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Sound Quality On LE40M86BD

by Vincent Teoh
15 April 2007

Audio

Normally you would expect to find TV speakers paraded either at the bottom or at both sides of the panel, but then again the Samsung LE40M86BD is far from conventional. Playing a game of hide-and-seek, the 2 speakers – rated at 10 watt each – are stowed away inside the bottom of the panel, firing the sound downwards/ backwards.

Understandably sound quality (especially stereo separation and transparency) is ruined somewhat by this unorthodox design. It still sounds much better than the Samsung LE40F71BX due to an expanded dynamic range and soundstage, probably helped by improved woofers and cabinet enclosure.

Here's my take on the preset sound modes available on the Samsung LE40M86BD:

  • Standard: This is my preferred mode.
  • Music: Reduces the midrange so much that dialogues become distant.
  • Movie: Boomy bass with frequent low-end distortions even at normal volume.
  • Speech: Emphasises the midrange at the expense of bass.

The "SRS TruSurround XT" option sounded more enveloping to my ears so I used that a lot, but the "Auto Volume" was too erratic for my liking so I left it off.

All in all, the internal speakers are adequate for your day-to-day programmes, but don't expect it to replace a dedicated home theatre system for critical viewing.

     
  Samsung LE40M86BD Sound Meter
     
  Resolution Below average
  Transient Response Average
  Dynamic Range Average
  Stereo Separation Below average
  Dispersion Average
  Volume Average
     
  Notes SRS TruSurround XT enabled
     

Background Noise

No buzzing or humming could be heard even from 1 feet away in front of the Samsung LE40M86BD. When changing Freeview channels there were the intermittent pops and crackles (which may be specific to our set) as the channels were initialised.

Back To: LE40M86BD Review

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