Samsung Gets Serious With Multi Room Hi Fi Gear, Is Sonos Under Threat?
This is no more evident than with their new R Series speaker range that consists of the R5, R3 and R1.
I first saw this 360-degree audio technology 12 months ago, since then Samsung has significantly enhanced the software that is wrapped around their new multiroom wireless speakers.
Earlier this week I was looking at an instore merchandiser for Sonos at a JB Hi Fi store when a sales executives walked up to me and said that before I consider a Sonos system I should look at comparing the new Samsung Multi room system. “It’s 24-bit high res audio, it can disperse audio in every direction, no matter where the speaker is placed in the home” he said.
Philip Newton, Corporate Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Electronics Australia. “These speakers will deliver amazing sound quality from almost any position in the home, this is due to the 360-degree, omnidirectional, design that has been engineered to disperse audio evenly and in every direction.”
The unlock to Samsung’s new found success in Hi Fi is a brand new audio lab set up in the USA that already has 800 staff. This is a professional 510,966 square metre facility that has two anechoic chambers, two listening rooms and one demonstration room.
The standalone research centre is headed by veteran audio engineer Allan Devantier, he is the man who headed Harman Kardon’s research team prior to joining Samsung.
Today he leads a team of top audio researchers and engineers who have hundreds of hours of experience working for leading audio technology brands, between them they have 3 PHDs, 4 Masters’ Degrees, and five active musicians.
Recently there was speculation that Samsung was interested in buying Sonos who some analysts claim is facing” tough new competition” after having the top end of the multi room market to themselves for nearly a decade.
Samsung never shied away from making their products obsolete as soon as new technology comes along.
At SmartHouse and ChannelNews we want to run a blind hearing test between the Sonos Play 5 and the new Samsung top end speaker, we want to test whether there is a difference and whether Hi Fi buffs who love to sit in front of their two speaker systems can tell the difference between a $5,000 two channel audio system and the new $699 Samsung R7 speaker.
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 a two-metre-long power cable.
Some say this is a right load of bollocks, but quite a few companies make fortunes flogging premium sound gear to Hi Fi enthusiasts.
Most “real” audiophiles would never be seen with audio equipment marketed by Samsung.
A few weeks ago in Berlin I got to listen to Samsung’s newest family of such speakers. R1, R3, R5 and R 7 speakers and I was impressed.
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.
The new R Series range delivers high-quality and balanced sound through a circular design that can disperse audio in every direction, no matter where the speaker is placed in the home. Easy to transport and install around the home through their table-top design, the speakers feature a simple tap-and-swipe user interface, as well as integration with the latest Samsung Multiroom mobile application.
The R5, R3 and R1 models exclusively feature new physical control options for a hassle-free and intuitive user experience. Consumers can now change the volume, play, pause, or select a different music source all with a gentle touch, tap or swipe on top of the speaker.
Sound that follows you seamlessly
The R5, R3 and R1 models are controlled through the updated Multiroom App for Android and iOS devices.
The app – now with a revamped design and user interface – allows users to universally search across all connected devices to select music, and create playlists all from a single screen, making it possible to seamlessly share music across compatible Wi-Fi connected devices throughout the home.
Pricing and availability
. Samsung R1 speaker – RRP $299, available [October]
. Samsung R3 speaker – RRP $499, available [October]
. Samsung R5 speaker – RRP $649, available [October]
. Samsung R6 Portable speaker – RRP $599, available [Now]
. Samsung R7 speaker – RRP $699, available [Now]
To learn more about the new range of R Series speakers, please visit http://samsung.com.au/tv/audio