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Bang & Olufsen unveils Playmaker wireless audio bridge, makes sure AirPlay and DLNA speak Danish

Bang & Olufsen has been slowly but surely adapting to a wireless world. Its new Playmaker (shown at center) brings that evolution to audio: with the receiver linked up, any AirPlay- or DLNA-friendly audio device can beam its sound to a set of the Danish firm's designer speakers. Wireless audio bridging isn't anything new by itself -- we know at least one rival that might say it's old hat -- but the company is promising clean and powerful sound through a built-in DAC that can drive even the beefiest of BeoLabs, like the 2,500-watt BeoLab 5. We can look forward to the Playmaker reaching stores before the end of the month, but we'll pay a premium for all that theoretical power. The bridge by itself costs $425, while a special bundle with BeoLab 3 speakers will set listeners back an eyewatering (if ear-melting) $4,310.

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Bang & Olufsen announces a new wireless sound device to launch in July 2012

Offering a premium digital music experience in a wireless format for extreme user convenience and uncompromising acoustic performance

DEERFIELD, Ill. and STRUER, Denmark, July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Bang & Olufsen, the global provider of exclusive, high quality audio and video products will introduce a state-of-the-art receiver that wirelessly connects digital music sources to any Bang & Olufsen speakers this July 2012. The new Bang & Olufsen Playmaker is significant as it unleashes the true, high-quality sound experience of Bang & Olufsen speakers to one's digital music with one-step wireless operation straight from any smart phone and it is both DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) and AirPlay compatible. It can stream music from practically any smart phone, tablet, MAC, PC or media server. Additionally, Playmaker possesses a second-to-none sound performance as it features a high performance Digital Audio converter that is specified for even the most powerful B&O speakers. Therefore, Playmaker gives music lovers the best of both worlds: outstanding audio quality from Bang & Olufsen's extensive range of premium active speakers and one-touch access to digital music collections, without the wires.

Playmaker has extreme ease-of-use and intuitive operation. You simply add Playmaker to any set of Bang & Olufsen active loudspeakers and within seconds you'll discover just how good a smartphone can sound. Whether you want to share a playlist or explore a new online station, Playmaker lifts digital music into rich aural panoramas that reveal even more of your favorite tunes on Bang & Olufsen speakers. Playmaker also creates new wireless music scenarios, as one can easily set various music zones in the house and/or music can be moved around from room to room, or played in sync using iTunes.

Additionally, an extra amplifier is not needed for set up. All Bang & Olufsen speakers are active with specially tuned amplifiers, built into every cabinet, to power all speaker drivers separately. Just connect two BeoLab speakers to the new Playmaker and start listening to music from your phone or tablet. Outstanding sound systems have never been this simple.

"We believe Playmaker will resonate with our customers as it offers a one-step wireless solution for enjoying digital music from any smart phone to the powerful B&O loudspeaker portfolio," states Zean Nielsen, President of Bang & Olufsen America, Inc. "Furthermore, we believe that most new B&O owners will want to include Playmaker when purchasing any new pair of B&O speakers. Therefore, we have strong expectations for its sales performance, especially among an entirely new customer segment that may have aspired to own world-class B&O loudspeakers but chose not to invest in an audio or video system to drive the B&O speakers for one reason or another. The Playmaker now allows these customers to use their own device and still experience the high-quality sound experience of Bang & Olufsen."

Playmaker can also be hardwired to bring out the absolute best that digital music has to offer, due to its high performance Digital Audio Converter. The result is a true Bang & Olufsen listening experience with its breathtakingly real sound. Also, Playmaker is a simple way for existing Bang & Olufsen owners to add digital music to their systems - wirelessly – and it has the specs to handle even Bang & Olufsen's most demanding speakers, BeoLab 5, seamlessly. BeoLab 5 defies market standards as it outputs over 2500 watts of power and possesses 4 patented technologies in the area of acoustics and bass control.

Playmaker is ideal for homes where people enjoy different kinds of music in different ways. Everyone in the family can stream from their own phone or other device. Volume and mute can be controlled either by the handheld device, by the Bang & Olufsen remote, or on Playmaker itself. Guests can easily link up and share a song and by adding more Playmakers to more rooms with Bang & Olufsen speakers, you can sync sound throughout the house or listen to opera in one room and hip-hop in another – and create as many music zones as you like.

With its easy set up and user application, Playmaker also connects to a wireless network in just seconds. The Bang & Olufsen BeoSetup App helps you do this in a few steps, or you can push a button on the bottom of Playmaker to connect to a wireless router. Everything you need to stream is packed inside the discrete white design, which is small enough to tuck away on a bookshelf.

Playmaker is available in Bang & Olufsen showrooms in US, Canada and Mexico at the end of July 2012. It retails at $425.00 and also can be bundled together with our compact, yet powerful BeoLab 3 loudspeaker with patented acoustic lens technology for $4310.00