Don’t mistake the Braun LE01 for 1 of the best soundbars. It whitethorn outwardly lucifer the Sonos Arc oregon the Sennheiser Ambeo 3D, but this hunk of machined aluminum is each and lone astir high-end hi-fi. In fact, it is simply a one-box solution to the occupation of how to physique the Hi-Fi strategy of your dreams. Or is it?
Sure, it’s astute enough. This wireless speaker tin beryllium controlled utilizing Google Assistant (although not Alexa oregon Siri). It’s besides compatible with some Apple’s AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast, truthful users of either smartphone level tin watercourse to it without having to compress music. That’s a bully thing, due to the fact that the LE01 smart speaker comes with lone Bluetooth 4.2; there’s nary motion of aptX hi-res audio streaming. Nor does this dual-band Wi-Fi talker let streaming straight from Tidal Connect oregon Spotify Connect, and it doesn’t run arsenic an access-all-areas UPnP talker either.
Thankfully, it’s beauteous versatile, if a small large. You tin enactment the LE01 connected a array oregon shelf, oregon spouse it with a talker basal astatine added outgo and presumption it arsenic a freestanding speaker, either successful the scenery oregon representation orientation. If you’re feeling truly flush past you tin bargain 2 units and usage them arsenic the close and near channels successful a stereo setup, oregon adjacent daisy-chain them unneurotic for a multiform array. No substance which enactment you choose, 1 happening remains: you person to usage Google Home to acceptable it up.
However, arsenic mentioned, the LE01 isn’t a soundbar; it lacks some HDMI and optical audio connectivity, which is simply a spot of a shame fixed that it’s a great-sounding talker and would beryllium perfect for occasional location cinema duties.
Either way, with an involving stereo soundstage boasting tons of item and bags of bass, the LE01 is simply a sleek, convenient and great-sounding astute talker that proves an enjoyable introduction into the satellite of integer hi-fi.
Braun LE01 wireless talker terms and merchandise date
- Out now
- Costs $1,299 / £1,099 / AU$2,080
Originally launched successful November 2020 by the owners of the Braun Audio marque – the UK’s Pure Audio – the Braun LE01 costs $1,299 / £1,099 / AU$2,080. In the UK, it’s sold connected the Braun Audio website and successful the US by New York City’s Museum Of Modern Art store.
A instrumentality connected the brand’s classical LE speakers of the precocious 1950s, the LE01 is the flagship merchandise successful a three-strong lineup that besides includes the LE02 (essentially a smaller mentation of the LE01) and the quadrate LE03 – a Sonos One and Sonos One SL challenger.
- Weighs 10.6kg
- Switches from scenery to representation utilizing a stand
- Comes successful achromatic oregon black
The LE01 has the benignant of iconic look that appears truthful elemental yet remains uncommon successful hi-fi. It’s really a re-imagining of the iconic minimalist LE1 talker from 1959, which was sold by German marque Braun Audio. It’s nary longer German, and the LE01 present comes with integer innards and a absorption connected streaming – but the looks (only) person been preserved. You get machined aluminium and cloth-covered talker grilles, with 8 low-profile playback buttons connected the top. Both a 3.5mm auxiliary input and an Ethernet LAN larboard tin beryllium recovered connected the speaker’s rear. It’s a sleek look and a high-end physique indeed.
Measuring 700 x 271 x 99mm, it arrives with a mates of large, wraparound stainless alloy supports that tin beryllium utilized to prop up the LE01 and support it from touching immoderate surface. That extends its footprint to 700 x 323 x 159mm.
- Requires the Google Home app for setup
- Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Chromecast and Bluetooth support
- Braun Audio app has EQ optimisation settings
Although the LE01 is astir apt to beryllium placed either connected its ain connected a bookshelf oregon connected a array utilizing the feet successful the box, you tin besides acquisition a stainless alloy level basal that puts the talker into either scenery oregon representation positions (it besides hides each of the cables). The second is astir apt to beryllium of usage if you bargain 2 speakers and usage them arsenic a stereo pair.
You tin besides make a multi-room system, utilizing the LE01 not lone with its stablemates, but – via the Google Home app – with immoderate of the best astute speakers that enactment AirPlay 2 and/or Chromecast.
Whatever presumption and predisposition you take for the LE01, determination are configuration procedures to implicit utilizing the Braun Audio app. The archetypal is to acceptable up the LE01 connected your location Wi-Fi web utilizing the Google Home app – this isn’t optional. Through the Braun app you tin tweak bass and treble levels, but that’s it; determination aren’t adjacent immoderate basal playback oregon measurement controls. Once that’s done you tin simply prime the LE01 – or, rather, immoderate you person chosen to sanction it successful the Google Home app – connected your telephone arsenic the output instrumentality erstwhile playing Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music and Deezer.
It’s past casual to power the talker utilizing the Google Assistant. It has 4 far-field microphones, which means you won’t person to shriek immoderate instructions astatine it.
Other ways of playing euphony done the LE01 see via a nonstop Bluetooth transportation oregon the 3.5mm jack connected the rear, which is perfect if you privation to link a grounds player. There’s an Ethernet LAN larboard there, too, if your Wi-Fi is simply a spot iffy.
- 3 x front-firing drivers, 2 x passive radiators and 3 x people D amplifiers
- Plays MP3, HE-AAC, LC-AAC, WAV (LPCM), FLAC, Vorbis, Opus
- Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music and Deezer
The LE01’s iconic look is matched by its lukewarm and elaborate sound. It conscionable astir manages to propulsion its soundstage guardant into a room, though you’ll ever cognize wherever the euphony is coming from – determination are nary virtual situation dependable modes oregon excessive stereo effects here.
What the 32-bit ARM audio processor-equipped LE01 does person successful droves is bass. The passive radiators wage dividends here, with plentifulness of bass effects connected amusement that are ever punchy. During a run-through of Björk’s Utopia, we adjacent recovered that bass was champion toned down a small successful the Braun app. It’s a shame that the EQ settings are truthful basal – you lone get elemental treble and bass sliders; determination aren’t immoderate pre-tuned settings for antithetic kinds of euphony – but the LE01 is hardly successful dire request of tuning.
Different genres are fixed tons of clarity: we heard basslines, riffs and instruments successful acquainted pop, acoustic, jazz and classical songs that we conscionable hadn’t noticed before. The LE01 tin happily deed high volumes without distortion, and there’s a luscious extent successful a lukewarm soundstage that has plentifulness of brightness successful the mids and highs.
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