B&O Beoplay A3
iPad entertainment centre
Accessory of the Week Stick an iPad in B&O’s Beoplay A3, take a step or two back and look at it square on. It looks like a mini B&O TV. Put it down on a kitchen worktop or office shelf and you have a video player or jukebox capable of producing rich, full-bodied audio which does iPad far more justice than its own tiny speaker.
As well as standing upright on its long edge, the design of the back and sides of the A3 means it can safely stand in portrait mode on its short edge or be laid on its back, in which case it slopes at an angle of around 30 degrees, whether in landscape or portrait mode. I wouldn’t want to type on the screen while in situ, but that’s not what the A3 is all about.
The A3 has four speakers. Three 0.5in tweeters and a 2in woofer, one in each corner. Cleverly, it auto-senses the orientation of the stand and activates the appropriate speakers.
There’s a built-in rechargeable battery to allow you to take it outdoors. Controls are limited to a standby button and volume controls.
Audio fidelity from the A3 is, as you would expect, excellent. It’s deep and rich, with plenty of bass, and the stereo separation provides a wide sound stage.
The supplied rubber bumpers fit the original iPad and iPad 2, but B&O tells me that it will ship one for the new iPad very soon.
I have only two, minor, complaints. There’s no remote control, meaning if you want to change volume you’ll need to do it using the buttons on the side of the A3. And there’s no way to prevent an iPad from charging while it’s in the case, even when running on battery power. I’d like to be able to choose to save the battery for the speaker.
Other than that, it’s an ideal way to turn an iPad into a compact, self-contained entertainment unit. ®
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