If I were awarding medals for brilliant PR stunts, my next gold would have to go to Samsung. That’s because they had the genius idea of launching their new range of Bluetooth speaker docks at Dans Le Noir – one of those restaurants where you eat in pitch black. You see, Samsung haven’t done speaker docks before, but they reckon their first attempts will produce some serious sound – and in the dark you might easily mistake them for a more, ahem, how do i put this? Premium brand.
Indeed, when I wasn’t doing my best to avoid stabbing the journo next to me with my knife and fork or inappropriately groping the PR sat opposite, I was fairly blown away by the sound produced by the top-of-the-range DA-E750, seen top left in a fetching Rose Wood finish.
That disc sat on top is a valve amp, which instead of utilising electronic transistors like most modern speakers, uses vacuum tubes to create a warm, old-skool sound. The result is a treat, and what impresses most is the separation between instruments and voices. Even when singing and playing the same note, I could clearly hear the silky voice of Birdy distinctively from the piano she plays on People Help The People. I know. If I had a beard I’d be stroking it sagely now.
Anyway, turn up the lights and, unlike the conclusion of most episodes of Dating In The Dark, and it turns out that the DA-E750 is really, really, good-looking. And even if the red ain’t your thing, it also comes in black (the DA-E751). Hurrah! It’s just a bit of a shame it doesn’t have a retro price tag, but I’d have to say £599 isn’t at all unreasonable. After all we do have a top-notch 100W speaker that supports Bluetooth and Apple Airplay for wireless tunes, with a hidden dock that will make friends with iPods, iPhones and iPads and Samsung’s Galaxy tablets and phones. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on the Nobel shortlist.
But if you’re Lady Strapeth of Casheth, Samsung have three more affordable options for you, which are, in brief:
- The beautiful, retro DA-E670, £299.99, which does all the above but without a valve amplifier and comes in black.
- The modern DA-E650, £199.99, which comes in black or the rose brown pictured. Its funky horn shape is designed to get the most out of the 40W speaker. Its hidden dock (it pops out of the front this time) also plays nice with Apple and Samsung devices, including tablets, and has Bluetooth, but no AirPlay.
- The affordable, chic DA-E550, £179.99, which has a 10W speakers and the same Bluetooth and docking capabilities (including the option to dock and charge an iThing and a Galaxy thing at the same time). This one comes in white.
So there we have it. I just wonder if any of the department stores selling them are willing to turn down the lights to give you the full effect. You never know!