B&O Play is Bang & Olufsen more affordable sub-brand (its additional extravagant speakers tend to run in the five-figure price range), but even the company’s “cheaper” consumer offerings just like the $599 Beoplay M5 are still pretty high-priced.
The recently released M3 $299 is B&O Play’s lowest price speaker yet, and it’d be the answer for someone looking to start out on the premium audio company’s product without breaking the bank.
The M3 is smaller than the M5, and offers less in the way of sound from a pure hardware perspective: it’s simply a 3.75-inch woofer and one 0.75-inch tweeter, instead of a 5-inch woofer, 1.5-inch midrange, and 3 0.75-inch tweeters. The M3 also doesn’t have the 360-degree output that the M5 offers, instead opting for a more directional, front-facing style. the rest of the design of the M3 follows through on B&O Play’s usual excellence within the field, with an aluminium casing and swappable covers that allow for an additional degree of customization.
I haven’t had the possibility to try out the M3 in person, but barring any disastrous change of quality from B&O Play, it’s probably it’ll sound pretty smart for listening to music. but it’s still not yet clear whether it’ll sound $100 better than, say, a $200 Sonos One, that supports Sonos’ more “affordable” range of speakers and includes integrated Alexa and forthcoming Google Assistant support.
AirPlay, Chromecast, and Bang & Olufsen’s own Beolink Multiroom service are all supported for their varied flavors of multi-room audio, and you’ll even be able to use Bluetooth to get music from your devices to the M3. (M5 included on Spotify Connect features, but isn’t available on the M3.)
The M3 is available in black or “natural” (gray) from B&O Play’s web site today, with additional covers costing between $59 for fabric choices, or $69 for aluminium.