You got to hand it to Bang & Olufsen: Their gadgets are different from anything else out there.
On Thursday, at a press event ahead of the IFA trade show in Berlin, the company showed the Beosound Edge — a circular, wireless speaker that doesn’t conform to most people’s idea of how speakers should look.
Designed in collaboration with designer Michael Anastassiades and inspired by a coin standing on its side, the Edge looks like a polished aluminum wheel with a matte black fabric cover hiding its guts. You can place it on the floor or hang it onto a special wall mount.
Bang & Olufsen is known for adding that little extra touch to most of their flagship products, and Edge is no exception. This time, it’s the way you increase and decrease volume: You gently push the speaker away from you.
If this (incredibly awkward, if you ask me) method doesn’t suit you, you can also do it wirelessly, from your phone. And you probably will, unless you don’t want that shiny aluminum exterior to be constantly marred with fingerprints.
The sound (which we heard in the noisy environment of the not-yet-finished IFA venue) was big and powerful. That’s no surprise given that the Edge packs a 10″ woofer bass driver, coupled with two 4″ midrange drivers and two 3/4″ tweeters. Unfortunately, all the subtleties of the sound were lost with the sound of drills all around us. I’d have to have a closer listen in a quieter room to get a better feel for the Edge’s sound.
Bang & Olufsen says the Edge has 360-degree sound. I’m not quite sure that the sound is the same when you’re facing the speaker’s side and front, though. The speaker does feature something called Directional Sound Control, which lets you define the direction the sound radiates towards. You can control that, as well as other aspects of the sound, via Bang & Olufsen’s mobile app.
The recommended retail price for the Beosound Edge is $3,500. It will be available in Bang & Olufsen stores in late September.
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