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Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jun 02, 2022 at 12:04 pm
Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 Picture
7.3
Music
6.6
Videos/Movies
7.6
Podcasts
2.9
Voice Assistant
7.3
Outdoors
Battery Powered
Yes
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
No
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 is a premium portable Bluetooth speaker released in 2020 as part of Bang & Olufsen's Beolit lineup and is the next generation of the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 17. This sleek-looking speaker comes with a removable leather strap to help transport it and a charging pad atop it to charge Qi-compatible devices like your phone or earbud case. There's reflective dark blue mesh underneath its aluminum grille when you look at the speaker at an angle, but if you prefer a lighter-colored model, the 'Grey Mist' variant comes in white and gold.

Our Verdict

7.3 Music

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 is decent for music. This stereo speaker's sound profile is fairly balanced overall, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of music genres. While it can produce a good amount of bass for its size, it isn't enough to feel the deep thump and rumble typically present in bass-heavy music. There's also some brightness in the treble range that causes higher-pitched vocals to sound clear and crisp, though sibilants like S and T sound a bit harsh at times. Fortunately, there are presets and Bang & Olufsen's 'Beosonic' sound customization feature you can use to tweak its sound to your liking.

Pros
  • 'Beosonic' sound customization feature and presets.
  • Wide and immersive soundstage.
Cons
  • Some compression present at max volume.
  • Doesn't get incredibly loud.
6.6 Videos/Movies

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 is okay for watching videos and movies. It offers a great soundstage, so you can hear your audio clearly from most angles and feel immersed in its sound. It also has a balanced mid-range, so dialogue sounds clear and present in the mix. However, like most speakers its size, it lacks the deep thump and rumble typically present in action-packed scenes. Also, while it has low latency with iOS devices, its latency performance isn't as good with Android devices, so the audio you hear isn't in sync with the visuals you see on your screen. Some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary.

Pros
  • 'Beosonic' sound customization feature and presets.
  • Wide and immersive soundstage.
  • Low Bluetooth latency with iOS devices.
Cons
  • Some compression present at max volume.
  • High Bluetooth latency with Android devices.
  • Doesn't get incredibly loud.
7.6 Podcasts

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 is good for podcasts. Its balanced mid-range ensures voices and dialogue reproduce clearly and accurately in the mix, and there's also a 'Speech' preset you can use to optimize its sound. It has decent directivity, meaning you can hear your podcasts and audiobooks clearly from most angles. Its portable design makes it easy to move your favorite podcasts with you from room to room. While it doesn't get loud enough to fill large crowded spaces, it's loud enough to use in smaller rooms.

Pros
  • 'Beosonic' sound customization feature and presets.
  • Wide and immersive soundstage.
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • Some compression present at max volume.
  • Doesn't get incredibly loud.
2.9 Voice Assistant

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 doesn't support voice assistants.

7.3 Outdoors

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 is satisfactory for outdoor use. You can easily bring this battery-powered speaker outdoors with you, thanks to its lightweight and portable design. However, the manufacturer doesn't specify an IP rating for dust and water resistance and advises avoiding exposing the speaker to water, so it isn't ideal for rainy days spent outside, and you need to be careful not to splash or dirty the speaker. It also doesn't get loud enough to fill large crowded outdoor areas with sound. That said, it still gets loud enough to use at smaller-sized gatherings. It also offers a spacious and immersive-sounding soundstage.

Pros
  • 'Beosonic' sound customization feature and presets.
  • Wide and immersive soundstage.
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • No IP rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Some compression present at max volume.
  • Doesn't get incredibly loud.
  • 7.3 Music
  • 6.6 Videos/Movies
  • 7.6 Podcasts
  • 2.9 Voice Assistant
  • 7.3 Outdoors
  1. Updated Jun 02, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated May 30, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 comes in two colors: 'Grey Mist' and 'Black Anthracite'. This review represents the test results for the Black Anthracite variant; you can see the label for the model tested here. The Grey Mist variant is expected to perform similarly.

If you come across any other variants of the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20, let us know in the discussions, and we'll change our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a removable leather carrying strap to help you carry it in one hand. However, unlike other premium portable speakers we've tested, like the Sonos Move, it doesn't have an IP rating for dust and water resistance, so you need to be careful when using the speaker around water sources. That said, it produces a good amount of bass for its size, and while it doesn't have a traditional graphic EQ, you can use B&O's 'Beosonic' sound customization feature and presets to tweak its sound to your liking. The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 also comes with a unique wireless charging pad atop it, which you can use to charge your Qi-compatible devices like your phone or earbud case.

See also our recommendations for the best portable Bluetooth speakers, the best Bluetooth speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers for bass.

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is a more versatile speaker than the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20. The Sonos offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It's better built with an IP56 rating for dust and water resistance. It also has a longer-lasting battery life, making it better suited for longer listening sessions. The Bang & Olufsen can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a more immersive-sounding soundstage. It can also produce a slightly more extended low-bass.

Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM

The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is a better speaker than the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20. The Ultimate Ears can get louder with significantly less compression present at max volume, so audio quality doesn't degrade as much as you bump up its volume. It offers a significantly longer-lasting battery life of almost 24 hours from a single charge. It's also rated IPX4 for water resistance, meaning it's certified to withstand small water splashes. The Bang & Olufsen can produce a more extended low-bass with its 'Optimal' preset enabled.

Bose Home Speaker 500

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 and the Bose Home Speaker 500 have different strengths. If you're looking for a voice-enabled home speaker, the Bose Home Speaker is a better choice. It offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It also has better directivity, resulting in a more spacious and open-sounding soundstage. If portability and bass reproduction are more important to you, the Bang & Olufsen is battery-powered with a removable carrying strap to help you carry it. Its sound profile is better balanced, with its 'Optimal' preset enabled, and can produce a more extended low-bass.

JBL Boombox 2

The Bang & Olufsen and the JBL Boombox 2 have different strengths. Despite its smaller size, the B&O can produce a slightly more extended low-bass, and offers a wider-sounding soundstage. It's also smaller than the JBL, and features a wireless charging pad atop it to charge your devices. That said, the JBL Boombox 2 can get louder than the B&O with less compression at max volume, so audio quality doesn't degrade as much at louder volumes. It's also better suited for long listening sessions spent outdoors thanks to its IPX7 rating for water resistance and longer-lasting battery life of almost 24 hours.

JBL Xtreme 3

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 is a better speaker for music than the JBL Xtreme 3 overall. The Bang & Olufsen can produce a more extended low-bass, and offers a more spacious-sounding soundstage. That said, the JBL is better suited to use outdoors. It's better built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance that certifies it to be dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. Its battery also lasts significantly longer, making it better for long days spent outside.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 has a sleek design that looks somewhat similar to a lunch box or a car battery and has a removable leather handle to help transport it. Underneath its aluminum grille, there's dark blue mesh which is visible when looking at the speaker at an angle. You can also find the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 in 'Grey Mist', which is mostly white with gold mesh.

8.8
Design
Portability
Volume
366 in³ (5,998 cm³)
Weight
5.7 lbs (2.6 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 has excellent portability. This medium-sized speaker is fairly lightweight and comes with a removable carrying strap to help you carry it in one hand. Since it's battery-powered, it doesn't need to remain wired to a power outlet to work, so you can easily bring it along with you on the go.

6.7
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Great
Water Resistance
No
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
No

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20's build quality is alright, and the speaker feels solid overall. Its top and base are plastic, and an aluminum grille is wrapped around the speaker's body to protect its drivers. Its top surface is flat with raised edges to place and charge devices like your phone atop it. There's also a removable leather strap to help you transport it. Unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn't specify an IP rating for water or dust resistance and advises against exposing the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 to water or using it near a water source.

6.9
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Good
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 has a standard selection of easy-to-use controls, though they aren't texturized, meaning it's hard to tell what the controls are without looking at them. You can double-press its play/pause button to skip tracks and triple-press it to backtrack. To create a stereo pair, you can press and hold the Bluetooth button on the first speaker for five seconds until it emits an audible prompt, and then do the same on a second compatible Beolit speaker. Once you pair both speakers, they emit another audible prompt to inform you that they're connected. The Bluetooth light flashes blue when it's in pairing mode and turns solid blue once you pair the speaker.

When the speaker is on, the light next to its power button turns white. There's also a light on the speaker's rear that's green when connected to a power source and flashes red when its battery is almost empty. The surface on top of the speaker acts as a wireless charging pad which you can use to charge compatible devices like a phone or earbuds cases. There's an indicator light that flashes orange when it's charging a device, turns green once the device is fully charged, and then turns off. There's also a light that blinks as you increase and decrease the speaker's volume and turns solid once you reach its minimum or maximum volumes.

Design
In The Box

  • Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20
  • USB-C to USB-C charging cable
  • Quick User Guide
  • Plug adapters (US, UK, EU)

Sound
7.4
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.13
Std. Err.
3.13 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
45.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.6 kHz

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 has a decent frequency response accuracy. With its 'Optimal' preset enabled, its sound profile is fairly balanced overall. Its balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of music genres. The overemphasis in the bass range also adds a touch of extra boom and punch to the mix, which is great for bass-heavy music-lovers.

That said, while it produces a good amount of bass for its size, it still struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble typically present in low-bass. Also, while higher-pitched voices sound clear and crisp, sibilants like S and T sound harsh at times. Fortunately, you can tweak its sound to your liking using its EQ presets and 'Beosonic' sound customization feature, though it still likely isn't enough to feel much thump and rumble in the low-bass range.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
8.0
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
3.78 dB
Stereo
Yes

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 has a very good soundstage performance. This stereo speaker has decent directivity, meaning its soundstage is perceived as immersive and spacious-sounding, and you can hear your audio clearly from most angles.

6.6
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
90.1 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.14 dB

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20's dynamics performance is okay. It can get decently loud, making it suitable to use in small to medium-sized rooms or at a small gathering. It isn't loud enough to fill large crowded rooms like at parties. There's also some compression present at max volume, especially in the bass range. It degrades audio quality as you bump up the speaker's volume, so your audio doesn't sound as clean and clear at louder volumes as it is at more moderate volume levels.

Active Features
6.8
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
5.8 hrs
Charge Time
1.6 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C
Battery Powered
Yes

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20's battery performance is just okay. While it doesn't take very long to charge, the speaker only lasts a little under six hours from a single charge, which isn't ideal for long listening sessions and needs to recharge regularly. However, battery performance varies depending on your listening habits, chosen settings, and volume levels, so your experience can vary. It's also important to note that while you can use the top of the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 to charge devices like your phone or earbud case, this causes the speaker's battery to drain faster. There's a power-saving feature that shuts the speaker off following 15 minutes of inactivity.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Speakerphone
No
Siri
No
Voice Assistant
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone
6.0
Active Features
App
App Name
Bang & Olufsen
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Presets
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20's app isn't bad. You can use it to pair the speaker to another Beolit 20 or a Beolit 17 when you want to create a stereo pair. There are also five customizable EQ presets you can choose from: Optimal, Ambient, Party, Speech, and Favorite. While there's no traditional graphic EQ, you can use its sound customization feature, which Bang & Olufsen calls 'Beosonic'. You can find it next to the 'Favorite' preset and can use it to tweak the speaker's sound to your liking by moving around the sound circle to make your audio sound brighter, warmer, more energetic, or more relaxed. You can also save your favorite 'Beosonic' settings in the 'Favorite' preset.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
Yes
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 features an AUX input you can use to wire your devices to the speaker. However, unlike the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 and the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore, you can't use its USB-C charging port to playback audio.

8.8
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
4.2
Bluetooth iOS Latency
54 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
132 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 has great Bluetooth connectivity. It has an outstanding range, so your paired device remains connected to the speaker even from far away. You can also pair it to up to two devices at once, which is handy when you need to quickly switch between audio sources. However, while it has low latency with iOS devices, its latency is high with Android devices. It can cause the audio you hear to be out of sync with the visuals you see when using the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 to watch movies and videos. Some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi
No
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

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