A good start: Samsung’s multi-room M7 speaker reviewed
3.6Overall Score

Price (RRP): $499
Manufacturer: Samsung

Multi-room audio is set to be the next battleground for audio fanatics, as Samsung attempts to steal the crown from industry leader Sonos, which has long had a hold on the area it practically got people interested in the first place. Can Samsung manage to best Sonos on the first go?

Features

Curious about sound throughout your home? You’re not the only one, and for Samsung’s first product in the field, the company isn’t holding back, releasing two speakers and a hub to expand the system in your home.

In this review, we’re looking at the M7, Samsung’s bigger speaker of the two available, featuring two 19 mm tweeters, two 56mm mid-range speakers, and one 4 inch woofer, with all of this lending itself to the plastic chassis and making the entire thing weigh in at just under 4 kilograms, or more accurately 3.8kg.

Connecting to the speaker can be handled through Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, and there’s even support for Ethernet, too, if you prefer the stability of wired networking. Support for Near-Field Communication (NFC) is also present, a technology that will help start a Bluetooth connection for supported devices, making the connection just that much easier for Android and Windows Phone products.

A network connection will be needed for that multi-room audio, and if you have files on your network, this will read them too, able to play AAC, MP3, WAV, OGG, WMA, and even FLAC, though that last one can only handle up to 16-bit 44.1KHz files, leaving high-res audio mostly out of the picture.

If you already have an audio source, however, you can patch this in using the 3.5mm headset jack.

The Samsung M7 can be found in black or white, and can be expanded across the house using a Samsung Multi-room Hub, which is available as an optional extra, but isn’t needed to operate the M7 by itself.

Apps for the Samsung Multi-room setup exist for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS X.

Performance

Sonos may have pioneered the concept of multi-room audio, but it’s not the only company to take it on, and now that we all have smart devices that we carry around with us, it’s time to see another company enter the multi-room audio arena.

In case you’ve never heard of the concept before, it’s pretty simple: speakers all throughout your home that synchronise music and music services, to play audio in multiple rooms of your house at the same time.

In essence, the idea is that as you walk through your home, the music you’re listening to will follow you, playing out of the speaker in your living room, kitchen, bathroom, and back to your bedroom. If you so choose, you can change the music on a speaker by speaker basis, grouping the various speakers so they play different things, controlling them as you choose.

As we mentioned before, audio company Sonos practically pioneered the concept with its “Play” series of speakers which exist in a few types, and now Samsung is giving this a good and solid thwack to see what it can do to this area.