CNET First Look
Samsung takes on Sonos with the Shape wireless audio systemSamsung is introducing the new Shape wireless audio platform, including the $400 M7 speaker, which supports Bluetooth, NFC and dual-band Wi-Fi.
Hey. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET and we're taking a quick look at the new Samsung Shape wireless audio system. This is Samsung's take on a Sonos like multi-room audio solution and the system consists of two products, the M7 Speaker and the Samsung Hub. The M7 Speaker has a sleek wedge-like shape with a textured speaker grill on a plastic cabinet. It can be positioned horizontally or vertically using the included stand and then the vertical position you compare to M7 speakers to act as a stereo pair. Each speaker supports Bluetooth, NFC and dual-band WiFi and with the single speaker system, you can connect directly to the speaker using your smartphone. For multi-room setups, the Hub is required, which is a small black box that you connect to your router. Setting up the Hub and the M7 Speakers, it's done using the Shape smartphone app, which is a available for both iOS and Android and it's easy to sync music in multiple rooms or play different music in each room. The app looks simple to use during the demo, although it lacks some of the polish of Sonos' apps. At launch, the Shape platform supports a handful of streaming audio services; Amazon Cloud Player, Pandora, TuneIn Radio and Rhapsody. It's a pretty limited initial roll out without support for some major services like Spotify and Rdio. Although Samsung is looking to support more services in the future and that unsupported services can still be listened to via Bluetooth. The Samsung Shape wireless audio platform is currently also limited to M7 Speakers, so there's no way to integrate your existing speakers into the Samsung Shape ecosystem. Although the company says it's looking into solutions for this as well. The M7 Speaker will sell for $399 and the Hub is $49. And both products will be available starting on October 13th. The big question for the Shape platform will be weather it can compete with Sonos, which is a more mature platform with similar pricing. So, we're looking forward to getting some hands on time with the M7 Speaker to see how it backs up. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this was a quick look at the Samsung Shape.