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New Beolit 12, A Portable Wireless Speaker with AirPlay for your iPhone from Bang & Olufsen.

above: A still from the Beolit 12 commercial plays up the picnic basket-like shape.

The first product from Bang & Olufsen's new brand, B&O Play, has been chosen as the "Coolest New Speakers" by Gizmodo at the 2012 CES (Consumer Electronics Show).

With a full-grain leather strap, a solid aluminum grill, illuminated controls, 120 watts of output, a built-in power supply, and an 8 hour rechargeable battery, the Beolit 12 is a portable wireless speaker that features Apple’s AirPlay technology.

Designed by Cecilie Manz for B&O, it comes in four different colors and is said to arrive in Bang & Olufsen showrooms and select Apple stores later this month with a starting price of $800.

The television commercial promoting the new product plays off on its portable picnic basket like shape with an urban high fashion Little Red Riding Hood:

The press release:
Bang & Olufsen, the global provider of luxury, integrated audio-video solutions and services, and B&O PLAY, the company’s new brand focused on a more playful and portable product portfolio, are announcing its first product, the Beolit 12 portable music system. Beolit 12 will defy industry standards with its cutting-edge sound quality, flexible application and distinct, compact design.

Designed by Danish designer, Cecilie Manz, Beolit 12 follows a design language that is a direct reflection of its use: convenient, robust and casual. Beolit 12 follows the success of the BeoSound 8 sound system for iPad/iPod/iPhone docking, with a combination of excellent sound performance, distinct design and craftsmanship, and portable wireless operation.

“With its unsurpassed sound performance and striking design, we believe Beolit 12 will resonate with both Bang & Olufsen enthusiasts and now a new and wider customer demographic, due to its convenience, price point and fashion-forward style” states Tue Mantoni, CEO Bang & Olufsen. “We believe it bridges a gap in the market by delivering a high quality listening experience and still having the convenience of playing music from ones portable digital device or smart phone.”

Beolit 12 features Apple’s AirPlay technology. It allows you to play music wirelessly from your iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC when connected to your wireless network. It is designed to be portable and has a built-in power supply and a rechargeable battery. The power cord packs neatly away inside the system when not in use. The rechargeable battery has the capacity to charge an iPhone or other connected device and play back music for up to 8 hours at normal sound levels.

“By combining Bang & Olufsen’s 86 years of experience in sound and acoustic technology and advances with the latest wireless technology, Beolit 12 allows the user to play pristine music from their digital devices,” states Henrik Taudorf Lorensen, Vice President B&O PLAY. “We have packaged all of this technology in a compact solution and wrapped it in a beautiful hand-assembled aluminium casing which can be moved around freely with no cables by simply grabbing the leather-strap.”

Beolit 12 is a tribute to Bang & Olufsen’s ever-popular transistor Beolit radios from the 1960’s, and similar to its early predecessors, it presents a compact form, yet a robust sound reproduction. Also, despite its relatively small size, the Beolit 12 offers a best in class portable sound experience. Its 120 Watts digital Class D power amplifier system individually drives two 2” tweeters and a 4” woofer to deliver powerful, accurate sound performance that comfortably fills a middle sized room. The sound system is designed and tuned by the same sound engineers that delivered the award winning BeoLab 5 loudspeakers from Bang & Olufsen.

Attention to detail has always been a Bang & Olufsen signature competency, and this is reiterated under the B&O PLAY brand. Material choice and craftsmanship are no exceptions here: An Italian full-grain leather carrying strap is diagonally mounted for stability when the unit is carried, and the solid aluminium loudspeaker grille wraps smoothly around the unit, making the loudspeaker fabric visible behind the grille to allow for different discrete colour options. The top of the unit, with its volume, power and network controls has a non-slip rubber insert, so you can safely place your mobile device here while charging or playing.

The Beolit 12 represents the company’s move into a new range of products designed specifically for a new generation of mobile, digital, quality-conscious customers. With a recommended consumer price of EUR 699 in Europe and $799 in the USA, the Beolit 12 is the most affordable sound system from Bang & Olufsen in many years, and therefore the company believes its sales volume will surpass the ever-popular BeoSound 8 figures.

Beolit 12 will begin to arrive in Bang & Olufsen showrooms, Bang & Olufsen Online Store and Apple Stores (including Apple Online Store) late January 2012 in the dark grey option. Additional colors will include yellow, blue, and light grey, and those will arrive in showrooms this Spring 2012.

all images and info courtesy of Bang & Olufsen

•Class D digital amplifier with a total of 120 watts.
• 2.1 stereo system with: 2 x 2” tweeter and 1 x 4” woofer
• Dimensions W x H x D: 23 x 15 x 18.8 (cm)
• Weight: 2.8 (kg)
• Colours: Yellow, dark grey, blue, grey

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