Moving to sound quality, the same scene is reproduced with a surprising amount of power and drive. As Whiplash slices through F1 cars they come crashing to the ground with a meaty thud, loud explosions have a rich and forceful bottom end, while the crack and snap of Vanko’s DIY whips is crisp and cutting.
Elsewhere, AC/DC’s high-octane rock soundtrack sounds suitably upfront and energetic, although with this and other bass-heavy moments the passive subwoofer is a little overzealous, offering a resonant sound that lacks the punch of a good powered sub, but it’s by no means a disaster.
Aside from that the HT-C7300 is a very competent performer. When the action hots up, high frequencies are sharp and attacking without sounding overly harsh, which lends an exciting dynamic to the showdown between Iron Man and War Machine. And during quiet scenes the system manages to dig out plenty of gentle detail and background ambience, plus dialogue is conveyed clearly. V.Sound doesn’t adequately spread the sound as much as we’d hoped, and you can forget about surround sound.
Although music playback lacks the finesse and neutrality of dedicated stereo hi-fis and more expensive receiver/speaker combos, it’s actually impressive. There’s lots of detail, nice rhythmic drive and solid bottom end, as long as you keep the subwoofer level in check. Vocals sound a tad thin but by all-in-one system standards it’s a fine effort.
Samsung’s combination of cutting-edge features, living-room friendly looks and decent AV performance once again does the trick, making the HT-C7300 a great solution for those who can’t accommodate rear speakers. Sure, there are reminders of its budget approach in the plasticky speaker design and crude subwoofer performance, but when you consider everything else you get for the money – wireless media streaming, internet and BD Live access, HDMI inputs, all-encompassing format support and eye-popping Blu-ray pictures – it really is hard to judge the HT-C7300 too harshly for these relatively minor flaws, and as such it certainly warrants further investigation.