Best B&O speakers 2019: portable, hi-fi and wireless

Best B&O speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best B&O speakers you can buy in 2019.

Bang & Olufsen might be over 90 years old, but the celebrated Danish brand continues to wow us with its edgy designs and meticulous quality control. It's best known for its premium speakers, some of which will set you back the price of a small car.

Yet to win the lottery? You'll be pleased to hear that B&O has poured its engineering excellence into the audio equivalent of a diffusion line. The B&O BeoPlay speaker range – aimed at a younger, style-conscious audience – is more affordable and includes portable Bluetooth speakers that aren't afraid of the great outdoors.

That said, B&O has been known to choose style over substance on occasion, so it's important to pick wisely. To help you avoid a dud, we've curated this list of the best B&O speakers we've tested – from a budget, picnic-friendly portable to a pair of truly epic, high-end floorstanding speakers.

Best B&O Speakers 2019

(Image credit: B&O)

1. B&O BeoPlay A1

Dinky yet detailed portable Bluetooth speaker

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 4.8.x13.4.x4.8cm (HxWxD) | Power: 2x30W Class D for woofer and tweeter | Features: Bluetooth V4.2, Stereo pairing | Connections: 3.5mm line-in, USB-C for charging

Reasons to Buy
Solid, weighty sound
Gorgeous design
Generous battery life
Reasons to Avoid
Sound lacks sparkle and rhythm

Given that B&O is best known for its high-end audio products, you might suspect that a few corners have been cut to create this pocketable speaker. Thankfully, that's not the case – it's elegantly-crafted from aluminium and leather. 

Sound quality is spot on: soulful and solid, with impressive midrange clarity that will flood the room. Battery life is no less impressive: 2.5 hours charging returns 24 hours of playback. There's no NFC support, but the A1 does rock aptX Bluetooth connectivity.

If size matters, this scaled-down speaker is the equivalent of drinking champagne on a beer budget.

Read the full review: B&O BeoPlay A1

Best B&O Speakers 2019

(Image credit: B&O)

2. B&O BeoLab 50

Beautifully-engineered works of audio art

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 103.6x28.5.x45.5cm (HxWxD) | Power: 7x ICEpower 300W amplifiers | Features: Wireless Power Link (24bit/48kHz, WiSA (24bit/96kHz) | Connections: 1x USB Audio (24bit/192kHz), 1x optical

Reasons to Buy
Flexibility
Composure at high volumes
Bass power and reach
Reasons to Avoid
Lack a degree of transparency
Could be more rhythmic

They might cost a small fortune, but these swanky floorstanders are dripping with premium materials and cutting-edge technology. Each speaker has seven drivers, each with a dedicated 300W power amplifier, which adds up to effortless dynamic shifts, agile bass and a thrilling level of detail. 

The control app, which is bespoke to the BeoLab 50s, helps you keep a firm grip on all that power (2100W per channel) as you blast out some Hans Zimmer. Could they sound a little more rhythmic? Yes, but If you're looking for a stellar system without too many extra boxes, B&O's deluxe floorstanders sound as good as they look.  

Read the full review: B&O BeoLab 50

Best B&O Speakers 2019

(Image credit: B&O)

3. B&O Beolit 15

Luxury portable speaker with good battery life

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 15.2x25.4.x20.3cm (HxWxD) | Power: 2x35W Class D bass and midrange | Features: Bluetooth V4.0 aptX | Connections: 3.5mm line-in, USB for charging

Reasons to Buy
Huge spread of sound
Rich, weighty bass
Portable design
Reasons to Avoid
Lack subtlety
Could have more energy

Planning an al-fresco knees-up? B&O's largest portable speaker has the oomph to keep your guests dancing late into the night. The scratch-proof aluminium grille is rugged enough, while the sound is surprisingly warm, mellow and detailed.

Weighing in at 3kg, the Beolit 15 is a bit of a beast – but that's soon forgiven when you discover that its powerful battery lasts 24 hours. To eek out even more life from the battery, the speaker automatically powers down when inactive for 15 minutes. 

Elegant and effective, the Beolit 15 delivers good sound in a signature B&O design. 

Read the full review: B&O Beolit 15

(Image credit: B&O)

4. B&O Beosound 1

Fancy wireless speaker with features galore

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 32.7x16.2.x16.2cm (HxWxD) | Power: 1x40W Class D full range, 1x 20W Class D for woofer | Features: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth V4.1, DNLA, Google Assistant | Connections: 1x Ethernet

Reasons to Buy
Powerful and loud
Smooth presentation
Plenty of features
Reasons to Avoid
Rivals offer greater subtlety
Fiddly set up
Expensive

Once again, B&O's designers have come up with a striking, space-age design that reimagines the speaker as some sort of small sculpture. The tip of the cone, which appears to be floating, doubles as the volume dial with touch-sensitive controls.

The unusual shape offers excellent 360-degree sound dispersion and is laden with features. The latest version of the Beosound 1 supports hi-res streaming up to 24-bit/192kHz and has Google Assistant voice smarts built-in.

Musically, it's not as dynamic as some rivals (the Naim Mu-so 2, say) but if you want an all-in-one streaming hi-fi that makes a visual impact, the cone-shaped BeoSound 1 is on point.

Read the full review: B&O BeoSound 1