B&O Play is at it again for the younger crowd with money to burn. With a TV, a hybrid iPad dock, an iPad friendly speaker system and a portable speaker already under its belt, Bang & Olufsen's spin-off brand is ready to really get the festivities going with its new BeoPlay A9. Starting at cool $2,799, this
satellite dish circular eye-catcher also doubles as a full-on 2.1 speaker system. Simply put, we'd describe its looks as a super-sized half of the BeoPlay A8 speaker dock. We'd guess the A9 stands at roughly three feet tall (legs mounted) and three feet wide based on our quick in-person look. Behind its fabric grill you'll find a duo of three-quarter-inch tweeters and a pair of three-inch mid-range drivers, all of which get their power from independent 80-watt digital amps. Of course, the A9 brings the rumble as well, featuring an 8-inch "bass unit" that gets double the wattage of its drivers. Notably, AirPlay & DLNA are baked right in, ensuring you'll have access to WiFi streaming across whichever platforms you prefer.
You won't find any physical controls, but on the top-edge of its backside you'll notice a status light and a power button, both separated by a long touch-sensitive strip that lets you adjusts the volume, or mute it completely. Below that, a pop-off cap hides a USB port for docking and charging devices and a 3.5mm jack if wireless isn't an option, but it's also where an admittedly unsightly power cord plugs in as well. As you can see in the photo, the A9 can be supported by a trio of wooden legs, however, it can also be wall-mounted or hung from a ceiling like the BeoPlay V1 TV -- thankfully, it features three DSP presets to cope with however you'd decide to place it. As you might imagine, it's also incredibly loud -- just a duo of A9s were being used as the sound system at the large Penthouse party we were in. As such, it wasn't an ideal environment to comment much further on its audio performance.
If it's up your alley, expect the system to hit B&O and select Apple stores near the end of November, with your choice of a black, red, silver, green or white grill, and wooden legs in beech, oak or teak -- all of which can be purchased separately. For now, you can get your own eyes-on with it in the gallery below.
B&O Play A9 wireless speaker system (eyes-on)See all photos
Update: Check out the video past the break to catch a video of how it's made.
B&O PLAY, by Bang & Olufsen, Announces the Launch of its Premium Active Speaker System, BeoPlay A9 featuring a powerful, wireless sound experience, original design and unprecedented placement flexibility
B&O PLAY proudly announces the launch of its latest active speaker system, BeoPlay A9, which integrates an all-star line-up of dedicated components with provocative design to create a complete sound solution that is as easy to listen to as it is to decorate with. With the launch of BeoPlay A9, B&O PLAY extends its innovative range of wireless sound systems with the most powerful performer yet. As BeoPlay A9, features a 2.1 bass reflex loudspeaker system that combines five dedicated speaker units and amps with timeless design to create a complete sound solution. BeoPlay A9 features a fine-tuned DSP (digital signal processor) algorithm that makes ones music collection come alive and deliver surprisingly rich bass tones which are cultivated and cool with the patented Adaptive Bass Linearization technology.
In addition to its striking design and sound performance, BeoPlay A9 presents wireless connectivity and magically simple operation and it caters to individual listening needs as they change throughout the day or night. Just plug it in, connect it wirelessly to an iPhone, iPad or Android device, and BeoPlay A9 starts streaming via AirPlay or DLNA. The sound is big enough to fill even the most spacious room, (as it outputs 480 watts of power) and so lush that it rivals much more complex systems.
According to Henrik Taudorf Lorensen, VP at B&O PLAY, BeoPlay A9 is all about simplicity. "We asked Øivind Slaatto, a young designer who also has a strong interest in music, to create a design that is as free of visual noise as possible, and then had our engineers empower it with truly amazing sound. The result is a liberating take on acoustic performance with a cleanly graphic look that is intuitively easy to use."
Turning the party dial up – or down – has never been easier. Swipe a hand across the touch sensor to control volume, or mute the system by simply resting a hand on top of it. Additionally, you can select tracks and adjust volume with your smartphone or tablet. The connection panel beneath the unit also includes a mains socket for power, line-in, and a USB socket that lets you soft dock and charge your device.
BeoPlay A9 packs two ¾-inch tweeters and two 3-inch midrange units, all four driven by separate 80-watt class D amplifiers, to deliver sparkling highs and spaciously defined middle tones. An imposing 8-inch bass unit, powered by no less than 160 watts from its own class D amplifier, lays down authoritative and tightly controlled oomph through the bass reflex construction hidden behind the unit. Three pre-set sound modes for wall, corner or freestanding positions optimize acoustic performance depending on how you choose to fit BeoPlay A9 into your home.
BeoPlay A9 is more than willing to both fit in and stand out in your décor, as it can be placed either on the floor or hung on the wall. Screw in the wooden legs to place it on the floor right where you need it, or use the wall bracket to add a circular canvass alongside the rest of the art in your home. You can even choose between a range of colors for the fabric cover, and change them in a snap. Solid wood legs are available in oak, beech or teak. Fabric covers are available in silver, white, black, red, green and brown.
Prices begin at USD $2,699. BeoPlay A9 will be available at Bang & Olufsen stores, the B&O PLAY online store (store.beoplay.com), select Apple retail stores, Apple Online, and select design stores in select markets from second half of November 2012.