B&O Beoplay M3 Review

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Beautifully designed
  • Spotify Connect, Google Cast and Apple AirPlay
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connected

Cons

  • No built-in microphone for voice control
  • Mono speaker only
  • Expensive

Key Features

  • Review Price: £259
  • Spotify Connect
  • Google Cast
  • Apple AirPlay
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • BeoPlay app equaliser
  • Room adaptive audio

What is the B&O Beoplay M3?

The B&O Beoplay M3 Connected Wireless Speaker is a plug-in multiroom speaker with Wi-Fi connectivity, Spotify Connect, AirPlay and Google Cast support. But it’s also a speaker that doesn’t have a microphone for voice controls.

In a world where this is fast becoming the norm, does this upstanding speaker have one foot in the past? Or has B&O bucked the trend of AI voice controls to focus on pure quality?

This is a mono speaker, allowing for maximum quality in that compact package. But unlike the Sonos Play:1, it can’t be paired with another M3 for stereo as an option. Odd, since this can be done with B&O A-series speakers and even some of its Beolit kit.

So despite lacking in some areas, does the Beoplay M3 make up for it with that high quality design, build and sound?

Related: Best Bluetooth speakers

Beoplay M3

B&O Beoplay M3 – Design

B&O has once again created a product of beauty in the Beoplay M3. This minimally designed speaker blends smooth edging with bulky weight to offer a balance of space conservation with reassuring speaker quality.

Buttons are kept to a minimum, with volume and a main control button on the rear. Beneath the bottom flap you’ll find hidden power and settings buttons. This flap has a hole to allow for the power cable to run through, keeping even that to a visible minimum.

Despite being only a little bigger than the Google Home or Sonos One, for example, the M3 feels weighty. Our review M3 unit sports a material front grille, but this can be swapped out for other styles and colours including metallic finishes. If you’ve got mucky-fingered children around, then you may well be better option for a hard finish than one that will easily stain.

Related: Sonos One review

Beoplay M3

B&O Beoplay M3 – Features

While this is a mono speaker that requires a wired power connection, it’s still very much smart connected. Built-in Wi-Fi means that once set up, the speaker will connect to your home network on power-up and allow for controls via your phone, tablet or computer.

Thanks to Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay and Google Cast, it’s super-easy to play music and video audio from whatever app you’re using – be it Spotify, YouTube, BBC Radio and more. As a result, you may not find yourself using the Beoplay app too much.

If you do decide to dive in, though, you’ll be pleased to see an equaliser function. Tonetouch is beautifully designed, allowing you to move a dot around to four corners to adjust between Warm, Excited, Relaxed and Bright sound.

If you’re an Android user then, annoyingly, this app requires you to turn on Bluetooth every time you use it – despite the M3 having Wi-Fi. As such, you may not use it too often. Not that you need to when in-app support is so good anyway.

Multiroom support allows for playing the same audio from one source across multiple speakers in your home. What this doesn’t offer, – which Sonos does – is the ability to play different music on different speakers in the home using one Spotify account.

Voice controls are also lacking on the speaker itself, and since there’s no mic, this won’t be updated to use that in the future. However, you can still voice control the unit via another smart speaker. So if you have a Google Home, for example, you can tell it to play Spotify music on your M3 speaker.

This is helpful for use via an Android smartphone, watch or speaker. But, realistically, you’re either unlocking one of those devices or you’re in another room – which means they’re not particularly helpful.

Beoplay M3

B&O Beoplay M3 – Performance

Sound quality on this speaker is far above and beyond what you’d expect of a speaker of this size. The 40W Class D woofer and tweeter amp combo offer plenty of power in a balanced way. There’s sufficient bass to deal with anything you throw at the speaker – even cinematic film trailer audio. But there’s also a balanced mid-range to enjoy vocals on songs.

Turn up the volume high, though, and you’ll notice some of the bass being pulled back to avoid distortion. But you’ll rarely ever need to go that loud in any other scenario than a party in a huge open-plan room – where you’d be unlikely to notice it anyway.

Beoplay M3

Thanks to that Beoplay app, you can also select modes to suit where the speaker sits. This adjusts the sound profile to adjust to the speaker being on a shelf, in a corner or in an open space. The only time this didn’t have a positive effect was when we placed the speaker just outside the back door for garden listening – but the M3 isn’t really made for that.

The lack of stereo can be an issue. If you’re listening to music that’s intended to offer surround-sound immersion then it will come across a little flat when heard on the M3. Or, if you’re using the speaker for film trailer viewing on your phone with enhanced audio, then it will be far better than a phone but not as immersive as a stereo speaker or pair could offer.

Why buy the B&O Beoplay M3?

If sound quality and design are at the top of your wish list, with space conservation and Wi-Fi connectivity coming in a close third and fourth, then this speaker is perfect for you. Multiroom support thanks to Spotify Connect is also a really appealing feature on this speaker.

However, if you’re looking for stereo or direct voice controls then you’ll be left wanting with the M3.

Verdict

A relatively pricey speaker that offers premium design and audio quality with decent connected features. It lacks stereo, however, and could benefit from a microphone for future-proofed voice controls.

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