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Samsung wireless audio dock review: sounding off

When I walked into the office and saw the black box sitting on the desk, I thought to myself that it seemed like a cool centre speaker and started looking around for the other speakers of a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system. But I was mistaken; it’s not a centre speaker and most definitely is not part of a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system. It’s what Samsung claims to be the first dual-docking station.

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Well, I’ve never been much of a docking station fan (I always thought of it as being for those Apple geeks to make them feel good about their iPhone or iPad). But I’m a guy for tall speakers and I love big sound.

So, with the above in mind, what makes this box special? Why did I actually enjoy having it around and was sad to see it returned to Samsung?

The range

The range from which my black box came consists of three units: the DA-E570 (the entry-level model), the DA-E750 which is at the top of the range and then the DA-E670 which is the mid-range offer.

All three these units offer a dual-docking system for your Samsung Galaxy (S II, S III, Note, Player) as well as your Apple (iPhone, iPad, iPod).

Whats all the noise about?

The box, measuring 400mm wide, 120mm high and 200mm deep weighs in at a very substantial 4.2kg. It is finished in a sparkling, shiny black.

Total power output is 40W with each of the two main glass fibre speakers delivering a respectable 10W. The woofer is built-in at the back and is not visible from the front.

The dual-docking system is hidden under a panel at the back that opens when pressed; the operation of this panel is smooth and radiates quality build.

The real beauty of the unit lies in the host of connectivity options. Apart from the docking system, a USB port is available. Connection via bluetooth is also available and boasts aptX for the delivery of wired audio quality via bluetooth. There are also options for both wired or wireless LAN and even an auxiliary in plug for connecting other devices.

On top of the unit is a round control in which a display panel is incorporated. From here the function can be changed, volume adjusted and playback can be paused or started. The display panel only displays a symbol to identify the source and no track information is displayed.

The unit boasts Airplay to play music saved on your Apple device and also Allshare Play to play music saved on your PC, smartphone or NAS.

A sound experience

Using this unit is such a pleasure. Unfortunately I don’t own any Apple or Samsung devices so I had no need to dock anything. However, I had two different smartphones connect via bluetooth with the greatest of ease. Even my wife had no problem connecting her laptop via bluetooth, and for a little while our office was filled with the beautiful sound produced by this unit. I tried to connect it to the wireless network in my office, but I must admit that it was a very half-hearted effort. I preferred leaving the bluetooth on my phone turned on and it was such a pleasure when the music started to play just as I walked into the office.

Although not tested, playing music from a memory stick should be easy and the unit supports MP3, WAV and WMA audio files. Just keep in mind that no display is provided for track info, so make sure you have the right music on that memory stick.

Sound reproduction is crystal clear and very pleasing. The glass fibre speakers do a superb job and even though I pushed the volume, I never got it to distort.

The unit fades out the music when a call is received or when a message is delivered and would fade the music back in after the message tone played.

It has a remote control which meant that I never touched the unit once after I had set it up in the office. Even though the shiny finish is likely to show fingerprints very quickly, there is actually no need to touch the unit once set up unless you want to dock your iPhone or Galaxy. But then, who wants to dock if you can do everything wirelessly? This little Samsung wonder just makes it all so easy.

One oddity is that the option of playing with treble and bass is not there. But then I didn’t miss it either, the unit renders the music very well.

Changing the scales

Why would I consider purchasing this unit? Well, the sound is superb. It is so very simple to use and there is really no connectivity issues that I can report. And it makes for quite an impressive display in its simplicity.

What could turn the scales? Price and functionality. The Samsung DA-E670 retails for around US$500 (R4500). That is quite a hefty price tag for a unit that boasts dual-docking as the single most important feature.

However, even though it boasts fewer features than many of its more affordable rivals, the Samsung DA-E670 certainly should not be overlooked.

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