high-fidelity ipod systems?
Samsung DA-E670 Speaker System Review
Impressive look, impressive sound
I recently had an opportunity to try out the Samsung DA-E670 powered speaker system at home. This powered speaker system is pretty good-sized (15-3/4"W x 7-15/16"H x 5-1/2"D), so I couldn’t place it in some out-of-the-way location. And I didn’t want to anyway. The system has a clean, sophisticated design that I didn’t mind showing off. And in terms of audio performance, it more than justified the space it occupied (more on that later).
I could connect to the DA-E670 a variety of ways. It has a retractable dock for an iPod® or iPhone®. And the dock’s compatible with Samsung’s Galaxy S™ II/III Android™ smartphone.
I could also make a number of wireless connections. If I was using iTunes® on my computer, I could wirelessly connect it (and my Apple portable devices) to the DA-E670 using Apple AirPlay®. I could make a simple Bluetooth® connection to any device that was Bluetooth-compatible. If I was running Windows® Media, I could connect my PC (and Galaxy smartphone or tablet) to the system through Samsung's AllShare, a version of DLNA that lets you stream music from compatible devices.
[To find out more about DLNA, read our article DLNA connects audio/video components across your home network]
With so many wireless choices, I suspect if I owned the DA-E670 the dock would probably go unused.
AirPlay: Wired to wireless
Since I have a PowerBook® where I manage my iTunes library, I tried out the system with AirPlay. Before the computer could find the DA-E670, it had to be part of my home network. That meant I had to make an Ethernet connection from the system to the router so that the DA-E670’s info could be incorporated into the network. This is a one-time setup procedure, so after it was done, I could disconnect the Ethernet cable. My computer (and any Apple portable accessing my network), could find the DA-E670, and wirelessly stream music to it using AirPlay.
[To find out more about how AirPlay works, read our article Intro to Apple AirPlay]
AirPlay functionality was great. My iTunes program found the speakers without any problem, and soon I was enjoying my music library playing through the DA-E670.
Bluetooth: Wireless from the start
I was also curious to see if there was any difference in sound quality between the system's Bluetooth and AirPlay connection. Unlike AirPlay and AllShare setup, which required an initial Ethernet connection, I didn’t have to do anything special to pair my computer with the DA-E670. I just set the DA-E670 to Bluetooth mode, and my computer found and paired with the device. Within a few minutes I was playing my music through the system via Bluetooth.
I didn’t hear any significant difference between using AirPlay or Bluetooth. Playing the same tracks using AirPlay and then Bluetooth, the music seemed to have the about the same level of detail at comparable volume levels.
So how about that sound?
Overall, the sound quality was impressive. The speakers are set far enough apart to throw out a quite spacious sound field. And the rear-firing subwoofer really did its job. When I was listening to orchestral music and other genres that don’t have prominent bass (but still have a wide dynamic range), the selections just sounded right. The subwoofer subtly filled in the lower register giving those tracks a natural fullness.
For genres that did feature bass — such as heavy metal, hip hop, and drum and bass, the low notes hit with authority and a good deal of articulation. And at low volume levels, the bass didn’t degenerate into mud — it held its form, so I could still hear individual notes.
Bottom line – great for music lovers
As I mentioned at the beginning, this is not a compact speaker system. And that’s fine — the quality of the sound the DA-E670 puts out justifies the space it takes up. I can see the DA-E670 being the primary audio system for a loft apartment, a summer home, or a large family room (which is where I auditioned it). The system has a distinctive look, and an equally distinctive sound. And having a choice of wireless connections just made it all the more appealing. If most of your music is stored on a computer or smartphone, and you’re looking for a simple, high-performance stereo system, I recommend the Samsung DA-E670 powered speaker system,