B&O Beoplay P2 review: Big sound in the palm of your hand

The Beoplay P2 is a small speaker with big sound. This tiny speaker weighing in at 275 grams fits in the palm of your hand but sounds much larger. When I first opened it I didn’t expect much from a speaker with such a small footprint. With a brand like Bang & Olufsen behind it, I should have known better.

Design

Bang & Olufsen has always been known for doing high-quality sound with an elegant style, and the mini P2 is no exception. Featuring a pearl blasted anodized aluminum grill on the top and a durable polymer rubber underneath, this pebble shaped speaker provides a premium feel while being comfortable to hold. Even a small detail like the strap wasn’t left out and is made of leather. It comes in three different colors black, blue, and sandstone like the one pictured in this review.



Along with the high quality build the Beoplay P2 is also water and dust resistant. You almost don’t want to take the P2 outside in fear of getting a blemish on its beautiful finish, but it can definitely handle it.

While the size and high-quality materials steal the show here. One of my favorite parts of the design was the use of the USB-C port. So many speakers and other accessories these days still use the old micro USB standard. I was shocked when my micro USB cable wouldn’t fit in the P2. After realizing it was USB-C, I happy to finally see a brand that has caught up with the hardly new USB-C standard.

Usage

Part of the simple and modern design of the P2 is the buttonless interface. You won’t find any button or switch on the device itself, except for a concealed button under the logo on the bottom. This button is used for powering on or off the device as well as pairing.

Without buttons, you might be disappointed you have no control over your music. I’m here to say, don’t be disappointed because B&O thought of this and included tap and shake gestures. While there is no way to control the volume from the speaker. If you want to pause, play, or skip tracks it’s as simple as a double tap or shake.

App

The Beoplay app (iOS | Android) continues with Bang & Olufsen’s modern and elegant design. Everything is laid out in a way that is simple and easy to use. From here you can control playback of your music, speaker volume, check the battery life, and tweak the equalizer. The app also allows you to customize the tap and shake gestures. For example, you can change the tap gesture to activate the digital assistant on your phone. Another use is when you schedule an alarm, tapping will snooze the alarm while shaking will stop it.

Two gripes I had about the app is the volume was often set below 100% and the amount of time it took to connect to the speaker. Most times I had to open the app to push the volume up louder. This was made even more frustrating because it takes 10 seconds or longer for the app to connect to the speaker, even though it was already paired via Bluetooth and playing music.

Sound Quality

The Beoplay P2 is proof that good things do come in small packages. Where I had expected tinny sound from such a tiny speaker, I was instead treated to a full rich sound with more bass than I thought was possible from such a minuscule size. For some, the speaker might be a little too bass heavy, but the bass is nice and clean not distorted at all if you ask me.

If you do find it a little bass heavy for your music that’s where the app comes in handy. Thanks to the Beoplay app it is easy to tweak the equalizer based on your mood or music. Overall, the P2 easily sounds like a speaker twice the size, both in volume and quality of sound. It can easily fill a room with sound or be heard from 20-30ft. away when outdoors.

Distance

Similar to most other Bluetooth devices I’ve used the Beoplay P2 has a solid connection within 20 to 30 feet. It’s only when you get close to 30ft limit that the connection starts to get spotty and starts dropping.

Battery Life

Bang & Olufsen rates the Beoplay P2 for up to 10 hours of continuous playback. I never used it for 10 hours consecutively but my experience was closer to 6-8 hours of playback over a few days. That falls short of their 10-hour rating, but battery life will vary depending on your usage. Due to the standby time and volume I used, this might have caused me to see less than stellar battery life, but 6-8 hours is still very respectable given the size.

Another feature of the Beoplay P2 is the ability to wake the speaker with the app alone. This happens after allowing the speaker to turn off after 15 minutes of inactivity. Keeping it awake while waiting to be woken up might also contribute to the battery drain over time.

Final Thoughts

Coming in at $169 the Beoplay P2 is not cheap by any means. There are larger and louder speakers in this price range. However, it’s not all about size and volume. With other speakers, you won’t get the Bang & Olufsen signature sound or style. The Beoplay P2 offers up a stylish little speaker with a rich spacious sound. Providing you with some of the highest quality audio you can expect from a speaker that fits in the palm of your hand.

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