Boutique audio company Bang & Olufsen has long emphasized premium design as much as premium sound, so it’s no wonder that their wireless speaker system doesn’t go the traditional route. Instead of scattering their new BeoSound Shape units around the room, they can be placed on the wall to create a beautiful honeycomb pattern — B&O’s audio processing will take it from there.
Made up of individual hexagonal units, the BeoSound Shape system is different from other wireless speaker systems in a few ways. For one, there’s a lot more room to tailor the system to your tastes. Not only are the units available with multiple colors of fabric covers, they have different functions. Some of the units contain speakers, while others contain amplifiers, wireless connectivity tech, or acoustic dampers.
The sample starter kit B&O have been showing off consists of eight units — one amplifier, four speakers, two dampers, and one connectivity module. Each 8 x 80 watt amplifier tile can power four speakers, and each system can accommodate 11 amplifiers, so you really could cover your wall in sound with this system.
The BeoSound Shape system should be somewhere between premium and casual in terms of audio quality. While a B&O system isn’t likely to sound bad, it’s worth noting that the system doesn’t have separate driver units for lows, mids, and highs. Instead, each speaker tile will have one 5 1/4″ woofer and one 3/4″ tweeter. The good news is that the soundstage will be wide — B&O is using processing technology that will turn the wall into a virtual stage, which should help make individual instruments and vocals sound a bit more clear.
The connectivity tile includes support for Chromecast, Apple AirPlay, Bluetooth, DLNA, Spotify Connect, and Wi-Fi. The whole BeoSound system also works with anything else in B&O’s Multiroom collection, so you can sync it to speakers in other rooms, as well.
Bang & Olufsen plans to put up their BeoSound Shape customization tool on their site sometime soon, which will let you configure your system, including colors and how many of each tile you want. It won’t come cheap, though — that eight-unit base kit will start at €4,000, or about $4,200.