Bang and Olufsen (B&O) makes some high-end audio products. Some would say overpriced, some would argue that the design, materials, and audio quality justify the premium price tag. B&O’s latest venture into streaming speakers is reminiscent of Sonos, but the company is being more open about its connectivity standards. As an example, the newly announced Beoplay M3 speaker supports Chromecast (thus Google Assistant/Home), Airplay, Bluetooth, and Beolink Multiroom, so you can choose whichever protocol works best for you.
The M3 is the most compact speaker in B&O Play’s Connected Audio line-up. It follows the design language of the M5 by featuring premium aluminum and fabric with exchangeable front covers. The color choices aren’t exotic though, you get a natural (light grey) or black base and either a textile dark grey or aluminum grill (light grey). That ought to cover the different greyscale shades for you. And if you’re a materials nerd, you can read B&O wax poetic about its wool and fabric here.
Sound-wise, expect a built-in 3.75′ woofer and 0.75′ Tweeter, 40W power amplifiers, and a 65-22000Hz frequency range. The M3 measures 11.2 (W) x 15.1 (H) x 14 (D) cm and weighs 1.46 Kg. It also has a 3.5mm line-in, a mains input, and MicroUSB for some reason that I don’t clearly see (sound input?). As for connectivity, it uses Bluetooth 4.2 and WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac – 2.4/5 GHz. It works with the Beoplay Android app to let you choose sound profiles and set up multiroom with the Beoplay M5, A6, and A9 if you own those.
The $299 price (€299 in Europe) is in line with B&O Play’s current products. It’s not something I would ever pay for a compact speaker, but I have to say that the different connectivity options make this a lot more interesting than Sonos.