In the home theater system world, Sonos is at the top of the heap. The company is known for high-quality speaker systems with a wide range of compatible products, including the Sonos Playbar , Sonos Wi-Fi Speakers and Sonos Sub. However, Samsung, known best for innovative smart televisions (like the new curved OLED TV), may soon give Sonos a run for its money in the home theater system race.
Samsung launched the Samsung Shape M7 wireless speaker in mid-October as an alternative to the popular Sonos Play:5 system speaker. The Shape is a wireless speaker and multi-room audio system that lets you stream music from your smartphone and tablet, or from several content partners. Samsung’s new line includes the M7 speaker and the “Samsung Hub” (similar to the Sonos Bridge), the connection device that allows consumers to take full advantage of full multi-room audio and stereo listening. The Samsung Shape speakers have a foam core woofer, pulp cone mid-range speakers and silk dome tweeters for audio output that rivals more expensive devices.
With the Samsung Shape, consumers can build their system according to the shape of their home, budget and needs. Shape speakers can be linked together using the Hub. The Shape streams music from tablets and smartphones, and can be controlled anywhere in your home or office using the Shape app for iOS or Android. Even after setup, consumers can choose to stream to one speaker or all speakers, making the system extremely versatile.
The Samsung Shape system relies on consumers’ own musical library, but has brought some heavy-hitting music services on board for launch. Amazon Cloud Player, Pandora, and Rhapsody are all available upon launch, and Samsung will presumably bring more on board as time passes (although the company has a long way to go to catch up with Sonos’ impressive partnership with 20 different streaming radio brands.) Right now, the Samsung Shape line has just two products, but other home theater pieces, like a soundbar and subs, are likely to be introduced in the New Year.
While Sonos has a more robust library and more equipment, Samsung has one thing those “other guys” don’t – mainstream brand recognition. This powerful brand is recognized worldwide, and may have an advantage to many consumers.
The Samsung Shape M7 wireless speaker retails at $399.99; the “Samsung Hub” retails at $49.99.
*Photo credit Samsung