Samsung HT-E6500 review

5.1 system with 3D Blu-ray and streaming galore

Samsung HT-E6500

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For all of its features and all-round treatment of 3D Blu-ray movies, the HT-E6500 is a surprisingly musical home cinema at this relatively low end of the market.

It provides further proof that Bluetooth streaming from a smartphone to a sound system is fine for everyday use – Apple AirPlay is an expensive luxury that most of us can do without.

Elsewhere the HT-E6500 leaves little to chance with an exhaustive feature list and user-friendly interface.

It's also worth noting that set-up is a cinch – just link-up the speakers, place a wired microphone in your listening position, and an auto calibration wizard takes a couple of minutes to accurately calibrate the system.

We liked

With a warm sound ideal for music and a punchy treatment of movie soundtracks, this 3D Blu-ray home cinema system is so much more than it first appears.

The convenience of Bluetooth streaming from a smartphone and that Smart Hub content – as well as a wide compatibility with digital files – make the HT-E6500 hard to resist.

We disliked

The remote control's arrow buttons and natural thumb position is way too far down the thing – almost at the bottom – and though we do like the glow-in-the-dark operation buttons for Blu-rays and digital files, it's an all-round pretty poor attempt.

Meanwhile, we couldn't stream MKV files over a network, we don't like the USB slot being stored under a flap on the front, and while the wired iPod dock works fine, it's slightly unnecessary (given Bluetooth) and should probably have been kept as an optional add-on accessory.

Audio-wise, the subwoofer isn't as responsive as it could be, and the overall build quality is certainly nothing to get excited about.

Final verdict

A fine all-in-one attempt that makes up for a flimsy build quality by chumming-up Smart Hub with fine 3D and movie sonics, though it's the nod to musos – via both Bluetooth streaming from a smartphone and a warm valve amplifier-led soundstage – that make this a standout option for a living room.

Also consider

Samsung also sells the HT-E5500, which does away with the valve amplification and uses slightly lower quality speakers.

The other three brands competing in this one-box 3D Blu-ray arena are LG, Panasonic and Sony, whose BH9420PW, SC-BTT190 and BDV-E290, respectively, are the closest in both spec and price.

At the time of writing only the HT-E6500 was available to buy, so comparisons weren't possible.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),