Bang Olufsen BeoPlay S3 Bluetooth Speaker Review

Editor rating

4/5 on April 11, 2017

User's rating

390 reviews

PROS

Sleek design

Good sound quality: fairly loud and good bass performance

 

CONS

No wired functionality

No battery (meant for indoors)

May experience pairing issues

VERDICT

The BeoPlay S3 is an excellent speaker, but it isn't without its particular downsides. Primarily, Bang & Olufsen's apparent desire to not want to completely abandon their wired customers while still moving into the Bluetooth market. You can do more with wires, but those same wires also hold the product back.

Despite this, if you want an indoor speaker that can be connected via Bluetooth and radiate the same amazing sound as you might be used to with wired speakers, the BeoPlay S3 is a good option, especially if you want something eye-catching, but not show-stealing in design. However, just don't go into the purchase expect floor-rumbling bass. It has some power to provide a certain richness, but clarity, especially at increased volume, was clearly the most important aspect.

Bang Olufsen BeoPlay S3 Review

Although audio is perceived differently by each individual, the basics of good sound don’t change. The detail, balance, and clarity that all go into quality sound provide something that you just know when you hear it, regardless of if you are a diehard audiophile or not. Good sound, in its essence, it what Danish audio brand Bang & Olufsen has brought to the world for years. This has not changed with the Bang Olufsen BeoPlay S3.

Although the brand is renowned as the top-quality when it comes to wired speakers, the Bang Olufsen BeoPlay S3 represents of the more recent successes that B & O has had in Bluetooth-connected speakers.

 

Design

True to Bang & Olufsen’s contemporary sense of style, the Bang Olufsen BeoPlay S3 brings quality sound in an eye-catching package. Something that has been lacking in previous BeoPlay designs which resembled discs or relatively lackluster lunchboxes.

This model, however, was inspired by the stately dodecahedron, as well as the design of the tennis ball. However, this design is not just to please the eye. Like all Bang & Olufsen designs, it is meant to radiate the best quality sound possible as well as to be compact enough that it isn’t taking up precious space.

Bang Olufsen BeoPlay s3

Aside from the shape of the speaker, the materials are pretty standard. The front features stretch nylon while the backing is pretty sturdy polymer. What is nice is that if you don’t like the standard black that the model comes in, you can change covers in a snap to adjust to your style.

However, as easy as changing the design is, this definitely isn’t a Bluetooth speaker you would want to take outdoors. It might survive a few accidental drops, but this isn’t a rough and tumble speaker, nor is it s a waterproof or dustproof speaker. Relocate outside of the house at your risk.

 

Range and Connectivity

Although Bang & Olufsen has a small, but growing series of Bluetooth speakers, it seems like they are still hesitant to make the jump fully into the market. You can really tell by the fact that they still have a lot of the heralds of non-wireless speakers like, in this case, the ability to still wire in the S3 in.

While using its Bluetooth 4.0 connection you can connect two S3’s, if you used wired, you can connect up to four, which can be frustrating for those who have moved past wired speakers. However, it is infinitely less frustrating than the short Bluetooth range. At about 20 feet, use can be limiting from mobile devices, but this is an indoor-only sort of speaker, so it is not exactly a deal breaker.

 

Battery Life

The battery of the Bang Olufsen BeoPlay S3 is another one of the company’s hold-outs from its wired roots because, well, it doesn’t have one. If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, the BeoPlay S3 is an indoor speaker, and its lack of a battery is only further proof that it shouldn’t really be moved. Maybe that is why is has such an eye-pleasing design, because it is meant to be one of those functional show pieces that fits in perfectly with your contemporary decor.

 

Sound Quality

This is where any Bang & Olufsen product excels. While it packs some power under the hood with 2 x 30 Class D amplifiers, two speaker drivers in the form of a 3/4 inch tweeter and a 4-inch woofer, it does lack on the bass. The Bang Olufsen BeoPlay S3 itself gets plenty loud and still maintains a beautiful clarity, but like many Scandinavian-made speakers, the bass is left wanting. True to form, B & O focused more on detailing than richness, and that’s not a bad thing.

While you will probably want another speaker with better bass if bass-heavy jams are your particular genre, if you want volume to fill a house with the sound still being perfectly clear, that is where this brand, including this model, excel.