(Pocket-lint) – Bang & Olufsen has released a retro-styled portable home speaker for the future generation. Taking into consideration product waste, the Beosound Level features a modular design – meaning it is future upgradable and parts are replaceable. Here’s a rundown of the fancy-looking speaker’s top features.
Portable, modular design
- IP54 dust and splash resistant
- Pearl-blasted aluminium frame
- Modular design to improve longevity
- Built-in carry handle, optional wall bracket
- Natural oak / knitted dark grey Kvadrat exterior
As with any Bang & Olufsen speaker design, it’s all about the aesthetic and great sound. And the Beosound Level has a really distinctive retro look about it (although we can’t help but think “wooden PlayStation 2” when looking at it from a given angle). It’s got an aluminium frame, into which the touch controls are integrated, with fabric or wood exterior finishes – the latter being the most eye-catching.
The home speaker is portable, with a hidden carry handle integrated in the design, so you can move it from room to room with ease. There’s even a wall-mount option available. The system is aware of its orientation, too, so can automatically apply signal processing to cater the sound for how its positioned.
Key to the Beosound Level’s selling point is that it’s been modularly designed “for easy maintenance, service, and repair”. The company says that “customers can perform simple operations like replacing the battery and service partners can easily access vital parts of the speaker”. It also features a replaceable streaming module, which the company says will power all of its future home speakers – so if it was to ever get outdated in, say, a decade’s time, it can be updated.
However, when we’ve seen modularity before – be that in LG phones or Samsung TVs – it’s not really taken off as a great success. The idea is sound though, and we love the intent and messaging.
Connectivity and sound
- 105W total power, five-driver setup
- 2x 4-inch woofers
- 2x 0.8-inch tweeters
- 1x 2-inch full range driver
- Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2, Chromecast
- Magnetic battery clip, 4-16hours of playback
- User interface integrated into aluminium frame
- Automatically adjusts acoustic tuning based on orientation
Bang & Olufsen offers signature audio, its speakers’ soundscapes always being second to none. That’s the intention of the Beosound Level, too, thanks to a five driver arrangement, delivering a total 105W of power.
As you can see from the images, the button-controlled user interface is integrated into the aluminium frame, the key controls illuminating as you approach the device. Or you can load an applicable app to take command instead.
There’s plenty of connectivity, from Spotify Connect to Airplay 2 and Chromecast, while multi-room functionality is also supported if you have a wider network of speakers.
The charger is also a nifty design: a magnetic disc pops onto the Level, making it easily removable, rather than the need to fiddle around with cables or complex proprietary ports.
Price and release date
- Beosound Level: from €1249/£1099/$1499 / Wall Bracket: €99/£89/$119
- Available now (Wall Bracket from 29 April 2021)
So how much for this modular marvel? The Beosound Level will be priced from £1099 – although that’s for the fabric version, as the natural oak model (which B&O calls ‘Gold Oak’) will add an additional premium to that price, at £1,299 (€1,499 / $1,799).
Writing by Mike Lowe.