There was a bonus to the press trip I joined in the summer to Bang & Olufsen’s factory in Jutland, western Denmark. We were officially there ahead of the launch of the B&O Edge, the unorthodox – and very impressive – floorstanding cartwheel-style music player I reported on last month in our Superior Interiors edition.
But in the rooms at our hotel was another new B&O product that had escaped my notice – and I decided within minutes of trying it out that it would be my top Christmas gift tip for 2018. It’s this, the P6 portable Bluetooth speaker, which isn’t only one of the most expensive of its kind, but also the best sounding, the loudest, the longest-lasting charge-wise – and the handsomest All things considered, the P6 isn’t far short of phenomenal. Even though neither the world, nor my gadget armoury, is short of wireless speakers, the B&O P6 is the present I would most like to receive this year. Coincidentally, my previous favourite in this product category, the Dali Katch, which I reviewed here 18 months ago, was also Danish. But although the Katch sounds magnificent, plasticky build quality and overly quirky design lets it down.
The P6, by contrast is a squat, dense battleship-quality curvy pearl-blasted aluminium thing of such beauty you will, if you are like me, feel compelled to stroke it – that is, when you are not puzzling out how so much glorious 360-degree spatial (though not strictly stereo) sound can be coming out of something measuring only 17cm x 13cm x 6.8cm and weighing 1kg. At peak power the P6 packs 215 watts from two digital amps – one for the massive (10.2cm) woofer, one for the opposing 2.5cm tweeters. It can play seriously loudly without distorting – and a charge will keep it going for 16 hours. Ideal for gardens, beaches and boat decks when summer’s lease returns. The machine also has all-round microphones for use as a conference-call speaker.