These large, wedge-shaped multiroom speakers benefit from a superior app controller
The WAM750, or M7 to give it its stage name, is one of Samsung’s Shape range, powered by Qualcomm’s AllPlay Wi-Fi platform. It can also receive tunes over Bluetooth and has an NFC button which allows your mates to instantly subject you to their favourite tunes stored on their NFC- equipped smartphones. But Bluetooth can’t be used to send audio to other M7s (or the smaller M3 and M5 speakers for that matter) located around the house; only Wi-Fi can.
Fans of hi-res audio with 24-bit/192kHz tracks stored on network-connected devices will need to plump for Wi-Fi anyway or use an Ethernet cable connection. A single M7 can be connected to a router wirelessly but it’s a convoluted (WPS-based) procedure compared with adding a WAM250 Hub (yours for £50) to the setup. You simply press
a button on the hub, turn on the speaker and wait for them to cosy up, which is confirmed by a pleasing melody and pulsing blue light from behind the front grille. You can then add up to 15 more speakers by following the same procedure.
Shaped like a giant Trivial Pursuit wedge, the stereo M7 is an attractive piece of round-edged cheese, fashioned from durable plastic (available in black or white). It can be positioned horizontally or, if perched on a plastic stand, vertically, in which case each two-channel speaker automatically becomes mono (so you'll need two for a stereo setup). You can build a full wireless multichannel surround sound system if you have a compatible Samsung TV, using the screen or a Samsung soundbar as the centre channel.
Each M7 seems bereft of external controls but has a slew of camouflaged, touch-sensitive buttons. Using the external controls works well when the M7 is in the horizontal position, where you can adjust volume and scroll through a selection of preset TuneIn internet radio stations. If vertically positioned it’s best to operate the M7 using Samsung’s free-to-download Android or iOS app. And the app is required to change the preset radio stations, choose network sources (including streaming services such as Spotify) and control the output across multiple speakers.
The app is nicely designed and a pleasure to use, with a logical layout and drag-and-drop procedures, including plans of your room including a sofa to indicate the listening position. For a two-speaker stereo setup you simply press and drag each speaker into position and conduct a test tone to check they’ve been set up properly, then create a label (eg. bedroom). You can also drag individual songs and playlist on to the speakers you want to stream to, and can send different sources to different speakers. It’s slicker than a vaseline production line.
The My Music menu page lets you select internet radio, DLNA networked devices, streaming services and tracks on your phone or tablet. The latter has options to select by album, song title, artist, genre and folder,and you can build playlists within the app. EQ adjustment consists of bass, treble, balance and dynamic range compression. Supported streaming services aren’t as numerous as with Sonos, but include Spotify, Deezer and Napster. As well as the default MP3, file support across a network includes AAC, WAV, OGG, WMA and FLAC.
Setup and operation is for the most part easy and fun. Sometimes the system is tardy in responding to commands but my main beef with the M7 is its dynamic balance, which favours the low-end too much.
Samsung is coy about the M7’s power output but rest assured it has plenty of grunt and a pair can comfortably fill a large-sized room. With three drivers, each M7 speaker delivers a rich, powerful sound. My hi-res download Chris Isaak's Wicked Game came through with remarkable clarity, especially in the higher frequency range, and the vocals resonated wonderfully without even a hint of distortion. The bass, however, lacks distinction and feels not just disconnected but seems to over-extend.
This low-frequency indulgence means that the overture of West Side Story (also hi-res) is boomy and unsatisfying rather than spine-tingling. And even experimenting with EQ settings couldn't iron out this niggle.
Highs: Attractive, durable design; excellent Samsung Multiroom app; exceptional clarity
Lows: Limited streaming service selection; excessive bass output
Drivers: 2 x tweeters; 2 x midrange drivers; 1 x bass driver
Onboard power: Not specified
Dimensions: 137(h) x 402(w) x 194(d)mm
Features: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; Ethernet; 3.5mm input; NFC; TV SoundConnect feature; works with other Samsung multiroom products including BD soundbars; Spotify, Deezer and Napster support; vertical or horizontal speaker alignment
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