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'Bang & Olufsen' Reviews

Beoplay H5 Review: B&O's Bluetooth Earbuds Sound Great, but They're Pricey

With the controversial removal of the headphone jack from Apple's upcoming iPhone range a seeming inevitability, audio companies are already ramping up Bluetooth headset options ahead of the devices' launch in the fall. In June, premium audio heavyweight brand Bose debuted a wireless version of its flagship over-the-ear headphones with the QuietComfort 35's. Not to be outdone, last month Danish audio big hitter B&O entered the fray with its Beoplay H5 Bluetooth buds, a pair of high-end magnetized earphones designed "for music lovers who live to move." Design and Features As with most products bearing the Bang & Olufsen moniker, the Beoplay H5 buds aren't exactly cheap at $249, but apart from the luxury brand cachet that comes with them, they promise premium performance in a compact package whatever your lifestyle, designed to segue seamlessly between a fitness routine and a daily commute, for example. The dust and sweat-proof earpieces are made of a featherweight polymer-rubber compound with a branded aluminum disc on the rear, and each bud has a neck about an inch in length, with the power/pairing LED on one ear.

Beoplay A1 Review: This Bluetooth Speaker Sounds Even Better Than It Looks

Last month, B&O PLAY announced the Beoplay A1, the latest portable Bluetooth speaker in its family of luxury home audio products. B&O PLAY is a brand subsidiary of Danish high-end audio and video manufacturer Bang & Olufsen, known for its principled attention to design (which some say inspired Apple). We decided to take a look at the A1 ultraportable speaker to see if the device justifies its $249 price tag, which places it at the premium end of the Bluetooth speaker market. Design Taking the A1 out of the box, the first thing that strikes you is the compactness of the unit relative to its weight. At about 1.3 pounds (600 grams), it's not the lightest ultraportable speaker by any means, but its beautifully minimalist 'hockey puck' design feels disarmingly slight, partly thanks to designer Cecilie Manz's decision to embed the power, volume, play/pause, and pairing controls around the rim, with the attached leather strap adding a touch of surfer appeal. The polymer base has a suede-like finish that ensures the 2-inch (51 mm) tall A1 sits happily on most surfaces, and its 5-inch (133 mm) diameter means it's possible to grasp the grilled dome from above and pick up with one hand. The unit sits snugly in the larger pockets of a raincoat, but trying to fit it in a light jacket pocket may present more of a challenge.

'Bang & Olufsen' Articles

Bang & Olufsen Adds AirPlay 2 Support to Additional BeoPlay and BeoSound Speakers

Bang & Olufsen over the past week has added AirPlay 2 support to more of its speakers, including the BeoPlay A9 and BeoPlay M5. BeoPlay M5 speaker in AirPlay Picker via Brad Thomas This follows the addition of AirPlay 2 to the BeoPlay M3, BeoSound 1 and 2, BeoSound Core, and BeoSound Shape earlier in November, to be followed by the BeoPlay A6, BeoSound Essence, and BeoSound 35 by the end of December. AirPlay 2 should be enabled as part of an automatic software update for each speaker, but the software version can be checked and updated manually via the Bang & Olufsen app for iPhone and iPad if necessary. With the AirPlay 2 update, these Bang & Olufsen speakers now support multi-room audio when paired with other AirPlay 2 devices, such as the HomePod, Apple TV, Sonos speakers including the One, Beam, Playbase, and second-generation Play:5, and select Denon and Marantz audio receivers. AirPlay also allows for Siri control of Apple Music or Podcasts playback on supported speakers via iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, HomePod, and Apple TV. Bang & Olufsen speakers will appear in the AirPlay device picker within most apps and in Control Center on devices running iOS 11.4 or later. AirPlay is Apple's wireless streaming protocol that enables users to easily stream audio from iTunes on a Mac to supported speakers, as well as from iPhone apps like Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix, to AirPlay-enabled speakers, now including these BeoPlay and BeoSound

B&O Announces 'Premium, Powerful, Portable' Beoplay P6 Wireless Speaker

Bang & Olufsen brand subsidiary B&O Play today announced the Beoplay P6, the latest offering in its range of portable wireless speakers. Designed by Cecilie Manz, the P6 shares a similar aesthetic to the Danish audio company's Beoplay A1 and P2, featuring a dust and splashproof anodized aluminum exterior with square speaker grilles on both sides, and a leather strap looped through one side for carrying. Across the curved top of the speaker is a strip of Beomaster 6000-inspired integrated flex buttons for controlling volume, playback, Bluetooth, accepting/rejecting calls, and invoking any voice assistant available on the connected device, such as Siri on iPhone. There's also a built-in omnidirectional mic for conference calling. The Bluetooth speaker weighs 1kg and measures 170 x 130 x 68mm, which makes this a slim unit when you consider it houses a 2600mAh rechargeable battery providing up to 16 hours of playing time at moderate listening levels. Charging time is said to be three hours over USB-C. The upright design is made to elevate the stereo output from three Class D amplifier channels delivering a total of 215 Watts, while Bang & Olufsen's True360 audio processing promises a uniform radiation of sound from the aluminum chassis. The Beoplay P6 costs $399/£349 and is available from April 23 in black and natural color options. The speaker comes with a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, while a USB-C to USB-C cable is an optional accessory. See the Beoplay website for

B&O Play Unveils Beoplay E8, the Danish Brand's First Truly Wireless Earbuds

Bang & Olufsen today unveiled a pair of $299 truly wireless earbuds called Beoplay E8, the Danish company's pricier luxury alternative to Apple's $159 AirPods. The E8 Bluetooth in-ear headphones are a mixture of aluminum and polymer, making them splash and dust-proof, while each earpiece features a touch surface that supports fingertip gestures to play/pause music, take calls (a mic is integrated into the buds), and change volume. There's also voice recognition support for activating virtual assistants like Siri, as well as a Transparency Mode that lets environmental sounds in for safer commuting. There's also a built-in digital signal processor that enables custom output tuning with equalization and gain. The buds provide up to 4 hours of play time at a moderate sound level, while the included leather charging case supplies two additional charges to give users up to 12 hours of listening time on the go. For reference, AirPods offer up to 5 hours' play time and Apple's charging case carries up to 24 hours' charge. Four pairs of different-sized silicon tips are included along with a USB charging cable (USB-A to MicroUSB). The Beoplay E8 wireless buds are available in black and charcoal sand colors, and will be available from the company's website from

B&O Play Unveils $169 P2 Bluetooth Portable Speaker With Gesture Controls

Danish high-end audio outfit B&O Play unveiled its latest Bluetooth speaker today. The Beoplay P2 features a grilled aluminum and leather design similar to the company's impressive $250 Beoplay A1 speaker, which we reviewed last year, but otherwise there are some notable differences. First of all, the P2 is cheaper at $169, and it comes in a smaller housing than the A1, which the company hopes makes this a device "you don't want to leave your home without". The other big change is that apart from a power button hidden on the back, the P2 doesn't have any physical controls to speak of. Instead of using buttons, users change the volume, and play, pause, and skip tracks via a series of taps and gestures that can be customized using the accompanying Beoplay mobile app. The P2 shares the same tweeter at the A1 unit, but B&O Play says it has redesigned the A1's mid-woofer using an anodized aluminum cone structure to house it in a smaller chassis without compromising on bass performance. Elsewhere, the P2 also has a microphone to take calls, a USB-C cable for charging, up to 10 hours' battery life, and splash resistance. The Beoplay P2 can be had in black, sandstone, and royal blue colors, and is available today on the B&O Play website.

B&O Play Announces $299 Wireless Beoplay H4 Headphones With Apple Watch App

Bang & Olufsen brand subsidiary B&O Play has announced a new pair of wireless headphones called the Beoplay H4, which "focus on pure essentials". At $299, the over-ear Bluetooth headphones offer a less costly alternative to the company's pricier wireless models, like the the H8 and H9, and instead of a touch interface they feature traditional physical buttons to control volume and playback. The headphones adopt B&O Play's signature premium braided textile and aluminum construction, and come with lambskin-covered memory foam ear pads for comfort and isolation. B&O Play says the headset can be used for up to 19 hours on a single charge (via micro-USB) and can also be used wired with the 3.5mm jack and provided cable. An omnidirectional mic is built in for taking calls. The listening experience can be tweaked using the Beoplay app and the H4's also offer an Apple Watch app for adjusting settings from the wrist. The Beoplay H4 are available to buy now from the Beoplay website for

Bang & Olufsen Debuts Premium Wireless Speakers With AirPlay Support

Bang & Olufsen recently unveiled a pair of new wireless speakers, the BeoSound 1 and BeoSound 2, which provide 360-degree sound displacement in cone-shaped aluminum exteriors with the added bonus of support for AirPlay (via Engadget). The speakers are priced at a premium for their sound quality and top-shelf construction, with the BeoSound 1 running for 1,295 euros (about $1,450) while the BeoSound 2 costs 1,695 euros (just under $2,000). The difference between the two speakers lies in their size, with the BeoSound 1 acting as a more portable alternative with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 16 hours. The higher-quality BeoSound 2 requires an AC power outlet for all of its functions. Both include 360-degree sound projection to ensure high quality music playback wherever the speakers are located, but the BeoSound 2 also packs in a "sonic power" feature that produces "goosebump-inducing" sound. Besides AirPlay, for streaming music each speaker supports Bluetooth, Google Cast, and DLNA, as well as the ability to connect multiple Bang & Olufsen speakers into a multi-room, synchronous listening experience. Hidden on the aluminum body are a set of touch controls that let users access music playback options without needing to open a smartphone. Combined with each speaker's integrated cloud connection to services including Spotify, Deezer, QPlay, and TuneIn, the company says smartphone battery life will be preserved, and any calls, texts, and games can continue without interrupting the music. The connected BeoMusic app supports music control and the ability to

HP Partnership With Apple's Beats Officially Ends as HP Moves on to Bang & Olufsen

When Apple acquired Beats Electronics, several companies that had deals and partnerships with the headphone company were forced to sever their agreements, including Hewlett-Packard (HP). At the time of the acquisition, HP was selling laptops with "Beats Audio" branded speakers, through a partnership with Beats that was originally established in 2011. HP was only allowed to continue development on products using Beats Audio technologies through the end of 2014, leaving the company without an audio partner and without the "cool" factor Beats brought to the partnership. Ahead of the end of its partnership with Beats, HP began using its own in-house audio solution and ceased using Beats branding and logos, but it was unclear if that solution was based on Beats audio technology, as suggested by PCWorld.At the launch of the recent HP Spectre X360 last month, an HP executive declined to tell the IDG News Service whether the homegrown technology was influenced by Beats, or if it had Beats amplifiers in them. HP has excellent in-house technology to boost audio in PCs, said Mike Nash, vice president of product management for consumer personal systems, at the time.Though there may have been some remaining ties to Beats in HP products, HP today signaled its readiness to move on from the Beats brand by inking a deal with a new audio partner -- Bang & Olufsen. HP will use Bang & Olufsen audio technology in its PCs, tablets, and other accessories, with "custom tuned" audio for different PC models. Beginning this spring, HP PCs with Bang & Olufsen branding will start shipping