The bottom line: The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 17 is one of the best portable speakers you can buy right now. Its lunchbox-like design is easy to transport, especially if you’re after something to play music during a summer BBQ, rather than a holiday speaker. B&O has nailed just about every aspect, from design and sound to the quality of materials used in its manufacture. The Beolit 17 is a luxury speaker without too scary a price. It uses Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi, perfect if it will be moved from room to room, or even house to house. And yet it still has audio quality strong enough to act as your main Hi-Fi.
Pros: Portable, fantastic 24-hour battery life, excellent sound
Cons: No Wi-Fi or multi-room
Bang & Olufsen Beolit 17 Bluetooth speaker: Everything you need to know
The Beolit 17 is part of the B&O Play range, which is full of speakers and headphones made for normal people who care about quality. Traditional B&O hifi speakers are design statements you have to build your living room around. The Beolit 17 is not.
It’s actually more flexible than an Apple HomePod or Sonos One. A carry handle lets you take the speaker wherever you like, and as there’s an integrated battery it doesn’t need, or want, to be tethered to a power socket all day.
This is an updated version of the Beolit 15 released in 2015. B&O has made some sound tweaks, but the main difference is a switch to USB-C for charging. That’s handy if your phone has a USB-C port, as you can use the same cable.
Like other B&O Play speakers, the Beolit is a sound quality hit. There are six drivers packed into this cute little box.
A large 5.5-inch long throw driver provides the mids and bass. It’s backed up by two passive radiators, which make the low-end far more powerful than you’d expect given the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 17’s relatively small stature.
Three tweeters on its sides fire out the treble. These are the key to the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 17’s 360-degree sound. You don’t have to sit in front of it to get perfect audio.
The battery also lasts a whopping 24 hours at lower volumes, which is fantastic.
As this is a Bluetooth speaker the focus is not multiform or features like Spotify Connect. However, a BeoPlay app lets you pair up multiple speakers and create your own sound profiles.
The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 17 is one of the most charming Bluetooth speakers available. Its lunchbox design is cute and stylish at the same time.
Unlike many alternatives, all the materials used are high-quality too. The strap is real leather rather than a plastic-based synthetic, its top and bottom are rubber coated for extra resilience and the aluminium grille that curves around its sides looks sophisticated.
The Beolit 17’s look is by Cecilie Manz, a Danish designer renowned for her stylish, minimal furniture. You can tell in an instant this speaker wasn’t conceived by any old design team. Not keen on the white and tan version? It also comes in black, for an altogether moodier look.