The name 'Beolit' returns after a long absence with the arrival in early 2012 of the Beolit 12 Airplay, a portable 'Airplay' loudspeaker enabling the user to listen to an iOS-operated portable device as well as Airplay gadgets around the house. The last Bang & Olufsen model to feature the 'Beolit' prefix (to describe a portable radio) was the Beolit 707. The loudspeaker system was the first member of Bang & Olufsen’s B&O Play sub-brand to be announced.
The gadget was outed at the CES 2012 Show in Las Vegas early January 2012. The compact speaker system has been branded under the newly-formed B&O Play sub-brand line-up of products “focussed on a more playful and portable product portfolio.”
BeoLit 12 Airplay was designed to resemble an old transistor radio but includes internally some very much more up-to-date specifications. Pumping out a healthy 120 watts, its digital Class D amplifier delivers much more than most of its competitors.
Having AirPlay connectivity means that an iPhone, iPad and newer iPod Touches can be used with wirelessly.
A built-in rechargeable battery and a tuck-in power cord are included in its $799 (£516) purchase price at the time of its launch.
Playback from the device is possible via AirPlay for Apple devices, wireless network, 3.5mm line-in and USB inputs. The provision of all these options means that the unit can be used to provide audio for a whole host of iOS, Android, and other devices. Before the portable speaker can be used, they will need to be configured for a network, and this is possible by hooking the BeoLit 12 up to a computer with the help of the built-in Ethernet port. USB charging for a music device and a storage compartment for the mains power cable complete the list of features.
Apple’s iPad may be used with BeoLit 12 Airplay but will not be charged while in use.
Beolit 12 Airplay is aimed at both existing and new customers. Bang & Olufsen expects that the unit will bridge a gap in the market by delivering a high-quality listening experience while still having the convenience of playing music from one’s portable digital device or smartphone. The Beolit 12 will be available in Bang & Olufsen showrooms globally and most Apple stores in Europe & the US as well as online from late January 2012.
The anodized aluminum body of BeoLit 12 Airplay was available in four colors at the time of launch: dark grey, blue, yellow and light grey. However, white was introduced on 20 February 2014 making the spring 2014 color selection just: dark grey, grey, and white.
Designed by Cecilie Manz
Class D digital amplifier with a total of 120 watts:
Dimensions W x H x D: 23 x 15 x 18.8cm
Weight: 2.8 kg
Colours: Dark Grey, Blue, Yellow, Light Grey, White
Battery playing time: 8 hours wired, 4 hours AirPlay®
Connections: 1 x USB connector, 1 x (3,5mm) mini-jack connector, mains, ethernet
In the box: Beolit 12 Airplay, user manual, Ethernet cable, power cord