Bang & Olufsen’s newest speaker could be a good bet for those who like their audio devices heard and not seen. The Beosound Emerge is a slim Wi-Fi speaker designed to tuck away in tight spaces, like corners and bookshelves.
The fabric grille of the $899 Light Oak model even looks like a book spine. There’s also a cheaper, if still premium-priced Black Anthracite model for $699, though neither version will actually release until October 2021.
Still, this latest Bang & Olufsen speaker — following the modular Beosound Level revealed earlier this year — could be a design worth waiting for. At 6.5 inches tall and 2.6 inches wide at its thickest point, it’s narrow enough to slot into small gaps while it blasts out 180-degree sound from that slimline grille. And while the Black Anthracite model is less expensive, the wood-finished model looks particularly suitable for blending in with the décor.
On the features side, the Beosound Emerge’s Wi-Fi capability grants it Chromecast or AirPlay support. It can also be optionally equipped with Google Assistant to take on the best smart speakers, and Bluetooth connectivity comes as standard.
A set of “soft-touch” controls on top includes playback controls as well as inputs for accessing Bang & Olufsen radio stations or streaming music from Spotify. If you add Google Assistant you’ll also be able to control the Beosound Emerge with your voice.
You can already get speakers disguised as household objects in the Ikea Symfonisk range, which is designed and built in collaboration with Sonos. The Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf Speaker in particular could be a cut-price rival to the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Emerge when the latter eventually launches.
Still, even considering Sonos’ input, the Beosound Emerge is clearly more of a premium proposition; hopefully its sound quality can live up the design.