You might have heard us talk about B&O speakers in HP Chromebooks – sometimes quite harshly, unfortunately – but that is because we expect a lot from the brand. Bang & Olufsen is not actually known for laptop speakers; they have made a name for themselves as makers of high-end speakers and televisions systems and these consumer products sound incredible. They have now combined their proficiencies in each to make their first-ever soundbar, the Beosound Stage, and Chromecast is along for the ride. The elegant speaker can be hooked up to your TV with HDMI ARC for enhancing movies and TV shows or can be used as a stand-alone speaker with Chromecast built-in when the TV is turned off.
Unlike those often-crummy HP speakers, the Beosound Stage appears to match the luxury aesthetic and acoustic engineering that we have come to expect from B&O. Inside the Beosound Stage, you will find a three-channel system with 11 custom-designed speaker drivers that are each powered by a 50-watt amplifier. For the low end, they have decided to go with four 4-inch woofers that are designed to reduce distortion and improve bass performance. All of this creates a powerful soundbar that “doesn’t rely on a subwoofer or satellites to create an immersive experience,” said Christoffer Østergaard Poulsen, Vice President of Product Management at Bang & Olufsen.
In addition to Chromecast built-in, the Beosound Stage also packs Apple Airplay 2 and Bluetooth 4.2 wireless connectivity, which can all be used when the TV is inactive. With Chromecast built-in, you can also pair the Beosound Stage with other B&O smart speakers (or any other Chromecast audio speaker) to create a speaker group for multi-room listening.
When it comes to craftsmanship, B&O did not cut any corners – these speakers look incredible. The two metal options, in either natural or bronze tone aluminum, are forged out of a single piece of aluminum that leaves no visible seams. The other option, which is my personal favorite, is a wood variant they call smoked oak and it features crafted, dovetail joints on the corners: a method typically seen in Scandinavian cabinetry. The Beosound Stage really does look like a piece of fine furniture, but all fine things come at a cost.
The Beosound Stage is expensive. With a starting price of $1,750 for the aluminum version and $2,600 for the wood version, this premium soundbar is for the audiophile who is interested in having high-fidelity audio as part of their home entertainment system. There is not a firm release date, but B&O has said the Beosound Stage will be available in late Autumn 2019. You can sign up to learn more about the product release on the Bang & Olufsen website.