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Bang & Olufsen Unveils BeoSound Shape Wireless System

By Brandon Dimmel


  • Product Name: BeoSound Shape
  • Manufacturer: Bang & Olufsen
  • Review Date: September 21, 2017 00:00
  • MSRP: $3,500 and up
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
System Dimensions:
  • Tile with fabric and star rail mounting: 36.4 x 32.0 x 11.1
  • Star rail system makes a 6 mm air gap between cabinet and wall
  • Maximum amplifier tiles: 11
  • Maximum speaker tiles: 44
  • Acoustic damper tiles: unlimited
Colors Available:
  • Black, Brazilian clay, infantry green, Parisian night blue, purple heart, wild dove grey, brown, moss green, pink. dark blue.
  • Wi-Fi/WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.1
Audio Formats:
  • Standard sample rates up to 192 kHz, stereo and up to 24 bit
  • Note: WMA lossless is not supported
  • Chromecast built-in
  • Apple AirPlay
  • Bluetooth Audio Streaming
  • DLNA – DMR
  • Spotify Connect
  • QPlay 2.0 (China specific)
  • Deezer

Stylish Customizable Sound Comes at a High Price

For many of us, the challenge in picking the right audio system for our home comes not in finding the system that sounds best, but in finding an audio setup that isn't a total eyesore. Those of us sharing a household with partners who carefully plan the layout of every single room will know that this can present huge challenges for home theater enthusiasts. That's because most home audio systems are, for better or worse, about functionality over design. They also tend to come in one or maybe two colors, like black or silver; in essence, few home audio manufacturers make products that appeal to the eyes as much as the ears. 

But Bang & Olufsen thinks you should have the best of both worlds. Bang & Olufsen has always been about stylish aesthetics and this system is quite gorgeous. The Danish home audio company recently unveiled the BeoSound Shape system which, as the name suggests, is designed to completely change the way we think about speaker design. When setup is complete, it's almost impossible to tell that a room is outfitted with speakers. That's because the hexagonal tile design is intended to reflect the kind of wall art you might find in the luxury condo of a young urban professional. There's no denying that, based on visuals alone, these are some of the most unique looking speakers we've seen before. Though we couldn't help but wonder if this was a new speaker system or a Borg invasion fleet.

BeoSound Shape

Even more interesting than the BeoSound Shape system's appearance may be its functionality. The package consists of identical tiles that mask each major hi-fi component, including speakers, amplifier, and acoustic damper. The base package includes 4 speakers to 1 amplifier, though the system can actually be expanded all the way up to 11 amps and 44 speakers -- should you have a room (and a bank account) that can handle it. As for colors, there are lots to choose from here, from light pink to midnight blue and deep purple. Bang & Olufsen has even provided a guide meant to help buyers coordinate their selections. When it comes to sizing our your project, each tile weighs about 4 pounds and measures 36 x 32 x 11 centimeters; that's about 14 x 13 x 4 inches. Each speaker comes equipped with a tweeter and bass woofer, with the amplifiers being 8 x 800W class D designs.

Using the speakers is pretty straightforward. You'll need the B&O BeoSound Core wireless streaming hub device to get started; it can be attached to the optical and USB inputs of the Shape amp. Once that's set up, you're free to stream music using WiFi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay, DLNA, Chromecast, Spotify, and Deezer. Pretty much all file formats are supported here.

There's no denying that this is one beautiful setup once it's complete. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, it's not the most affordable home audio system we've encountered.

Just getting started here will set you back roughly $3,500 USD -- a whopping sum. All that includes are two speakers, a single amp, a pair of dampers, and the BeoSound Core device. Adding more components to your configuration will send the overall price skyrocketing from there; for example, for eight tiles you're looking at spending about $4,400. 

B&O boasts that it's using a "unique upmixing algorithm" to project sound evenly throughout the room, making it even more difficult for your guests to figure out where music is coming from.


BeoSound DemoSo far this is shaping up to be an important step in the right direction for home audio design. While the price of the BeoSound Shape system is certainly high, those serious about combining form and functionality will find a lot to like here.

Unfortunately, in an open display on the crowded show floor, the Beosound Shape couldn't crank out enough clean SPLs to drown out the neighbors. We couldn't tell if the speakers were producing mild distortion, if the input levels were too hot, or if the wall itself was vibrating. In a more typical home or office environment where punishing volume levels aren't required, their quality of sounds is more likely to match their stylish looks.  We will reserve final judgement on sound quality until we can hear this system in a more acoustically controlled environment. 

Would you be willing to spend this kind of dough on a trendy system like the Beosound Shape? Share your thoughts in the related forum thread below.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.