Beolit 12 prices $900 of Bang &
Olufsen looks like a compact picnic basket. Available in four color schemes -
dark gray/dark gray, blue/dark gray, yellow/light gray, and light gray/light
gray - it is a rectangular box with rounded edges wrapped the leather strap on
top. Oh, and it is also the speaker system which designed for AirPlay playback
directly (via USB) from iPhone, iPad and iPod.
Beolit 12 prices $900 of Bang &
Olufsen looks like a compact picnic basket
The physical framework
Beolit 12 weighs 2.8kg and has 13.3x23x18.8cm
size. It's quite mobile, we can hold it with one hand using leather straps.
On the right side is a USB port, a 3.5mm
line-in jack and battery charge status light. At the back rear there is a long
rectangular door. Click it to open, and you expose an Ethernet port and a
connector for included electrical cable. Space is large enough to contain AC
However, this door is a disappointment.
Firstly, the AC socket is deeply indented and arranged to base on the top,
which makes it difficult to connect cables. There is a hook in left side of the
plug, where you will insert the power cable – “for safety”, according to instruction
documentation said - but our fingers can not make that happen.
In the lower left side of this back door,
there is a small cut to insert the cable if you want to close the door. Cable
is fit but if you want to connect an Ethernet cable, it will become very tight.
You will need to use this Ethernet port at
least once if you intend to take advantage of AirPlay function of Beolit 12. To
configure the unit for your Wi-Fi network, connect Beolit 12 to desktop by using
the included Ethernet cable, using web browser to access the web-based
pre-installed configuration panel of the speakers, and provide network details.
Beolit 12 restarts and connects to your network. Then you can skip the
Ethernet port unless you want to update the settings, such as network name of
the speakers that you can not access via Wi-Fi.
On the speakers, you will find the illuminated
touch buttons: Power, Internet, Volume Up and Volume Down. No included remote
control, but Bang & Olufsen says you can use the remote control of Beoo or Beo4
with unit. A clever feature is Volume Up and Down keys fade as you can not open
louder or smaller. You can also control the volume from the sound source.
Despite its small size, the unit developed
a digital amplifier with total capacity for D 120W
The transmit sound to Beolit 12 through
AirPlay is very easy. We tested the AirPlay transmit ability with iTunes on
Mac, as well as from iPhone and iPad, and did not suffer any sound reduction in
hours. You can also connect iPhone, iPad or iPod to the USB port of Beolit 12.
In this configuration, dock connector cable acts like a charging station (dock
cradle): on IOS device, you run music applications and play music; on iPod, you
just need to press Play.
Beolit 12 will charge your IOS device
when connected in this way even speakers are out of power, though it can not
charge iPad unless iPad turned off, and it charges slower than iPad's own
charger. If you connect multiple sources with Beolit, speaker systems use
built-priority mode to determine the priority source: Airplay first, then USB,
and finally the line-in.
Bang & Olufsen Beolit recommends
charging for 8 hours, helps you to have 8 hours to play USB or line-in, or 4
hours of play AirPlay.
Despite the small size, the unit developed
a D grade digital amplifier with total capacity of 120W. Beolit 12 may be
greater to “I need to get in the 2nd room before opening the maximum
volume”. The system uses two 2in tweeters and 4in woofer. Since there is no
subwoofer, you should not wait tank wall bass, and you do not have it.
Specifically, we were impressed with the sound Beolit created; music heard
round, rich and clear, while the presence of the bass does not make you dazzle,
it is significant if based on the compact size of the unit.
A sound problem we encountered is that if
you open Beolit 12 and do not play music, it creates buzz even you decrease
the volume to minimum. The buzz is hidden when you play music, and although
it's pretty quiet when you do not play music but it is still present.
We want to see AirPlay battery life is longer
than 4 hours, but in general, Beolit 12 is very good: excellent AirPlay
feature, impressive mobility. The real concern is due to the price. If you just
need a good portable system, there are many other quality choices for only 1/3 price
but offer good sound quality - although there is no AirPlay. However, if you
have money, this is the first system that offers combination of sound quality,
mobility and AirPlay support.
Likes: impressive sound quality; AirPlay
Dislikes: AirPlay battery life, some
problems with the inconvenient ports; the price
Rank: 4 stars