B&O Play likes to do things in a Danish way. That’s probably why the new BeoPlay M5 comes clad in a wool-blend coat, as if it could go camping in the hills of a Troldeskoven.
But no, the M5 isn’t designed to leave the house. It’s a wired speaker after all, one that fits into the small-medium size bracket, so would be ideal for adding some warming sounds to your kitchen or bedroom.
That woolen coat – which is sourced from high-end Danish manufacturer Kvadrat – is removable, too, so you can choose a variety of colours to mix things up. Its various pastel tones are understated and should fit comfortably into any home. It’s not soft like petting an animal, but it’s easy on the eyes rather than the fingers.
As ever with B&O Play, the BeoPlay M5 comes from a heritage of serious materials and craftsmanship. The top disc of the speaker – which can be partially rotated in a jog-wheel like way to control the speaker volume or pressed to pause – is made from anodised aluminium for a matte appearance. Strangely it doesn’t look like metal, given how soft its appearance.
The cylindrical design of the M5 means its array of speakers within are positioned to deliver sound through a full 360-degree surround. So wherever you’re stood things sound great. There is a sweetspot to the front, perhaps, but it’s not like walking in and out of a field of sound like some directional speakers.
With its woolen jacket peeled off, the M5 reveals its three tweeters, front-facing midrange driver and 5-inch downfiring woofer. For a speaker of this scale the sheer volume and clarity is quite something.
On the tech front, the M5 comes with Chromecast built-in, so you can stream up to 96KHz/24bit lossless files from all kinds of sources: Spotify, Google Play Music and more. There is multi-room functionality with other speakers such as the BeoPlay A6 and A9, should you own them. Or go simple and connect via Bluetooth or AirPlay.
Given its small-ish scale, the BeoPlay M5’s £599/$898.5 price point might come as a large surprise. It’s not cheap, but we can see why B&O Play has positioned the speaker here, as a direct rival to the Naim Mu-so Qb.
Like the sound of that? The M5 is on sale right now.