B&O’s smallest speaker has big sound, smart controls

by Haadi Bakar
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Bang & Olufsen (B&O) just released a new portable speaker, the Beoplay P2, and it’s the tiniest in their Beoplay wireless speaker series.

But don’t be fooled by the P2’s small footprint, because this speaker sounds great and it’s also got a few tricks up its sleeve.

As you’d come to expect from B&O, the sound quality of their sound systems are top notch, and the P2 being its entry level product is no exception. Despite its size, this wireless portable speaker has very rich, full sound with decent bass and does not distort at max volume.

It’s remarkable what the engineers in Denmark have accomplished here – fitting a mid-range driver and a tweeter in a 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.1-inch package. Most cheap bluetooth speakers this size can’t match the P2’s impressive sound quality.

It doesn’t get too loud however, and it’s also mono only, as you’d expect from a speaker this size. You won’t be able to fill a house party, but for a picnic at the beach or as a travel speaker, the P2 is perfect.

I took the P2 on one of my midnight skate sessions recently and the audio projected from the speaker was loud enough for my friends and I sitting closely to it at mid volume. It’s not overbearing to a point that it would wake the neighbourhood.

Last April, I tested another wireless speaker from B&O, the circular-shaped Beoplay A1, and that has way better sound than the P2, but the A1 is larger and heavier. The P2 fits snuggly in my jeans pocket (though it does create bulge), and it’s pretty lightweight at just under 300 grammes.

The P2 has an aluminium design that’s built to last and comes in three colours – black, beige and blue. The overall look of the speaker isn’t anything to write home about, but some might like the simplistic design. I prefer the more stylish offerings from JBL in this regard.

Similar to the Beoplay A1, the P2 has that leather strap which you can use to hang on to anything, because this speaker has only one orientation – upward projection.

the P2 is the most accessible B&O product for budget-strapped consumers who really want to get into the B&O luxury brand.

But here’s the most interesting part about the P2 – there are no physical control buttons, save for the single power button underneath the device. You control the speaker by double tapping the speaker grille or shaking it. Double tap to pause and resume, shake to play the next track.

You can also configure the P2 to respond to your voice. Whether you pair it with an iPhone or an Android phone, you can fire up Siri or Google Assistant simply by double tapping the speaker grille. The P2 turns into a mini smart home speaker, so you don’t have to get an Apple HomePod or Google Home.

You’ll need to download the supplementary Beoplay app on your phone to set the speaker up to your prefered modes (touch or voice control). The app also lets you adjust the speaker’s EQ with the available presets.

My only gripe with the P2’s touch-based control scheme is the missing volume control. You have to use your phone to adjust the volume. It would be great if I could wave my arms on the speaker to lower or raise the audio level.

The P2 charges via a reversible USB Type C cable. The speaker averages 10 hours on active music playback at mid level volume.

Priced at B$259, the P2 is the most accessible B&O product for budget-strapped consumers who really want to get into the B&O luxury brand. While other similar-sized speakers cost much less, you’ll get your money’s worth coughing up extra for the P2 simply for the superb sound quality alone.

Oh, and it makes for a great father’s day gift too.

The P2 is available at the Bang & Olufsen store in Kiarong. Drop by their showroom to learn more about their other product range, including heir high-end wireless headphones and home theatre systems.

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