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Samsung WAM 6500/7500 review - hands on

Richard Easton
6 Feb 2015
Samsung WAM 7500
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Samsung brings omnidirectional sound with its new multiroom speakers and we go hands on

Multiroom speakers are big business these days, bringing the convenience of music streaming to every room in your house all controlled from one central device. We’ve been impressed by Samsung’s multiroom speakers to date, including the SHAPE M3 and SHAPE M5, but the new WAM 7500 and smaller WAM 6500 are quite a big departure in terms of design.

Samsung’s previous speakers had a recurring triangular theme, but these new models look more like space age rockets or turrets from Valve's Portal games. With a metal handle, the smaller WAM 6500 also slightly resembles a kettle or oil lamp to our eyes, and we preferred the styling of the 7500 overall. Both are visually captivating, though, and very different to any speaker we’ve seen before.

The smaller WAM 6500 includes the handle for portability, as it has an integrated battery for moving around the house. We could see it working wonderfully at a garden barbeque, for example. We’re not sure about the size of the battery just yet so we’ll need to get one in to the labs to find out how long it can keep the party going. The WAM 7500 is taller and lacks the handle, but will put out more volume than its smaller counterpart.

Samsung WAM 6500 front

Both speakers are made from the same plastics as the SHAPE speakers, but felt well-built and decently weighty. They both use the same touch-sensitive controls from the SHAPE series as well.

The reason for the radical new design is what Samsung is describe as ‘omnidirectional’ sound. While we found the SHAPE M3 and, to a lesser extent, the M5 had a defined ‘sweet spot’ for sound, these new speakers should provide optimum sound regardless of where you’re listening from. Essentially, this should really help with speaker placement.

Both speakers use Samsung’s ring radiator technology to blast sound in every direction. Samsung says its elliptical shaped speaker cabinet will also minimise sound diffraction and enclosure resonance when the lower frequencies come to life. Each speaker will use a tweeter, woofer and acoustic lens.

The new speakers will integrate into Samsung’s existing multiroom audio ecosystem, so owners of the SHAPE series can expand their setups. Both speakers will plug directly into a router for instant setup. Like the SHAPE speakers, both the 6500 and 7500 also include Bluetooth and TV Soundconnect, so you can create a surround sound system wirelessly.

It was impossible to truly judge the sound quality of both speakers, as the busy Samsung European Forum show floor wasn’t particularly conducive to critical listening. Even so, we could tell they could both reach a decent volume even over the sound of the crowd. If the new speakers are anything like the M3 and M5 there should be little to complain about regarding sound quality.

We were particularly pleased to see an early version of the new Samsung Multiroom Android app, which has a bold new design and a massive visual improvement over the existing version. While the current app is plain, with lots of white backgrounds and music displayed in dull lists, the new app has many more visual flourishes. The menus are much more colourful, with translucent visual effects, and album art was displayed with much more visual flair. Functionally, it remains very similar to the old version, providing an easy way to put speakers into groups and control your music.

Samsung is making a big push into the premium audio market with its new speakers and we came away from our time with the new WAM 6500 and 7500 excited. Although there's no word on a price or release date, the prospect of omnidirectional sound could put an end to audio sweetspots and we look forward to putting the new speakers through a thorough review as soon as they’re available.