Five-driver Beosound Level changes its sound based on orientation
Denmark's Bang & Olufsen has added a stylish new wireless speaker to its Beosound range. The Level puts out over 100 watts of sonic power, has a built-in battery for portability and can automatically change its sound profile depending on how it's positioned.
As you might expect from the luxury audiovisual brand, Bang & Olufsen (B&O) is promising a flawless listening experience from the Beosound Level. This is partly thanks to the five speakers that combine to deliver 105 watts of music output over a frequency range of 39 Hz to 23 kHz – specifically that shapes up as two 4-inch woofers, each driven by a 30-W Class D amplifier, one 2-inch full-range driver powered by its own 30-W Class D amp, and two 0.8-inch tweeters sharing a 15-W Class D amp.
The contemporary, almost retro 34.7 x 23 x 4.5-cm (13.6 x 9 x 1.7-in), 3.3-kg (7.2-lb) unit can lie flat on the coffee table, hang on the wall or be carried around using the recessed handle. Usefully, it comes with active room compensation and position-dependent sound staging – which means that its tuning will adapt to its orientation, for "dynamic bass when laid flat, unmatched clarity when upright or an enveloping soundstage when wall mounted." And it can also be used outdoors thanks to IP54 dust- and splash-resistance.
The Level is constructed from aluminum and polymer with oak veneer or knitted fabric over the speakers. There are soft-touch buttons for control, a proximity sensor lights up the speaker upon approach, and fades out when user interaction ends, EQ can be tweaked via the B&O mobile app, and if you can afford it, two Levels can be paired for stereo listening.
The speaker boasts Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, comes with Chromecast built in, while also offering support for AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, and you can chat to the integrated Google Voice Assistant, too. Ethernet LAN, USB-C and a line-in/optical combo jack are also included for cabled connectivity.
The built-in battery is reported good for up to 16 hours of per charge use at "typical listening volumes," and a magnetic charging plug is included, which attaches to the rear of the unit for top ups. B&O has also built in some modularity, allowing users to keep components maintained and serviced, the streaming module can be replaced when new technologies become available in the future, and even the battery can be removed and replaced if needed.
"Beosound Level is the ultimate speaker for people who want the flexibility and convenience of a portable speaker but don’t want to sacrifice on sound quality and multiroom connectivity for the ultimate music listening experience," said B&O's Christoffer Poulsen. "It works effortlessly with Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2 and Chromecast and because of Beosound Level’s modular design, we are future-proofing Beosound Level so that it can deliver our signature sound for decades to come."
All of this cool audio tech and high-end design does come at a price though, which is US$1,499. It's on sale now.
Product page: Beosound Level