If you were seduced by the swanky looks of the 2.1-channel HT-X810R system but would prefer the full 5.1-channel experience then the HT-X715 could be right up your alley. It shares many of the same features and design characteristics as the 810, but adds those all-important centre and rear channels to deliver home cinema sound as it was meant to be heard.
The point of a system like this is to remove the hassle that comes with piecing together a separates system, and its affordable price tag allows you to bring good quality cinema sound into your home without breaking the bank.
As is the norm with Samsung kit, this system is absolutely stunning. All of the components are decked out in the gently red-tinted ‘rose black' finish found on some of the company's TVs, without an angle or straight line in sight. There aren't many companies producing systems with this much style and originality, and for that Samsung should be applauded.
The slim main unit houses a DVD/CD player, all the relevant decoding and 800W of amplification, and its dual layout means you can either place it vertically or horizontally on a table top. When turned off its featureless face gives it an appealingly mysterious air, but fire it up and a display panel appears in the centre, plus there's a row of touch-sensitive buttons and a discreet disc slot along the top edge.
The HT-X715 comes with a pair of fairly tall front speakers (which can be perched on circular stands or mounted on the wall), a pair of smaller rears (also wall-mountable) and a horizontally shaped centre speaker, all of which require no assembly - just take them out of the box and plonk them in place. All of the speakers compliment the main unit beautifully and although their slightly plasticky feel betrays their budget origins, they feel sturdy enough to stay the course.
Also in the box is a passive subwoofer that on first glance looks uncannily like a big toaster. Unusually, one half is covered in speaker cloth while the other is gloss black, and the whole thing is propped up on four chunky feet.