B&O reimagines the bookshelf speaker with the Beosound Emerge
Despite their squat stature, bookshelf speakers can rather stand out among the reading material and ornaments that might inhabit your typical living-room library. Bang & Olufsen's Beosound Emerge is different, and can take its place well among the hardbacks and paperbacks on your library shelf.
"The vision for Beosound Emerge was to create the slimmest speaker possible that could still deliver full range, ultra-wide sound despite its size through its revolutionary driver configuration," said B&O's Christoffer Poulsen. "Whether placed on a bookshelf in the bedroom or a tight corner of the kitchen, Beosound Emerge’s slim design allows you to extend your music to a new room or complement an existing speaker in the same area without taking up extra space."
The Beosound Emerge is a collaboration between B&O's engineers and Benjamin Hubert of design agency Layer. From the spine sporting the luxury audio brand's name to the stylish side panels, the book-like design influence is clear.
Residential interior design inspired the selection of materials for the speaker, which includes oak, pearl-blasted aluminum, woven textile from fellow Danes Kvadrat, and polymer. A tactile user interface can be found to the top, with functions activated by soft touch, and users can also control the device with voice commands thanks to Google Assistant compatibility.
What's inside the housing is arguably more interesting here. The Emerge unit is home to a 1.45-in (37-mm) mid-range driver mounted at an angle to allow for the slim design, and driven by its own 30-W Class D amplifier. This joins the 0.6-in (14-mm) soft dome tweeter (which is again powered by its own 30-W amp) to throw sound out from the front of the unit. And the bottom end is the domain of the side-firing 4-in (100-mm) woofer and 60-W Class D amp combination that has its sound directed to the rear. B&O says that this setup results in "sound dispersion wide enough to fill the room with sound."
Active room compensation has been included too, which "customizes the sound design for the placement of the speaker in your room, ensuring a flawless sound experience in every listening environment." And the Bang & Olufsen app also allows for further EQ tweaking.
Connectivity shapes up as Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, there's a line-in/optical combo jack, 10/100-Mb Ethernet, and USB-C for power. Two units can be paired wirelessly via the Google Home app for a wide stereo effect, there's support for AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, and Chromecast is built in. Should the connectivity and streaming technology ever need updating, the connectivity module is replaceable, essentially future-proofing the unit.
The Beosound Emerge is available in select European markets now, and will go on sale globally in the (Northern Hemisphere) fall. There are two flavors on offer, the "Black Anthracite" model is priced at €599 (about US$715) while the "Gold Tone" unit comes in at €749 (almost $900).
Product page: Beosound Emerge