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The HT-BD1252 is a variation on the HT-BD1250 Blu-ray system we reviewed last year, which we actually quite liked despite its slightly uncouth sound quality. Whereas that system came equipped with a set of four compact bookshelf-style speakers for the front and rear channels, the HT-BD1252 boasts a pair of tallboys for the fronts and bookshelf speakers for the rear, so we’re curious to find out how this new configuration impacts on the overall audio quality. The HT-BD1255 offers another variation on the theme, with four tallboy satellite speakers in the box.
Thankfully the 1252 is every bit as attractive as its stable mates, particularly the main unit, which plays Blu-ray/DVD discs, processes the sound and supplies 1000W of audio amplification. Its design is Samsung through and through, decorated in a deep gloss black finish that gets covered in dust and fingerprints quicker than you can say Mr Sheen. The inwardly sloping sides and curved corners also give it that distinctive Samsung allure, but it’s the touch sensitive buttons and blue-lit volume dial along the top that’ll draw the most "oohs" and "aahs" from visitors.
The tallboy front speakers come in two pieces that slot into each other, with a recess running up the spine to conceal the cable. The top section houses the actual speaker while the lower section is hollow, and the whole thing sits on a circular base. On the inside the cones are fashioned from Bio Kelp, which Samsung claims can deliver a more detailed sound than conventional speaker cone materials.
As we joined them together, we were taken aback by the poor build quality of the components. It’s not a great surprise at this sort of price but nevertheless it doesn’t suggest amazing sound quality is on the cards. The speakers are light, plasticky and not completely rigid, while the tiny springclips on the back don’t offer the tightest or most reliable cable connection possible.
That said, take a step back and these thin glossy columns look quite dashing. Although they’re more imposing than the bookshelf speakers, we doubt you’ll mind them taking centre stage in your living room – just don’t let anyone touch them…