Tech

REVIEW: Samsung Wireless Audio 360 R1 speaker

While many audiophile friends have introduced (and ruined) me to the wonders of high fidelity sound, when I’m alone at home watching The Crown on Netflix, I couldn’t care less about the sound quality of my cheap, China-made computer speakers. I’m not opposed to the idea of hearing the nuances of Jared Harris’ coughing, so I gave Samsung’s new wireless speakers from its Radiant 360 range, the Samsung Wireless Audio 360 R1 speaker, a shot.

At 9 inches tall, Samsung Wireless Audio 360 R1 is the most petite of the range’s cylindrical speakers, which makes it an ideal for desktop use. Design-wise, it’s sleek, unobtrusive and stealth, being all black.

samsung-2

Operating it for the first time, while not exactly a challenge, does take a bit of patience as with all wireless devices. First, I downloaded the Samsung Multiroom 2.5 app to my mobile phone (it’s compatible even with non-Samsung devices). While waiting, I tried connecting it to my laptop via Bluetooth and it did that easily. Once the download was finished, I keyed in my WiFi password. You have to be connected to both Bluetooth and WiFi to be able to access the speaker. Fast WiFi is required. Once connected, you can access your saved music, or listen via various music services like Spotify. Just go to your music app’s settings and connect to Samsung R1.

Now, sound quality. Of course, when you have budget speakers as comparison, the R1’s sound quality would be far superior. Luckily, I also have a Hi-Fi setup that gives me a high-low perspective — 360, you might call it.

Samsung Wireless Audio 360 R1’s claim to fame is omnidirectional sound. Samsung’s Ring Radiator technology allows dual acoustic lenses to transmit sound from the speaker from all angles — actually, no angles since the cylinder is all speaker, unlike the traditional speaker, which has to be angled towards the listener for best results.

Sound quality itself is great. I say this as a consumer and not as an expert, just so you know. I always test speakers with Queen’sSomebody to Love. Audio equipment stores always have a Queen CD (and an Eagles CD) lying around, and experts have said Bohemian Rhapsody is the best song to test speakers with. But I like this song better. The Who’s Baba O’Riley was the next song — they say if the intro doesn’t make you dizzy, because the sound shifting from left to right, you’re listening with the wrong speaker. Given that the Samsung R1 has no left and right, just a singluar, compact body, it’s still able to isolate a little bit — my eardrums tingled, a good thing. Several songs after, I gave in and played Heaven Is A Place On Earth. I mean if that first “Ooh, baby” doesn’t hit you right in the heart, it’s no good, right? And it does, at what ever volume.

As a desktop speaker, even a living room speaker, the Samsung R1 delivers. You can hear the sound clearly from the next room, as if the device is right next to you. I like the clarity and brightness, even at a low volume. And even though there are only three buttons to press (mode, and volume + and -), the bass adjusts nicely to loudness. Best place the device in the middle of the room at ear level, so as not to defeat its purpose. But the floor is fine, too. Make sure you have good WiFi because the device’s connectivity is quite sensitive. Other than that, you’re good to go.

What the Samsung R1 Wireless Audio 360 speaker offers:

  • Wireless multiroom compatibility
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • 360 omnidirectional sound
  • Easy, intuitive tap-and-swipe controls
  • TV Sound Connect

For information about Samsung Wireless Audio 360 R1, visit the Samsung website. #AmazingSoundAllAround

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