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Google Assistant speaker for $2,250, anyone?

Bang and Olufsen has revealed two new Google Assistant-powered smart speakers featuring hefty price tags.
By
August 24, 2018
Bang and Olufsen BeoSound 1 and 2 speakers in a dramatic indoor shot alongside one another.
The BeoSound 1 (left) and BeoSound 2 (right).
TL;DR
  • Bang and Olufsen has revealed two new Google Assistant-powered smart speakers.
  • The speakers feature a cone-style, aluminum construction and an arrangement of four speakers.
  • They’re set to launch in September and October for $1,750 and $2,250.

Audio hardware maker Bang and Olufsen has announced a pair of new Google Assistant-powered smart speakers (via Venture Beat). The BeoSound 1 and BeoSound 2 will go on sale this fall for $1,750 and $2,250 respectively, featuring an otherworldly look that stands out in the smart speaker world.

Both devices feature a similar cone-shaped, aluminum construction, with the BeoSound 1 measuring 16.2 x 32.7 cm and the BeoSound 2 coming in at 19.6 x 43.1 cm. As well as looking compelling, the shape is said to aid the 360-degree sound distribution.

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Audio quality is where I expect the BeoSounds to really shine, however. The BeoSound 1 features a ½-inch full-range driver and a 4-inch woofer, while the BeoSound 2 comes with a ¾-inch tweeter, two two-inch mid-range speakers, and a five and a ¼-inch woofer.

The BeoSound 1 is also the more portable unit thanks to its rechargeable battery, while the BeoSound 2 needs to be connected at the mains.

 

Bang and Olufsen BeoSound 2 press render.
The BeoSound 2.

There’s Bluetooth streaming as well as Chromecast and Apple Airplay 2 support on both products, and they integrate with Spotify, Deezer and TuneIn radio in available markets. The open portion around the top of the device holds five microphones for voice detection.

Further, the speakers can also be paired with multi-room support, if you fancy paying as much as $4,500 for a couple of them.

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With “flagship” smart speakers typically going for $100 to $130, and the most popular range coming in at around $50 with the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot, this is a bit of a gamble for Bang and Olufsen. It’s clearly aiming to deliver a premium product with great sound, which it no doubt will, but with the Google Assistant experience remaining largely the same across all speaker products, this aspect of the product isn’t a huge selling point.

The Bang and Olufsen BeoSound 1 and BeoSound 2 will launch in mid-September and mid-October respectively, in silver, gold and “infantry green” colors. They’ll be available in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, and USA.