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Samsung Audio Looking Radiant With New Wi-Fi Speakers

Samsung’s expanded selection of wireless-multiroom Radiant 360 speakers will begin appearing in stores mid-month, all dispersing sound in a 360-degree pattern so consumers hear balanced sound even when they’re moving around the room, the company said.

The new tabletop models are the R1 at $199, R3 at $299, and R5 at $399. All are cylinder-shaped, and they join the egg-shaped R7, launched earlier this year at $449. All fire their drivers into a round “acoustic lens,” with a physical peak in the middle, to disperse the drivers’ sound waves in a 360-degree pattern.

All integrate into a Wi-Fi-based multiroom-audio system with other audio products incorporating Samsung’s multiroom technology. Those products include wedge-shaped tabletop speakers and five soundbars, including straight and curved models, at prices from $499 to $1,299.

To support the rollout, Samsung developed shelf-top demonstrators with large touchscreens to select songs and music-video soundtracks to play through the three speakers on display. The demonstrator lets users select each speaker for playback and adjust volume. 

All of Samsung’s multiroom products are controlled from Samsung apps for iOS and Android phones and tablets. The products incorporate Wi-Fi to play back music stored on the smartphones and on networked PCs. The products also play back select cloud-based music services streamed through the Samsung app. One song can be distributed to all speakers in the house at one time, or different songs can be played simultaneously by different speakers.

All of the company’s Wi-Fi speakers can be paired for use as separate left-right speakers to widen the stereo image. And all can be mated with the company’s wireless-multiroom-equipped soundbars to operate as wireless surround speakers.

In addition, a total of five Wi-Fi speakers can be mated with any of Samsung’s Wi-Fi-equipped TVs available for the past two years to create a multichannel home theater system. The TVs feature Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 decoding and send music over a Wi-Fi network to the speakers. The speakers’ volume can be controlled from the TV’s remote or from Samsung’s app.

Also to enhance TV sound, a single speaker uses Bluetooth to connect to Samsung’s Bluetooth-equipped TVs.

The three new speakers feature controls on top. Consumers tap any spot on top to play or pause music, and they swipe across the top to play the next track or repeat a track. A volume control is also on top. The top two models also feature small OLED display on top to show volume in numerical increments as well as play and pause icons. The three speakers also feature voice confirmation of commands and successful Bluetooth pairing.

The new models can be used with Samsung’s new 2.0 multiroom app, which lets users select music and create playlists from a single screen.

All of the multiroom products decode multiple high-resolution audio formats, including WAV, ALAC, AIFF and FLAC up to 192kHz/24 bits. Music services include Milk Music, Pandora, TuneIn, Rhapsody, Amazon Cloud Player, iHeartRadio, Rdio, 8tracks, Spotify, 7 digital, Murfie and more.