Balance in black oak and natural oak (images: B&O)
Balance in black oak and natural oak (images: B&O)

Speaking WiFi speaker

Bang & Olufsen „Balance“

Smart speaker with room compensation and switchable sound directivity.

The Danish design professionals from Bang & Olufsen are following in the footsteps of Amazon, Google and Apple – however in totally different price regions. The base is made of solid oak wood, the cover of "knitted textiles", so this 38 cm high loudspeaker has a homely feel to it. When you approach it, the controls light up: Volume, skip, start/pause and four presets. During the initial setup, the Beosound Balance guides you through the active room compensation using the internal microphone. A B&O speciality is the sound directivity that can be switched between omni-directional for everyday use and focused for attentive listening. Four full-range drivers and a tweeter radiate in different directions. Two 13 cm chassis arranged opposite each other are responsible for the bass. Each of the 7 loudspeakers is driven by its own Class D power amplifier. Thanks to WLAN, Chromecast and Airplay 2, the Beosound Balance is multi-room capable and supports Spotify Connect. Music can also be played via Bluetooth and via the Line/Digital optical hybrid jack. Voice control is currently only possible with the Google Assistant - Amazon Alexa is to be retrofitted with a software update later this year. Two versions are available: natural oak or black oak – now available for 2000 euros each at selected online or local dealers or in Bang & Olufsen stores.

Controls (left) and speaker chassis (right) of the Balance
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