CNET First Look
Samsung's cylindrical speaker turns on the performanceThe Samsung Radiant360 R1 is a welcome departure from most Wi-Fi speakers and offers decent performance for an affordable price.
[MUSIC] Wi-Fi speakers have been around since the Y2K bug was a thing. The explosion of devices that occurred a couple of years ago tended to follow Sonos's lead on design. But the Samsung R1 is the first example of different thinking we've seen. While most Wi-Fi speakers are made of boxes, the I one is a cylindrical 360 degree speaker. It offers the same listening experience from every angle which has its pluses and minuses. It's great for casual listening and it has a big airy sound that suits acoustic music like jazz or folk, but it's 360 degree nature means that it sounds better in less reflective rooms Not so good in bathrooms. If you want sound quality, rival such as Sonos and Raumfeld are for better speakers for the same money. However, the Samsung does offer lots of features and the touch operated top panel is kinda cool. The speaker come with a smartphone app that offers access to most of the popular streaming services, including Pandora and Spotify. The speaker also uses Bluetooth and can connect to certain Samsung TVs and act as a TV speaker. Its height makes it a bit awkward though compared to a Samba or traditional speaker. For $170 or so on the street, the Samsung Radiant 360R1 is not the best Wi-Fi speaker we've seen. But at least it's tried to do something differently. [MUSIC]