Henry Ford once famously said of his new Model T automobile: “Customers can have it in any color, so long as it’s black” (we’re paraphrasing). For Mr. Ford, form was equally important as function, and black was in style.
For style-conscious sound engineers, B&O Play must be the ideal employer. The audio manufacturer prides itself on crafting equipment that’s portable, intuitive, and beautiful, and we’ve been fortunate enough to check out lots of Beoplay gear over the past few years. Whether speakers or headphones, B&O Play products are always attractive, and they always sound great.
On Thursday, November 9, the newest member of the Beoplay family made its debut: The Beoplay M3, a wireless speaker that promises to deliver premium audio at a reasonable rate (and to look great anywhere in your home). The M3 is designed in part by award-winning Danish industrial design artist Cecilie Manz, who says that the speaker is “… all about character; one that can easily adapt to any interior style.”
Inside the speaker, you’ll find a single front-firing 3.75-inch long-stroke woofer, enhanced with an acoustical reflector, and a 3/4-inch soft-dome tweeter utilizing a neodymium magnet system to produce clear treble. The M3 also features advanced digital signal processing (DSP) and adaptive bass linearization (ABL), adapted from larger products by reputed audio giant Bang & Olufsen (B&O Play’s parent company), and includes a three-setting position switch to tune performance depending upon the speaker’s location within a room.
The M3 supports Bluetooth, of course, but you can also connect it to Wi-Fi, where it will play nicely in a multiroom arrangement with any other multiroom speakers from either B&O Play or Bang & Olufsen, so long as you’ve got the dedicated mobile app. Chromecast is built in if that’s your bag, as are QPlay 2.0 (a Chinese protocol) and Apple AirPlay. B&O Play even assures us that the M3 will support AirPlay 2 when it releases in 2018.
The $299 M3 launches with two available colors — Natural (read: silver and woven gray, like the second-generation Amazon Echo) and black (… it’s black) — with seasonal designs on the way as well. If neither choice piques your interest, you can also add an exchangeable front cover for $59 (fabric, dark gray) or $69 (aluminum, silver) more to perfectly match the aesthetic of your listening space.