Beolit 12 by Bang & Olufssen, music by AirPlay with style: In depth

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) is a Danish company that has been designing audio-visual products since 1925. Few brands like B&O bring together excellent product design and high quality so well. At Apple we had the opportunity to test the Beolit 12, a surprising all-in-one rechargeable speaker , with a look that does not leave indifferent and with an unquestionable sound presence.

In this entry we will see how it behaves and the functions it includes. It’s a pity you can’t listen to it as I’m doing right now, because the sound is really overwhelming in quantity and quality.

What does the Beolit 12 look like?

Beolit 12 by Bang & Olufssen, music by AirPlay with style: In depth
Beolit 12 by Bang & Olufssen, music by AirPlay with style: In depth

Let’s take it one step at a time. The Beolit 12 looks like a designer bag, picnic lunchbox, portable fridge, … and we could keep looking for similarities and none of them would fully fit its look. It may be that all this is influenced by its parelepipedic shape (I’ve always wanted to write this word on a ticket) and, above all, its leather handle for carrying it, as well as its rounded edges and its perforated metal body. In its upper and lower part it has some plastic pieces, in our case dark grey, and a rubber cover to be able to carry our iPhone or audio device there without fear of it slipping. The design is the work of Cecile Manz and the truth is that it has its own personality .

At the top are the four illuminated touch buttons we will need to make it work. On one of its sides we will see the physical connections of the device, such as a USB port, an auxiliary audio input through a jack and a battery charge indicator.

On the other side we see a hinged door that covers a compartment in which we can store the power cable. This is a good detail so that we never forget it, although the good news is that the Beolit 12 has a fully charged battery that gives us an autonomy of about 8 hours, four hours if we use AirPlay . This also explains a little bit the weight of the Beolit 12, about 2.8 kg of design. Inside the door we find some minimum instructions to make it work, basically the IP address to which we must access when we connect it with a network cable at the entrance that is precisely inside that compartment.

Operating modes of the Beolit 12

The Beolit 12 is a fairly versatile portable speaker . We can connect an audio source to the USB input of it, such as an iPod or iPhone, and charge it while playing music. We can also connect an iPad, but in this case the amperage supplied by this socket is not capable of charging it. We can also connect any audio device to the line input.

But, obviously, the strong point is AirPlay. We can either connect it to a router by cable and play music from our computer, or connect the BeoLit 12 to our home Wi-Fi network and, thanks to AirPlay , use it in all its splendour wherever we go, injecting it with music from any device that has AirPlay, computers, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

Bang & Olufssen

Before I advanced that the configuration can be done by a browser, accessing it by network cable. It is also possible to configure it thanks to an iOS utility called Beolit Setup. It has cost me a little bit more than I expected, probably because of some problem with the ONO Wi-Fi router, but once it has been rebooted and configured again, the network has worked right away and without any problems. Whatever way you choose, we will have it up and running in no time.

Sound tests

The strength of any speaker should not be the technology by which we connect the audio to it, but the quality of the sound. And the Beolit 12 doesn’t disappoint at all. Its 120 watts of power make this little guy a real demon when it comes to playing loud music, without appreciating any distortion or anything weird. 120 watts and Class D powering two 2 inch tweeters and one 4 inch subwoofer . The Beolit 12 is the work of the same Bang & Olufsen sound engineers who signed up for the acclaimed BeoLab 5 speakers.

The sound is excellent, with good presence of treble and midrange and a little “steroid” bass and with quite a lot of punch, but as I said before no distortion and a precise and perfect sound. The presence of the bass is welcome for Pop, Rock, Disco, etc. The sound test has been with different types of music and everything has sounded really good.

Portability, good materials, good design, excellent finish and a powerful and quality sound, including various forms of connection and AirPlay.

Available in four colors, the price of the Beolit 12 is 699 euros.

We thank Bang & Olufsen for providing us with the unit for review at Apple.

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