played across a network without stutter, and even 24-bit/192kHz FLACs are supported.

Impressive stuff for a home cinema in a box, especially at this price, even if the menu system is a little sluggish and basic.

Performance

Samsung HT-F6500

Samsung HT-F6500

But it’s in the performance where the affordable nature of the system shines through. Play Avatar’s Thanator chase scene and there’s initially little to complain about.

Treble is controlled and bass is integrated nicely so that nothing sticks out. Voices come through clearly and surround effects are placed pretty effectively.

The problem is that it lacks atmosphere and action. The speakers sound a bit lightweight and want for dispersion, and don’t have the dynamics necessary to go from the quiet build-up to the loud attack with the conviction necessary.

Samsung HT-F6500

Samsung HT-F6500

Picture-wise, too, it seems fine at first, but comparison with the strongest rivals shows there’s better detail elsewhere, while colours are a touch richer than is natural.

And if you’re going to take advantage of all of those music features (it plays CDs and connects to iOS and Android devices too) you’re also going to have to put up with a slightly lacklustre delivery.

Verdict

There’s nothing here to cause upset; it simply doesn’t have the body, dynamics or detail of the best.

If your budget won’t stretch, give it a demo – but bear in mind its limitations.

MORE: See all our speaker package Best Buys

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Specifications

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Physical Characteristics

Total System Weight Approximate10.16 kg
Center Speaker Depth6.9 cm
Subwoofer Height35.1 cm
Front Speaker Width9.4 cm
Front Speaker Depth7.1 cm
Rear Speaker Height14.2 cm
Weight Approximate2.49 kg - Main Unit, 948 g - Front Speaker, 607.8 g - Rear Speaker, 880 g - Centre Speaker, 3.67 kg - Subwoofer
Subwoofer Width16.8 cm
Center Speaker Height7.4 cm
Subwoofer Depth28.4 cm
Rear Speaker Depth6.9 cm
Center Speaker Width36.1 cm
Front Speaker Height27.9 cm
Width42.9 cm
Rear Speaker Width8.9 cm
Depth31 cm
Height5.6 cm
ColourBlack
Dimensions5.6 cm (H): 42.9 cm (W): 31 cm (D)

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Number of Analog Audio Inputs2
Number of HDMI Inputs2
Number of Digital Optical Inputs1
USBYes

Network and Communication

EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
BluetoothYes

Audio

RMS Output Power1000 W
Sound System3D Sound Plus, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS 96/24, DTS HD, DTS neoFusion, Virtual Surround
Speaker Configuration5.1
Wireless SpeakersYes

General Information

Product NameSamsung HT-F6500
Product ModelHT-F6500W
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Brand NameSamsung
Product TypeHome Theater System
ManufacturerSamsung
Manufacturer Part NumberHT-F6500W/ZA

Video

Scanning ModesProgressive Scan
Video FormatsBD Video, DVD Video, DivX, XviD

Technical Information

3D Type3D
Player-Recorder TypeBlu-ray Disc Player
Internet StreamingYes
Media FormatsBD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, CD-RW

Miscellaneous

DLNA CertifiedYes
Environmentally FriendlyYes
Package Contents
  • HT-F6500 5 Speaker Smart 3D Blu-ray & DVD Home Entertainment System
  • Antenna
  • Cloth
Environmental CertificationCEC

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year