Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has shown off its latest wireless, single-point system at stores and we were curious to see if a R23 000 system could attract hardcore audiophiles, so we went to take a look.
The system is one singular unit that was designed by Jakob Wagner, the designer of the B&O H6 headphones. The design is low-key and that’s because B&O want users to be able to take it with them anywhere.
“They’ve got all the meat in the centre and then the system gets thinner as you move to the outer edge”, Shannon Rogotzki, Operations Manager at B&O South Africa tells us. “This design gives a the A6 a much thinner appearance and the angles help with directing the sound”.
Rogotzki went on to explain that B&O has designed the system to be placed anywhere be it in a corner, on a wall or even on a stand. For this reason the A6 has a manual mode switch with which you can toggle the position the system is in and the speakers will adapt how sound is played. It’s very clever even if we do think that nobody will really bother switching the mode.
The A6 is fitted with two 5.5inch, 60W woofers, one 1.5inch, 60W full range speaker and two three quarter inch tweeters rated at 30 Watts. Together the speakers are loud but to our ear there was no noticeable distortion. Low frequencies are adequate in that they won’t shake your walls but there’s enough of a punch to feel those bass drops the kids love so much these days.
The high frequencies are not as sharp as we would like but that is a matter of personal taste. Unfortunately we weren’t able to run frequency tests and find what the exact range is, but B&O have said the effective range is between 35 – 22.000Hz which is good for a system in this price range.
Since it’s a wireless system you can connect your smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth to the A6. You can also use the BeoMusic App to wirelessly play music, stream music from services like Deezer and TuneIn radio. There is even an ethernet port so that you can hardwire the system into your network.
You will want to keep this system connected to the internet because B&O to send firmware updates to its wireless speakers regularly, tweaking things here and there to give you a better sound experience.
Our biggest niggle with this system is its price. B&O tells that we can expect the A6 to retail for around the R23 000 mark though this price is expected to fluctuate according to how the rand performs against the euro. The price means that this system is squarely aimed at those that take home a rather large pay cheque every month.
Then again, this is B&O and fans of the brand do enjoy the exclusivity that comes with owning its products.