This compact and understated design offers easy portability and works extremely well. Read our Beoplay P6 Review.
PRODUCT Bang & Olufsen Beoplay 6
TYPE Portable Bluetooth speaker
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 130 x 170 x 68mm
• Quoted battery life: 16 hours
•2 x 38 mm tweeter/mid drivers •1x100mm mid/bass driver
• Bluetooth wireless v4.0
DISTRIBUTOR Bang & Olufsen
One of the smaller speakers in Bang & Olufsen’s range, the Beoplay 6 is also the smallest speaker in our group. It uses of a pair of 38mm full-range drivers bolstered by a single 100m bass driver powered by Class D amplifiers for a claimed power output of 36W for the bass driver and 2x 30W to the smaller ones.
A second Beoplay 6 can be added to create a stereo pair; but as the most expensive model here this is a costly move. The Bluetooth implementation lacks aptX and there are no additional inputs. The 16-hour battery life is handy, though, as is the fact that it charges via the USB Type-C port that many Android phones use.
The Beoplay 6 is beautifully made and the ‘pearl-blasted’ aluminium casework looks and feels nicer than anything else here. Little touches like the leather strap and isolating rubber foot on the underside both look smart
Optional finishes include ‘natural’ and dark plum
and help it work well as a portable device. It pairs happily with the test phone and a useful audio prompt confirms its status.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Beoplay’s performance is that despite its small size and lack of aptX codec support, it never seems disadvantaged in terms of sound.
The tone of Hilary Hahn’s violin is impeccably captured as well as the feeling of her movement as she plays. Individual notes are distinct and have a pleasing sense of decay. The far larger and much more energetic performance of The Raven is full of potency. For such a small speaker, the Beoplay 6 has good bass extension and integrates well with the upper registers. The plucked double bass line has plenty of fine detail and does a fine job of capturing the frenetic energy of the music. Admittedly it might not be the widest stereo image here, but it is still reasonably spacious.
The lack of a true stereo image is more of a hindrance with San Jacinto, however. There simply isn’t the level of energy moving around that the recording is capable of offering, but for a small chassis the performance is bigger and more confident than you might reasonably expect. Peter Gabriel’s vocals are well handled and as the crescendo of the chorus hits, the Beoplay 6 does a good job of staying refined and free from any hardening up. This refinement is well balanced against a good level of drive and involvement.
State Of Mine flows with the grooviness that it needs to sound convincing and once gain there is no shortage of fine detail extracted from the midrange. The weight of the bass notes is also present and something that doesn’t affect the overall speed and drive of the music
The Beoplay 6 works well on the move while looking and sounding good too
- Energetic sound; excellent build quality and overall finish
- _limited features
The Beoplay 6 isn’t overburdened with additional features, but there are some useful extras to make life on the move simpler. It can make and receive calls while connected to a mobile phone, with dialogue coming through the speaker and an omni-directional microphone in the chassis so you can talk back. The manner in which Bang & Olufsen has managed to avoid festooning the chassis with buttons is clever and allows you to customise the single smart button on the speaker using a dedicated Bluetooth app. If you are primarily just going to listen to music, you can use it to skip tracks, but it can also be set to summon voice assistants or loop the track you’ve just played. You can additionally configure the sound too, although the impact this has is limited.