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Bang & Olufsen’s BeoPlay P6 packs portable power, access to your assistants

Bang & Olufsen's BeoPlay P6 speaker packs a lot of power into a pretty package

B&O BeoPlay P6

When it comes to design, few companies can go toe to toe with Danish audio legend Bang & Olufsen. Its ever-evolving lineup of home audio gear consistently tops people’s lists when they think about products that look as good as they sound. Today, that lineup expands with a new portable speaker, the $400 USD BeoPlay P6.

It’s an all-aluminum design that features integrated, perforated grilles on both sides, a leather hand-strap, and flush-mounted control buttons that sit atop the speaker. Though not circular like Apple’s HomePod, or Amazon’s Echo, B&O claims the P6 will still deliver room-filling, 360-degree sound. It certainly has some impressive internals: Three class-D amps send signals to one full-range driver and one sub-woofer, for a total peak-power rating of 215 watts — a number that we’d normally expect from much bigger systems.

The internal rechargeable battery can keep the P6 humming for up to 16 hours, according to the press release, while a single USB-C cable is all you need when it comes time to fill it back up.

The BeoPlay P6 is splash and dust-resistant, which means that just like the Sonos One, it’s more than capable of handling moisture-heavy locations like bathrooms. Unlike the Sonos One, or the vast array of smart speakers now flooding the market, the P6 isn’t exactly “smart.” We’ll call it “smarter” than a regular wireless speaker, in that you can use its OneTouch button to summon a personal assistant like Siri or Google Assistant, but you’ll need to have a compatible smartphone connected to do this — and no, it can’t respond to “Hey Siri,” or “Hey Google.”

Although the P6 is Bluetooth 4.2 only, which means it can’t be integrated into a whole-home system via Wi-Fi, it does offer a wireless pairing mode that lets you create a stereo pair using two P6 speakers.

The BeoPlay P6 hits stores and the Bang & Olufsen website on April 23, and it comes in two pearl-blasted finishes: Black and Natural. Pre-orders start right away, and while $400 is a hefty price to pay for a Bluetooth speaker — even one as eye-catching as the BeoPlay P6 — B&O backs it with a two-year warranty and lets you try it out at home for 30 days … a much better deal than you’d get with other products in this category.

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