Samsung HT-DB600 review: Samsung HT-DB600

Our DB600 played media in all the standard formats, such as CDs, DVD-Video discs, CD-R/RWs, MP3-encoded CDs, and every kind of recordable DVD except DVD-RW.

Samsung also offers a nearly identical step-up model, the HT-DB650. For a retail price just $50 more than the DB600's, the DB650 provides an automated setup feature that measures speaker-to-listener distances and adjusts the levels of all the speakers and the subwoofer.

Few budget HTIBs can match the DB600's supple and powerful bass response, and the satellites' midrange and treble clarity was likewise more refined than the competition's. The advantages of the sats' two-way design were obvious.

The Good Thief DVD is a soulful and artsy variation on the classic heist movie. The action itself didn't present much of a sonic challenge, but the funky soundtrack fully exercised the system. As we watched the thieves drill, grind, and torch their way to the booty, the DB600 pulled us into the story and let us feel the sounds' textures. Speaking of physical sensations, during one of the Spider-Man DVD's early fight scenes, the sub's front-mounted port blew out a gust of air when Tobey Maguire landed a punch! Furthermore, the DB600's center speaker handled dialogue as if it were a much bigger model.

Even at the maximum volume, the DB600 never distorted the sound or seemed strained, but we couldn't play the Apocalypse Now Redux DVD very loudly. This kit certainly performs best in rooms 160 square feet or smaller.

When we compared the DB600 directly with Sony's DAV-FC7 Dream system (listed at $600), we gave the decisive nod to the Samsung for music. On DVDs, the sound-quality competition essentially ended in a draw, but the Sony played movies a little more loudly.

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