Experience with B&O Beosound Emerge

This gadget seems to have been on the market for over a year, and I had seen promotional images before. Back then, I only thought it looked great but didn’t give it much thought. Recently, while looking for a gift, I stumbled upon it again and discovered that despite its small size, it’s actually a three-way speaker. After watching a few review videos and noticing that it had good sound quality, especially considering its size, I saw that it was available with 24-month interest-free financing, essentially making it cost-free. So, I decided to get one.

The B&O Beosound Emerge speaker is thinnest at about 7 centimeters thick. Inside, it houses a 4-inch woofer, a 1.45-inch mid-range driver, and a 0.6-inch tweeter. It offers various connectivity options, including the standard 3.5mm input, optical input, Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.0, and Wi-Fi 5. It’s compatible with Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast, and Spotify Connect for wireless playback. There’s a touch-sensitive control panel at the top for easy track selection and volume adjustment.

I must say, the design and build quality are exceptional. It’s about the size of a book and weighs only 1.3 kilograms. It doesn’t have a battery, and the power source is a USB-C port, making it extremely portable and not a burden to carry even on a business trip.

As for the sound, it was quite a pleasant surprise. I initially thought that a speaker of this size would be just for background music, but it actually sounds good. Thanks to its three-way design, the sound separation is excellent, especially for vocals. Listening to some acoustic or pop songs is very enjoyable. The overall sound profile is balanced, and in terms of listening experience, it even compares favorably to the KEF LS50 Wireless II I used previously (though in terms of raw hardware, the LS50 is still superior to B&O). However, due to its size limitations, it lacks deep bass, and it struggles with more complex tracks.

After using it for a few days, I was quite satisfied. I then realized that I could set up a stereo pair with another one, thinking it would complement my living room setup with Q Acoustics 3090Ci (I’m not great at choosing audio equipment). However, I clearly overestimated B&O’s technical capabilities. Setting up a stereo pair with these speakers resulted in various bugs: sometimes they couldn’t pair, other times only one speaker would produce sound, or they would both play but with severe interference, making listening almost impossible. In the end, I had to use Apple AirPlay’s built-in stereo pairing feature, which surprisingly worked flawlessly (indicating that my network was fine, and the issues were likely with B&O’s implementation).

Sound quality improved significantly in stereo mode, but it could only be reliably achieved through AirPlay, which was quite frustrating.

In summary:

  • Good sound quality relative to its size
  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Lightweight and compact
  • The app’s functionality is average, and there are many bugs when setting up a stereo pair
  • Limited space for cable connections; while it supports optical and auxiliary inputs, larger plugs may have difficulty fitting
  • Relatively low value for the price