Where's the graph?
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. Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12 The sleek chassis comes in …
Where's the graph?
Well done, and first in too.
Still, no mention of double blind testing etc which is disappointing. Have people given up trolling these 'audio' reviews?
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.
Reminded me of a Roberts kitchen Radio.
I was thinking in the same lines - it looks quite similar to a '70s or '80s picnic box.
The inclusion of AirPlay without Bluetooth AptX or DLNA PlayTo means that this is going to be bought only by people with Apple hardware. Given that market, there really is no point in trying to be too inventive with the product design.
That said, it's nowhere near as sterile as Apple's assaults on the memory of Dieter Rams. The deliberate irregularilty of the grille, and the fact that you can buy in in *gasp* colours make it at least some way human, without scaring away the Apple fanbois...
"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.
The software is not good - as stated in the review, you have to set up the Beolit 12 by connecting it with an ethernet cable (supplied) to your computer or your router, remembering to switch off WiFi as well.
Once you've gone through the hassle of this, the Beolit 12 takes 2 minutes and upwards to join your WiFi network every time you want to use it - compare this with your phone, your tablet, your laptop, anything else really, where WiFi just works.
What on earth is the Beolit 12 doing in this two minutes? Because there's no status screen and only some basic lights, it's hard to tell. But it's too slow.
Another problem: the Beolit 12 can only keep information on a single WiFi network, so if you want to use the unit at home and at work (say), then you'll be scrabbling around for an ethernet cable each and every time you change locations.
But it does sound fantastic.
"the kind of audio fidelity that only a top-end hi-fi company can deliver"
Cause you get brilliant stereo imaging from a box that size!
OK I generally hate to expose the depth of my ignorance but I gotta ask. Sometime while I wasn't looking, audio speakers (plural) gave way to audio speaker .. What's with that ? Did someone figure out how to do full stereo separation with a single speaker ?
I am not happy with the depth of this review - you failed to mention how good it is at grating cheese - I assume it has that functionality, it certainly looks to me like it dose!
For my 600 quid, I'd want a better handle than that (it looks like an afterthought), and something that isn't as fiddly to setup and to use. Press the button each time to use? Yeah right.
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.
Happily it has a mini jack and a usb connector, hopefully for 3.5mm input and iPhone connector respectively.
Good point, although the review didn't mention those connectors, I had to look on their website to see that. Isn't the USB connector just there for (from the sounds of it, much needed) software updates?
Trying to find that out, I ran into this, information on a software update which means you no longer need to use an ethernet cable to switch networks and it also now remembers previous wifi networks. http://bogo.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5814
85% ... so is Alan Partridge working for the register now?
I'm betting Galloping Home would sound glorious on that, especially if you acquired a pair of supplementary auxiliary speakers, apropos achieving surround sound.
Do they stock this at Dixons then?
I thought it was the Norwich branch of Tandy that closed on Christmas eve so Alan could browse without being annoyed by the public.
"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...
How much ?
At least I hope The Register is earning some good click thru revenue from reviewing all of these 'high-end' products.
Now for the rest of us how about review speaker systems that cost up to and around 50 quid ?
You really don't know much about audio equipment and B&O's place in the market do you.
And define 'toff' please ... is it the opposite of 'chav'? (I really don't know)
I know about 'audio equipment and B&O's place in the market' - and this is a rip off.
As someone who used to sell B&O equipment along with other, more "pedestrian" brands, I can categorically say that B&O is very much the hi-fi equivalent of Apple. They make nice looking gear that is pretty good, but vastly overpriced. If you pay £5000 for a B&O hi-fi system it will look amazing, but if you spend that £5000 buying the best-sounding kit you can get your hands on it will blow away the B&O system.
One would imagine this remains true of the AirPlay speakers. And, as someone already pointed out, for B&O this actually looks rather... crap.
If you used to sell B&O products, you should also be aware of their excellent service, even 10+ years after purchase, or in the case of the old beocenter 2200 of my parents, >25 years. When my father asked for a replacement needle for the turntable a few years ago, it was on stock at the distributor, and at the shop ready for pickup 2 days later.
And let's not forget the excellent manuals they provide with all of their kit, made by actual people, and not by running the Chinese thru babelfish like most companies do. I remember my parents buying an beocenter 9500, and me running off for some speaker cable. When I got back, my mother was busy programming the radio-stations.
These things and service cost money too...
My own HiFi system sounded better than the 9500, at half the price, but my mother couldn't get it to work...
When you buy B&O products you are buying the name.
True, they sould great. But not so great as to justify the price they charge.
I speak as someone whose parents had a B&O obsession during the 1980s. I rememeber my first visit to a Richer Sounds and being truly shocked that my parents had paid so much over the odds for what they called "Audio Perfection".
Looks cr*p and the handle is stupid!
for that price I want a class A amp!
Donk your iphone on top then carry the Beolit 12 across the room
Think about it (Sorry, just dropped into nazi store keeper in Falling Down)
Article failed to mention
- naming: 12 for 2012 - homage to Beolit 39, 40, 41, 42,..
- Beolit stands for B&O Bakelite
- design: homage to Beolit 500, 600,... series
Not a fan boi of either, but what's fair is fair:
Apple mimics B&O not the other way around - they've done this since the Steves were in diapers.
Only they have remained vastly more exclusive than apple...
B&O used "unibody" aluminum housing on their Beosound 9000 back in 1996 (they even offer their machining expertize to other companies)
The speakers were absolutely crap. They've got a really good design team, but I honestly wonder if they employ any sound people.
But do you have any pictures of this speaker thing?
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