Samsung Shape wireless audio platform expands with cheaper M5 speaker
Samsung continues to try and match the Sonos ecosystem, with a new smaller Shape speaker to go along with the original M7.
The Samsung Shape wireless audio system was clearly designed to take on Sonos, but when it launched back in October, there was only a single-speaker option -- the Shape M7.
Now the company is expanding the Shape lineup, with the newly-announced M5 speaker. The M5 will cost less than the $400 M7 but offers similar functionality, using the same Wi-Fi based standard to stream music throughout your home. The M5 will also support the same set of streaming music services, which includes Amazon Cloud Player, Pandora, Rhapsody, and TuneIn, in addition to music stored on your PC and smartphone. For multiroom setups, you'll need one Samsung Hub ($50) on your home network, which connects to your router and coordinates your wireless audio signals.
The Samsung Shape lineup will also be adding the Connect Box: a small set-top box that allows you to integrate Samsung Shape streaming audio to an existing home audio system, much like the similarly named Sonos Connect.
No other details about the M5 or Connect Box have been announced yet, but both products will be showcased at CES 2014, where I'll be able to get a hands-on look at the new devices.