Jan. 10, 2012 at 8:32 PM ET
When I first walked into the room where Bang & Olufsen presented its latest products, I wondered why the heck there were a bunch of shiny picnic baskets on display. My confusion was for naught though, because it turns out those weren't picnic baskets — they were some rather great iPhone speakers.
These speakers are called the Beolit 12 and they are the first items in Bang & Olufsen's B&O Play line, a series of products intended to be more "playful and portable" than the company's current offerings.
Now, the strange picnic-basket-like appearance aside, the Beolit 12 is a beautiful piece of hardware. It has a solid aluminum speaker grill, a full-grain leather carrying strap, and some impressive guts (a 120 Watts digital Class D power amplifier system which individually drives two 2-inchtweeters and a 4-inch woofer).
The Beolit 12 has a clean and simple look to it. The system's rechargeable battery — which can handle up to 8-hours of playback — is neatly hidden deep inside the device along with its power supply. There's no need to worry about figuring out what to do with the system's power cable either — because it tucks neatly into a compartment in the back.
You can get music to the Beolit 12 by connecting your favorite iOS device (using a built-in USB port) or by streaming tunes wirelessly using Apple's AirPlay technology.
The Beolit 12 will be available in late January. You'll be able to pick one up via the Bang & Olufsen online store, select Apple Stores, and Apple's online store. The system will set you back — I saved the worst part for last — $800.
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