Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Samsung Radiant360 R5 stands like a small black tower on whatever surface it's placed. It has a modern, elegant design that disperses 360 degrees of sound. Visually, it’s one of the most attractive wi-fi speakers that we reviewed. All of its touch-sensitive controls are located on the flat surface on the top of the speaker. When you press the controls, the OLED display lights up in the middle to display the control you've activated. It’s a great speaker design that can sit in the corner of your kitchen or be the centerpiece of the room.
The Wi-Fi speaker doesn't take long to connect to your home network. In fact, it connected quicker than most speakers we reviewed. To set up and control the speaker, you'll need to download the Samsung MultiRoom app on your smart device. As long as you have your home network Wi-Fi password available, the whole process takes six steps and only about two minutes.
The mobile application is easy to use. It links a large number of different internet streaming services so you can access them all right within the application. Some of the music services you have access to include Spotify, TuneIn Amazon, Pandora and iHeartRadio. The application also allows you to adjust the volume of the speaker, skip songs, adjust the equalization and even set a sleep timer for when you want the speaker to turn off. The application serves as a great remote for the speaker.
As we did our side-by-side listening comparison with the other speakers in our lineup, we noticed that the Samsung Radiant360 R5 doesn't have the bass response or the tonal clarity of the Sonos PLAY:5. The bass response is where the Samsung struggled most. While we listened to more bass-driven music, the low notes sounded flabby and lacked punch. The R5 sounded best when we played softer, acoustic music through it. The treble clarity is crisp and is the highlight of the speaker's tonal quality. Instrumentation and vocal clarity received high marks during our listening tests. When we listened to heavier music such as Metallica, the bottom end didn't sound very good, but the guitars sounded sharper and clearer than other speakers towards the bottom of our lineup. The bright tonal quality allowed for treble instruments to cut through and be displayed clearly. All the bass-driven music we listened to didn't sound quite right with this wireless home speaker.
This speaker features Airplay and Bluetooth, although the Bluetooth connectivity is not NFC compatible. This means you cannot connect your phone to the speaker just by touching the two together. It doesn't feature an aux port or Ethernet port – the Wi-Fi setup is done entirely through the downloadable mobile app. The Wi-Fi connection allows you to stream music to your speaker virtually anywhere you have wireless internet in your home. You aren't bound to being near your speaker at all times.
A chic design is not enough to launch this speaker to the top of our list. It struggles with bass-driven music, although it sounds good when you listen to more soft or acoustic songs. It is Bluetooth and Airplay compatible, but lacks a line-in port for wired connectivity. Its 360-degree design disperses sound throughout a room with ease and also looks great anywhere you put it in your home. While there are better-sounding speakers in our lineup, the look, design and mobile control make this a desirable speaker.