Bang & Olufsen Beolab 28: These smart-looking smart speakers are future upgradeable

Bang & Olufsen's Beolab 28 speakers are smart in many ways: smart on the eyes, smart inside thanks to a future-upgradable connectivity module, and smart as connected standalone wireless units.

There was once a huge market for floorstanding speakers, but you'd have to wire those up as separates with a dedicated amp and find the space for it all. Not so with the Beolab 28 - plug these big-scale high-end speakers into the wall and they function in their own right. Or you can literally plug them into the wall, using wall-mount brackets. How about that for a eye-catching finish?

The Beolab 28 is clearly inspired by classic Bang & Olufsen floorstanding products, yet brought up to date with a contemporary finish. Each unit features on-board touch controls, much like B&O's latest kit that's been announced in 2021 - the Beosound Level home speaker and Beosound Emerge bookshelf speaker.

Here's a breakdown of the quick-glance specification detail to get an overview of speaker design, power and connectivity:

Spec overview

  • Connectivity: AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, Wi-Fi, Beolink Multiroom
  • Dimensions (per speaker): 25.3cm square by 137cm high / Weight (per speaker): 18.6kg
  • Internal design (per speaker): 1x 6.5in woofer, 3x 3in full-range drivers, 1x 1in tweeter
  • Peak power: 625W per speaker (225W woofer, 3x 100W drivers, 100W tweeter)
  • Ports: 2x Ethernet, 1x optical/line-in, 1x USB-C, 1x woofer connection
  • Frequency response: 27Hz - 23kHz

In among that information are two features that will activate later in life: the Beolink Multiroom and USB-C port functionality. Indeed, the Beolab 28 is - much like the Beosound Level - future upgradable, with a replaceable connectivity module. This would mean that in, say, 10 years' time there's a new technology for best-in-class streaming, a new unit could be introduced to could swap out - without the need to buy a whole new set of speakers. It's future-proofing security.

Which is not only clever, it's kind-of essential. Why? Because a pair of Beolab 28 speakers will cost you £9,750/$14,750. For which Bang & Olufsen promises studio quality sound. And given the Danish company's previous audio accolades we don't doubt that for a moment. But it sure does cost a pretty penny.

Fancy splashing out the cash? The Beolab 28 come in three finishes - Natural Silver, Black Anthracite, Bronze Tone - with knitted fabric covers or solid wood options (for an extra grand on top of the price).

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