Samsung's high-end, tube-powered DA-E750 audio dock was impressive enough at CES to garner a Best of CES nomination in the home theater category. Now Samsung's initial foray at luxury home audio finally has a price: a whopping $800.
Pricing was also announced for Samsung's other vacuum-tube-amplified home audio product, including the two home theater systems, the HT-E6500W ($800) and HT-E6730W ($1,000). The shipping date for all three products is still a vague "spring," so it may be a month or two before these start showing up. Samsung's step-down audio docks will be coming out in May, with pricing as follows: DA-E670 ($450), DA-E650 ($350), DA-E570 ($230), and DA-E550 ($230).
I've already had a chance to go into the details on the DA-E750, but I had another chance to listen to the the dock at Samsung's recent press event. Similar to my initial impressions, the DA-E750 sounded quite good in the demo; so did some of Samsung's other step-down audio docks. The DA-E750 is one of the most flexible docks I've seen, offering wireless audio support for both Bluetooth and AirPlay, plus an iPhone/iPad dock on the back. The dock also supports Galaxy phones and tablets, although only for charging; you'll still need to use Bluetooth to stream music. The step-down "horn-shaped" DA-E670 may have been the most impressive from a value standpoint, delivering room-filling sound for only $450.
There was another demo featuring the home theater systems (comparing them with Samsung's 2011 offerings), that wasn't quite as impressive, although listening conditions were far from ideal. Of course, demos from manufacturers aren't a great way to get a sense of how good a product sounds, so we'll have to get the units in for testing to see how they stack up.
The real question is how big the market is for an $800 audio dock. The first thing anyone mentions about Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air is how pricey it is, and that costs $200 less than the DA-E750. Granted, the DA-E750 looks a lot nicer (to my eyes) and is more flexible with support for both Bluetooth and AirPlay, but you can get a pretty good 50-inch plasma TV for around $800 these days.