Samsung HT-X810T Soundbar

May 26, 2008 by



Samsung HT-X810T soundbar home theater system

If your main concern when choosing an audio system for your flat screen TV is lack of space, you should certainly learn more about the HT-X810T. This unit comes with a wireless subwoofer, which makes the idea of having a sound bar much more appealing. Besides the basic audio capabilities, you will also get an included DVD player, which is certainly a plus. If this wasn’t enough, the system has Bluetooth receiver capability, which basically means that any device which has Bluetooth, such as phones or MP3 players can be connected to it. Keep in mind that Apple devices can’t be connected without buying a separate dongle.

Design
The first thing that you will notice when looking at the Samsung HT-X810T is the fact that it is much tall than other sound bars. It measures no less than 7.1 inches in height, 39.3 inches in width and the system is 5.6 inches deep. Luckily, the unit doesn’t weigh more than 17.5 pounds which means that you can mount on your wall with the included bracket without having to call a professional. The system is quite large, but this is necessary for perfect sound quality.

A simple display can be noticed on the top of the speaker, along with a few touch sensitive buttons. The LED display isn’t the best one around and it will be hard to read especially if you have a large room. If you plan on using the HDMI output, the menu will appear on the screen, which means that you won’t have to worry about the tiny LED display.

The DVD player is located at the middle of the sound bar and you can switch the discs through a flip down door. The black metal grille which covers the speakers can’t be removed and it gives the HT-X810T a unique look. The grille hides two 75 watt speakers which will offer strong enough sound for small or medium sized rooms. While the sound bar has white edges, the 5.8GHz wireless subwoofer is completely black and comes in a different style. This piece is 16.2 inches tall, 12.7 inches deep, 10 inches wide and it only weights 19.6 pounds.

The fact that you won’t have to run any cable from the sub to the sound bar is one of the best parts about the HT-X810T. The only thing that you should worry about when placing the subwoofer is that there should be a line of sight between the listener and this piece of equipment. By finding the right location, the quality of the sound will be dramatically increased. Both the subwoofer and the sound bar will attract fingerprints, but you can erase them with the soft cloth included in the package.

Setting up the HT-X810T
The people from Samsung tried their best to make the set up process easy for everyone. The easiest job is making the subwoofer work. It will start automatically and it will detect the sound bar without any help from your part. When this happens, a blue light will appear on the front panel of your subwoofer. You will have to turn the sub on by pressing the power button, which is a minor inconvenience, considering the fact that you can do it with the remote on other systems. If some other equipment interferes with the signal from the subwoofer, you can change the ID setting with your remote control. This remote can control your Samsung TV, but you can program it to control other TV sets too. The remote is powered by two AAA batteries which are included in the package. Getting used to the controls will take a while, but if you read the manual, it shouldn’t be a problem.

The outputs used for connecting the system to your flat screen TV are: component, composite and HDMI. As for the inputs, the system comes with two analog connectors and one single optical digital in. This isn’t the system with the best connectivity options, but it gets the job done, especially if you don’t plan on connecting a lot of sources.

There are some problems with the HT-X810T when it comes to connectivity. Most people expect a rapid response after they change the input or audio mode. This system will make you wait for around 5 seconds or cut the sound for a couple of seconds before switching to your preferred option. This means that if you press the mode button accidentally and you want to switch it back, you will lose around 5 seconds of audio from your movie or song. The input will be automatically switched if you plug in a USB device or place a CD in, but this is not necessarily a good thing.

 

Samsung HT-X810T soundbar

Sound and Video quality
The Samsung HT-X810T is a compete system which can play various formats. You can use the built in disc player for upscaling DVDs to 720p, 1080i or 1080p resolution through the HDMI output or simply listen to some music straight from your mobile phone through the Bluetooth connection. However, if your TV can upscale movies itself, you should consider leaving this task up to it. The HT-X810T is not exactly great at improving video quality and if you are using component video, the result can’t go over 480p. The only drawback is the fact that the system can’t read Blu Ray discs. The file formats which can be recognized are as follows; for audio: MP3 and WMA and for video DivX, Xvid, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and WMV. You can also look at JPEG photos. The system comes with a built in USB port which can be used for flash drives. If you want to listen to music with your headphones on, you can plug them in the 3.5mm audio jack.

The 150 watt subwoofer is powerful, but not always clear. You will have to keep the volume under control because if you turn it to maximum, the sound will lose some of its clarity. The sound bar has the power of filling an entire room with immersive sound, but only to a certain extent. The sound appears to be coming from a large 2.1 system when listening to music, but it can’t be compared to that of a full blown 5.1 channel audio unit. When watching a movie, the Virtual Sound processing system will get the job done, but some explosions might ruin your movie watching experience if the volume is cranked up to the maximum. If you are in a medium or small sized room, this shouldn’t be a problem. There is a Smart Volume feature available, but it won’t make much of a difference in most cases.

The music quality is always high and you won’t notice a difference between listening to a CD or to the music coming from your USB device. The sounds will be clear and the system will hit every note, no matter the genre you are listening to. If you are playing something through your Blue-tooth connection, you might hear discrepancies, but this happens rarely and it is barely noticeable.

When it comes to video quality, you will have to play a little with the connections. The HDMI output should offer you top quality video, but you might want to experiment with the component one just to see if you can get a better result. This mainly depends on the type of TV set you own and the compatibility between the two units.  After that, you will enjoy the capabilities of this audio system. Minor tweaking is required if you switch between watching movies or watching the sports channel, but in the end, the video quality is close to perfection and the average user won’t have anything to complain about. The surround sound gets the job done to a certain extent, but you shouldn’t expect a 360 effect.

Pros and Cons
The HT-X810T is not only a great sound bar, but it is also a DVD console which can deal with all of your video and audio playback needs. You won’t need to get an AV receiver and the upscaling feature won’t disappoint you. Plus, you will get the Bluetooth subwoofer which will drastically increase the sound quality. This system can also play music from other Bluetooth devices and it comes with a USB port which is also a great advantage.

Unfortunately, the system is not particularly focused on the surround sound capabilities; you won’t notice anything special in this department and the lack of the Blu-ray player will only lower your desire of getting the HT-X810T.  The HDMI connection seems to be your best bet, but the lack of a HDMI cable or guarantee that this type of set up will offer the best quality is surely a drawback.

Conclusion
The Samsung HT-X810T is an all-in-one system recommended to those who want to keep loose cables to a minimum and don’t plan on placing the unit in a very large room. If you don’t have a lot of audio and video sources, this is the perfect sound bar for you. The price of $700 is reasonable for what you get, but there are a few other sounds bars out there which come at a similar price and might be better for you, depending on what you need.

Buy Samsung HT-X810T – Home theater system
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