Bang & Olufsen launches Beolab 28 wireless speaker

Beam Width Control allows flexible sweet spot

by Andy Bassett

Bang & Olufsen reckons its new Beolab 28 adaptive wireless speaker is its most advanced yet, with acoustical innovations, convenient smart speaker features and flexible positioning options.

Drawing on thirty-five years of expertise in active loudspeaker technology, and with a design nod to the iconic column shape used in earlier models such as the Beolab Penta, the Beolab 28 can stream from virtually any source instantly delivering an immersive, studio-grade sound that can adapt to its surroundings and is future proofed too. 

The Beolab 28 comes with its own built-in, down-firing subwoofer which uses a custom-designed large-excursion 6.5-inch driver powered by 225 watts of Class D amplification and which benefits from the company’s latest generation Active Room Compensation which adapts the bass response to the room, allowing flexibility in speaker placement.

While the subwoofer is housed in the lower conical element of the speaker, the column of the speaker itself houses three 3-inch full-range drivers placed on the front and one on each side, along with a front facing 1-inch tweeter. Developed specifically for the Beolab 28, the driver array can be driven to high volumes yet still maintain clear midrange and precise and dynamic treble. There’s 400 watts of Class D amplification allocated evenly between the four drivers, taking the total output to 625W. 

Bang & Olufsen launches Beolab 28 wireless speaker
Bang & Olufsen Beolab 28 wireless speakers

The speaker itself is held together by a backbone which hides cable wires and gives on overall ‘floating’ impression and, since it can also be wall mounted, there’s plenty of scope in placement options. 

The Beolab can operate in two modes for an optimum listening experience, thanks to Beam Width Control. In ‘narrow mode’, the audio reaches the ear via the most direct route with a minimum of side-wall reflections colouring the sound. Alternatively, ‘wide mode’ diffuses more sound all around the loudspeakers, broadening the sweet spot so listeners can move away from the optimal listening area in front of the speakers and still experience a natural tonal balance.

Turning the speaker on or switching between beam modes is accompanied by a signature Bang & Olufsen mechanical motion with ‘curtains’ that move, indicating whether the speaker is in narrow or wide mode. 

The wireless setup offers synchronisation of speakers at 24bits/48kHz within microseconds and streaming options include Bluetooth and the B&O app as well as multiroom via AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. The speakers will be made compatible with Beolink Multiroom in autumn 2021 through an automatic software update and the Beolab 28 can also be paired with a Bang & Olufsen TV using Powerlink or Wireless Powerlink.

Bang & Olufsen launches Beolab 28 wireless speaker
Bang & Olufsen Beolab 28 wireless speakers - control interface

Control is possible using a Bang & Olufsen remote or via the smartphone app. Alternatively for the hands-on experience, a simple touch user-interface has been created on top of the Beolab 28 which lights up when approached thanks to built in proximity sensors. This allows pausing, playing and skipping of tracks along with volume control, and there’re four ‘favourites’ buttons to allow quick access to radio stations or Spotify playlists. 

The Beolab 28 comes in Natural Silver, Black Anthracite or Bronze Tone aluminium finishes which combine with speaker covers in high quality knitted fabric or solid wood to suit any interior setting. The fabric covers are available in grey and grey mélange while the wooden covers come in light oak, oak, smoked oak and walnut.

Bang & Olufsen launches Beolab 28 wireless speaker
 Bang & Olufsen Beolab 28 wireless speakers - finishes

As with Bang & Olufsen’s recent Beosound Level and Beosound Emerge streaming speakers, the Beolab 28 uses the company's new replaceable connectivity module, which features enough processing power and connectivity technology for today’s performance expectations but can also be completely replaced if current streaming technology is superseded, thus future proofing the speaker for potentially years to come.

Christoffer Poulsen, Senior Vice President and Head of Product Management at Bang & Olufsen commented, “Beolab 28 is our most advanced connected speaker to date, providing powerful sound and flexible placement options due to its slim shape and small footprint. Beolab 28 includes cutting-edge, wireless connectivity and streaming features that allow you to enjoy your music exactly the way you want.”

The Beolab 28 Fabric version has an RRP of £9,750 (€10,750, $14,750 USD)

The Beolab 28 Wooden version has an RRP of £10,700 (€12,000, $16,500 USD)

Source: Press release
Image Source: Bang & Olufsen

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