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Thursday, October 23, 2014

News: B&O vs. B&W - fight!

Some will probably already have noticed two new and really interesting Bluetooth speakers, the T7 from Bowers & Wilkins and the BeoPlay A2 from Bang & Olufsen. I am not sure if this is pure coincidence that two companies release their first portable Bluetoothspeakers nearly the same day.



I won't go much into details and further tech specs, as you will find all information on their dedicated sites, but both speakers will cost exactly 349$/€ thus making them directly comparable and putting them a step above current offerings from Bose, Infinity or whatever.
The big difference I see between both is that Bang & Olufsen really tried to make a portable speaker with an own grip, 360° sound, a 24 hours battery life and USB-charging of external devices while B&W was rather trying to copy existing concepts and make their own version out of it.

I would really love to hear both side by side and prepare a detailed comparison.

Update: The B&W T7 should arrive tomorrow, while I haven't got any shipping confirmation from B&O yet. According to B&O support, the Beoplay A2 should arrive on Friday, so stay tuned for some detailed comparison between both!

Update2: My B&W T7 review is already finished. I can already reveal that one of them is considerably more serious sounding... you guess which.

Update3: Finally also my B&O Beoplay A2 review is finished.

19 comments:

  1. Fugoo v. JBL Charge 2, the luxury edition.

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    1. Hi Oluv i revceived a tweet this morning from @krlitosmtnez, Senior Editor and Podcast Producer from Engadget Spain, he had the chance to test both speakers and told me he likes the Beoplay A2 a lot better

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    2. If everything goes right I should also hopefully get both next week.

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  2. Was there any solution to the jbl charge 2 distortion issues? I'm in the market for a speaker for around 200$ any suggestions?

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    1. no solution and not even a satisfying comment on that issue.

      there are lots of options below 200$, not sure about your priorities, but the Denon Envaya is a nice all around speaker, the TDK A34 is even cheaper and also sounds good, the Sound Blaster Roar etc.

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  3. What are your thoughts about the Mass Fidelity Core speaker ?

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    1. At least on paper it looks like the Holy Grail of portable speakers. I would have liked to pledge to get one, but without having heard it in person it is a bit risky i think. I asked them for a review sample, but they told me to get back to them on January.
      I should get the T7 on Wednesday and the A2 some days later, so stay tuned for a direct comparison of both. I wonder how the Infinity One will fit in between those? I still like the Infinity a lot from the looks etc...

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    2. It's impossible to tell anything definitive on this video because it wasn't set up properly to record the sound, but at least you can hear some sound that is coming from the actual speaker here:

      http://vimeo.com/109520269

      Again, I know that doesn't tell us much, but it's something for now. I'm very curious about this.

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    3. Well, if that audio in the video is really coming from the Core, than it is pretty impressive. You can hear distinct stereo-separation and the sound is pretty full-bodied.
      I am still looking for 2 other guys, so that we can order a package of 3 together ;-)

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  4. I pledged the one that comes with the sub but i have to wait till June next year, meanwhile focusing on the BeoPlay A2 in order to keep the Infinity one or change it for the B&O

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    1. Alvaro, you are as hopelessly freaky as I am, haha

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    2. Lol at least are only speakers, not cars

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    3. I couldn't resist any longer, I preordered a Core. Better be impressive at the price...

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    4. They play some audio in the video clip on this page as well:

      http://www.tomsguide.com/us/mass-fidelity-core-hands-on,news-19432.html

      Again, with bad audio recording set up, but it does sound good.

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    5. I have already heard that video and even through the camera-mic you can discern some stereo-effect which would be impressive if true.
      any idea when you will get yours? the Core might really be a game changer for the entire portable bluetooth speaker market.

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    6. Supposed to be in March 2015. The earliest backers will get it by Christmas though, so word might spread around. Maybe they'll send you a Core for review ;-)

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  5. Hi Oluv

    Just wondering if you have some news regarding both speakers,

    Thank you

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    1. it is not that easy, i need more time, you know to get over the "first impression effect". the first impression with the B&W was: disappointing, the first impression with the B&W was: wow perfect.
      now after some time my opinion about the B&W is: disappointing, the B&O has some issues though. at up to medium levels the sound is brillant, not boomy but very deep bass, nice treble, nearly omnidirectional, but at higher levels it starts to struggle, it is hardly louder than the Infinity One but bassdrums start sounding distorted. this is mostly noticeable with house and dance music, electronic drums, not such a problem with acoustic drums and jazz etc. apart from that i also noticed some problem with the battery, no way it would play 24 hours. i charged it full had it play for 3 hours at high levels and it suddenly reduced the volume to half...
      i will post some audio comparisons soon, maybe i manage tomorrow but a full review will be coming later, i need much more time for this. conclusion: forget the B&W T7, overpriced piece of junk.
      and i think, if you are happy with the infinity keep that one, it might even be better than the B&O!

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    2. Great! As you mentioned before you need to test different types of music, sound levels, lows, mids, highs, saturation levels and so on, but at least an initial impression tells a lot. Thanks again for your HONEST reviews, they help a lot.

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