Well, it seems that everyone’s getting in on the portable speaker lark. Bang & Olufsen has made portable speakers before, but the Beosound Explore aims to be its toughest yet.
What makes the B&O Beosound Explore (£169 / €199 / $199 / CAD$199) so tough? It’s the first speaker to feature Type 2 anodised aluminium for improved scratch resistance, which should help protect it even more when you’re clambering on rocks or showing off just how tough the speaker is. As you do.
The Explore’s outdoor credentials are further enhanced by its aluminium carabiner (a clip), to latch onto rucksacks and keep the speaker secure. With its integrated strap for for hanging and its sealed design offering an IP67 rating (matching the Sonos Roam), the Beosound Explore is a wireless speaker that’s well protected against whatever Mother Nature can pelt at it.
It adheres to the design principles that have guided other portable speakers in recent years with its cylindrical shape and grippy surface. It weighs 631g – not the lightest we’ve encountered – but enough to ensure it won’t weigh down your bag.
Where the Explore blows the competition out water is with its battery life, which is an enormous 27 hours (at 70dB). If you listen to music non-stop all day, this is the speaker for you. Charging the speaker takes around two hours.
Echoing the look and feel of the forests, glaciers and fjords in Scandinavia, the Beosound Explore will be available in three understated finishes: Black Anthracite, Green and Grey Mist. The first two options are on sale right now, while the Grey Mist version will be heading to markets later in the summer.
On top of the speaker is the operating interface and, rather handily, it can be used with gloves on – useful if it’s a little chilly outside. Stereo pairing is possible with another Explore and in terms of connectivity there are plenty of options with Bluetooth 5.2, Apple Fast Pair, Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair. Whatever device you have, the Beosound Explore wants to be friends as quickly as possible.
In terms of sound the Explore features 2 x 1.8-inch full range drivers powered by 2 x 30W Class D amplifiers. The frequency range is stated to be 56Hz – 22.7kHz, and it can go as loud as 91dB with B&O claiming bass output is around 59dB. With its True360 omnidirectional performance, you should get a similar sound from all directions.
At £169 / €199 / $199 / CAD$199, the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore is, believe it or not, rather affordable for a B&O product. The Black Anthracite and Green models are on sale online and in Bang & Olufsen stores now, with the Grey Mist version to follow later in the year.