In the past recent years, we’ve already seen a lot of unimaginable devices and even home appliances that are going smarter. Smart TVs, Smart Refrigerators, and even Smart Microwave Ovens are now visible in the market.
Since they are offering almost every appliance in the house, Samsung is one of the companies who push for a smarter home. And now, Samsung released the Radiant360 line of speakers. As the name suggests, this line of high-end speakers projects balanced sound in every direction, thanks to its omnidirectional technology. You can place it anywhere in the room, without having to worry about the direction of the sound.
Also, you can not only place it anywhere in the room, but also in any room. The Radiant360 is also marketed with its multiroom functionality as it can also be connected via wireless network. You can connect other devices from this breed, and have them playing music simultaneously via its smartphone app. You can choose between the Radiant360 R7, R5, R3, and the one that we’ll be looking at today – the Samsung Radiant360 R1. Any of these combination can be made for a multiroom audio setup.
But enough of the feature highlights. Let’s now take a look at how this thing performs.
Design and Hardware
I gotta say, the Samsung Radiant360 R1’s design is pretty striking, at least for me. The subtle and low-profile all-black look is just perfect for its purpose. And that’s to sit discreetly in any room, so it doesn’t take too much attention and doesn’t ruin the existing aesthetic theme that the room has.
And because of its “360” feature, the speaker is inevitably rounded, so it can disperse sound at all angles. Unlike most rounded speakers, the Radiant360 speakers aren’t surrounded by drivers inside. Beneath the sheets, these devices don’t have a triangular layout that has three drivers to deliver sound at any angle. Instead, it only actually has two, one 1-inch dome tweeter and a 3.6-inch woofer. Instead of having them laid horizontally, the drivers are placed vertically, topped with an acoustic lens so the sound is equally distributed in any angle.
The speaker has the same footprint with the Mac Pro, which makes it look like a trash can.
At the top, we have the touch sensitive controls and LED Indicator and the Samsung logo. The Mode button cycles through different connectivity options (TV SoundConnect, Bluetooth, and Wifi), while the button at the right obviously adjusts the volume.
But those aren’t the only controls that are present on this thing.The bottom and the top (just under the Samsung logo) also have gesture controls. Tapping the top part Play/Pauses the music, while swiping the bottom part from either left to right skips the track from the current to the next or previous song.
At the bottom of the speaker, there’s a recess that houses the DC 19V power adaptor port, a microUSB port for service and updates, and a button for SPK and WiFi setup. There’s also 4 rubber feet at the bottom and a socket thread if you plan on mounting this on a speaker stand. The hole at the corner is also present to help tidy up the cable.
And yup, the Radiant360 R1 isn’t completely wireless. The device uses a bulky power adaptor; it’s large that you might think it’s made for laptops. This might turn off some prospected buyers as you can’t really take this with you outdoors. But nonetheless, the speaker is actually marketed to be used at home, so we can’t actually blame Samsung for requiring a power adaptor and ruining the speaker’s sleek look.
Features and Smartphone App
Like what I have said earlier, the speaker offers 360-degree sound and a multi-room and multi-speaker setup. And in that regard, this thing performed really well.
You can definitely place the speaker anywhere without having to mind where to angle it. I find this perfect in round table meetings, although not really suitable for conference calls as it doesn’t have a built-in speaker. Also, I wish te Samsung Radiant360 R1 is completely wireless as it has the potential of being used outdoors.
I haven’t tested the multi-speaker setup as we only have one of this, but the multi-room feature is really convenient. You can still bring your phone everywhere in the house without having to worry about disconnection, something that’s common on Bluetooth connectivity. However, you want to make sure that your wireless router supports high bandwidth connectivity, as this speaker is a little demanding in network speeds.
And speaking of multi-room connectivity, you can only utilize this feature via the smartphone app called the Samsung Multiroom App that’s available on both iOS and Android. This app is also required in the first setup process.
The setup process is fairly easy, which was also made easier as the speaker doesn’t require a network hub to operate. The Radiant360 R1 communicated directly to your wireless network. The device sports a 2.4/5GHz Dual Band WiFi support.
Once connected, and given that you have an ultra-fast wireless network, you’ll only be able to play music via the app – which is kind of the downside of this feature. You are limited to only what music player the app supports. You can’t even use it when watching videos. What a bummer.
Speaking of the app, this smartphone companion software is available in both Android and iOS. The app will run you through the setup process, thus making it a real necessity while having this device. The app is also the main brain behind the synchornization of different Radiant360 speakers, in case you actually have a few of them inside the house and want to have them play the same music at once.
If you want to play everything with the R1, you need to connect it directly via Bluetooth, which now removed all of the other features. The Bluetooth 4.0 connection on this speaker is pretty reliable, for as long as the device is in the right range and data exchange is seamless.
Now on to the important stuff. I would like to spit it out right off the bat – I’m pretty impressed for what the Samsung Radiant360 R1 can deliver for the price and its sleek form factor. It’s made to sit stealthy in any room, and it can actually fill it up with music, effortlessly. This thing can get pretty loud, with deep bass and middling highs. Yup, sound accuracy isn’t really the deal here as it’s really meant for entertainment use. If balanced sound and accuracy is what you’re after, you’re better off with a different set of cans.
The bass is deep and thumping, making it perfect for movie marathons or throwing parties at home. It sure can fill up a room with sound, however, just like most speakers on the market today, a hint of sound distortion can be experienced at the highest volume.
But still, for its price tag, sound quality is still top-notch.
Samsung’s entry-level and revolutionary speaker is both awesome and attainable. For its price tag of only Php3,990 (Php7,490 SRP), this rounded speaker can easily be one of the best entertainment devices to grace your home. However, keep in mind that there are a lot of fully wireless alternatives out there. The Radiant360 R1 is an indoor speaker, and the requirement of a power adaptor to utilize this thing might turn off a lot of people.
But nonetheless, there’s nothing quite like this on the market today. The Samsung Radiant360 R1 is a good-sounding speaker, chic and stylish, and competitively priced.