By Matthew Kronsberg / BLOOMBERG
Bang & Olufsen A/S, the 94-year-old Danish electronics company, has earned a reputation for audio devices with minimalist design and maximalist sound. The Beosound Edge speaker (US$3,500 or RM14,245) continues in that tradition.
Looking like a large snare drum turned on its side, the 20-inch-tall unit offers 800W of amplification divided between a 10-inch woofer, a pair of four-inch midrange drivers, a pair of ¾-inch tweeters and a hidden port in the front that can open to boost bass levels.
You select tracks and volume, either through the streaming platform of your choice or by rolling the speaker a few degrees to the left or right.
As for the competition, Harman Kardon’s 45-inch-tall Citation Tower speakers (US$2,500) may remind film buffs of the movie “Tron”.
With Google Assistant and 5.1 surround sound built in, ask it to play the movie to see the resemblance for yourself.
Meanwhile, Panasonic’s US$800 Technics Ottava S has a football-shaped design, but behind its curved face are seven speakers, as well as an inbuilt sensor that can optimise amplification to any room.
On the other hand, British company KEF makes speakers that reproduce sounds across the broadest possible spectrum.
Its new compact wireless LSX speaker series (US$1,100) is available in black, white, red, green and blue.
The Edge has speakers on both faces of the “drum”, so it sounds great wherever you place it in a room.
While rolling the speaker to control the volume is novel (it sits on an almost invisible base, so it can’t roll away), it’s easy to overshoot the mark and also to leave fingerprints.
Control is better left to AirPlay, Chromecast, or even Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay app, which includes ToneTouch, an intuitive visual approach to sound equalisation. — Bloomberg