Andy Warhol famously turned a mundane can of Campbell’s soup into an iconic piece of pop art, and now Bang & Olufsen is elevating the kitchen staple to a luxe piece of personal entertainment with its new aluminium-clad Bluetooth speaker that’s lightweight, waterproof, and not exactly cheap.
Bluetooth speakers usually look like a container of Coffee-Mate creamer wrapped in a fancy woven sock. But the new Beosound Explore is legitimately a beautiful piece of kit. There’s still a fabric wrap around the speaker’s dual 1.8-inch full-range drivers to help protect them from water and other unwanted elements (the speaker is rated IP67 for its ability to keep out dust and water) but that’s hidden behind a grill made from type-2 anodised aluminium with a scratch-resistant finish so when tossed its around during an outdoor adventure, it doesn’t immediately look like it’s been attacked by a bear.
There are currently two colour options available now through Bang & Olufsen online and IRL stores: Black Anthracite and Green, while, Grey Mist, a third option that really drives home the soup can aesthetic, will arrive later this summer. The grill design is also promised to provide extra grip and to help ensure the Beosound Explore stays securely in a pack’s outer pocket — but for added security, an integrated strap and carabiner are included. It’s not as light as a pair of headphones, but because it’s made from aluminium, even with a rechargeable battery inside that’s good for 27 hours of playback the speaker weighs in at 631 grams, or just shy of a pound-and-a-half.
Given its overall size, you probably shouldn’t expect the same level of sound quality as you’d get from something like Apple’s now deceased HomePod, but it’s probably on-par with our recommendations for a sub-$150 Bluetooth speaker — except that the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore will set you back twice that, at $US200 ($257).
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for local Australian pricing and availability.