B&O reveal a £3000 “rolling” speaker; the Beosound Edge
Bang & Olufsen has conquered the luxury speaker market at IFA 2018 with its latest product announcement, the Beosound Edge. It’s a massive, circular, wireless speaker that pumps out crystal clear sound and potent bass from both sides.
It’s loud enough that it could single-handedly keep a house party happy but, in typical Bang & Olufsen fashion, it also doubles up as an artistic centrepiece for your living room with its gorgeous one-piece reflective aluminium case.
Interestingly, Beosound Edge creator Michael Anastassiades cites the British £1 coin as inspiration for the design of his giant circular wireless speaker. Clearly he didn’t get the memo that the round UK pound coin was phased out last October…[gallery:1]
So, while it doesn’t actually look like a massively scaled-up pound coin, it certainly is very loud. In fact, it blew me away with a wall of sound that filled the whole room – and this was a very big room.
Inside, the speaker’s components are tightly packed; the stylish matte black fabric covers five speaker drivers and six sturdy amps, including a massive 10in woofer bass driver. While its components may be compact, the Edge distributes sound equally from either of its faces. Place it on a table in the middle of a large gathering, for example, and everyone will be able to enjoy the same audio experience. It can be moved easily, and it’s also possible to aim the sound using the Directional Sound Control, which mutes one of the acoustic fronts to create an active listening area and a passive listening area in the same room.
Having heard that the Beosound Edge was a rolling speaker, I was expecting to see it zoom around the room like a Star Wars droid, but the reality is more subtle. In what B&O call a “magic” feature (it actually uses a motion sensor), the volume can be controlled by tilting the speaker left and right on its well-balanced base.
It’s no BB-8, but it’s a lovely interactive feature that really makes you feel like you’re physically controlling the device, rather than using a remote to do so. The Edge can also be wall-mounted, although I’m not sure how easy it is to take down and move around the house once it’s up there due to its sheer height and width.
Another innovation with the Beosound Edge is its Active Bass Port, a neat automatic feature that mimics the action of a spoiler on a sports car by opening up for big, bold bass activation and closing for more accurate sound reproduction at lower volumes. It’s equally capable at playing a classical symphony or blaring out room-shaking bass, as I found during my hands-on time with the Edge at IFA 2018.
It’s got beauty, but it’s also a beast – It’s just a shame that it costs almost £3,000. But with Bang & Olufsen, that’s hardly a surprise.
If you can afford to pay such a premium, then this looks like the home speaker to own in 2018.