Bang & Olufsen has a well-deserved reputation for quality audio experiences and stylish, attractive equipment.
During CES 2018, the company promised to bring voice control to its range of speakers and headphones and is now delivering on this with two new smart speakers that combine Google’s voice assistant expertise and Bang & Olufsen’s unrelenting focus on quality sound.
The two Beosound units feature a conical body releasing bass, and a speaker driver at the top which plays downwards into an acoustical lens. This design is claimed to create an evenly distributed spherical sound profile.
The black composite top functions as a minimalistic control panel and is simply turned to adjust volume. The speaker has sensors to detect which way it is approached so swiping for next and previous track will work no matter the side you come from.
Four buttons can be assigned favourite tasks like streaming radio, reading the weather report, or any other task you can perform with Google Assistant.
“We are on an exciting journey to bring the convenience of voice technology across the portfolio to our audience of design-conscious customers, who expect the highest standards in terms of sound and craftsmanship. Considering that Beosound 2 with the Google Assistant is the most powerful and best sounding voice-enabled speaker on the market today, this first step marks a solid commitment to our customers,” says Bang & Olufsen director of the staged and flexible speaker categories, Petros Belimpasakis.
Both products were designed by Torsten Valeur from David Lewis Designers, but differ in portability. Beosound 1 includes a built-in rechargeable battery while Beosound 2 uses a fixed power connection.
Chromecast devices are supported as you might expect, but bringing the best of both worlds, the speakers also include Apple AirPlay 2 so Apple users may also stream music from any service from their iPhone, iPad or Macintosh computer.
The Beosound 1 and Beosound 2 with built-in Google Assistant will be available from Bang & Olufsen stores starting mid-September 2018 with retail prices of $2300 and $3000 respectively.
A docking station is also available for the Beosound 1 for $225.