The Beoplay M5: Solid Sound In A Stunning Design

The new B&O Play M5 feels at home in almost any space.

I have never really understood the appeal of unboxing devices. Just what was so exciting about peeling the plastic off a cardboard box and having to deal with the squeakiness of Styrofoam? At least not until I received the B&O Play M5.

Peeling the stickers off the box and unsheathing the M5 from its wrappings was accompanied by a certain level of anxious anticipation. We’ve all come to expect the solid devices from the Danish sound company but, like any new launch, there is a certain amount of faith involved. Will this be a design and acoustic home run or will it be yet another launch to ignore?

We took the B&O Play M5 home for a week to put it through its paces.

Minimalist modern design
As expected, Bang & Olufsen delivers. The mind behind the design is none other than award-winning designer Cecilie Manz. Utilising a fabric cover by Danish fabric company Kvadrat, the M5 is one of those devices that fits in just anywhere. The fabric itself is an acoustically transparent wool blend and comes in four main colours: light grey, dark grey, moss green and dark rose.

True360 sound
Even if it were aesthetically perfect, a speaker is nothing without good sound and the B&O Play M5 doesn’t disappoint. Under the aluminium hood is a large acoustic chamber that gives the device almost unrivalled resonance. The drum-like chassis also houses three tweeters, a full-range-capable mid-range driver and a 5in neodymium-powered long stroke woofer.

What we loved about the device is its solid bass comparable to other devices several times its size. Dubbed True360 Sound, music from the M5 is markedly bass-heavy out of the box, which isn’t ideal for every type of listening experience. Although this can be quickly remedied with a few minor adjustments from the Beoplay app. Through the use of a special sound dispenser and further tinkering on the Beoplay app, the speaker is capable of dispersing sound uniformly, ensuring a well-balanced sound no matter where you are in the room.

Connecting multiple rooms
As you’d expect from a speaker in this category, the B&O Play M5 comes with built-in Chromecast, which allows you to stream your favourite tunes from your preferred service. With Chromecast, you can also connect each Chromecast-enabled speaker around your home to create a seamless listening experience. Other Chromecast devices in the Bang & Olufsen range include the B&O Play A6 and B&O Play A9.

The B&O Play M5 isn’t a theatre sound system though. From what we gather, pairing another B&O Play M5 doesn’t mean you can set each of them as left or right speakers. But that really isn’t the point of these devices. If you’re looking for a home-theatre sound system, the main Bang & Olufsen range of speakers will be better suited for your purpose.

Overall
The B&O Play M5 is a solid device that embodies everything that Bang & Olufsen stands for — good design and sound. Connectivity enabling seamless multi-room functions also makes it an ideal device for the home. And, at a price of S$899, we can’t imagine any reason why you wouldn’t want it.

DIMENSIONS
W165 x H185 x D165 [mm]

WEIGHT
2.54kg

BASE COLOUR
Natural, Black

DESIGNER
Cecilie Manz

EFFECTIVE FREQUENCY RANGE
37 - 22.000 Hz

POWER AMPLIFIERS
1 x 40W/160W peak, Class D for the woofer
1 x 30W/120W peak, Class D for the midrange
1 x 30W/120W peak, Class D for the front tweeter
1 x 30W/60W peak, Class D for rear tweeters

DRIVER UNITS
1 x 5' woofer
1 x 1.5' midrange
3 x ¾' tweeters

CABINET PRINCIPLE
Closed cabinet

STREAMING FEATURES/SERVICES
Apple AirPlay
Bluetooth Audio Streaming
Spotify Connect
QPlay 2.0 (China specific)
Chromecast built-in
Deezer

POWER CONSUMPTION
On mode: 10 W (Bluetooth at 30% volume)
Standby: 0.4 W
2.37W (Bluetooth mode)
2.84W (Line-in and Bluetooth working always)
2.57W (Wired network mode)

WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY
802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz & 5GHz) Bluetooth 4.0 (always open for pairing)

MULTI-ROOM FUNCTIONALITY
Beolink Multiroom
Chromecast built-in

ROOM ADAPTATION
Free, Wall or Corner throughBeoplay App.

CONNECTIONS
1 x Line-in 3.5 mm combi mini-jack analogue/digital (PCM)
1 x Ethernet 10/100Mb
1 x Mains connection
Wi-Fi dual band (WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4 and 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0

www.beoplay.com


Written by
Daniel covers a broad range of lifestyle beats at Billionaire, having honed his craft at publications like August Man and Harper’s Bazaar. Before joining the publishing world, Daniel was a consultant representing technology companies such as eBay, Google AdMob and Inmarsat — a move that has been dubbed ‘moving to the light side of the force’.

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