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Samsung Music Frame

We all love good quality audio – you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t. But sometimes you don’t want a great big speaker ruining the carefully chosen decor in your living room or kitchen. Well, fear not - Samsung thinks it has the answer in the discreet form of the Music Frame.

This clever wireless speaker takes its cues from the brand’s popular and award-winning ‘The Frame’ lifestyle TV, and as the Music Frame’s name suggests it looks like a perfectly innocuous picture frame – albeit one that's a bit deeper than usual and requires a power cable.

If the intention is to blend seamlessly into the background, then the Music Frame is already an unqualified success. It really does look like a picture frame, and allows you to customise the front panel with your own photos or with art printed on acrylic panels by third party vendors.

However, it doesn’t just look the part, since the boffins at Samsung Audio Labs have managed to cram in a two-channel system - each three-way speaker features a front-firing tweeter and midrange driver, plus a rear-firing woofer for the lower frequencies.

By its very nature the Music Frame has a panel on the front, so the real trick is finding a way of effectively distributing the sound from the speakers at the edges through a gap only 9mm wide. This is where the specially designed waveguide with wide dispersion comes into play.

In terms of connectivity, the Music Frame has you covered with wi-fi and Bluetooth, plus support for Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay. There’s also Amazon Alexa built-in for added smarts, along with access to Amazon Music, Apple Music, TIDAL and the ubiquitous Spotify Connect.

Sound quality

It’s often the case with lifestyle products that you end up compromising performance in favour of convenience, but the Music Frame blows that theory out of the water by simultaneously looking like a picture and delivering a detailed performance that’s surprisingly big - and very enjoyable.

Samsung is a little vague on the exact specs, but despite being relatively small the tweeters and midrange drivers in each of the two built in speakers produce a clear top end that’s free of congestion. What’s even more impressive is these speakers project through a gap only 9mm wide. The rear woofers also play their part, generating a low end that feels well-defined, and surprisingly deep.

What’s really remarkable is the Music Frame’s ability to disperse the sound across the room. You wouldn’t usually expect much stereo separation from speakers only 30cm apart - and yet the ingenious waveguide manages to widen the sweet spot and expand the overall soundstage.

Once again, Samsung is tight-lipped on the amplification in the Music Frame, but there’s no denying there’s sufficient juice for all but the largest rooms. This speaker can certainly hit unsociable volumes, and does so without sounding strained, losing composure or distorting.

The Music Frame supports Dolby Atmos, and uses psychoacoustic processing to give music mixed in this format greater dimensionality. The two-channel system in the Music Frame can’t compete with a genuinely immersive system such as the Samsung HW-Q990D soundbar, but it breathes life into Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon Atmos mix, giving it an added sense of height.

There are a number of useful features, including ‘Adaptive Sound’ - it automatically optimises the sound for specific audio content, bringing out vocals and instruments with clarity and detail. The ‘Active Voice Amplifier’ is also handy, boosting voices and adapting them to changing noise levels, so you don't miss a word of your favourite podcast even when vacuuming the lounge. Don’t worry, I checked!

Living with

The Music Frame is incredibly easy to set up, thanks to Samsung’s SmartThings app. It not only takes you through the process, including connecting to your wi-fi, but also runs ‘SpaceFit Sound Pro’, which analyses reverberations in the room and makes corrections to optimise the performance.

The SmartThings app also doubles as a controller, although if you have a Samsung TV you can use its zapper as a remote for the Music Frame. There are some basic buttons along the right-hand side of the frame, but these can be quite hard to read because they are black-on-black.

Power is provided by an adapter and ultra-thin cable that leads to the Music Frame itself, which makes wall-mounting tidier. There’s a kit included in the box, allowing you to fit the frame flush against the wall. Just remember this particular picture frame is 14cm deep, and will stick out a bit.

Alternatively, you can use the provided stand which offers a good support and places the Music Frame at a slight angle. Whether you choose stand- or wall-mounting, the simple black frame and customisable front panel makes it easy to blend this well-made speaker into its surroundings.

The wireless connectivity is excellent with wi-fi, Bluetooth 5.2, Chromecast and AirPlay. If you own a Samsung smartphone you can also use the ‘Tap Sound’ feature – you literally just tap your phone against the frame and it will automatically connect, so you can immediately start streaming.

Once you’re connected, you have a decent choice of music streamers including TIDAL, Spotify, and Apple Music thanks to AirPlay. The Music Frame has Alexa built-in, which not only turns it into a smart speaker but also adds another streaming service in the shape of Amazon Music.

If you own a Samsung TV the Music Frame has a few other tricks up its sleeve, including the ability to connect wirelessly with your television. It also supports Q Symphony, allowing it to act as a front or surround speaker as part of a system with a compatible Samsung TV or soundbar.


The Samsung Music Frame is a successful lifestyle product, because it manages to convincingly look like something else while delivering the sound quality expected from a wireless speaker. 

There are customisation choices, along with options to stand or wall mount like an actual picture frame, plus it’s extremely well made. Crucially it also sounds excellent, with a big and powerful delivery that combines precision and scale. It even manages to support Dolby Atmos, although a degree of expectation-management is required when reproducing this immersive audio format.

There are a host of features aimed at existing Samsung owners, including the ability to sync to the brand’s Q Symphony TVs and soundbars, along with simple setup, various control options, good connectivity, built-in smarts and a solid choice of music streaming services. All of which makes this frame ideal for anyone wanting to enjoy their favourite music without cluttering up their living space.

Listening notes

David Bowie Seven

The Music Frame perfectly captures the song’s acoustic strumming, wistful vocals and aching strings, all while Reeves Gabrels’ anguished electric guitar weaves its way in and out.

Suede Still Life

The opening vocals and acoustic guitar are rendered with pleasing precision, before the song builds to its symphonic climax - which the Music Frame handles with suitable scale.

World Party Put the Message in the Box

This upbeat pop/rock ditty is driven by a great guitar riff and earnest vocals, combined with a tight rhythm section – all of which the Music Frame delivers with an infectious level of fun.

What the press say

Why you should buy it

The Samsung Music Frame achieves the rare distinction of being a lifestyle speaker that isn’t forced to compromise on sound quality. The clever design allows it to blend seamlessly with your decor, but no matter where you are in the room you can still enjoy wonderful sound and plenty of smart features. At £499 it won’t break the bank either - so put yourself in the picture.

Video review

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