Overall, the HT-D6750W’s sound quality is good by usual all-in-one standards, but a few sonic shortcomings remind you of the system’s cost-conscious origins.
With Inception’s DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack, the HT-D6750W reproduces the loud, powerful orchestral stabs with considerable force and without any clear evidence of distortion or cabinet rattle, even with the volume pushed beyond a comfortable listening level. Underpinning the sharp orchestral notes are long bass tones, which sound deep and foreboding.
It also has no trouble picking out the soundtrack’s delicate high-res detail. The supplied speakers demonstrate surprising sensitivity for an all-in-one system, drawing out subtle background detail like the hushed voices and gentle murmur of traffic as Cobb and Ariadne walk the streets, or the ambience within the Mombasa café as Cobb and Eames chat about the job. That makes the sound seem airy and multi-layered, and because the rear speakers boast similar detail-handling prowess it makes for an absorbing soundstage all around the room.
Dialogue is perfectly audible too – even during frenetic action scenes you can clearly discern what characters are saying, plus shouting causes no sibilance or distortion.
Although the sound is crisp and dynamic, when the system is being driven at high volumes some of the high-frequency effects prove a little too much for the speakers to handle. For example, as Cobol henchmen chase Cobb through the Mombasa streets, the metallic chink of gunfire has a little too much ‘edge’, not the neutral, controlled tone that you’d get from a more proficient system. The same problem occurs when Ariadne shatters the mirror – as the glass hits the floor the sound is slightly too hard on the ear. That said, the level of harshness is nowhere near as bad as some rival systems.
Another problem involves the subwoofer, which delivers a deep rumble to bolster key action scenes, but inevitably, there’s a lack of grip and tautness – ideally bass would be punchier. But this is one of the downsides of passive subwoofers.
But back to the positives, and Vertical Surround is an effective addition to the feature list. During the scene in Terminator Salvation showing a helicopter flying across the ocean through wind and rain, it gives the impression that the ambient rain effects are coming from above the listening position. It’s not easy to pin-point the source of the sound, but the soundstage certainly feels fuller and more immersive with Vertical Surround engaged.
As for 3D Sound, you can hear a slight boost in depth and richness when activated, but the result isn’t wholly satisfying, making the sound a little coloured – some listeners may like the effect.
As for picture quality, it passes pixels to our test TV without any issues. Images look deep and punchy, with few artefacts to speak of besides inherent film grain. Detail retrieval is superb, edges are smooth and it renders colour blends, shadow detail and tricky skin tones without any trouble.
These qualities are present with both 2D and 3D images – with the latter it picks up where the BD-D6900 left off with its stable reproduction of Avatar’s deep, detailed layers. As we found with Panasonic’s 2D-to-3D conversion, Samsung’s mode is no match for real 3D, but with 2D discs like Avatar you can get some fairly effective results.
The HT-D6750W presents us with a bit of a conundrum. On paper, it’s an astonishing proposition, boasting an incredible feature list that reads like an A to Z of current home cinema trends, plus the external styling and jazzy onscreen design are real treats for the eyes. We like the new audio features too, particularly Vertical Surround with those distinctive swivel speakers.
But in action, a couple of sonic shortcomings take a little sheen off the overall package. So you have to ask yourself – is it worth tolerating these relatively minor flaws to get your hands on all that other good stuff, given that such compromises are inevitable when opting for an all-in-one system? After much consideration we’d have to say yes – the HT-D6750W definitely deserves a place on your shopping list.