In the last three years, we have been witnessing gradually to the emergence of teams multiroom sound in connectivity to the domestic local network is essential to provide a unified musical experience in different rooms in the home but while allowing for greater flexibility and control content management with classical computers.
Samsung is one of the brands that are focusing on this direction, integrating speakers and stereos with other systems such as bars and smart TVs. This time, we had the opportunity to thoroughly test one of their latest releases, speaker Samsung R1 Wireless 360 (technical name WAM1500). How have you behaved? You will be able to check it below.
Design and features
The first thing that catches the Samsung R1 Wireless 360 is its peculiar shape into a cylinder with dimensions of 123 x 234 x 123 mm., Surrounded by a protective fabric and crowned at the top by a plastic surface that makes the sometimes touch control device.
Basically we have a button to connect the different functions of the computer, a superficial in which sliding your finger can pass the songs and two to raise and lower the volume, leaving most of the options in the hands of the App Multiroom Samsung that we installed on our mobile terminal Android 2.3.3 or iOS 6.1 or higher if you want to extract the most out of the team.
How are they placed inside drivers’ speaker? For unconventional way 25 mm tweeter, it is placed on top of the device emitting the sound into an acoustic screen does bounce and scattered in all directions. At the other extreme, we find the woofer 88 mm. for medium and low frequencies which similarly bounces the sound pressure wave into a conical curved surface scattering signal throughout the room (hence the name 360).
What is achieved with this dispersion? Well, in theory that the sound is distributed more evenly to every corner of the room making involve multiple users simultaneously without having to be sitting in front of the speaker. We will see later if it succeeds.
R1 is primarily a multiroom speaker. That is, it is intended to complement and be complemented by other compatible speakers and equipment of the brand rather than to stand alone. For it is well endowed with wireless connectivity, and is compatible with Bluetooth, the system TV Sound Connect (to connect to the TV wirelessly) and above all with WiFi dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz).
IT IS INTENDED TO COMPLEMENT OTHER SPEAKERS AND COMPATIBLE EQUIPMENT BRAND RATHER THAN TO STAND ALONE
The main control system of the device and the content source will be the smartphone, so no command is not included remote or other analog or digital connectors (jack, RCA, optical, coaxial, etc.), which it is a point we have to consider if you ‘re thinking of buying. Yes, the application is capable of supporting streaming most file formats most popular audio: AAC, MP3, WAV, OGG, WMA, ALAC, FLAC up to 192 kHz / 24 bits, but we cannot insert a USB memory and play content directly, which is a point against.
Installation and commissioning
After unpacking and plugging the speaker into the outlet we proceed to install, for which we have basically three options. The first is to use a Bluetooth link from which to send music files from your mobile. You only need to pair the two devices using the phone and the touch panel of the R1 and in a few seconds and you’ll be all ready to go .
It is a quick and convenient system, but we want to extract the maximum potential equipment is necessary to unload us and we install the application Samsung Multiroom on mobile or tablet from Google Play or the App Store to control advanced features.
The operation is quite simple and intuitive. We just need to open the application and tutorial will guide us through the steps to configure the speaker or speakers you have connected to the network and link them together.
We can add all speakers and bars compatible sound system at the beginning of the installation or later if we look for buying gradually. The application is as remotely advanced equipment that allows us to control playback, choose the sources of local music or the Internet, queues, lists, search for topics and artists, but especially is designed to remotely control which is played on each speaker or compatible home team.
This leads directly to the third connection system, the SoundConnect TV, which will allow us to match one or more speakers with a compatible Samsung TV (recommend a model 2012 or later to ensure maximum compatibility). You only have to place the R1 near the TV at the time to install, open the application on your mobile and look for the button “TV SoundConnect”.
We press it and after a few seconds, a message appears asking us whether or not to pair the devices. We accept and ready, the sound of the TV output at the speaker and can put more away in a position that is appropriate to improve hearing.
Finally, note that the R1 can also be controlled from a smartwatch Samsung Gear S or Apple Watch, improving usability and allowing us to dispense with the mobile for most actions and control of basic functions: volume, choose tracks, etc.
Environment, equipment and items for testing
All tests were performed in a room of about 15 square meters with typical furniture that we all have at home without dedicated sound insulation and hearing distance of between 1.5 and 3 meters. Our audio source is a mobile phone Nokia Lumia 530 to test the Bluetooth connection and an iPhone 5 for Samsung Multiroom application, since no application for Windows terminals. Also, we use a 48 – inch Samsung TV model J6300 given by the mark for the test.
To check the team’s chances we have chosen to play different types of music, multiple genres, all in the highest digital quality (WAV or FLAC uncompressed).Starting with classical music, we hear several waltzes and nocturnes Frederic Chopin, the “Piano Concerto No. 3” by Rachmaninov, the subject of the death of Siegfried Wagner’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky or the “Concerto for clarinet in major, K. 622 “by Mozart.
Later will test the songs “Nite Mist Blues” by The Monty Alexander Trio, the album “Cause and Effect” by Maria Mena, the album “Leave Your Sleep” Natalie Merchant, the song “No sanctuary here” Chris Jones, “Everlasting Everything “Wilco,” Tired “Adele,” Dear Avery “and” The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned) “by The Decemberists,” Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out “Katie Melua,” The Day of the Day “Dido and” Vicarious “Tool.
We started the first test with classical themes and later moving to modern. The first thing you look at that fact, the sound seems to come out omnidirectionally creating an optimum listening point that is placed in an equidistant radius around the R1.
THE RADIATION SYSTEM 360 IMPROVES SOUND DISTRIBUTION BUT WORSENS THE STEREO IMAGE
This has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, if what we seek is a better spatial distribution of sound in the room to reach all users equally regardless of where they are sitting, with this system of radiation 360 degrees will succeed.
However, if what we want is a good stereo image as you would with the typical pair of conventional speakers will not succeed, even if we install several R1 one on each side. Aspects such as the separation of the instruments and their positioning on stage are blurred sound coming from multiple directions at the same time.
The frequency response is pretty good for a team of such small dimensions. Sometimes it seems that the woofer is bigger than it actually is, probably because rebounding advantage of the sound wave on the surface where we place. Again this feature has its advantages and disadvantages, among the first, improving the punch of some bass frequencies that would otherwise go more unnoticed.
However, the main disadvantage is that R1 makes installation more sensitive to where to place it. If we place it in a cabinet that is hollow (a table or cabinet) will soundboard and could have undesirable vibrations. For this, we should place the speaker in a solid and robust with nothing to vibrate beneath his feet instead.
IF WE NEED MORE POWER FOR LARGER HABITACIONES SOUNDTRACK, WE HAVE TO MOVE US TO THE TOP MODELS R3 OR R5
Treble are quite sharp and scatter the room is well-achieved thanks to the diffusion 360 degrees. As for the media and media-severe, moderate volumes have good quality, but as we give more power seem smudged a bit. I do not know if the driver by the amplifier or because the box is too small, but it makes you lose realism and definition, limiting the use of spaces R1 to less than 10 square meters with intermediate volumes to extract its full potential.
Probably, for this reason, the brand has also launched along with this R1 larger models R3 and R5 , with more power and larger drivers spaces designed for sound to between 15 and 20 square meters.
After I put the music tests the two units R1 next to the TV J6300 Samsung to check their performance when viewing conventional and film programming. TV without sound bad compared to what we are accustomed flat panels, it must be recognized that by placing the speakers listening remarkably improved.
With the R1 won in serious, in the presence of dialogues and some special effects. Missing subwoofers (below 50-60 Hz) to have that punch we look moviegoers at home, but the whole significantly improved.
Probably the best experience we would have a sound bar as a front channel and these R1 and wireless surround speakers, functionality that should be present in the Samsung Smart TV post-2012 compatible with TV Sound Connect technology.
The R1 are good multiroom speakers designed by and to be controlled from a smart mobile terminal or Android or iOS tablet with a WiFi network permanently running background. If you do not have one at home or are from another operating system such as Windows Phone, the installation is complicated because for example in my case I found it impossible to use both R1 at a time from a Nokia 530 Bluetooth. You could use one or the other but not both at once.
Assuming that you have a compatible phone you can access your favorite music anywhere in the house and if you have several units you can put one in each room and create a kind of music reproducing the same themes in both or different in each room.
The sound quality is as good as we would expect in a lower-middle of size range speaker. The frequency response is correct provided they do not go up the volume too high and allow us to use them without problems in rooms less than 10 square meters to create an ambient background sound rather than for a conventional HiFi listening.
Are the R1 for me? If what you’re looking for is a multiroom team that can go gradually expanding with more speakers (such as R3, R5 or a sound bar) to easily create a musical thread in several places in the house, these Samsung Wireless R1 360 is a good choice for small rooms. They are also recommended to improve the sound of a compatible television series of the brand and especially if we take a sound bar because then we can use them as wireless surround audio system.