Bang & Olufsen future-proofs latest high-end wireless home speakers
Danish luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen has announced that its high-style Beosound A9 has moved into its fifth generation, and the shapely 360-degree-sound Beosound 2 grows into its third iteration. The company is also aiming for usage longevity thanks to a future-proofing module installed in each wireless home speaker.
"Today, we are celebrating that we are future-proofing two of our most popular home speaker," said B&O's VP of Product Marketing, Michael Henriksson. "Timeless design isn’t just about making products that are built to last, it’s also about creating designs that people will be captivated by, and proud to own, for decades."
Both high-end wireless speakers are being launched in new color options as well as connectivity upgrades, but more importantly they'll sport new future-proofing tech in the shape of a replaceable system module that B&O has treated to enough processing grunt to allow for the Mozart operating platform to receive software updates "for many years to come." And if any of the current connectivity and streaming components do become obsolete, the out-of-date module can be swapped for an updated one.
Looking like a posh satellite dish for the living room, the Beosound A9 was first introduced in 2012 and by 2019 had reached its fourth generation.
Like its predecessors, the latest model is quite the hi-fi powerhouse, rocking seven drivers in the shape of a woofer powered by a 400-W Class D amplifier, two mid-range speakers and two full-range units each driven by its own Class D amp, plus two tweeters getting their own 150-W amps.
Elsewhere, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.3 are cooked in, and there's support for multi-room setups, AirPlay 2 streaming, as well as Spotify Connect, Deezer and TuneIn internet radio. The system can also be cabled to a router courtesy of the included Ethernet port.
Tracks can be played, paused or skipped with a tap on the upper rear surface, and playback volume can be controlled by the slide of a hand. A mobile companion app can also be used for sonic personalization and playback control.
The Beosound 2 wireless multi-room speaker has a kind of futuristic kitchen appliance vibe to it, and features a roughly cone-shaped high-grade aluminum housing capped by a downfiring tweeter focused on a nifty reflector for even dispersion. There are two mid-range speaker peeking through the side grilles and the unit is raised slightly to give the down-firing bass driver some air.
The tweeter is driven by a 15-W Class D amp, the mid-range drivers are each powered by a 15-W amp, and the woofer gets its own 30-W amp. It includes the same wireless connectivity as its larger sibling, but B&O has also added Active Room Compensation smarts that allow for flexible placement without sacrificing sound quality.
The fifth-generation Beosound A9 goes on sale this month for an eye-watering starting price of US$3,699, while the third-generation Beosound 2 will be available from April starting at an equally arresting $3,199.
Source: Bang & Olufsen
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The worst part of Samsung's upgradeable hardware TV modules was they didn't release one with HEVC playback capability. That came along with their next generation TVs starting in late 2015.