The big Bang

BANG & OLUFSEN TAKES WIRE­LESS MULTI-ROOM TO AN­OTHER LEVEL WITH THE BEOPLAY A6. THE QUES­TION IS, CAN HIGH FASH­ION ALSO BE HI-FI?

Australian T3 - - SELECT -

Bang & Olufsen is not a brand to take de­sign lightly. It’s pro­duced some of the most avant garde con­sumer elec­tron­ics out there, par­tic­u­larly within its B&O PLAY uni­verse. Wit­ness the ex­tra­or­di­nary, cir­cu­lar A9 stream­ing speaker – es­sen­tially, Cap­tain Amer­ica’s shield on a tri­pod – and the ef­fort­lessly cool A2 Blue­tooth por­ta­ble.

With the BeoPlay A6, though, it’s re­ally di­alled up the af­fec­ta­tion. Of course, there’s more to this speaker than its bold aes­thet­ics. For ex­am­ple, the unique quasi-turtleshell chas­sis al­lows for some un­usual acous­tic en­gi­neer­ing. There are five driv­ers be­neath the cloth hood, all steered with con­fi­dence by DSP al­go­rithms. Sound-pro­cess­ing modes can be fine-tuned via po­si­tional dip­switches within the ca­ble well, de­pend­ing on how the speaker is set up.

The A6 is the work of Dan­ish in­dus­trial de­signer Jakob Wag­ner. In ad­di­tion to col­lab­o­rat­ing with B&O, his stu­dio clients in­clude high-end fur­ni­ture mak­ers B&B Italia, Moroso and Capellini. Wag­ner’s sig­na­ture style is prob­a­bly best de­scribed as ‘in­ge­nious sim­plic­ity’.

The build qual­ity and fin­ish of the A6 are ex­quis­ite. It’s a size­able beast, but the poly­mer chas­sis fea­tures a molded hand grip so you can eas­ily scoot about the house with it. The cloth cover is no or­di­nary grille, ei­ther; in­deed, it’s so dense, it’s dif­fi­cult to be­lieve that it’s in any way acous­ti­cally trans­par­ent. The tex­tile is cus­tom­made for the A6, in as­so­ci­a­tion with Kvadrat. Our sam­ple came in Light Grey, but you can also or­der the A6 in Dark Grey, Dusty Blue and Dark Rose. The base colour is white. The grille is eas­ily re­moved, so you can change styles should you re­fresh your dé­cor.

The speaker body is arched so that it rests on its edges. Not only does this cre­ate a dis­tinc­tive sil­hou­ette, it acous­ti­cally ac­com­mo­dates the driv­ers at play here. The A6 is a five-chan­nel de­sign, with four speak­ers on the front/top – two tweet­ers backed by two woofers – and one full-range driver point­ing back­wards/ down­wards. This com­ple­ment func­tions much like two con­ven­tional speak­ers drawn close to­gether.

The ca­ble and con­nec­tion well to the rear are dis­guised by a pop-out flap. Un­der this, you’ll find a power socket, plus in­puts for Eth­er­net, USB, a line-in mini­jack and as­sorted nod­ules. Don’t think about us­ing the USB in­put for me­dia play­back, though; this is purely pro­vided for ser­vice calls. What we’re re­ally here for is the wire­less side of things, and there’s Wi-Fi sup­port for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, in ad­di­tion to Blue­tooth 4.0.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.