The pick-up-and-go speakers from Bang & Olufsen portable audio sub-brand BeoPlay have impressed us in the past—the BeoPlay A2 was even named Best of the Best in 2015. One of the newest additions to the brand’s rapidly expanding portfolio is the BeoPlay P2, its smallest speaker to date. I recently had the chance to spend some quality time with the miniature marvel to find out if, despite its compact form-factor, it still delivers the same high level of audio quality for which Bang & Olufsen is known.
The primary thing that stands out when seeing the P2 for the first time is that it is a true pocket-size device. The polymer-and-aluminum Bluetooth speaker measures 5.5 inches long, 3.1 inches wide, and 1.1 inches deep, making it about the size of an average cellphone (though quite a bit thicker). It has some heft to it, as one would expect of a device made from quality materials, but still barely tips the scales at 9.7 ounces.
Because moving large volumes of air is key to sound propagation, compact devices are at an inherent disadvantage when compared to, say, a floor-standing loudspeaker. However, the P2 is able to deliver surprisingly forceful, room-filling sound from its mid-woofer and tweeter, which are powered by two 15-watt amplifiers with 50-watt peaks. You will notice the drawbacks of its size on the low end, which bottoms out at 68 Hz, but it reaches a respectable 21 kHz on the other side of its frequency range.
The P2’s sleek sand-blasted aluminum exterior design is unmarred by any sort of external controls; basic functionality like playing, pausing, and skipping tracks is controlled by tapping or shaking the device. These functions can be customized using the Beoplay smartphone app, but only by switching between pre-made profiles—the actions themselves cannot be individually remapped.
The P2 is priced at $170 and available in three colors: sandstone, royal blue, and black. Ultimately, despite some audible detailing issues, the speaker produces remarkably clear and powerful sound that your group won’t have to huddle around to hear—and you certainly can’t beat the size.