Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
For my husband and I, music is a great way to bond with friends or family, relax after a long day, have a dance party with our kids, get work done, or let some emotions out. Being tech people, we have many different ways to listen to our music and are always looking for the newest and best ways. I know we both would love to have speakers throughout our house but that has always been more complicated than we were willing to take on. Until now.
Best Buy sent us two Samsung M5 Bluetooth Wireless Speakers & the wireless Hub to review, both featured audio products for their August Audio Fest. Audio Fest, which takes place across all Best Buy stores from 8/3/14 – 8/30/14, will feature a whole month of audio specials, events and more. Best Buy helps you enhance your home entertainment experience and upgrade your sound with the best offers on the best audio products including additional components, speakers and headphones.
The Samsung Shape™ Wireless Audio system is a new way to experience our music in one or all of the rooms in our home. Featuring Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, and NFC (near-field communication) connectivity, the system allows you to send your music from your smartphone, tablet, PC or MAC, including devices with iOS 4.3 or later or Android 2.3.3 or later and computers with Windows XP or later and Mac OS X 10.0 or later operating systems. The built-in dual-band 2.4/5.0GHz wireless LAN allows easy & fast connection to your home network. If you prefer a wired connection, there’s an ethernet port too!
For our review, we set up the multiroom system instead of using the speakers individually with the Bluetooth connection directly to the speaker. The Hub is what allows the multiroom feature to function and is compatible with the Shape™ speakers as well as many Apple and Android devices. The instructions say to plug the Hub into the wireless router while the speaker just needs to be plugged into an outlet. Initially, we tried this with both the Hub and speaker in their final positions (we incorrectly thought having the Hub plugged into a switch was good enough) and using the Samsung Multiroom app. But after a few tries we figured out that the Hub needed to be connected directly to the wireless router and the speaker directly next to it. The app will go through a software update and connect to the speaker. There is also an LED on the front of the speaker that helps you be aware of the status of your connection to the speaker. We moved the speaker back to the living room and it has worked with the app, on both mine and my husband’s phones, flawlessly.
Connecting the second speaker was the same process. Take the speaker to the Hub and plug it into an outlet, run the app by going into the settings and selecting “Add Speaker”, then follow any on screen directions until the speaker is fully set up. Now we have a “Living Room” speaker and an “Upstairs” speaker and are able to pick which one to send our music to. Or we can choose to group them and send the same music to both.
The speaker is attractive and can be set up in a variety of ways. Lay it horizontally on a table, use the integrated stand to stand it vertically on a shelf, or you can even purchase the foot stand or wall mount kit offered by Samsung. If there is a device that does not include one of the wireless capabilities, there is also a standard auxiliary input to plug into.
What’s really fantastic about this system is how expandable and flexible it is. The system is set up to work with other Samsung audio products like sound bars, home theater systems, and TVs. Now you can have a game or show on TV and hear it from anywhere in the house if you also have to do some chores or want to take a speaker with you out on the deck. This is a game changer and we can’t wait to build up our custom multiroom system!
Don’t forget to visit Audio Fest at a Best Buy store throughout the whole month of August to test & try the latest & greatest in audio – from portable Bluetooth speakers and headphones, to home theater solutions and car audio – and let them teach you how you can upgrade your sound system. LOVE THE WAY YOU LiSTEN.