Samsung HW C700 Home Cinema Amplifier Review
There is probably no need for the South Korean Samsung brand to be introduced to anyone. Several audio and hi-fi products, mobile phones, smart devices, smart TVs, as well as a wide range of household electronics are manufactured at the Samsung factories, but of course including home cinema amplifiers.
Let’s have a closer look of Samsung’s HW C700 home cinema amplifier!
Specifications are the following:
It has a power of 7×120 Watts, measures 430 x 164 x 368 mm and weighs only 6 kg. It also supports Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby ProLogic II / x / z, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-ES, and DTS-HD to meet contemporary requirements.
The amplifier has 4 HDMI 1.4 inputs, 1 HDMI output, 2 component inputs and 1 output, 7.1 analog inputs, 3 optical and 1 coaxial digital audio inputs, 5 composite video inputs and 1 composite video output. It also has an iPod dock input and 2 subwoofer outputs.
Samsung HW C700’s design
In terms of aesthetic the amplifier is stylish and has a straightforward square shape. The front panel is brushed, although it is not really made of metal, but of painted plastic, however, it does not spoil the overall picture. The clean front panel features an LCD display, a volume control, as well as a power button. The bottom cover of the front panel hides all the necessary buttons for full control, as well as front panel connectors to plug in headphones, a microphone, and video players via composite connections. On the back of the device are the connections already listed, as well as the FM antenna connector and the RCA input.
During amplifier setup using the remote control, we discovered a missing link, namely that of the OSD function. As a result, we had to do all settings using the front panel display and control buttons, and it takes some time to get to know the menu and the setting options it offers.
Apart from this, settings wasn’t complicated. The amplifier has a Smart Volume function, which prevents distortions that may result from sound equalisation. To our pleasant surprise we discovered that the device features an automatic room correction system rather unusual in this price range. With the help of a microphone, the ASC software was able to make quite accurate and appropriate settings.
The remote control that came with the amplifier has not been backlit, which is not very practical for a home theatre system you would want to operate with the remote control in the dark. There is almost no difference between the buttons, which also makes it difficult to navigate the menu in darkness.
HD signals are processed with a slight delay, but their quality did not deteriorate. The audio signal is passed through the HDMI connection without compression, so we did not experience any loss. The fact that the iPod dock is standard on the device is a great advantage of the Samsung HW C700 amplifier.
The main menu offers 13 options, including sound setting, speaker size and distance, speaker level, test tone, bass and treble control, room calibration setting, mp3 enhancer, HDMI settings, and more. There are options in the menu to adjust the speakers: you can select the size and number of speakers you intend to configure in your system. The speaker level controls the relative volume of each speaker separately.
We tested the Samsung HW C700 amplifier in the home theatre room of one of our precious customers. We connected the amplifier together with a Dynaudio speaker system. In order for the device to provide truly satisfactory performance, it is important to set up the right sound system. In addition, we must pay attention – whether we are talking about a home theatre room or a studio – to the acoustic treatment of the walls and ceiling of the room. This can be done after appropriate measuring with sound-absorbing and diffuser panels specially developed for acoustic purposes. So called acoustic elements such as sound absorbers made of sponge and foam are not suitable at all for optimising sound quality due to their inherent material structures.
To start our testing, we were curious about the amplifier abilities to play music contents, so we opted for a song jointly produced by Black Eyed Peas and Shakira, the Girl like me. We had a quite dynamic, rather muscular audio, but at the same time we noted that high tones were pretty much concealed making the sound artificial and unnatural. Digital effects were exaggerated and wide stage picture was also lacking.
We also tested the amplifier for videos. We watched the sci-fi Geostorm presented in 2017. Dynamics, intense basses, and clarity were not missing from the sound produced by the HW C700. Images were sharp, which is not surprising at all speaking of a Samsung product. The surround sound was also absolutely ideal, we had the feeling of spaciousness.
Sound traps with diffuser- If a good look is important146 € – 155 € +Vat
Flexi acoustic panel with adjustable wooden slats194 € – 287 € +Vat
Samsung’s amplifier is not a premium device. The most unambiguous the design and make (case made of plastic), the cheap it is necessarily, nevertheless the overall look of the amplifier leaves nothing to be desired, it remains elegant, yet modern. Setting up the menu was simple and hassle-free, but the OSD feature was severely lacking.
Due to its unusually low weight, placing it wont be a problem. The presence of a video-supported iPhone, iPod dock is a major advantage for the amplifier, as is the automatic room calibration system. It is also capable of full HD audio support via HDMI, but there is no input level control, no FM radio, no on-screen menu and no remote control backlight, which are disadvantages for a movie theatre.
For listening to music, choose another, more expensive category device or a stereo amplifier made specifically for audio systems. Unfortunately, the musical sound lags behind the performance of the home theatre amplifiers we tested in the past.
We were not satisfied with either the stereo sound or the quality of the high tones; the sound suffered from strong digital effects, and realistic or natural sound was seriously missing. However, the HW C700 home cinema amplifier proved to be absolutely ideal for watching movies. The pictures were fantastically sharp and beautiful, the colours and shades accurate, the spaciousness excellent.
For those looking for perfection, it’s worth investing in a more expensive home theatre amplifier, but for those who don’t want to spend too much or use the amplifier primarily for watching movies, you might want to buy the Samsung HW C700.