Samsung has announced the availability of its Wireless Audio 360 speakers at an event in London, following their original launch at CES 2015. There are two speakers in the range – the R6 and the R7 – both of which have a very distinct design and some interesting tech within them.
Multi-room speakers are all the rage at the moment, with numerous companies after a slice of the Sonos pie, including Sony, Denon and LG, so what does Samsung bring to the table that the others don't?
Primarily, it's the design that makes the R6 and R7 stand out from the crowd. They certainly look different, with spaceships and dinosaur eggs both springing to mind, but they deliver something else too – 360-degree sound.
The Samsung R6 is the smaller of the two speakers, offering portability and wireless audio for £400. The R7 on the other hand, is slightly larger and is available for £500, so neither are cheap by any stretch of the imagination.
Samsung said it had to change the way it developed loud speakers in order to achieve the 360-degree sound. A spokesperson for the company said it had to take a more scientific approach and compared the precision of the design to the way NASA tweaks every dimension to the millimetre in order to get the best performance.
Inside both speakers is a woofer that unusually faces downwards and a tweeter that fires upwards. Samsung has then introduced an acoustic lens on either end, which the sound waves from the woofer and tweeter hit to create a ripple effect. The result is that the sound appears to come from all around the room rather than where the speaker itself is and we also found there was minimal vibrating.
Both speakers sounded impressive from our short experience with them, but we will wait until our full review to pass our final judgement on them. They do look great though and the 360-degree sound does work, although to get the full effect, the speaker needs to be placed in the centre of a room. This is where you need to love the design as the R6 and R7 aren't just speakers, they are statement pieces.
Both are multi-room compatible so they will work with each other, individually, as well as with Samsung's multiroom enabled TVs, soundbars and other devices. They can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet with the multiroom 2.0 app and no additional hardware is required to connect them.
The Samsung Wireless Audio 360 range is available at retailers including John Lewis and Richer Sounds, with the R6 hitting the shelves at £399.95 and the R7 at £499.95.