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Bang & Olufsen unveils ultra-rugged, portable Bluetooth speaker

Danish audio outfit Bang & Olufsen (B&O) is perhaps best-known for producing sleek, high-end, goose-bump-inducing audio equipment — the sort of stuff that might show up in 007’s latest film. That said, they have plenty of affordable and accessible options as well. You can add the Beosound Explore to that list: A new Bluetooth speaker tailored to those who prefer a backpack and a thermos to a tux and a martini.

With a scratch-resistant, type-2-anodized aluminum surface, Bang & Olufsen touts this speaker as its toughest to date, a claim backed up by its IP67 dust and waterproof rating.  Even the design evokes a rugged adventure, with a ribbed exterior that looks a bit like an aluminum can.

Bang & Olufsen Besound Explore
Bang & Olufsen

The attachable carabiner makes it easy to clip to your gear and its cylindrical shape is designed to slide into backpack pockets alongside the rest of your provisions. Checking in at just under 1.5 pounds, it shouldn’t weigh you down, either.

Since outlets are few and far between out on the trail, battery life is an important concern here. We haven’t taken the speaker for a test run yet, but Bang & Olufsen claims that the Explore will keep kicking for 27 hours (at average listening volume) on a 2-hour charge. The speaker uses a USB-C connection for both charging and streaming and is compatible with Bluetooth 5.2, Apple Fast Pair MFI, Google Fast Pair, and Microsoft Swift Pair.

If you have two Explores around the campfire, they can be set up as a stereo pair.

Of course, any speaker designed for the great outdoors also needs to be loud enough to carry through the open air. Fortunately, the Explore boasts a max volume of 91 decibels, so you can rest assured that the crickets won’t drown out the sound of your tunes. As for the rest of the specs, the speaker sports a pair of 1.8-inch full-range drivers and two 30-watt, Class D amplifiers. Again, we haven’t taken it for a spin yet, but that should provide plenty of punch and range for something this totable.

The Beosound Explore retails for $200 (definitely on the cheaper end of the spectrum for B&O) and is available now, in three color options — just in time for camping/hiking season.

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