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B&O reimagines the bookshelf speaker with the Beosound Emerge

B&O reimagines the bookshelf s...
A room-filling bookshelf speaker inspired by the compact form factor of a book
A room-filling bookshelf speaker inspired by the compact form factor of a book
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Though slim, B&O says that the Beosound Emerge will fill a room with sound
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Though slim, B&O says that the Beosound Emerge will fill a room with sound
The Black Anthracite model rocks aluminum housing with polymer side panels and a pearl-blasted grille
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The Black Anthracite model rocks aluminum housing with polymer side panels and a pearl-blasted grille
A room-filling bookshelf speaker inspired by the compact form factor of a book
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A room-filling bookshelf speaker inspired by the compact form factor of a book
Touch controls to the top, with volume adjusted in a circular pattern
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Touch controls to the top, with volume adjusted in a circular pattern
The Beosound Emerge features hard-cover-like side panels and a company logo that resembles the author name on a book spine
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The Beosound Emerge features hard-cover-like side panels and a company logo that resembles the author name on a book spine
Two Beosound Emerge units can be wirelessly paired for wide stereo sound
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Two Beosound Emerge units can be wirelessly paired for wide stereo sound
The Gold Tone model comes with oak side panels and a woven Kvadrat textile spine
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The Gold Tone model comes with oak side panels and a woven Kvadrat textile spine
The Beosound Emerge comes with built-in room compensation to adjust the sound design to best match its placement
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The Beosound Emerge comes with built-in room compensation to adjust the sound design to best match its placement
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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 features hard-cover-like side panels and a company logo that resembles the author name on a book spine
The Beosound Emerge features hard-cover-like side panels and a company logo that resembles the author name on a book spine

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.

The Gold Tone model comes with oak side panels and a woven Kvadrat textile spine
The Gold Tone model comes with oak side panels and a woven Kvadrat textile spine

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.

The Black Anthracite model rocks aluminum housing with polymer side panels and a pearl-blasted grille
The Black Anthracite model rocks aluminum housing with polymer side panels and a pearl-blasted grille

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

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2 comments
guzmanchinky
I'm looking for something that sounds really nice in my RV, maybe two of these are the solution?
sidmehta
Negative: It needs the google app just to run as stereo speakers. And I assume using two of these doubles the price. So we are now at $1800 a pair.