Here’s why you need Samsung’s compact and slick speaker system

Sometimes you don’t realize that you need something until you get it. That sentiment applies to waterproof phone cases (for moments you get drunkenly thrown in the pool), a wallet that actually fits more than coins and crumpled bills, and a speaker system that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to be legitimately dope. I’ve never truly believed in splurging a lot of money on any of these things, so I was surprised that the last item on my list turned out to have a very decently priced alternative. It came in the form of the Samsung Wireless Audio 360’s WAM R1.

The WAM R1 is part of a family of Wireless Audio 360 speakers. Each of them offers a good balance of excellent sound and gorgeous design. (No need to worry about speakers that take up half of your dorm room or condo anymore.) Each speaker is installed with Samsung’s patented ring radiator technology that produces 360-degree omnidirectional sound. Basically, you don’t need more than one speaker to get the sound to cover a whole party. Connectivity was also made easy — you can either connect through Bluetooth like most speakers, but there’s also a Samsung Multi-Room App, which not only lets you control the speaker from out of the room (it’s connected via WiFi), but also allows you to connect multiple WAMs very easily. Imagine completing your morning routine with Carly Rae Jepsen blasting out in the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and the garage. What a way to start the day. All these cool features were put to the test when I tried out the WAM R1 myself. The speaker is really compact, and already comes with a woofer and tweeter within it. The top of the speaker has a tap and swipe touch interface, which is a nice minimal touch. It’s not exactly a portable speaker; it came with a big cord that needs to be plugged in. I wasn’t crazy about the big cord at first; neither did I like that it would remain switched on unless I unplugged it. But I suppose that’s just me being used to the ways of most Bluetooth speakers today: dinky, tote-able and diminutive in every way. When I got to start playing, I realized that the game had changed.

Super bass: Samsung’s WAM R1 speakers give you the best bang for your buck and makes the perfect gift this holiday season.

The first step is to download the Samsung Multi-Room App, which is easy enough to navigate. No crazy instructions, no strange steps to follow. It deftly switched between playing music on Spotify and the songs saved on my phone, although you have to prompt the app to choose which source you prefer for the music. It automatically plays the music saved on your phone, and you can even control the tracks you want to play with a virtual wheel on the screen. I liked it well enough, but the connection would get shoddy whenever the WiFi was slow (which is the fault of my Internet provider, really). I think the app works best in a multi-speaker set-up, but it is nonetheless nifty on its own.

I personally enjoyed using it via Bluetooth most of all, because I could easily switch between a phone, laptop and tablet without having to disconnect the current device. The speakers are smart enough to detect a new connection with another device. (Am I the only one who gets annoyed at a party when you have to yell at your friend to disconnect his Bluetooth?) I also like that you can use the Bluetooth connection to use the speakers as an audio output for videos. (The app is purely for music.)

Of course, the most important aspect of any good speaker is its sound. I definitely felt spoiled after listening through the WAM R1, just because it made me realize how tinny the sound is from the built-in speakers of my computer. I got a kick out of playing music really loud in the morning, because the sound really fills up the room. Even from down the hallway, I could still hear it, and it’s absolutely seamless.

For something that really brightens up any space it occupies (sonically, at least), the Samsung WAM R1 speakers feels like a gift that keeps on giving. Not only is it reasonably priced (less than P10,000), it would certainly make the perfect gift for a music-obsessed friend or loved one. They don’t even have to be on the lookout for speakers — trust me, in the same way I became convinced that I needed this in my life, they definitely will too.

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