B&O relaunches impossibly slim speaker, and it costs less than you think

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Emerge
(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

Bang & Olufsen has reintroduced the more affordable version of its 'impossibly slim' premium priced Beosound Emerge wireless speaker.

First launched in 2021, the Emerge is designed to fit into tight spaces like corners and bookshelves, and looks nothing like the majority of the wireless speaker systems out there. The uniquely designed music system was initially available in black anthracite ($699) and gold tone ($799) options simultaneously, but the black version was discontinued leaving the higher priced gold version the only option for potential Beosound Emerge buyers. That is, until now! 

The black anthracite version is back but its only available to B&O buyers living in the U.S. And unlike many things in the world right now, it hasn't seen a price hike and stays at the original $699 launch price.  

OK, so the price is still premium compared to many of the best Bluetooth speakers we've seen, but the Emerge undercuts the Devialet Mania, a similarly desirable wireless music system that's priced at an eye-popping $900. 

Although not part of the 5 best music systems for style I tried, the Beosound Emerge certainly looks like a strong contender, and has the audio pedigree and know-how to ensure that this complete wireless music system delivers great sound from the impossibly slim design.

Iconic design and premium sound

When it comes to thinking of luxury audio brands, I wouldn't mind betting that Bang & Olufsen is the name that pops into most peoples' minds. The Danish brand has some of the most iconic audio designs on the planet, and plenty of audiophiles will have spent some time drooling over some of the world's best looking and desirable audio systems.

B&O's connected music system

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Emerge in black on a table top

The Beosound Emerge is fitted with a 1.45-inch midrange driver, a 0.6-inch soft-dome tweeter, and a 4-inch side-firing woofer. It claims to radiate 180-degree sound via the slim speaker grille. (Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

Adapting to the way we consume music today, the Beosound Emerge is one of the company's more affordable music speakers with an emphasis on style. The Emerge has a slender footprint and the front 'spine' profile helps it to blend almost seamlessly into a bookshelf. In essence, this is a bookshelf speaker that has the visible profile of a book spine.  

Despite the compact footprint, the Emerge stands 6.5 inches tall and 2.6 inches wide at the back (its thickest point), it’s narrow enough to slot into small gaps while it claims to output 180-degree sound from that slimline grille on the 'spine'. 

Inside, B&O says the Emerge contains three speaker drivers. There's a 1.45-inch midrange driver mounted at an angle to maintain the narrow design of Beosound Emerge works in tandem with a 0.6-inch soft-dome tweeter to fire sounds outwards from the front 'spine' of the unit.

This is a luxury bookshelf speaker that looks like the side profile of a book.

The output of the 4-inch side-firing woofer is guided to the back of the product. The low frequency range and output is aided by the built-in active room compensation technology that customizes the sound design for the placement of the speaker, ensuring optimum performance wherever it's placed in the room.

Part of B&O's Connected Speaker range, the Emerge can be paired with another to form a true stereo configuration, or linked as part of a multi-room setup to stream music throughout your home using Chromecast or AirPlay. A set of “soft-touch” controls on top includes playback controls as well as inputs for accessing Bang & Olufsen radio stations or streaming music from Spotify.

A modular design, Spotify Connect, Chromecast, and Apple AirPlay 2 are available, and it can be equipped with Google Assistant to take on the best smart speakers. Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity comes as standard, but B&O doesn't say what codecs are supported. Bang & Olufsen’s proprietary Beolink connectivity is also now on board.

Once again, the black version of the Beosound Emerge is available in the U.S. only. It's on sale now priced at $699 and available from the B&O website and online retailers including Amazon. The gold tone version continues at $799 and is available worldwide. 

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Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.