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Samsung's New Multi-Room Speakers

by on08 September 2015

A new family of multidirectional multi-room speakers

Samsung never shied away from making their products obsolete by launching new versions before the dust has even settled on the previous generation. The best smartwatch from the company was introduced in Berlin. Now it's time for home audio.

There are plenty of people who invest serious cash and time into creating the optimal hi-fi sound focused on that one special chair in their house. They get lost in the anger heavenly sung by Nina Simone, but if they only move the head a bit to the right, the magic is gone. You've probably met some of them, or visited an online forum where they discuss the pros and cons of a thousand dollar piece of three foot long power cable. Hint: most of it is bollocks, but quite a few companies make fortunes on the poor souls.

Most "real" audiophiles would never be seen with audio equipment marketed by Samsung. The company is a global leader in home audio and doesn't even play in the game we just described. They focus on the everyday usable technology with just enough audio quality to follow you as you live your life around the house. And, hey, vast majority of us are listening to compressed audio anyway. No amount of equipment will make that sound supreme.

There's a market segment in home audio where Sonos has the upper hand. It's multiroom speaker systems, WiFi enabled, semi-smart, smartphone-controllable and, most importantly, profitable. Well, Samsung is after a piece of that pie.

In Berlin, the company launched their newest family of such speakers. R1, R3 and R5 are, you guessed it, small - medium - large speaker meant to be distributed throughout the house and controlled from your handheald and wearable devices. The three are a follow up, or rather an expansion of the range started by the R7. Unlike the R7, the design of which we rather like, the three new speakers are relatively boring set of tubes.

They actually look very similar to Amazon's Echo. But are nowhere near as intelligent and are only meant to be used as speakers. No microphones, no digital assistants, no umbillical cord attaching them to a virtual shop.

Their redeeming quality is Samsung's "ring-radiator" technology, which distributes the sound evenly in all directions. Again, if you're not intending to sit in a single chair while listening to music, this is far better than your normal set of stereo speakers. We haven't heard them yet, but the sound should be better than your run of the mill bluetooth portable speaker.

It better be for a set of speakers that cost between $199 and $399.

Just as a design reference, here's a photo of the R7 model. You better not mix and match that with any of the three new family members.



Last modified on 08 September 2015
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