Hands-on with Samsung’s Music Frame at CES 2024

Mike Andronico/CNN Emphasis

CNN Underscored is on the ground at CES 2024 in Las Vegas to pick the tech products that really deserve your attention. Be sure to follow ours Center for CES 2024 coverage for the latest hands-on reviews straight from the world’s largest electronics show.

Samsung’s The Frame TV has long been one of the company’s most popular products (and a big hit with Underscored readers), so perhaps it was only a matter of time before the company brought its penchant for technological art displays to the audio world. It does just that with the Samsung Music Frame, which is a square-shaped speaker that doubles as a physical photo frame that you can hang on your wall.

We had a chance to get up close and personal with the Music Frame at CES 2024, and while it’s not as exciting or high-tech as its TV counterpart, it could prove to be a great addition to any Samsung-centric home theater setup.

Mike Andronico/CNN Emphasis

The Music Frame looked like a fairly ordinary photo frame at first glance – until I got up close and heard it make an impressively loud and clear sound. This 13 x 13-inch frame packs a total of six speakers into its unassuming design, and while it was difficult to properly judge its audio quality on a crowded convention floor, the fact that I could still hear the sounds of music and movies amidst the chaos is promising sign.

Unlike Frame TV, the art part of Music Frame is completely analog; instead of a screen that displays convincingly authentic works of digital art, this device simply displays whatever photos or paintings you choose to put inside it. Fortunately, changing art seems like a breeze as I was able to easily snap the front panel on and off thanks to four secure notches that hold the front panel in place. The actual 8 x 8-inch photo display area seems a bit small, though Samsung says you’ll also be able to order custom prints for the front of the Music Frame through a third-party seller for an as-yet-undisclosed price.

Mike Andronico/CNN Emphasis

The Music Frame supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, meaning you can sync it with your existing Samsung SmartThings gadgets or simply pair your phone directly to it to blast some tunes. Want to change songs or check the time with your voice? Music Frame has you covered there with support for Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby.

The device is compatible with Samsung’s Q-Symphony ecosystem (which plays audio from both your soundbar and the TV’s speakers for more immersive sound), giving you an additional audio source to better immerse yourself. You can also pair two or more together for proper surround sound. Samsung’s booth at CES allowed us to try out a demo—one with just a Samsung TV and soundbar, and another with a music frame added. Again, it was hard to tell the difference in a noisy room, but I can’t wait to see how well it all works in a quieter setup. It’s also worth noting that you can use the Music Frame as a speaker for a non-Samsung TV; pairing and compatibility just won’t be as seamless.

Mike Andronico/CNN Emphasis

I’m both intrigued and a little excited about the Samsung Music Frame. The Frame TV is one of the best TVs we’ve tested, and the idea of ​​bringing its combination of decor and home entertainment into a small picture frame is fascinating. But while the Music Frame sounds great for its size (at least from what I’ve been able to gather so far); it lacks the dynamic digital display that makes the TV analog so valuable.

The appeal of the Music Frame will largely come down to its price, which we don’t yet know. But if you want something that complements your Samsung TV and soundbar both in terms of aesthetics and sound, this unique speaker is worth keeping on your radar once it’s released sometime in 2024.

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