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B&O Play's Beolit 17 looks like a Scandinavian lunch box but is really a $500 Bluetooth speaker

The company's follow-up to the Beolit 15 is a compact yet powerful portable wireless speaker that delivers up 24 hours of battery life.

David Carnoy

David Carnoy

Executive Editor / Reviews

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.

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B&O Play

B&O Play, a subsidiary of Bang & Olufsen, puts out more affordable products than those under its parent-company brand, but they're still pretty expensive. It's latest creation: the $500 (£450, AU$749) Beolit 17, a portable Bluetooth that packs some punch and has very good battery life.

Weighing 5.7 lbs. or 2.6 kg and measuring 9.05 by 7.4 by 5.3 inches (3.0 by 18.9 by 13.5cm), the Beolit 17 isn't huge, but it's certainly not in the mini Bluetooth speaker class. Following the design cues of the Beolit 12 (2012) and Beolit 15 (2015), it has a boxy design that struck me as a modernist take on a lunch pail or a cooler.

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The Beolit 17 in 'natural' color.

B&O Play

I haven't heard the Beolit 17 in action, but I liked the sound of B&O Play's A1, the smallest speaker in its Bluetooth speaker line. I expect this should sound pretty impressive for its size, although there's that question of whether it's worth $500, particularly since it's not ruggedized for outdoor use (it doesn't appear to be water-resistant).

We'll let you know how it sounds as soon as we get our hands on a review sample. For now, here are the Beolit 17's notable features, according to B&O Play:

  • Scratch and slip resistant top safely holds your smartphone
  • One-touch connect button can be customized via BeoPlay app
  • ToneTouch capabilities which offers playful, intuitive and personalization music experience
  • Enhanced performance of 240 watts of peak power
  • Available in "stone gray" or "natural" colors
  • Aluminum grill, leather carrying strap
  • Up to 24 hours of playback at moderate listening levels
  • Wireless stereo pairing to wirelessly connect two Beolit 17 speakers
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Designer: Cecilie Manz
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