Finally we turn to music playback, and although its performance isn’t quite as assured as movie playback, the quality of CD reproduction is still a cut above most one-box systems. We auditioned a range of jazz CDs, including Miles Davis, Astrud Gilberto and John Coltrane, and the Samsung gets close to the refinement and neutrality needed to do justice to these beautiful recordings.
That said, there’s some slight colouration and brightness to the sound it doesn’t completely convince in the same way as a decent separates system. But that will only worry discerning audiophiles at whom this system isn’t necessarily aimed – most regular users will be more than happy with the smoothness, balance and detail afforded by this system.
With its astonishingly stylish design, superb performance and cavalcade of features – surely the most comprehensive line-up ever seen on an all-in-one – the HT-C9950W is a very special home cinema system. It’s the sort of product that could restore your faith in one-box systems, or home cinema in general, and with its 3D and network functionality it’s as cutting-edge as they come.
It’s not perfect though, as there are a few operational issues and minor sonic shortcomings that might be sidestepped with separates, plus at close to £2k it’s a hugely expensive proposition by typical one-box system standards – luckily the glorious design and features go most of the way to justifying it. If that’s too pricey, then check out the HT-C6930W as a cheaper but less glamorous alternative.