What Makes Bang & Olufsen Audio Systems So Special?
B&O have already moved into wireless speakers and true to themselves, make them beautiful. Bang & Olufsen is a Danish consumer electronics company, which was founded in 1925, and has a long history of creating beautifully designed audio systems. Only a handful of audio companies have ventured into to the world creating music systems that don’t take over your home but are a functional part of it.
B&O Beosound 1 and 2 Wireless Speaker Comparison Table
Sometimes B&O systems blend into the home, and others will make a bolder statement. One thing for sure, Bang & Olufsen luxury music systems are well suited for your homes living room, and always worth learning more about, if you’re in the hunt for a great audio system.
Something is very different when you experience B&O first hand. It doesn’t follow any of the styling cues of box speakers and components seen in most audio salons.
Audiophiles will often attempt to describe the component style of high-end audio equipment as attractive and easy to use. I believe most of us, including our wives and partners, would disagree.
With B&O you’ll find another approach. Instead of a stack of components, you’ll get a music system that is home friendly, has standout aesthetics, with a unified look, and is easy and smarter to use than traditional components could ever be.
A Bang & Olufsen music system has been the pet of the stylish crowd for years. A B&O wireless audio system will always be at home where the interior decorator rules. Still, the fact is, these audio products will always catch your eye, sound superb, and their design aesthetic also extends to how they work.
Along with unique looks, a lot of effort is put into delivering a truly elegant user interface, including features like touch controls, and the B&O control app are both attractive and a breeze to use.
If you’re willing to pay a little extra for equipment that not only works well and sounds great, is compact and stylish, is a real pleasure to use, then you need to seriously consider Bang & Olufsen.
What Is Bang & Olufsen’s Speaker Design Philosophy?
We need to spend a moment on the design philosophy at B&O because it’s one reason to always keep your eye on B&O audio systems. Mainy speaker mfgs. will have new speaker designs to offer but to the eye it can look like more of the same.
When audio company’s make a popular speaker they will plan an upgrade path for product and tell the designers to stay clear of a new concepts. So they stick with the upgrade path which means improving the existing design a bit. Or, they incorporate improvements learned from reviewers and owners of the product.
Sometimes better components become available, or some new finishes or fabrics are offered to refresh the product for a new year.
Lastly, said company’s design philosophy explores new shapes for these speaker enclosures as long as it is some variation of a box. Upgrading box speakers may be OK for most companies but B&O seems inspired to take a very different path.
The designers and engineers have always explored more unique shapes and exotic materials for their speaker enclosures than anyone on the planet.
When B&O asks its designers to come up with new models the designers will do more than incorporate new tech into existing designs. More often than not they test the boundaries of what constitutes a “speaker enclosure”.
This is what we imagined when the engineers and designers tackled the idea of the all-in-one BeoSound with a clean idea sheet.
BeoSound 1 & 2 Review
Could the striking cone configuration of the new BeoSound music system be inspired by the Lava Lamp? We imagine the Bang & Olufsen engineers on a cold winter night in Denmark were inspired by the iconic Lava Lamp.
It is one of the defining products of the sixties, and it might be a mind expanding idea, but don’t play any swinging sixties music and tell me I’m wrong about the similarity of the shape.
Both BeoSound speakers are and elegant all-in-one device for playing streaming audio that combines superb sound quality and elegant good looks in a single compact and easy to use unit.
The BeoSound 1 is a shiny metal cone, it has a very attractive continuous brushed-metal finish and the BeoSound 1 is portable, and features an internal Li-ion rechargeable battery that is not part of the Beosound 2 configuration.
B & O's 360 Degree Wireless Speaker System [Video]
Both BeoSound speakers can play music from a variety of sources, including local Apple Airplay, ChromeCast, and DLNA servers, as well as Bluetooth devices, streaming services like Spotify and Deezer, and Internet Radio.
The BeoSound 1 can be used individually, or as a stereo pair, and can interact and receive audio from other BeoLink MultiRoom products. The BeoSound connects to your network and the Internet via 10/100 mB Ethernet or 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and to audio sources like smart phones via Bluetooth.
Most standard file types are supported, including WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AAC, and MP3 - at sample rates and bit depths up to 24/192k.
The BeoSound is controlled locally via the touch control built into the top of the cone. Tapping the touch surface switches it on; switching sources or changing the volume is done by swiping or rotating the touch sensitive control wheel.
The BeoSound even has a proximity sensor that detects your position and ensures that it responds intuitively to your gestures no matter where you’re standing when you operate it. The BeoSound can also be operated via the BeoMusic App, which works on a variety of platforms, including Apple smartphones, and even the Apple Watch.
The BeoMusic control App features a clean and uncluttered interface which makes it easy to control the BeoSound 1 from your favorite portable device. Also, Google Cast, Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth can also connect you instantly with your music.
BeoSound 2 Wireless 360 Speaker Features & Comparison [Video]
Other Specs Worth Noting about BeoSound 1 & 2
The BeoSound 1 is portable and is about 6-1/2” in diameter, 13” high, and weighing just under 8 pounds. It delivers its room filling sound from an omni-directional 1-1/2” full range driver mounted near its top, and a separate bottom mounted 4” woofer. The full range driver is powered by a 40 watt Class D amplifier, while a separate 20 watt Class D amp powers the subwoofer.
Also, BeoSound 1 can go anywhere, no AC around and the party can keep going. The battery life is rated as at least 4 hours at loud listening levels, and up to 16 hours at background levels.
The BeoSound 2 is not portable and is the slightly larger companion for the BeoSound 1 and has sonic capabilities beyond what its smaller companion can achieve. The 2 features more advanced speakers and more of them. They include a 1¾" downward firing tweeter, two back to back 2” midrange drivers, and finishing off with a 5 inch bass driver. Along with 120 watts spread among the five amplifiers.
The BeoSound 2 is a about 7-3/4” in diameter, 17” high, and weighing about nine pounds. It has the same brushed-metal finish, with a circular slot near the top but adds vertical slots lining the top third of the cone’s surface. Unlike the BeoSound 1, the BeoSound 2 is bigger, weighs more and lacks battery power.
Stop The Press!
The SQ (sound quality) between BeoSound 1 and 2 is significant. They have their own sonic signature because of the use of different types of speaker drivers in both units. If you want the maximum musical impact the 2 has much more sonic authority, the highs have sweetness and the stereo effects are greater.
Basically, what the 2 lacks in portability it makes up for with a more dramatic sound.
The Design Story: BeoSound 1 & BeoSound 2 [Video]
A BeoSound is a great sounding audio component, and an awesome piece of modern art, all in one. However, they are a major purchase, and so one you should consider carefully. For one thing, not everyone will like the looks, so make sure up front that you enjoy Bang and Olufsen’s ideas about how a modern audio component should look.
Regardless of its specifications, at normal listening levels we found the BeoSound 1 sounds wonderful. The 1 is not going to fill a large room with ground shaking bass, play nearly as loudly, or sound quite as good as a full-sized audio system but it will surprise you with great sonics overall.
Also, because it’s powered by a battery, it isn’t going to play as loudly as it’s larger brother the BeoSound 2, and how long that battery lasts does depend on how loud you play it. But it can deliver great music on the patio for music during your cocktail party, or to provide background music all day. We did find the batteries running out if you play loud.
Then there’s the price…. The BeoSound 1 and 2 are expensive. But, if you want to sneak a audiophile high-end hi-fi into your home with no complaints with the decorator in the house, BeoSound is the way to go.
On the plus side, B&O stuff lasts forever, has hi-fi audio performance, exotic looks, and has excellent construction quality… On the minus side, it does represent a significant investment, both when you buy your first component, and when you expand your system later – so make sure it fits in your budget
How Does Multiroom Work With The Bang & Olufsen Ecosystem?
When you’re considering a device like the BeoSound, you should keep in mind that it works especially well with other Bang and Olufsen components; it can share music with them, and you can control it with the same App on your smartphone or Apple Watch.
So, if you’re going to add music to more rooms later, or you already have audio in some rooms, it makes a lot of sense to use components from the same vendor. For example, if you’re doing up your entire home, you can put a BeoPlay A9 in the living room, a BeoSound 2 in the bedroom, and use a BeoSound 1 on your patio.
Even if you’re only buying a single component now, it makes sense to plan for the future, and start a system that you can expand later. And, if you put one in the living room today, you can put another one of these best wireless speakers for the den, on your holiday shopping list for next year.