B&O BeoLab 50

Stuff Middle East - - Contents - US$20,000 bang- olufsen.com /

A flaky all-in-one speaker for the au­dio elite

I hope that doesn’t sound as flaky as it looks.

Very good. But those brown fins are ac­tu­ally called lamel­las, from the Latin for flake. So what you mean is, “I hope that doesn’t sound as lamella-y as it looks.” Which doesn’t quite work. Any­way, do you know what else is Latin? The word ‘au­dio’, which means ‘I hear’. And once you’ve au­dio’d a pair of BeoLab 50s, you won’t doubt the stur­di­ness of their sound.

A pair? Where’s the other one?

Th­ese are ac­tive speak­ers, which means they don’t need ex­ter­nal am­pli­fi­ca­tion to make any noise – all the tech is packed in­side one speaker, while the other com­pletes the stereo pic­ture. All you need to do is add power (and mu­sic). They call it a ‘mas­ter and slave’ setup in the hi-fi world, but we’d rather think of it as a dy­namic duo, like Ant & Dec.

Do Ant & Dec have a Latin name?

Er, maybe… An­tus et Dec­cus? What they def­i­nitely don’t have are ‘acous­tic lenses’ that pop up out of their heads. Th­ese al­low you to change how the speak­ers dis­perse the 2100 Watts of sound cre­ated by the seven built-in am­pli­fiers. How­ever, you can only choose be­tween two set­tings: a full 180 º panorama or a nar­rower sweet spot for sit­ting and stroking your beard in. Just re­mem­ber, barba non facit philoso­phum.

What does that mean?

A beard doesn’t make you a philoso­pher. A pair of th­ese won’t make you an au­dio­phile ei­ther, although USB and coax­ial in­puts that sup­port files up to 24-bit/ 192kHz are a step in the right di­rec­tion. There’s WiSA wire­less too, but that’s for con­nect­ing your BeoVi­sion TV, not stream­ing Spo­tify from your phone.

THE POP-UP ‘ACOUS­TIC LENSES’ AL­LOW YOU TO CHANGE THE SOUND DISPERSION

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