A New Kind of Shape

Didn't you alway wanted to fill the whole house with the same music, so that you do not have to carry around your CD initially or you mp3 player... or whatever? Now you can get wi-fi connected speakers and it is finally coming mainstream. Samsung's Wi-Fi Shape speaker (@ $399.99) is covering this and even moves the concept two steps further: it allows for both a multi-room experience (or course with multiple pieces) and it runs Bluetooth and NFC for maximum flexibility.

Shape M7

This system is just as versatile system that sounds and looks great, though the user experience isn't quite as top notch.

With quite easy setup the system can be in place in a matter of minutes, particularly with the optional Hub, (that sells for an extra $49.99). If you do not decide to spend the extra money for the Hub, an M7 speaker can still be set up on a Wi-Fi network fairly painlessly — through the router needs a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button to sync up (that are not existing on the older Apple AirPorts).

Samsung Shape M7

Once the speaker is registered with your network you can control it through your smartphone – Smartphone multiroom app (iOS and Android). Even for the wired connections there is an Ethernet port on the back but the USB port's only function is just for the firmware updates.

The app may be the weak link – it functions decently with an easy drag and drop use. IT still has some rough edges to polish – some delays or funny typos... but the streaming of internet radios as of Amazon Cloud Player, Rhapsody or Pandora are nicely supported by the system. Playing music from your phone or tablet on your networked PC's music library is a given supported by the Samsung Link.

The speakers sound full and rich and with the Hub, you can network multiple M7 speakers. That will allow for an all-room synchronized music. You can also have each speaker play songs independently – and all that controlled via the app. Also, volume, EQ and mute can also be accessed for each speaker. The controls glow at the top of the Shape's mirror style top surface – all touch sensitive. That area also houses the NFC touch point, a mute/power key, and a silver-fringed volume knob.

Shape from Samsung

The speakers are providing an appropriately deep bass and clear highs. The sound is less impressive when streaming music via Bluetooth. The midrange is good, but that's it, vocals and rock sound great, but anything with big bass or true highs will be lacking.

The design of the M7 speakers is attractive – wedge-shaped — and that makes them good for corner placement either horizontally or vertically. In the vertical position a pair of Shapes can serve up stereo sound (again controlled via the app).
The stereo option is compatible with other Samsung gear, especially by pairing the Shapes with a compatible Samsung TV. They are light enough to move from room to room, but not considered portable.
Stick to wi-fi listening and the Shape will give you great sound, but the really great outcome comes when more than one is connected to the network. That gives you complete control of what you're listening across multiple rooms, all managed from your phone. All these induce the tolerance toward a few app hiccups.

To conclude, it is not a cheap system @ $400 each Shape, but is as convenient as the whole-house gets. Sleek design, polished sound, easy to set up coming with a wonky app, and with a noticeably compressed sound through bluetooth – Great multi room wireless audio option with and although the added flexibility of Bluetooth connectivity detracts from sound quality, it's always nice to have the option.


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