B&O Beoplay P2 - Review

July 17, 2017

B&O Play released their newest portable speaker sometime in April which we duly covered with a first take. They are churning out loads of speakers and this is its lightest weight iteration yet. I had the chance to bring this travel-friendly unit on my trip to Penang, Malaysia where I put it on its paces at a swanky place called Le Dream Boutique Hotel. That done, here's a thorough review.

Type - Wireless Portable Speaker
Price - USD 169 / SGD 259
B&O Beoplay P2

Pros (+): Loud sound delivery; Light weight makes it very travel-friendly; Good use of speaker surface as touch panel. 
Cons (-): Lack of buttons a little disconcerting to use; No carrying pouch; No auxiliary input.

In The Box

There are 3 colors available, namely Royal Blue, Sand Stone and Black. For our review unit, we obtained Black and it looks pretty darn classy. 

The box is tuned to the same outer packaging styling as the Beoplay H4 and A2 Active that we'd covered previously. The inside is incredibly sparse - you flip the box open and you access the speaker and the USB cable tucked under a thin layer of foam. 
B&O Beoplay P2 packaging

The packaging contents include nothing but the bare essentials:
  • Beoplay P2 speaker
  • USB cable (Type C)
  • User Guide
B&O Beoplay P2 packaging contents

Incredibly, the Beoplay P2 has no visible buttons. There is actually one and it's hidden under the B&O logo at the underside. The Cecilie Manz-designed speaker measures a really compact 140 x 80 x 28mm and weighs a really light 275g. It is fashioned of solid anodized aluminum on the top while the base is made of polymer for practical reasons. 
One drawback is the lack of a carrying pouch, though there is a string that allows you hang the speaker somewhere safe. 
B&O Beoplay P2

So the biggie on the Beoplay P2 is its very sparse use of hardware controls and ports. In other words, there is a single button and a single USB-C port ie. once again, the bare essentials. There's no space for an auxiliary-in so if you're using a non-Bluetooth music player, the P2 ain't recommended. To play music, you need to double tap the surface of the speaker which we felt was a nice implementation. 

Bluetooth pairing:
There is a grand total of one button (darn right!) at the base. Pressing it once will turn it on and holding it will activate the pairing so you turn on your music device's Bluetooth concurrently, select Beoplay P2 and you're good to go. 

B&O Beoplay P2

App Support:
The Beoplay app, that is almost universally being extended to all new wireless B&O Play products, is compatible with the P2. B&O Play claims that there's a shake function that can be customized to skip tracks. Using the app on my Sony Xperia XA, I found it frustrating as I could not get this to work somehow. Thankfully, there was a notification to request a software upgrade (it's probably firmware though) to v6.0.5 which I promptly downloaded. 

Once done, you just need to select which function (see others from the pic below) you want to activate with a shake though obviously the shake to skip tracks was the most practical of the lot. The app includes Tonetouch which allows equalizer customization which is actually well needed if you want a little more power in the bass.

B&O Beoplay P2 - Beoplay app

One thing of note - Unlike the A1 or A2 Active, you cannot link two P2 units via the Beoplay app for a stereo effect. 


Sound Quality:

I had oodles of time to sample the sound quality in different areas of the hotel I was staying at. Playing T2 Trainspotting in the room sounded surprisingly loud for a unit of this size, though understandably you can't get the same full fledged dose of power that emanates from a full sized speaker. Even when tested in the gym, a sample of NEIKED's infectious Sexual is able to easily fill the area with a decent dose of bass. 

Splash Resistance:
No problems here as I was flicking some water from the jacuzzi on the Beoplay P2 and it worked just fine. Just don't dunk it inside as it is not water resistant. 
B&O Beoplay P2 in the gym

Battery Life / Charging:
According to B&O Play, the battery life lasts a decent 10 hours on its inbuilt 2200 mAh battery with a 2 hour full charge. It kinda pales in comparison to the A1 and A2 Active that are rated at 24 hours each though they are admittedly much heavier (and hence can accommodate larger battery packs). It could last one movie and 2 hours of music playback but I felt I had to keep using the charging cable to charge pretty often during my trip. Oh, and it uses a USB-C cable to charge so do remember to take it with you as most phones are still fit with micro-USB / Lightning ports. 

The B&O Beoplay P2 is undoubtedly a compact speaker to bring on your travels. Folks not used to the lack of buttons will find the P2 to be a little tricky to use. The flipside is if you want a straightforward speaker that's lightweight and gives a loud dose of music to stash in your luggage, the P2 would be an ideal companion.
B&O Beoplay P2 USB-C

Where To Buy
The Beoplay P2 is available world wide at USD 169 / EUR 169 / SGD 259You can also visit the B&O Play online store or if you are in Singapore, you can visit Bang & Olufsen Grand Hyatt Showroom.  

One of Singapore's telco's (Starhub) actually has a promotion where you can get the Beoplay P2 for free if you signup with a TV package.

Credit to B&O Play for an evaluation unit.

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