Bang and Olufsen Beolab WiSA Speakers

Expert Review

The Beolab 17, 18, and 19 are Bang and Olufsen’s first foray into wireless audio with the new WiSA wireless standard. They represent the industry’s first truly high-end wireless surround sound setup, sporting a full, lush sound most music fans should enjoy. They are warmer and slightly bassier than most audiophile setups, which is typically the target audience in this price range, but B&O are directing the Beolabs more at casual listeners who want the best of the best.

The Beolab 18s certainly don’t skimp on the details. Their midrange is extremely full and warm enough to make the sound a tad more enveloping. The coloration detracts slightly from the sense of crystalline clarity sought by audiophiles, but isn’t offensive and doesn’t seriously hamper detail retrieval. The 17s on their own are not quite as refined or spacious sounding as the 18s. They yield to the flagship in bass extension and definition, but their tonality matches the 18s and they blend together quite well as a system.

Resolution across the spectrum is impressive. A system of two 18s for standing speakers, two 17s for surrounds, and the 19 combine to create a powerful, immersive experience which remains well-timed and coherent despite the limitations of wireless transmission of any kind. Their level of detail and coherence compares well to many wired systems in the same price range. However, when it comes to dynamic presence they don’t match up to comparable wired models from well-regarded brands like Bowers and Wilkins, Klipsch, or JTR.

The Beolab WiSA speakers (Not all other speakers from the Beolab series are wireless) are an important first step into the world of truly high-fidelity wireless speakers. As the first consumer-oriented full sound system with built-in 24/96k wireless capability, they are setting the bar high for systems to come. With the B&O brand backing and an engaging sound signature geared towards enjoying movies and a wide variety of musical genres, they’re a landmark product in the audio industry and an easy recommendation for the audio enthusiast (If not the audiophile) for a versatile in-home wireless system.Rating: 5/5

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