Given this model’s repute and the historically steep value of its , I count on loads from a Bang & Olufsen product. True to kind, B&O’s Beoplay M3 multi-room speaker is a wonderful alternative—for the correct set of ears. At $300, the bottom value for a B&O multi-room speaker but, corners had been minimize within the title of affordability. These cuts had been made within the space of audio high quality. Perceive that this speaker sounds very, superb. However the monaural listening expertise it offers, in live performance with the digital sign processing B&O employs, is perhaps unappealing to audio purists.
Sized at 5.9 by four.four by 5.5 inches, the M3’s footprint is sufficiently small that it might it may be sat on a countertop or shelf with out consuming up an excessive amount of area. A rubber baseplate, together with the speaker’s three.2-pound heft, make sure that when it’s positioned, you gained’t have to fret about it being knocked over or dragged off a desk. The M3 could be had in a matter gray (as examined) or matte black end. There’s no handholds or nooks constructed into the M3 to select it up by. However its rubberized exterior offers sufficient grip that you just gained’t drop it throughout transport.
The M3 has a detachable material speaker grille that may be swapped out for different shade and materials choices—offered you pay for them. Whereas its dimension might enable it to move for a transportable speaker, the M3 gained’t do something until it’s drawing energy from outlet. In step with the speaker’s minimalistic design, B&O hid the place the M3’s energy twine connects to it, beneath a hatch constructed into its baseplate. You’ll additionally discover a micro-USB port for charging transportable units right here, together with the M3’s three.5mm audio port. As soon as the hatch is closed, any related cables are channeled by the again of the speaker. Good and neat.
The speaker will settle for enter through Bluetooth four.2, Apple AirPlay, or Google Chromecast, making it simple so as to add the speaker to your current multi-room setup. Or, if you wish to kick it old fashioned, you should utilize the three.5mm enter for a wired connection. Noticeable by its absence is Spotify Join—a function that comes baked into B&O’s costlier Beoplay M5, in addition to some less-expensive multi-room opponents (together with the Sonos One).
The M3’s solely bodily controls could be discovered on the again of the speaker: quantity controls and a multifunction button that can be utilized to play/pause music or change between audio sources. As most individuals management their music through a related system nowadays anyway, I don’t think about this lack of on-device controls to be a giant deal. When you’ll be capable to use your telephone’s music, podcast, or video apps to feed audio into the speaker or management its quantity, any additional tweaking of the M3 requires that B&O’s free Beoplay app be loaded onto your smartphone.
With the app, you’ll be capable to simply form the speaker’s sound profile, to be used in an open setting, or for when it’s tucked up in opposition to a wall or in a nook. The app’s EQ is useless easy to make use of, too—you’ll discover no sliders right here. Of their place is collection of concentric circles, break up into 4 zones: Heat, Vivid, Excited and Relaxed. Shifting the dot inside these concentric circles inside a given zone adjustments the speaker’s sound. It’s useless simple. When you stumble on a setting that you just like, it may be saved as a preset. B&O additionally offers a number of presets of its personal to get M3 customers began.
Inside the M3, you’ll discover a three.75-inch woofer and a zero.75-inch tweeter, which convey the noise through 40 watts of amplification. To check the speaker, I used my iPhone 7 Plus as an audio supply, listening to music, podcasts, and the occasional video over the course of per week. I additionally spent an hour listening to a playlist of 5 songs that I do know in and out: “Really feel Proper” (Mark Ronson, that includes Mystikal), “Up & Rise” (Hazmat Modine); “Shake Your Hips” (The Legendary Shack Shakers), “Déjà Loin” (Yann Tiersen), and “I’m a Little Blended” (Diana Krall). I have a tendency to make use of these songs for testing as they span a number of genres and have robust, deeply layered performances. It doesn’t matter what I listened to, the M3 delivered glorious audio expertise.
There’s no scarcity of bass response right here—at instances, resembling whereas listening to “Really feel Proper,” the bass appeared to step on the mid- and excessive frequencies—however solely a bit. As soon as I adjusted the speaker’s EQ settings, the tune retained all its thump with out shedding the shrill readability of the observe’s brass work. This adopted with the opposite tracks on my playlist as effectively: B&O designed this speaker to supply an attractive degree of audio separation in a compact package deal at volumes that’ll fill a mid-sized room with sound with no distortion at most quantity ranges. You must know, nevertheless, that it’s sound gained’t be beloved by everybody, for a number of causes.
To maintain the audio from distorting at larger ranges, B&O employs digital sign processing (DSP) to restrict the quantity of low-frequency sound that the speaker kicks out. The excellent news is that DSP permits the speaker to take care of the identical superior audio separation at excessive ranges because it does at low ranges, with no distortion. The dangerous information is that DSP messes with what your music seems like—offering listeners with much less bass than the artist and the observe’s audio engineers meant. This may very well be a letdown to audiophiles. Moreover, like comparable small multi-room audio system from Sonos and Bose, the Beoplay M3 is a monaural affair. When you’re after stereo sound, you’ll should look elsewhere or purchase two.
The Backside Line
Because of the plethora of connection choices, minimalistic design, and wealthy bass-heavy sound, the B&O Beoplay M3 is a wonderful alternative for anybody interested by constructing a multi-room speaker system for his or her dwelling. However, because it’s costlier than lots of its opponents with comparable specs, produces monaural audio, and makes use of DSP, it is probably not everybody’s cup of tea.