B&O Has A Crack At Network Speaker Market New Modular Design
Bang & Olufsen, who is desperately trying to claw back share in the premium audio market after thousands of customers deserted the brand, has released a new wireless speaker.
The $2K system is modular and allows owners to swap out parts as well as redesign the look of the speaker.
The Beosound Level delivers 16 hours of battery life voice control is via Google Assistant, Bluetooth, and you can also stream to it via the AirPlay 2, Chromecast, and Spotify Connect standards.
B&O’s hope is that the modular design it’s using for the Beosound Level will help the company hang onto customers many who have deserted them, as well as making it easier to repair when components fail.
Also swappable is the design covers which can be swapped if you decide to update your interior decor and want it to match.
The pearl-blasted aluminium frame is covered in your choice of either natural oak veneer (treated to highlight the natural grains and texture of the wood) or knitted dark grey Kvadrat textile.
The Beosound Level can stand up, lie on its side, or be wall-hung, automatically tuning itself tuning based on its orientation. There’s a carry handle so you can lug it about, and its dust- and splash-proof (IP54-rated) chassis makes it suitable to be taken into the garden, too. Walk up to the speaker and it will light up to greet you using its built-in proximity sensors.
There is also a swish magnetic charger, too, that clicks onto the back of the device. The optional wall bracket doubles as a charger if you want to leave it in situ, too.
Other features include a built-in accelerometer that allows the Beosound Level to adjust its sound depending on whether it’s standing vertically, horizontally, or hanging on a wall. (A wall bracket is available separately).
Internally, the speaker has five drivers: two 4-inch woofers, one 2-inch full-range driver, and two 0.8-inch tweeters.
Charging is either handled via a USB-C port on the speaker itself or by attaching a small magnetic plug (which is powered over USB). The speaker has an IP54 rating for dust and water resistance, touch controls, and it’s available with wood or fabric finishes.
The Verge said We’ve seen companies try to take modular approaches with their devices before, but success has been elusive so far.