Bang & Olufsen reveals new wireless speaker that can charge your phone

wireless speaker
(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

Bang & Olufsen has unveiled its latest wireless speaker. The Beolit 20 follows in the footsteps of the Beolit series, which first launched in 2012, with the previous model, the Beolit 17, having been released three years ago.

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 comes with a continuation of the series' chic aesthetic, with a few design upgrades intended to optimize the audio performance – as well as making the portable speaker more convenient to use while out and about. 

According to Bang & Olufsen, the original hole pattern has been "reimagined with a modern design", while "repeated angled lines and spiraling corners give a distinct and dynamic look whilst optimizing acoustic performance with 45% air transparency for clear, refined sound". 

The speaker retains the luxurious leather carrying strap of its predecessor, and it comes in the colors Grey Mist and Black Anthracite.

The company says that the control buttons have also been made more durable.

Luxury looks, luxury price

Perhaps the best upgrade to this premium Bluetooth speaker is its ability to charge your phone when you're out and about. That's because the top shelf of the speaker has been given wireless Qi charging capabilities, as well as some design tweaks to ensure you can place your smartphone on it in a number of configurations. 

The battery life of the Beolit 20 has been improved too, and is now "30% longer at typical listening volumes" compared to the Beolit 17, which delivered 25 hours of playtime at "background listening volumes", and six hours at "typical listening volumes". 

bluetooth speaker

(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

So, how will it sound? Bang & Olufsen says that the Beolit 20 can deliver "True360 omnidirectional sound" and can comfortably fill most rooms with the company's "signature" sound. 

That's thanks to a 5.5-inch long-stroke wideband woofer, combined with three 1.5-inch full-ranges and two 4-inch passive bass radiators; according to the company, that gives you a 77dB bass capability and 93dB in mid-range loudness.

If that's not quite enough power for you. you can pair the speaker with another Beolit 20 (or a Beolit 17 if you have one already) for stereo sound.

Now, those impressive audio specs don't come cheap. You can buy the Beolit 20 for $500 / £450 (about AU$700), which is far pricier than most Bluetooth speakers on the market – and as it's so new, don't expect to see any Black Friday deals on this high-end wireless speaker. 

For that money, you may expect to see additional smart features like a built-in voice assistant or multi-room audio capabilities – but with no Wi-Fi connectivity, this speaker is purely for Bluetooth music playback around the home and on the go.

Still, it does look rather nice...

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.