Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12 – High-end pick-i-nick baskets

4/21/2012 3:51:28 PM

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.

Description: Beolit 12 prices $900 of Bang & Olufsen looks like a compact picnic basket

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 cable.

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.

AirPlay performance

Description: Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12

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 feature; mobility

Dislikes: AirPlay battery life, some problems with the inconvenient ports; the price

Rank: 4 stars

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