Sounds great, looks even better. Trust the minimalists at Braun to come up with an irresistible range of smart speakers. The storied company's LE Series of speakers updates the company's renowned 1959 designs for the 21st century, with all the high end hi-tech that we now demand. The result is the perfect — and we do mean perfect — example of form follows function. Turn on, tune in — and drop down on the couch.

Braun's ethos is that all its products have to be "simple, useful and built to last". The LE Series aims to do just that. The range has its roots in Braun's celebrated 1959 speakers. Indeed, the exterior design is almost identical, in cool white aluminium with black acoustic cloth covers to the front. Here, mid-century modern isn't just a look, it's very much the real thing. These are speakers conceived as much to be quietly brilliant pieces of design as they are loudly to play your favourite tunes.

Others have — happily — already noticed all of this and in 2020 the LE Series won both the IF Gold Award and was selected as a Red Dot winner. Braun's audio pieces are no stranger to awards, mind you. Indeed, the company's celebrated Atelier music system from 1963 is displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, which underlines the pedigree of the company’s audio heritage. For ever so slightly smaller than museum-sized spaces, the LE Series comes in a usefully easy-to-choose-from range of three sizes: LE01, LE02 and the compact LE03, small in bulk and big on output.

Technology links immediately and easily with your chosen music provider. Google Chromecast is built-in, paired with Google Assistant voice control. Non-Googlers will be grateful for both Bluetooth 4.2 — allowing for Tidal, Amazon and Primephonic playback for instance — and Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility. A handy app allows for much fussing with the EQ levels. Ideal for the demanding audiophile.

Independent audio reviewers have praised not only the class-leading aesthetics of the LE Series but the "detailed and convincing" sound that emerges from whichever one is your choice. Braun have always gone their own way with design. With these reborn LE speakers, we believe that way is very much the winner. Now, will it be Bowie or Beyonce before dinner?

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