Our Verdict 
This Samsung just can’t cut the mustard in the most crucial area of sound quality
Looks the part
promising spec
iPod dock
sound won’t offend
Lacks in every sonic area compared with best
gaps in functionality despite spec
Reviewed on

Here's an interesting piece of kit: a latest-generation AV receiver, sporting HDMI 1.4 connections, from Samsung.

We know the Korean company makes a hell of a lot of kit, but we don't tend to get much in the way of AV amplification through our doors.

Firstly, it's a 7.2-channel receiver. Should you have, or want, two subwoofers this Samsung is suitably equipped.

Then there's an iPod dock as standard; a neat touch, although the cable is extraordinarily short and the 'C700 only seems capable of playing tunes in alphabetical order. You can skip tracks and change the volume but nothing more, which seems ludicrously restrictive.

3D pass through via HDMIThe four HDMI inputs and one output will pass through 3D content, and this seems the only key concern here as the other main benefit of 1.4 – using your HDMI cable as an ethernet bridge between two network devices – is an irrelevance with this non-network cable machine.

More after the break

So it's down to the sound quality to redeem this admittedly nice-looking slab of electronics. Samsung's auto-set-up proves accurate, even if the lack of any on-screen menus makes navigation a touch fiddly.

Rivals still lead the wayWatching the Blu-ray of Pelham 123, with the Samsung doing the HD decoding, the tonal balance makes for easy listening and effects are steered accurately as part of a cohesive surround sound, but otherwise we're largely left non-plussed by what we hear.

Switch to the class-leading, same-priced Sony STR-DH800, and the greater detail, clarity and dynamics are instantly apparent.

Which leaves us? Well, with an AV amp that simply doesn't justify the initial excitement.

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