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Bang and Olufsen's new BeoSound speakers project music 360 degrees

Engadget Engadget 31/08/2016 Billy Steele
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Bang and Olufsen typically unveils new audio gear at IFA and this year is no exception. Following last year's $1,000 BeoPlay A6, the company has two new speakers that project sound 360 degrees. The new devices are called BeoSound 1 and BeoSound 2, both sporting a conical design that looks like a base of a lamp more than a speaker. That's not a criticism though, it will actually blend in better on a shelf or side table than a boxy cube typically would. B&O is known for its high-end aesthetics and these new speakers continue the lineage with aluminum shells that project bass out from bottom and are open up top for acoustics.

What's the difference between the two models? Besides the subtle differences in design and size, the BeoSound 1 (right) is a portable speaker with a rechargeable battery so you can take it with you at times you won't be near an outlet. B&O's BeoSound 2 (left) is the larger and more powerful of the pair and it has to remain plugged in at all times. Both tout the aforementioned 360-degree sound with support for streaming music via Google Cast, AirPlay, DNLA and Bluetooth. What's more, they work with other Bang & Olufsen BeoLink speakers for a multi-room setup if you happen to own a few of those devices.

Both the BeoSound 1 and 2 have proximity sensors that display the controls facing whichever side you approach the speaker from. The top functions as the volume control by spinning the wheel while swiping and tapping that panel handles all of the other commands. As you might expect, these don't come cheap. The portable BeoSound 1 will cost you $1,495/£995 and it's available now at the company's stores. You'll have to wait until the end of October to snag the BeoSound 2 for $1,895/£1,350. While the new goods certainly are expensive, it's worth noting that BeoSound is typically the high-end brand for Bang and Olufsen while BeoPlay tends to be the more approachable (and affordable) consumer line. If you're not looking to pay that much, there are multi-room options from the likes of Sony, LG, Sonos and others for a fraction of those prices.

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