Samsung R7 (WAM7501)
When it comes to speakers, function takes precedence over form most of the time. Samsung is among the few who is trying to defy this, and its secret weapon comes in the form of a wireless speaker that is capable of delivering audio in a 360-degree arc. It's called the R7 and it's definitely something you'd want on your wishlist.
Without a doubt, the most outstanding thing about the R7 is its looks. Oval in shape, one might mistake the R7 for a very huge ornament. However, this shape serves a very significant purpose – to effectively distribute sound evenly in a circle. Why would we need to evenly distribute the sound? It's to ensure that everyone in a room can enjoy the same level of audio quality.
You'll find a single 25mm tweeter at the top of R7, facing upwards towards what Samsung calls an acoustic lens. The acoustic lens acts like a reflector of sorts, directing any sound from the tweeter to all around the R7. Inside the R7, there's a 125mm woofer that's facing downwards, towards another acoustic lens.
To test this speaker, we installed Samsung's Multiroom app on an Android device. While you can connect the R7 to devices via Bluetooth, connecting to the speaker via Wi-Fi and the Multiroom app will give you access to additional features, such as Spotify and other music streaming services. You'll also be able to link multiple Samsung devices together, to play audio from the same source, or different sources. Most importantly, you'll get access to an equalizer that lets you tweak the audio to your liking.
Once we paired the R7, we played a number of different songs from different genres, and even watched a number of movies to hear how well it performed. First up, we played Ed Sheeran's 'Thinking Out Loud', and found both bass and highs to be very well presented. Next, we played something with a little bit more instruments – Pachelbel's 'Canon in D'. Here, the violins were clearly audible, though the brass instruments were slightly muted. When it comes to movie playback, we noticed that the dialog was highly audible, though bass suffered a little.
While the audio quality of the R7 was generally good, there was one issue we had with its design – soundstaging became highly limited. The R7 did project the sound in a 360-degree arc, but you could still clearly discern that the source was from a single direction. To remedy this, you'll have to connect multiple R7s, or any other speakers that support the Samsung Multiroom feature.