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IFA 2018: B&O adopts radical design for Edge wireless speaker with AirPlay 2 and voice control

Trust Bang & Olufsen to do things a bit differently. It's no surprise that its take on the voice-controlled wireless speaker breaks from the norm, and in this instance its £2900 Edge certainly looks different.

Designed by Michael Anastassiades, whose work is featured in collections in the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the V&A in London, the Edge is based on the shape of the British pound coin (presumably before it changed from a circular shape to one with 11 sides).

It can sit upright on the floor or hang from a wall. If it sits on the floor, you can gently roll the Edge left or right to adjust the volume. A gentle movement will increase or decrease the volume moderately, while a stronger push will do so in larger incerements. Afterwards it will automatically return to its original position.

The circular aluminium casework contains a single 10in bass driver, plus a 4in midrange unit and three-quarter inch tweeter on each side. Active Bass Port technology increases the level of bass as you turn up the volume.

The result, claims B&O, is "a 360-degree room-filling sound from both sides of the speaker".

Additional control is through a touch interface built into the surface of the aluminium surround, or the B&O smartphone app. Proximity sensors detect when you approach the speaker and automatically illuminate the touch controls.

Voice control can be added either through a connected Amazon Echo device or Google Assistant-enabled speaker, such as the B&O BeoSound 1 and 2.

The speaker comes with a black fabric cover as standard. Other colours will become available in due course. It will be on sale from mid-November for £2900.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.