CNET First Look
Samsung Shape M7: Samsung's sweet-sounding Sonos alternativeThe Samsung Shape M7 is a versatile streaming speaker that sounds better than the Sonos Play:3 but lacks a rich ecosystem of products and supported services.
Hi. I'm Ty Pendlebury and this is the Samsung Shape M7 Wireless Speaker. Do you have a dream of being able to listen to music in every room in your home? To be honest, I hadn't until I had actually tried it but Samsung and a dozen other companies want to make someone's dream at least come true. The $350 Samsung Shape M7 is the first in what the company says it's a complete range of wireless music products from speakers to Blu-ray players. And is trying to beat Sonos at is own game. The M7 is a loud speaker which can be placed either vertically like this or horizontally and it can be combined with other speakers for stereo or even multi channel sound. The speaker can either connect to your router via WiFi or to your phone or TV via Bluetooth. There's also a 3.5mm input for other devices. At the moment, the speaker is controlled by an Android or iPhone remote only. There's no PC or iPad functionality yet and it can serve up Pandora, Amazon Music and DLNA content. Generally, using the app is fairly easy, though playlists for example are very tricky, you can add Amazon songs or create playlists on offline. The speakers big pile of trick though is its ability to work as a sound bar with a Bluetooth connection to Samsung TVs or via the auxiliary if you have another brand, and it works very well like this. Sound quality is actually quite good given the price with its largest size, meaning it can deliver more bass and most equivalent WiFi speakers. It's more detailed than the Sonos Play 3 for example and it can go pretty loudly without distortion as well. Only when you try putting to in stereo do the crack [unk]. Samsung calls this a stereo effect and any other $700 stereo speaker when you counted the two speakers together will simply blow it away. But if you're looking for a speaker that works well in the background, with the promise of more products to come in the future, then this is one of the best competitors Sonos has seen yet. This is Ty Pendlebury for CNET.com.