Help! The Daleks are invading…This isn't an alien invasion. It's the latest high-end floor speaker from Danish audio wizards Bang & Olufsen: the BeoLab 20.
They're rather nice to look at. They sound pretty impressive too, as we discovered on our visit to the B&O factory – where the company tests its speakers in a "sound cube" measuring 12m x 12m x 13m. After the speakers' acoustic response has been checked to minimise distortion, cabinet resonances and diffraction effects, they're taken to a room for subjective listening tests – just to make sure they sound right to the human ear, across different genres of music.
Lovely. What's actually in them?Inside, you get a 10in woofer in a 18l enclosure, with two 160w class D amplifiers, a 5in midrange speaker ina a 4l enclosure with its own 160w class D amplifier, and a ¾in tweeter with – you guessed it – a 160w class D amplifier. The tweeter uses B&O's nifty Acoustic Lens technology, designed to boost the size of the sweet spot and minimise floor and ceiling reflections. The speaker also packs also Bang & Olufsen's Adaptive Bass Linearisation tech, which monitors the low end and reduces bass throughput in response to extreme peaks.
They're wireless?They are indeed. The BeoLab 20 packs a wireless WiSA receiver, so you can cut cord clutter. Sync it up with the new BeoVision Avant 4K TV, for example, and the TV will recognise the speaker model and its placement in the room, and adapt its output accordingly.
How much does it cost? Take a deep breath and sit down; a single BeoLab 20 will set you back £3748, with a pair costing £7495. If you've snapped up the BeoVision Avant 4K TV (a snip at £5995), Bang & Olufsen suggests setting it up with four BeoLab 20s. Better start saving, then.