We all know about Bang & Olufsen’s high-end audio and video products. They’re often beautiful, always slick, and consistently more expensive than most mere mortals can afford. In the interest of appealing to a broader audience, they have decided to launch a new brand “B&O Play.”
The new product line will be focused on a younger, tech savvy generation, and will eventually offer products across the consumer electronics spectrum. B&O describes the brand as “playful,” “outgoing” and “vigorous.” The first device in the B&O Play line is the new Beolit 12, a portable sound system which was floating around the web via some leaked FCC pics last month.
I’ve had a chance to hear the Beolit 12 up close and personal, and it sounds awesome for its size, filling a room with smooth sound and punchy natural bass. The Beolit 12 portable sound looks sort of like a lunch box, with an aluminum case and grille, and a high quality leather carrying handle. It’s wireless, with full AirPlay support, and has its battery and power adapter built in. It’s a true 2.1 system with a 120 watt class D amp – a lot of power for a portable for sure. It’s got two 2″ tweeters, and a 4″ woofer for boom. Battery life is rated at 8 hours via line input, dropping to 4 hours over AirPlay.
So what about pricing? At $799(USD)/€699(EUR), it’s not cheap, but by Bang and Olufsen standards, it’s a bargain, especially when you realize the audio system was designed by the same team who makes $20,000 speakers.
The Beolit 12 is expected in the Bang & Olufsen online store and select Apple Stores sometime in late January/early February, and B&O Play will continue to roll out new gadgets on and ongoing basis.