Samsung bolsters its assault on Sonos with new wireless home-audio speakers, accessories

samsung unveils plans wireless home audio domination today new york m5 speaker 4

Besides Samsung’s dizzying array of curved UHD TVs unveiled today in New York City, the company has doubled down on it’s wireless home audio ecosystem, the anchor of which is the latest edition to its Shape speaker line, the M5.

The $300 M5 is the smaller sibling of Samsung’s Shape M7 speaker, unveiled last year. Like Samsung’s M7, the M5 is integrated into Samsung’s Sonos-esque wireless ecosystem, which uses a proprietary app to wirelessly stream audio seamlessly throughout your home, over Wi-Fi, from multiple sources, with zero latency. The new speaker looks almost exactly like its bigger sibling. It stands somewhere between Sonos’ Play:1 and Play:3 offerings, which are designed as a solitary wireless music solutions, as add-on surround speakers for a soundbar, or as companion pieces for a multi-room listening system.

Samsung’s growing wireless family does have some distinct advantages over other systems in the expanding wireless home speaker genre, however. Apart from floating sound over your Wi-Fi network, the speakers also boast Bluetooth with NFC pairing for easy wireless streaming directly from your smartphone. And with the company’s Link Mate, you can integrate other components from your home theater system into the wireless fold like, say, that turntable you’ve recently restored. You’ll have to spend $350 on the Link Mate for that privilege, though.

Samsung M5 SpeakerThere are also some other dividends to be reaped by sticking with Samsung’s wireless product line, especially if you’re willing to submerse yourself fully in Samsung waters. The company’s new BD-H6500 Blu-ray player ($180) assimilates with the rest of the Shape tribe. While Samsung hasn’t formally submitted that the player can communicate with Shape speakers wirelessly over Wi-Fi, the official release today states that the unit is “compatible with Samsung’s growing roster of Shape Wireless Audio-Multiroom products to further expand music options in the home.” We’ll find out more about that at the exhibition later today.

Other features for the H6500 include UHD upscaling for full HD, HD, and SD content, and Smart View 2.0, which allows for wireless mirroring to any TV via the player from Samsung phones.

We’ll also get a closer look today at two of Samsung’s latest editions to its succinct home-theater systems. The big kahuna is the $800 HW-750 sound bar, which is tailor made to play nice with the rest of the Shape family for a fully wireless setup. Besides wireless streaming, notable features for the bar include HD audio support up to 24bit/96kHz sample rate, 320 watts of power, a wireless subwoofer companion, and a chic metallic body that should spruce up any TV cabinet.

Also on display at the show is the H600 Sound bar which, despite it’s moniker, is not a sound bar at all, but a sound platform. Perplexing title aside, the $400 H600 is designed to sit beneath any flat screen up to 77 inches for a seamless and concise sound solution. The system doesn’t integrate with the Shape ecosystem for zero latency wireless streaming, but it does offer 4.2 “Multi-direction” sound, and Bluetooth connection for wireless streaming from a smartphone, or wireless connection to select Samsung TVs over the company’s proprietary Sound Connect system.

All of Samsung’s new audio products will be hitting stores some time this spring, with the H600 making its debut later this month. Stay tuned for a hands-on look as we delve deeper into some of these shiny new toys later today at the exhibition.


Amazon Fire Deals: Tablets, TVs, and TV controllers in stock and ready to ship

Last-minute shoppers, and anyone seeking good deals on Amazon Fire products, are in luck. There's still time to order Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, and Fire media players, Fire CVRs, and Alexa-voice-compatible Fire remotes for Christmas delivery.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Home Theater

These top-line smart speakers conduct the most sophisticated symphony: Your life

Stuck talking to yourself? Get an A.I. assistant to keep you company! Whether you put your stock in Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, we've picked out the best smart speaker for any smart home ecosystem.
Home Theater

Get ready to ditch your amplifier: New LG TVs add a powerful way to go wireless

WiSA, a wireless technology designed for high-end home theaters, might finally start seeing more love. LG's top-tier 2019 TVs will be WiSA certified, and that could mean a new wireless future for premium surround sound.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Home Theater

Streaming services blast past networks for the most scripted TV shows in 2018

For the first time in history, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, produced more original scripted series than broadcast or cable channels, setting a new record for the number of TV shows on the air.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.
Home Theater

What is Terrarium TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Terrarium TV offered a way to watch movies & TV for free, but now after a troubled existence, the app's developer has shut it down, and offered an ominous message to users on his way out.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Movies & TV

Why ruin a good thing? These are some of the worst movie sequels ever made

A sequel that doesn't compare to the original film isn't worth making, right? Unfortunately, this is Hollywood we're talking about. We've picked out 12 films which will go down as some of the worst follow-ups ever made.