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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Samsung Shape Wireless Multiroom audio system

M7 speaker

M7 speaker

M7 speaker

M7 speaker

Corner placement

Optional bracket

Samsung Hub (left)

Samsung Hub (back)

NFC pairing

Ethernet, USB too

Smartphone app

Smartphone app

Smartphone app

Smartphone app

Limited app support

Smartphone app

Renameable speaker

EQ settings

Pick your connection type

SoundShare-compatible

Also available in black

M7 speaker (black)

M7 speaker (black)

Samsung is the latest company to try its hand at the wireless audio market, with the newly announced Shape wireless audio platform. The system consists of two products, the M7 speaker and the Hub, which Samsung demoed at a private press event in New York.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The M7 speaker ($399) has a sleek, wedgelike shape, with a textured speaker grille and a plastic cabinet that's available in either a white or black finish.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The speaker can be positioned horizontally or vertically using the included stand and in the vertical position you can pair two M7 speakers to act as a stereo pair.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
It's a good-looking speaker, although the cabinet doesn't have quite the same high-end feel that Sonos' speakers have.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Each speaker has touch-sensitive controls on the top.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The M7 speakers can also be placed in a corner using an optional bracket.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Here's the bracket.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
For multiroom setups, the Hub ($49) is required. It's a small black box that you connect to your router.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Setting up the Hub and several M7 speakers is done using the Shape smartphone app, and in the demo it didn't take more than a few minutes to get up and running.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Each speaker supports Bluetooth, NFC, and dual-band Wi-Fi, and with a single-speaker system, you connect directly to the speaker over Wi-Fi using your smartphone.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
There's also an Ethernet port on the back of each speaker for making a direct, wired connection. Note that while there is a USB port on the back, it's only used for firmware updates, so you can't directly connect a USB hard drive full of music.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The Shape app is available for both iOS and Android.
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The app lets you sync music in multiple rooms or play different music in each room.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The app looked simple to use during the demo, although visually it lacked some of the polish of Sonos' apps, such as integrated cover art, which I was told will be available on the official app.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
You can also connect directly to speakers using Bluetooth.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
At launch, the Shape app supports only a handful of streaming audio services: Amazon Cloud Player, Pandora, TuneIn Radio, and Rhapsody.
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Volume for each room is independently adjustable.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Each speaker can be renamed inside the app.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
EQ settings for each speaker are also adjustable via the app.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The smartphone app lets you pick the connection type for each speaker.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The M7 speakers have one more trick up their sleeve, which is support for Samsung's SoundShare feature. It only works with compatible Samsung TVs, but SoundShare lets you wirelessly (via Bluetooth) use the M7 as a speaker for your TV. It's a neat feature and gets rid of one more pesky wire in your TV cabinet.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The M7 speakers are available in either a white or black finish.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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