Until recently, wireless audio technology was unable to deliver sound quality approaching that of a traditional wired system. However, thanks to the introduction of a new wireless standard developed by the Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA), audiophiles who want to avoid unsightly cables cluttering their living rooms now have options—and rather stylish ones, at that. The new Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 17, 18, and 19 speakers incorporate technology that the Danish company calls Immaculate Wireless Sound, which takes advantage of the new WiSA standard. Because WiSA operates in the rarely used frequency range between 5.2 and 5.8 GHz, the system can deliver uncompressed 24-bit audio signals while avoiding interference from other wireless devices.
The BeoLab 18 is the spiritual successor to the popular BeoLab 8000 and replaces that speaker’s black front grille with long wooden slats that can be crafted from either oak or black or white composite. The 4.3-foot-tall 18 ($6,590 per pair) can be used as a floor-standing speaker or mounted to a wall. A more compact option, the BeoLab 17 ($3,990 per pair), can be mounted to a wall or placed on a bookshelf or cabinet. The BeoLab 19 ($3,395), a dodecahedral subwoofer, rounds out the collection. Whether for a two-channel stereo setup or a multichannel home theater, these new speakers combine high-quality wireless audio reproduction with the sleek style for which B&O products are known. (www.bang-olufsen.com)