Bang & Olufsen's $3,500 Circular Speaker Is the Best Kind of Ridiculous

Senior Editor
Updated

BERLIN — A crowded exhibit hall is not the idea place to show off a new speaker, with any sound coming out of the device potentially drowned out by the constant chatter of passersby. Bang & Olufsen's new Beosound Edge was more than up to the task with its 360-degree sound washing out the sounds of a busy IFA trade show.

Bang & Olufsen unveiled the Beosound Edge at IFA this week, and one glance at this speaker's looks will tell you why it draws such a crowd. The circular speaker has a 19.8-inch diameter and tips the scales at 28.7 pounds. It's got a striking polished aluminum body with the speaker components hidden behind a black fabric cover.

You can set the Beosound Edge right on the floor if you prefer your speakers to also double as striking home furnishings. It mounts to a wall as well.

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As elegant as the Beosound Edge looks, it sounds even better. As "All Night" blasted through the Bang & Olufsen booth at IFA, I could feel the thumping bass. Even with those low sounds, Big Boi's lyrics still rang loud and clear in my ears.

The sound flows out of both sides of the Beosound Edge, but you can use Bang & Olufsen's app to direct the sound however you choose.

The Besound Edge's superior sound is driven by a 10-inch dual coil woofer with a 4-inch midrange and three-quarter inch tweeter on each side of the speaker.

As "All Night" blasted through the Bang & Olufsen booth at IFA, I could feel the thumping bass.

Peel off the fabric cover, and you can see one of the speaker's coolest components in action. The Beosound Edge features an active bass port that swings open and shut depending on the volume. At low volume, the port remains closed for more accurate sound, while higher volumes open the port to turn up the bass. A Bang & Olufsen executive compared the active bass port to a spoiler on a race car that raises and lowers as conditions warrant.

The Beosound Edge also comes packed with sensors. A proximity sensor determines when you're close by and illuminates the touch controls at the apex of the speaker. But the speaker also has a gyroscope and accelerometer that help with volume control You roll the Beosound Edge in different directions to raise and lower the volume with the rate at which you roll determining how gradually the volume changes.

As you might imagine, you're going to pay up for this experience. The Beosound Edge costs $3,500. It's expected to go on sale next month.

Image Credits: Tom's Guide