Some people are fine using small speakers they can set down on a shelf or tabletop. Others prefer their music pumping out of more powerful rigs with sculptural aesthetics. The Bang & Olufsen Beolab 28 is a new pair of connected speakers for the latter crowd.
Billed as the outfit’s “most advanced connected speakers to date,” it brings a range of wireless connectivity, sound-tuning algorithms, and a variety of streaming features, ensuring it’s equipped with the cutting edge in modern technology to go along with the outfit’s signature premium sound. And yes, it delivers those same luxurious aesthetics that have made B&O’s speakers a standard fixture in many affluent living spaces, making it an absolutely lustworthy audio option for well-heeled audiophiles among us.
The B&O Beolab 28 consists of two separate speakers, each one clad in a tall cylindrical shape with a conical base. They can be used as floorstanding stereo speakers, although the base can also be folded outwards for mounting up a wall. Either way, the darn things look positively striking, making them an excellent addition to any living space. When placed on the floor, each speaker stands 53.9 inches tall, with the base taking up just a 9.9 inch diameter area.
Each speaker is equipped with three 3-inch full-range drivers, one each facing the front, left, and right sides, respectively, along with a front-facing 1-inch tweeter. At the base sits a 6.5-inch subwoofer that can fire its booming sound to either the wall or floor, depending on how it’s positioned. Either way, it’s meant to make its vibrations felt in your surroundings. The full-range speakers and tweeter are each powered by 100W Class D amps, while the subwoofer gets its own 225W Class D power amplifier. Yeah, it’s definitely got the hardware to deliver that big and satisfying sound.
The B&O Beolab 28 is equipped with Active Room Compensation that acoustically optimizes the speaker’s sound based on how it’s positioned in the room, so you can place it absolutely anywhere without affecting the sound quality, complete with the ability to make adjustments based on whether you’re listening alone or entertaining a dozen people. There’s also a Beam Width Control that lets you choose a “wide mode” to send audio in all directions or a “narrow mode” that directs audio to an “ultimate sweet spot” for those times you just want to sit down and get lost in your music.
It has a proximity sensor that detects motion in its immediate vicinity, at which point it automatically lights up the touch controls to make sure you don’t have to spend five minutes figuring out where the buttons are located. For wireless connectivity, it supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2, and Chromecast, with physical connections via Ethernet, Powerlink, and optical line-in also available. Other features include a handy remote, a companion app, multi-room technology, and a replaceable connectivity module that you can simply swap for a new one down the line, in case new wireless technologies come up that render the built-in chips obsolete, essentially future-proofing it.
The B&O Beolab 28 is available now, priced starting at $14,750 a pair.