Bang and Olufsen BeoLab 3 review

More than just reasssuringly expensive?

For

  • Stunning to look at. Great build quality. User-friendly design. Good voice-reproduction.

Against

  • Really expensive. Quite genre-dependent.

Danish design guru Bang and Olufsen has long been accused of a business model similar to that of Stella Artois: sell yourself on the fact that you are expensive, rather than on how good the product is. Some things don't change, and a pair of BeoLab 3s are certainly pricey, but - and this is a butt of J-Lo proportions - they are very impressive.

As you'd expect from Bang and Olufsen, they look and feel fantastic, and their odd shape is due to a brace of interesting technologies. The cube design looks like it houses three drivers, but there's actually only one mid-range driver plus a pair of passive "radiators", which allow for more air movement and therefore improved bass from a smaller unit. The other point of interest is that the tweeter sits at the top of the unit, and fi res upwards into a silver element - dubbed Acoustic Lens Technology - which disperses the sound and makes placement of the speakers less crucial to the overall effect.

Read more: Bang & Olufsen Beosound Edge

The good news is that the results are inspired. These speakers do what they claim, and provide great, all- encompassing audio wherever you sit - within reason, obviously: if you stick them together and put your head behind the sofa, they don't work so well! In most conventional set-ups, they sound full and lifelike, and while they work better on the twanging of Bob Dylan than they do on the reggae of Bob Marley, they put in a good all-round performance.

These aren't for everyone, but for the Bang and Olufsen obsessed, the level of sonic shimmer they add to a system makes them well worth the money - as long as you've got it to burn.