What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 28 Mar 2006, 5:00pm

B&O Beosound 3

Tested at £436
60100
3

One for fans of both design and sound, but price creates an exclusive fanclub

Write your own review

For

  • Extremely clear sonic delivery
  • looks
  • add-ons include a wall-bracket, plus SD card reader, and an alarm

Against

  • Absence of DAB tuner suggests, unusually for B&
  • O, a curious lack of foresight

If you're the type of shopper who checks the price and then the product, look away now. If, however, you're the sort who is happy to blindly flex the plastic, we might have discovered your next portable radio.

Make no mistake, this Bang & Olufsen sounds gorgeous, and clearer even than the Pure and Tivoli portables of this world, but you're undeniably paying a premium for some rather sumptuous Danish design.

An upmarket Thermos?
To the indiscriminate eye, the 42cm-tall cabinet could be an upmarket Thermos flask. However, in the aluminium flesh it oozes style, with more than a few clever touches. The handle, for example, has five ‘rest positions', so it doesn't clatter against the case; the red LED display is cleverly absorbed into the front grille; and the button-free control panel is a pleasing addition – though the motorised antenna must take first place in the ‘unnecessary but lovely' stakes.

Factor in a rechargeable battery, SD card-reader, and an alarm, and the price makes some sense.

A fine sound further justifies the cost, the BeoSound 3's clarity and scale being especially impressive with classical music. The well-defined midrange also means it excels with spoken word radio, while compressed pop stations sounds as you would expect – compressed.

True, the absence of a DAB tuner and the high price lose it stars, but nonetheless we reckon it has star quality.

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