Tue Mantoni, CEO, Bang & Olufsen holding the new Beolit 12, the first product under the B&O PLAY brand

[CES 2012] We spent some time with Tue Mantoni, President & CEO of Bang & Olufsen (B&O) as he shared about their latest portable audio system, the B&O Beolit 12 which falls under the new brand that is called B&O Play. B&O Play will appeal to the pockets of those who are feeling the pinch and yet want premium audio, while B&O will remain in the high-end market.  After all, with so many of us toting device that support audio playback these days, it makes perfect sense to have a portable audio system that has enough audio playback firepower to keep the small crowd grooving, don’t you think so? The B&O Beolit 12 fits the bill perfectly, not to mention featuring Apple Airplay that supports wireless music streaming to boot. Tue Mantoni mentioned, ”Once people listen to their portable music through the Beolit 12, they will wonder why they ever did it any other way.” Our ears did not lie to us, although the $799 (EUR 699 for those living across the pond) price tag might prove prohibitive to many in this time of economic hardship.

The B&O Beolit 12 was designed by Danish designer, Cecilie Manz, where it reflects a convenient, robust and casual look. Following the footsteps of the BeoSound 8 sound system, the support for Apple’s AirPlay technology lets you enjoy play music wirelessly from your iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC – as long as you are hooked up to a wireless network, of course. It has its own power supply and a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 8 hours, although crank up the volume and you will experience a noticeable drop in the total battery life. Expect the B&O Beolit 12 to arrive in stores later this month in just one color option – dark grey, although spring would see yellow, blue, and light grey models hit the market.

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