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Hands-on with Samsung’s new multi-room speaker pods

Samsung has no shortage of accolades when it comes to product categories like TVs, refrigerators, and even washing machines. However, the tech behemoth has had a harder time getting a strong foothold in the audio realm. To change that, Samsung has created an all new state-of-the-art audio lab in Valencia, California. Today at CES, we got to check out the first germination of those efforts, the WAM7500 and WAM6500 multi-room speakers.

The WAM series is designed around the latest evolution in wireless audio in which speakers emit audio in all directions to fill the room with sound from any origin. The new speakers follow other spherical sonic companions like the similarly designed Kickstarter darling, the Archt One speaker. Samsung’s new speakers achieve their 360-degree sound pattern thanks to a proprietary driver design called “Ring Radiator” technology.

Related: Archt One 360-degree wireless speaker

The Ring Radiator driver configuration is designed to provide balanced audio across the bass and treble in all directions. The WAM7500 Table Top speaker is meant to be the centerpiece of your listening room, while the smaller WAM6500 is designed for portability, with a handle and a rechargeable battery on board so you can take the sound on the road. We didn’t get much time with the smaller of the two, but the WAM7500 definitely showed some promise.

Samsung has the demo of the new speaker confined to an automated feed, so it was difficult to tell how many speakers were playing at a time. However, the sound we did hear was clear and very present, with a frequency response as balanced and smooth as Samsung promised. And thanks to the 360-degree sonic signature, the sound was also remarkably hard to track down, emanating in a buoyant, room-filling expanse.

One thing we didn’t get much chance to check out is Samsung’s updated app for the speakers, the convenience of which could be a major deciding factor on whether the WAM series sinks or swims. However, the features we did see were pretty interesting, including an intuitive ring at the center that allows scrolling through artists. We were also told by one of the exhibitors that the app looks a lot like Samsung’s Milk, but we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out once the speakers hit the market.