Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore Bluetooth Speaker Review

Danish high-end consumer electronics manufacturer Bang & Olufsen is well known for its product design and attention to detail, as well as performance. The Beosound audio product range covers all types of speakers, including home installation speaker systems, but the product I am reviewing today is part of their portable audio range. In fact, it is one of the most affordable products currently offered by Bang & Olufsen, although it still costs a considerably higher price compared to similar wireless speakers from brands such as Xiaomi, Sony and JBL.

The Beosound Explore is a premium wireless speaker, priced at Rs. 20,000 in India. It is designed and built for outdoor use, with an anodized aluminum frame and IP67 rated for dust and water resistance. Is this the best Bluetooth wireless speaker you can buy for around Rs. 20,000 now? Find out in this review.

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore is among the company’s most affordable wireless speakers, but it still comes at a premium price of Rs. 20,000

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore can handle the elements

Bang & Olufsen products are known to have very good aesthetics, and the Beosound Explore is no exception. The speaker is sleek, sophisticated, and considerably smaller than similarly located options like the UE Boom 3 and JBL Xtreme 2. However, it weighs roughly the same as the aforementioned products due to the liberal use of metal in its construction. The frame is made from anodized aluminum, while the base has a rubberized material for grip and some degree of shock resistance.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore is IP67 rated for dust and water resistance; This means it can handle significant exposure to dirt, dust, and water, including total immersion in shallow water for short periods of time. A waterproof fabric strap and carabiner are also included with the speaker for easy handling and transport. The USB Type-C port for charging is on the bottom, on the rubber base, and the controls are on the top. The positioning of the speaker drivers allows for 360-degree sound rather than having a specific listening area.

There are five soft-touch physical buttons on the top to control Bluetooth power, volume, playback, and pairing. The play button lets you play and pause music with a single press, but you can also jump to the next track with a double press or the previous track with a triple press.

The useful thing is that there is also multipoint connectivity, allowing you to connect up to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, as well as stereo pairing if you have two Beosound Explore speakers. Quick pairing is also supported via the Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair protocols. It is important to note that this speaker does not have a built-in microphone, so you cannot use it as a hands-free device for calls. That also means there is no support for voice assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa either.

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A carabiner is included in the box to attach to the Beosound Explore.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore has two 1.8-inch drivers, two 30W Class D full-range amplifiers, and a frequency response range of 56-22,700 Hz. The speaker uses Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity with codec support. Bluetooth SBC. The Bang & Olufsen app (available on iOS and Android) allows you to control playback and volume, customize the sound profile, and configure stereo pairing to link two Beosound Explore speakers. It also shows the battery level of the speaker.

The company claims that the battery life on the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore is 27 hours at normal volume, but in actual use I found it to be much less. I got around 11 hours of listening time at moderate volume levels on a single charge, which while much less than the stated figure, is acceptable for a speaker of this size. It took me around two hours to fully charge the Beosound Explore with my own 10W charger.

Good soundstage at Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore

Good looks and build quality aside, Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore promises good sound quality thanks to its two-driver setup. Although the amplification specs suggest that the Beosound Explore is loud, it does not crank up the volume as well as devices like the UE Boom 3. That said, the sound quality is decent in terms of tuning, and the positioning of the drivers makes it a good deal. good soundstage.

I used Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore with an iPhone 13 (review) as the primary device for this review, but I also tested multipoint connectivity with an Android smartphone. Since there is no microphone on the device, my tests were limited to listening to music, watching occasional videos on YouTube, and playing games on my smartphone. Connectivity was stable even with two devices connected to the speaker, over distances of up to 3m, and switching between devices was quick and smooth.

Starting with Benee’s Supalonely, I had the volume around 50 percent and the sound profile set to the ‘Optimal’ level, which is the equivalent of a flat EQ setting thanks to the natural tuning of the speaker. I found the sound a bit too warm in this setting, which made Benee’s light, youthful voice sound a bit muddy and skewed. While this helped make the sound punchy and upbeat on the lows of this lively track, it didn’t sound as clean as I would have liked.

Fortunately, the sound profile is easy to adjust to your liking, and I was able to intuitively set it to levels to suit individual tracks. That being said, this is not something I would like to do often given my varied musical preferences and my tendency to listen to different genres randomly. In this regard, the natural tuning of the speaker was not as good as I expected, especially considering what it costs.

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Beosound Explore’s anodized aluminum frame looks and feels great

With Intoxicated by Martin Solveig and GTA, I had the opportunity to listen to Beosound Explore with the type of music that is best suited. This track’s strong, fast beat sounded fun on the speaker, and the directionality of its drivers created an excellent soundstage throughout the room, even though it was set against a wall in one corner. With the volume turned up, this track was very nice, and I also felt that the sound quality improved a bit with the volume around 70 percent or more.

Although turning the volume up to around 90 percent made the sound signature feel too booming and authoritative, the Beosound Explore held its own in terms of keeping distortion and harshness in the sound to a minimum. Overall, the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore sounds decent, even considering its hefty price tag, but its size and tendency to sound a bit too warm slows it down a bit.

Verdict

Bang & Olufsen’s “fancy” approach to personal audio works reasonably well for the Beosound Explore. This is an outdoor-friendly wireless speaker that could be very suitable for ‘glamping’ or sitting poolside at your vacation home. It’s an attractive, well-built wireless speaker that offers enough sound quality to streamline your Rs. 20,000 price tag.

That said, the sound isn’t as loud as I’d hoped, there’s no microphone for hands-free calling, and you’re definitely paying a premium for the beautiful style and rugged construction. The sound quality is decent though, particularly the good soundstage and the ability to quickly adjust the EQ to your liking using the app, making Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore an option worth considering for around Rs. 20,000.


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