B&O’s Latest Portable Speaker Is Built To Be Upgraded
Bang & Olufsen
Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has gotten its fair share of wireless portable speakers, but its latest model, the $ 1,499 Beosound Level, was designed for way more than just portability. The Danish audio company has equipped the level with a number of upgrade-friendly functions that they claim will make the speaker future-proof for years to come. This is a comforting thought when you are spending that much money.
You can replace the grille and internal battery yourself. However, B&O has also made it possible for service technicians to swap the streaming module and the radio module if future advances in any of these areas make them redundant.
The Beosound Level is classic B&O: minimalist in the right way, but with a high-tech pedigree. At just 2.2 inches deep, the aluminum case is incredibly thin. And despite the built-in handle, the level can hang on a wall like a work of art. However, if it weighs 7.2 pounds, make sure your mounting solution can support the weight. It’s also extremely rugged and has an IP54 rating for dust and water resistance.
Bang & Olufsen
On the wall, connection to the power supply is optional, thanks to the built-in rechargeable battery that has a service life of 16 hours. However, if you want to wall mount it for an extended period of time, B&O sells an optional $ 120 wall mount that you can use to charge the level.
Speaking of stores: B&O apparently took a page from Apple’s design playbook. The Level’s charger is a round, magnetically-locked device similar to Apple’s new MagSafe charger that was introduced with the iPhone 12. You can also charge the Beosound Level via USB-C.
The connectivity options seem endless. Wireless options include support for AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Bluetooth, and Spotify Connect. In contrast to many portable loudspeakers, the level also contains several physical inputs such as Ethernet and a combined optical / 3.5 mm analog connection.
The multiroom functions are managed either via the Apple Home app or the Google Home app, depending on whether you choose AirPlay 2 or Chromecast for the connection. This follows the same options that B&O made available in its Beosound Stage soundbar.
Behind the grille, which is available in fabric or natural slatted wood, the Level has two 4-inch woofers, a 2-inch midrange and two 0.8-inch tweeters, each powered by its own Class D amplifier will. for a total of 105 watts of power.
The proximity sensor illuminates the touch controls as you approach, and additional sensors allow the level to automatically adjust its sound parameters as you move the speaker or use the grille to change it from free-standing to wall-mounted or even on its back face upward.
To top off the level’s impressive specs, it can be used as a Google Assistant smart speaker. You can buy it with or without this feature.
Whether you go for the $ 1,499 model with black fabric and a natural aluminum case or the $ 1,799 model with wood grille and gold-toned aluminum, that’s a lot of money for a portable speaker. However, if you appreciate the Danish design and B&O commitment to future upgrades, this may well be the last portable speaker you will ever buy.