B&O pulls back the curtain on Beolab 28 adaptive wireless speakers
Danish luxury audiovisual brand Bang & Olufsen has launched its most advanced connected speakers to date. The Beolab 28 towers can serve as floor standers, or be mounted on a wall, and feature covers that draw open like curtains at power on.
"Beolab 28 is our most advanced connected speaker to date, providing powerful sound and flexible placement options due to its slim shape and small footprint," said the company's Christoffer Poulsen. "Beolab 28 includes cutting-edge, wireless connectivity and streaming features that allow you to enjoy your music exactly the way you want."
Coming as a pair for stereo hi-fi listening, each Beolab 28 speaker stands 137 cm (53.9 in) tall when placed on the floor, or 140.5 cm (55.3 in) if on a wall. The base has a diameter of 25.3 cm (9.9 in), while the main column is 12.1 cm (4.76 in) in diameter.
There's a custom-made 6.5-in subwoofer in the conical base unit that fires toward the floor or wall, depending on placement, and is reckoned to deliver bass you can feel. Meanwhile, the tube is home to one 3-in full-range driver that faces the front, with another to the left and one more to the right, and a 1-in tweeter also sits to the front. The sub is driven by a 225-W Class D power amplifier, while the full-range speakers and tweeter each get a 100-W Class D amp.
Beam-width control either directs the output to a stereo sweet spot out front, or can be set to disperse the sound all around, and as you might expect from B&O, that sound is promised to be studio grade with "exceptional stereo imaging" and the ability to automatically adapt to the space that the speakers are placed in.
The speaker units can sync with each other at 24-bit/48-kHz within microseconds, and the setup will be made compatible with Beolink Multiroom in the coming (northern) fall. The speakers can be paired to a B&O TV too, using Powerlink or Wirless Powerlink technologies, and they're also compatible with WiSA-certified hardware (which uses the 5.2-5.8-GHz waveband for interference-free, low-latency wireless transmission of uncompressed 24-bit audio).
Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi cater for wireless connectivity, with Chromecast built in and support for Airplay 2 and Spotify Connect as well. There are two Ethernet ports, along with USB-C and optical/analog line in, and there's a B&O radio included too. The speakers also rock B&O's new connectivity module, which futureproofs the setup by allowing an updated module to be installed if/when the current streaming technology becomes outdated.
Elsewhere, the speakers are fashioned from anodized aluminum, and can be had in silver, black or bronze, with speaker covers in fabric or wood. These "curtains" not only open when the speakers are powered on, but also change position depending on which sound beam is selected. A touch-enabled user interface up top can be used to control playback and volume, and will illuminate when proximity sensors detect someone approaching.
If you already own B&O gear, then you'll likely not be surprised to learn that the Beolab 28 speakers are expensive, really expensive. The fabric version carries a recommended retail price of US$14,750, while the wooden flavor comes in at $16,500. The short video below has more.
Product page: Beolab 28