4th-gen Beoplay A9 upgrades include Google Assistant and AirPlay 2 multi-room
Bang & Olufsen has upgraded its wireless Beoplay A9 speaker (again), retaining the tried and true form, but building significantly upon the technology, including adding Google Assistant integration and Adaptive Room Compensation. Oh, and the power cable is now fabric coated.
The 4th-generation Beoplay A9 (A9 MK4) was officially launched earlier this year at the Venice Biennale. The very first A9 hit the market back in 2012 and has been a solid performer for B&O ever since.
As you'd expect from the progressive, responsive engineers at B&O, features have come and gone over the years. Two extra drivers and an Optica combi-jack were added to the A9 MK3 model, which also saw the removal of a USB iPod/iPhone connector, DLNA wireless streaming and Spotify Connect.
The A9 MK4 also introduces Google Voice Assistant to the spec list, which not only allows you to control the A9 by voice command, but your Google-enabled smart home functionality as well. Other improvements include a reworked streaming engine, ensuring better results when using Chromecast etc.; improved Wi-Fi connectivity; multi-room platform compatibility with Apple AirPlay 2; and B&O's Adaptive Room Compensation.
Adaptive Room Compensation uses a combination of built-in amplification and digital sound processing to evaluate the environment the speaker is in – room size, furniture placement etc. – and adjusts output accordingly, delivering the optimal aural experience for that particular space.
There are some little details that add to the "Oh-that's-quite-nice-isn't-it" factor for the new Beoplay A9, too, such as a new fabric-coated power cable and the Bang & Olufsen logo engraved on the aluminum outer ring – sometimes it's the little things too, right? And for those who like the numbers, the A9 MK4 delivers 1,500 watts of musical oomph via seven drivers, with a frequency response of 33 – 23,000 Hz and (including its legs) has dimensions of 70 x 90 x 41 cm (27.5 x 35.5 x 16 in).
As with previous generations, the A9 MK4 can be used as either a freestanding speaker or hung on a wall and is available in a range of finishes and textile treatments.
The 4th-generation Beoplay A9 is set to hit Bang & Olufsen's physical and online stores – and selected stockists – on May 14. Price is expected to be around US$2,800 to $3,000, depending on the fabric and finish options chosen, which would make it roughly 10 percent more than the A9 MK3, which is still widely available.
Source: Bang & Olufsen