Bang & Olufsen is no stranger to introducing new products at IFA, so we weren’t exactly surprised when it announced its new BeoSound 1 and 2 speakers on Wednesday. What might have caught us off guard is just how impressive they sound.
Both the BeoSound 1 and 2 offer 360-degree sound, but this isn’t a first for the company — it’s BeoPlay A1, released in April, also offered 360-degree sound. The difference is that B&O reserves the BeoSound name for its higher-end products, and that’s definitely what we’re looking at here. As a result, these might be some of the first 360-degree speakers that have truly impressed us when it comes to both looks and sound.
The BeoSound 1 puts an emphasis on portability, with a built-in rechargeable battery that allows it to be carried around your home. Battery life is stated as up to 16 hours of playback time at “moderate” volume, or four hours when listening at louder volumes. That’s still fairly impressive considering it packs in two amplifiers — one 40-watt class D amplifier for the full-range driver, and another 20-watt class D amplifier for the woofer.
The BeoSound 2 is larger, louder, and as a result, less portable. This model needs to be plugged in at all times, but packs in a total of five amplifiers. Dual 20-watt class D amplifiers power the woofer, while a pair of 11-watt class D amps power the two mid-range drivers, and a single 40-watt driver powers the tweeter.
Both speakers bring the 360-degree concept to the design of the speaker as well as the sound. Both models feature a conical design that looks similar to the base of a lamp, allowing them to blend in with the decor of a room rather than loudly declare exactly what they are.
Bluetooth is supported on both models, but that’s only the start. Google Cast, AirPlay, and DLNA are all supported, allowing most of the control of the speaker to be done with your phone. Multiroom is also supported, so if you have multiple units, playing your music across all of them is simple and easy.