Home Theater Review


Samsung HT-E6500W Tube Home Theater System Reviewed

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Samsung-HT-E6500W-HTiB-review-small.jpgHigh Points
• Upon first glance, the visual appearance of the HT-E6500W seems to be first-rate and the glowing "tube cage" is very alluring.
• The HT-E6500W affords you both a Blu-ray source and a minimal AV receiver all in one.
• I like the concept behind the HT-E6500W's wireless rear speaker receiver.
• The Blu-ray player inside the HT-E6500W is very snappy in terms of load times and is quick to respond to menu commands.
• Returning the HT-E6500W to the store was more rewarding than listening to it or watching movies on it.

Low Points
• I'm calling BS on Samsung's claims that the tubes residing inside the main unit of the HT-E6500W system do anything other than generate heat - a lot of heat. If they are affecting the sound at all, I do not hear it, for the overall sound quality of the HT-E6500W is decidedly un-tube-like.
• The speakers themselves have no grilles of any kind, meaning they're easily damaged just taking them out of the box. I know, because I accidentally put my finger through one of the tweeters when removing it from its packaging. Because each speaker is individually wrapped in non-transparent foam padding, it is impossible to tell which side is which, thus the accidental damage that occurred.
• While the main unit has higher functionality for things like picture and audio quality, there appears to be a baseline setting that is not neutral or off, meaning that the HT-E6500W will "color" your picture and sound.
• As great an idea as the wireless rear receiver is, it doesn't seem fast enough or powerful enough to keep up with the action on screen, resulting in a very disjointed surround sound experience.
• The subwoofer cannot be made to blend seamlessly with the rest of the speakers - hell, the rest of the speakers cannot be made to blend with each other.

Comparison and Competition
Admittedly we do not review a lot of HTIB systems, partially because that's not our bag and partially because there seems to be a new one released every week. I'm not trying to knock HTIB systems, not at all, but it's just not what we really do here at Home Theater Review. That said, given the money Samsung feels they can charge for this pile of bile, you can buy a decent home theater system consisting of five speakers and an AV receiver for about the same money. I promise you it will sound better. I would recommend Pioneer's new SP Series of loudspeakers, which can be purchased in a 5.1 configuration for as little as $499.99. Add in the cost of a modest AV receiver, maybe one of Sony's new $200 or $300 offerings, and you're right around the cost of the HT-E6500W, and your system will sound so much better. If you're willing to increase your budget to $1,000 total, whole new worlds will open up for you.

If you're looking for simplicity, then there are always soundbars, many of which do a better job at both two-channel music and surround sound than the Samsung HT-E6500W system. Did I mention that many of the earlier-referenced soundbars are also less expensive than the Samsung HT-E6500W?

For more on these products and others, please visit Home Theater Review's Soundbar page.

What can I say about the Samsung HT-E6500W Vacuum Tube Home Theater System at a little over $700 retail, other than "Skip it"? I mean it, don't even waste your time or be fooled by its supposed "audiophile sound quality" - there isn't any to be had. I found nothing redeeming about the Samsung HT-E6500W system and, if you're looking to get into home theater, there are better, more affordable ways to do so.

Additional Resources
• Read more soundbar reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• See Bookshelf Speaker and Floorstanding Speaker reviews in our review sections.
• Explore subwoofers in our Subwoofer Review section.

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