If that kind of trip doesn’t suit your mood, however, the The BeoSound 5 allows you to choose playlists according to more conventional album, genre and artist tags.

Conclusion

The BeoSound 5 frees you from having to create a whole heap of separate playlists, as you’re compelled to do with other MP3 devices. Oh, and it looks amazing.

To get the most from this setup, however, and avoid the abrasiveness of compressed music played back at high volume – because you will want to turn this rig way up – you need ensure you’re transferring only lossless tracks to maintain the highest quality. Do this and reproduction is superb.

Unfortunately, you have to use the B&O software via a PC to download music files to the BeoMaster 5 unit, not a USB drive in one of the USB ports, otherwise the MOTS system doesn’t work and, at time of testing, B&O has no wireless Ethernet solution for the connection to your PC, so trailing wires it is.

The LCD really should be a touchscreen, if B&O is aiming for true ease of use and, given the deluge of finger-activated gear from every bandwagon-hopping consumer electronics company these days, that’s a seriously missed opportunity.

Lastly, you need to add a pair of speakers to the BeoSound 5 system if you want to actually hear what it produces. Proprietary connectors at the rear of the BeoMaster 5 indicate Bang & Olufsen active models as a best-fit and, although adaptors for non-B&O powered speakers and amplifiers are available, the typical B&O customer will choose to keep it all in the family.

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 5
Price (RRP): $8,995 Manufacturer: Bang & Olufsen
Attractive design, particularly if professionally mounted; Excellent build quality; Near-instantaneous playlist creation
Flywheel control not as intuitive as it could be; No option to expand storage capacity; Not designed to pair easily with non-B&O speakers
Overall
Features
Value for money
Performance
Ease of Use
3.2Overall Score
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