Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12
Geek Treat of the Week There are AirPlay speakers and there are AirPlay speakers. This unit from Danish hi-fi gods Bang & Olufsen is eye-wateringly expensive but has plenty of features, including a built-in re-chargeable battery which, B&O says, will give you eight hours play time on one charge.
The sleek chassis comes in four different colours, and has a leather carry-strap mounted diagonally across the top. Underneath that there’s a recessed tray to house an iPhone or iPod.
Behind an aluminium speaker grille sit a 120W amplifier, two 2in tweeters and a 4in woofer.
Setting the Beolit 12 up isn’t as easy as it should be. You need to plug it directly into your router using the supplied Ethernet cable. A free app will then grab an IP address and add the Beolit to the network. But you’ll need to re-connect by pressing a Wi-Fi button on top of the speaker every time you turn it on.
That, however, is my only complaint. Audio fidelity is sublime. The sound stage is surprisingly wide, particularly if you place the speaker judiciously - in the corner of a room, say. The sound is bright, detailed, and very well balanced.
Certain manufacturers of overly-bassy speaker systems whose names also begin with a 'B' should take note.
Yes, it’s expensive. But not that much more so than other top-end AirPlay speakers and you do get that re-chargeable battery, beautiful aesthetics and the kind of audio fidelity that only a top-end hi-fi company can deliver. ®
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"But you’ll need to re-connect by pressing a Wi-Fi button on top of the speaker every time you turn it on."
That's an inexcusable flaw in a product in this price bracket.
Beautiful aesthetics ????
That must be one of the first times that I have seen a B&O design that I really didn't care for. The leather strap and the grill make it look "retro" but without having any sex appeal
Bland and Overpriced.
"Certain manufacturers of overly-bassy speaker systems whose names also begin with a 'B' should take note."
Would that, perchance, be the one whose name is said, in professional circles, to stand for "Buy Other Sound Equipment"?
My labcoat, if you would...
Slight problem with the concept?
Not just this particular speaker, but the whole idea of an AirPlay portable speaker is flawed, surely?
If it's portable and rechargable, you want to take it with you, but without a wifi network you can't use it. So you can't use this in a park or on a beach, or even at the end of your garden if your wifi doesn't reach there? And with this particular one, you'd need to take an ethernet cable with you if you wanted to use it at a friends barbeque...
If it had Bluetooth as well it would be the best of both worlds.
Where's the graph?