Bang & Olufsen has released a new powered speaker at IFA Berlin 2018 named the Beosound Edge. The Beosound Edge is a super simple styled circle about the size of a 13” car wheel with all the speakers hidden behind a simple cover.

Powered connected speakers have become a standard part of any electronics brands catalogue, and the New Beosound Edge is designed to top them all. As part of the Bang and Olufsen audio suite the Beosound Edge is almost more art than electronics but can connect to all the other connected Bang & Olufsen products to form a connected multiroom sound system.

The hardware

The Edge has a large 10-inch woofer and two pairs of 4-inch midrange drivers with a 0.75-inch tweeter. The sound is projected from both sides and offers a massive diffuse soundstage. The Edge can be used either as a floor standing speaker or mounted on a wall, both mounts are included in the package. Controlling the volume can be done by the touch control volume buttons or more magically by simply rolling the Edge forwards or backwards, even when its mounted on a wall.

Bang and Olufsen are famous for their construction techniques and innovative use of aluminium and wood. There is no wood on the Beosound Edge, but the high gloss aluminium stands out for its finish and effect.

The designer of the Edge is Michael Anastassiades, who Bang and Olufsen say took inspiration from an old English pound coin with this speaker. In my opinion, it is so minimalistic any circle would have done.

The removable and decorator adjustable front covers can be removed, and there is one additional technological trick that is visible apart from the speakers themselves.

The Beosound Edge debuts a technology called the Active Bass Port. The Active Bass Port combines two concepts of loudspeaker design, the so-called ‘closed-box’ design and the ‘ported design’. When playing at lower volumes, the Edge uses the closed cabinet principle for the most accurate sound reproduction, and as you turn up the volume, the Active Bass Port opens to output more energised bass.

The circular shape of Beosound Edge allows for two placement options. On the floor as a centrepiece of any room, or placed on the wall which looks a little like a large light fitting. Wall placement may work in specific environments. Proximity sensors detect when you get close to the speaker, illuminating the aluminium touch interface.

“With Beosound Edge, we are bringing forward a timeless design masterpiece that inspires the imagination with interaction and experience never before seen in home audio. From a distance it is monolithic and discreet, hiding everything that suggests technology, yet it is unforgettable in sound performance punching above and beyond what you would expect for the size of the speaker”, said Bang & Olufsen Concept Manager Kresten Bjørn Krab-Bjerre.

The software

The Beosound Edge comes with 360-degree room-filling sound from both sides of the speaker. The Bang & Olufsen app allows the user to define the direction that the sound radiates creating two acoustic fronts. The app allows a room to be divided into an active listening area and a more passive listening area.

Regarding connectivity, the Beosound Edge comes with the major industry standard technologies. It comes with AirPlay 2, Chromecast2 and Bluetooth and it supports voice interaction when paired with either a Google Assistant-enabled speaker, such as Beosound 1 and Beosound 2, or an Amazon Echo device. Setup and connection are extremely simple.

The sound

The busy construction site that is the IFA show floor pre-show opening is not the ideal environment to listen to anything. Despite these challenges, the Beosound Edge showed off the classic Bang and Olufsen balance and played extremely loud with clean fast and deep bass. Overall it is an excellent sounding device with clear midrange a bright, lively treble.
In the limited time available the full range and capability were impossible to hear, but the Edge should not disappoint.

Pricing and availability

The Beosound Edge is available online and in Bang & Olufsen stores from mid-November 2018 (South Africa a little later) at a recommended price of Euro 3,250.00.

Steven Ambrose | | @ambio | mail me |

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