B&O's Beosound Level portable wireless speaker is modular and future-proofed


Well-known member
Aug 13, 2010
I have a pair of Beosound Level and a pair of Beosound Emerge speakers. At only 4.5 litres the Levels have a surprising good bass. For most listening volume the Emerge sound very close. No surprise as they contain the same drive units, just less of them. They can replace full size speakers in a hi-fi stereo set up, replace a portable radio and every system between them.

YouTube reviewers suggested, a year ago, that a future update would enable them to be used in a surround sound system, as centre with two other speakers and that all options are on the table needing just software update and not hardware changes. the update did make pairing and multi-room very easy to set up. The other options and use with video/TV sources not addressed.

Beosound Level & Emerge with the Beosound Balance work together to stream audio in multiroom mode. If you have a pair of Levels in the lounge you could separate them as a pair and take one out to the garden and the other into the kitchen running on battery for 16+ hours. Bring them back to listen to hi-fi music from a NAS or computer over the DLNA Windows Media player without compression as with Bluetooth. Bring in two Emerge speakers from other rooms and link them as rear speakers (if the app allowed that option) and pull in a Balance for centre and bass. A 5.1 surround sound solution with little compromise and at a lower entry point than WiSA speakers like Beolab 18.20.28 etc. It is only a matter of getting a software update - except. The problem is they do not work seamlessly with TV or computer when playing back a film or video. The lip sync is terrible 300ms when below 50ms is needed. And of course they don't have multichannel option in the software.

Most speakers of this quality are much larger, heavier and not so easy to set up when moved around.

From a computer only some web pages can Chrome cast over wi-fi to the speakers but the lag makes video unwatchable.

They are marketed as a life style speaker but are only a partial fit for audio sources.

The long delay when watching video possibly due to the DSP processing in them. Other manufacturers including many at a lower price point have been able to use their speakers with both computers and television with acceptable lip sync. One life style speaker manufacturer had similar lip sync issues for a stereo pair over Ethernet or fibre optic but eventually did a full operating system update and got the delay down to an acceptable level - no hardware change.

Audio over wifi (no compression) is clearly better than it is over Bluetooth. It will work using Windows Music Player but with limited audio only codecs. Watching YouTube over Bluetooth has a 300ms delay. The Chrome browser extension to cast does not adjust the delay - at least I have not got it to work. Using VLC & Bluetooth has some control but not easy to adjust and when seeming okay at the start of the film drifts out soon after.

I wrote to B&O support and this is the response:-
"Connection to Windows computer:
· Only able to playback via wireless through Chromecast but only works for single speaker option.
· If you would like to play from stored files from PC to your Beosound Level, it can only be done via Bluetooth and Lip sync issue will be present as this speaker is intended for music source.
Connection for surround setup:
· These speakers are not designed for surround setup."

Alternatives, yes, but with other limitations or issues : Any speakers with WiSA, but Beolab 28 are 18l and cost over £10000. KEF LSX II (6.7l) and LX 50 (19l) wireless as stereo to computer and television work. Still don't upscale to 5.1. Devialet Phantoms updates eventually reduced lip sync delay to an acceptable level. No user upscale to 5.1 (5.5, possible and some owners have added components to achieve that). B&W Formation Flex can be used as rear speakers to the B&W Bar and Bass for surround but possibly need the Formation Audio box. Also, of course computer surround sound speakers using a USB interface.

Maybe what is needed is an upgrade module from Wi-fi to a full WiSA wireless system. It would need a WiSA TV and a WiSA USB transmitter or one with HDMI input and pass through. That might raise the cost but not to that of the cheapest WiSA speakers.


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