By Richard Menta 11/03/05
When we first saw photos of the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 3 there was nothing in them that might identify scale so we thought that it was a pendant digital portable about the size of the iPod Shuffle. That's true if the iPod Shuffle were designed for King Kong.
Take a look at the photo on the right. This thing is 16 inches tall! What I thought was the replacement for the outdated BeoSound 2 turns out to be B&O's updated version of the boombox. Don't get me wrong, it is a sweet looking device, but when I saw that glass of water in the background I realized my original perception was a little off.
So exactly what is it? Well, it is an aluminum encased MP3/WMA player. It also has an FM radio and serves as a clock radio. Style has always been a mantra of B&O, but did they have to make it mono? Yup, for $850 this thing only has one speaker and while I'm sure it it is a great sounding speaker, stereo would have been nice. You do get stereo when you utilize the headphone jack, so it is there.
According to B&O's website "BeoSound 3 transforms the transistor radio into an object of design desire. Its a portable radio, clock and digital music player that also integrates a single, full-range loudspeaker unit within its compact form. Powered by a rechargeable battery, there are no cables or plugs just incredible sound".
Digital music files are stored on SD cards, odd because the BeoSound 3 certainly has the space for a 6GB microdrive. The BeoSound 3 does not come with an SD card either, that's an extra cost.
It is a damn good looking player though, perfect for those teutonic picnics along the North sea. Below are the statistics for the unit, including the proud designer's name:
DIMENSIONS / WEIGHT:
13.6 x 9 x 42.2 cm / 2.1 kg (device only, handle straight up) + Height with antenna up: 563mm
Typical 12,5 W, Standby 0.5 W (Charger connected, no charging, standby, no clock)
99 radio presets, FM
FM: >62 dB (A); SD: >76 dB (A)
Wake-up timer, SD/MMC-card playback (MP3, WMA), FM radio, sleep timer
Built-in, closed box, mono
POWER AMPLIFIER MODULES:
1 unit, Class D
SYSTEM FREQUENCY RANGE: 60 20.000 Hz
Battery charge, SD card, headphone (stereo)
ACCESSORIES: Wall bracket, black (included) + charger adaptor; mains power cord, user guide
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