Samsung DA-F61 review
The DA-F61 is a portable Bluetooth speaker completely geared up for listening to music on the move. It has a built-in Lithium-ion battery, a USB port to charge your smartphone or MP3 player, and even a magnetic case to protect the speaker grille.
It’s a great-looking speaker, thanks to its metallic finish and pop-out chunky volume knob. The only part we didn’t like was the rather wobbly stand.
If your phone runs Android 4 or above and has built-in NFC, you can pair with the speaker automatically via a simple tap. Otherwise, it involves holding down the Bluetooth button for a couple of seconds and searching for the speaker from your Bluetooth menu; there’s no passcode, and your phone thinks it’s a normal Bluetooth headset. The speaker can also receive audio from a modern Samsung TV using SoundShare, but we didn’t have the correct TV handy to test this.
Whether or not we liked the DA-F61’s sound depended on the type of music to which we listened. It coped well with the fast beats of drum and bass, but an overall lack of bass made some guitar tracks sound harsh. Punk tracks didn’t fare too well since the bass drum was more of a “phut” than a boom. We found the sound was more impressive at low volumes than medium or high, where the speaker maintained some bass but didn’t become tiring to listen to. It sounds better than many portable speakers we’ve come across but, considering the sky-high price, we were expecting something truly special.
The DA-F61 supports the aptX codec, which provides higher-bandwidth audio streaming than the older A2DP standard. You’ll need a phone that supports it, such as the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 or HTC One, but it will be a challenge to hear the difference on such a small speaker; you normally need a decent pair of headphones. Audio streamed to the speaker from an aptX-compatible phone sounded slightly smoother, but there was little in it.
The Samsung DA-F61 feels like a high-quality item, is easy to use and has great battery life; we saw more than 24 hours of Bluetooth playback at moderate volumes. Its sound quality is variable, though, depending on the type of music, and it’s hugely expensive. Pure’s Jongo S3 portable speaker is better value, and can also be used as part of a multiroom setup.
|Speaker type||2 x 10W, 1 x passive bass radiator|
|Speaker power ouput||20W|
|RCA (phono) inputs||0|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||1|
|Optical S/PDIF inputs||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF inputs||0|
|USB audio inputs||0|
|Wired remote power/volume control||no|