The recently release of Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound Balance Smartspeaker had got us wondering. At the eye-watering price of USD$2,250 is it worth the price tag?
We previously lamented about the increasing price of some tech products, in particular smartphones but is the smartspeaker category any different?
We’d agree that there are some who are looking for something unique to have in their home. Being this is something that is taking a prominent place in your home we are all for having something that is beautiful, a pleasure to look at and interact with. We can certainly appreciate the desire to have something different to an off-white blob in your abode. But is the over-$2k price tag really worth the difference? It’s a tough argument for us. No doubt there will be audiophiles who can spot and tout the difference in sound quality between this bad boy and Google Home but I suspect they are few and far between.
Providing a high-end offering in an already-crowded tech category has always been a tricky affair. High-end, by definition, profits through exclusivity or limited access. Tech products like smart speakers, apps and smartphones get better when more people use them, when more people are doing more things with them, not less. When the likes of Apple and Google are producing generally well-designed products, what can high-end brands really add to the mix? How is Vertu fairing in the smartphone market, for example?
We would suspect the market is quite small. But I doubt anyone why’s ready to layout the $2k+ for one of these speakers doesn’t particular care.
Bang & Olufsen: Beosound Balance