Bang & Olufsen is known for high-end speakers with its trademark Danish design. Even though its most expensive showpieces command exorbitant prices, they usually offer a complete suite of features for listening around the house. The company's latest luxury home entertainment device is the Beolab 28: a pair of wireless speakers that offer several connectivity options, room calibration, multiroom audio and more. And as you might expect, they're very expensive.
The Beolab 28 speakers are tall cylinders with cone-shaped bases. The company says this column design pays tribute to the Beolab Penta, Beolab 6000 and Beolab 8000. The base of the speakers, which holds the woofer, can be adjusted to sit flat on the floor or be mounted to a wall. Up top, touch controls light up when someone approaches the devices as a proximity sensor detects motion. On that panel, options for play/pause, skipping tracks and adjusting the volume sit alongside four preset buttons that offer one-touch access to Spotify playlists, streaming radio stations and more. The Beolab 28 is available in a variety of finishes — Natural Silver, Black Anthracite or Bronze Tone aluminum — and they come with multiple options for covers in knitted fabric (grey and grey mélange) and solid wood (light oak, oak, smoked oak and walnut).
Inside, three 3-inch drivers are stacked vertically with a 1-inch tweeter. In the cone-shaped base, a 6.5-inch woofer handles the low-end tone. Like other B&O speakers, the Beolab 28 is equipped with Active Room Compensation that calibrates the speakers to the environment where they're placed. These also have Beam Width Control that allows you to switch between two modes that change how the sound projects from the units. A narrow mode reduces how much sound bounces off walls by directing audio to what B&O calls the "ultimate sweet spot." The wide mode sends audio in more directions, which the company says gives you the ability to physically move around while you're listening. Mechanical curtains on the speakers allow for these modes, and they also move when the speaker is first powered on.
In terms of wireless connectivity, the Beolab 28 supports AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, WiFi and Bluetooth. Physical connections include Ethernet, Powerlink and line-in/optical, and the speakers come with a remote or you can use the company's app to control them. This fall, B&O plans to add multiroom connectivity with its Beolink technology, but they can used as part of a multiroom setup via AirPlay 2 or Chromecast now.
Like Bang & Olufsen's other recent speakers, the Beolab 28 is equipped with the company's replaceable connectivity module. B&O says this component essentially future-proofs the units since that component has "enough processing power and connectivity technology to receive new performance updates and features for years to come." If it does become outdated, it can be easily swapped out for another version.
The Beolab 28 with fabric covers is $14,750 (€10,750/£9,750) while the wood cover option is $16,500 (€12,000/£10,750) — for a pair. The company plans to also sell them individually, but the announcement didn't include pricing for single speakers. Bang & Olufsen's audio gear is always a hefty investment, but these prices are on the high end of the company's current speaker offerings. And if you think that's expensive, just remember B&O makes the Beolab 50 that starts at $40,000.